Worried About My Senegalese Chameleon

Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by thekeeper, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    I recently bought a senegalese chameleon a week ago today actually. I saw it at the pet store and saw that its health was going downhill so I got it in hopes of getting it back to health.

    When I got it home I went out and grabbed some grasshoppers from the backyard (no pesticides ever used and great plants for gutloading) I built a mesh screen cage for it and have a UVB basking bulb at the moment (50 Watt) I put fresh leaves and sticks in it after good washing. I misted it all down, the chameleon immediately started drinking and ate 2 grasshoppers. It hasn't eaten since.

    I've offered grasshoppers, small butterflies, crickets, mealworms and no interest whatsoever.

    When I bought it - it was quite skinny I had seen it in the store a couple weeks prior and it appeared in good health and had deteriorated within 2 weeks at the pet store. The lady at the pet store said she was having trouble getting it to eat but I noticed they had been feeding dead insects.

    It has a small spot on its left hip where the skin appears to have some kind of discoloration. almost a yellowish white.

    Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated as I want to get this little gal or guy back to health.:confused:
  2. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Can you please post pictures?

    Senegals need to be kept well hydrated.

    What temperature are you keeping the basking area at?

    Do you know its a female for sure?

    Was there a substrate in the cage at the store? Has it been pooping?
  3. Lancecham

    Lancecham New Member

    I'm sure it is a wild caught. It is normal for some of the wild caughts to literally eat right away after getting them and then eat nothing for a while. Try not to handle him and let him adjust slowly. Continue to offer various insects as you are doing and try other things as well. Flies may work well as well.
    Another thing is that you noticed its health deteriorate over the 2 weeks in the pet store. That could be a result of a lot of things. Watch him closely for a while.
  4. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    I would say the temperature is about 80 in the basking area and I don't have a fluorescent yet, noticed some debate on whether to get one or not...Right now I have a Zoo Med 50 watt basking UVA/UVB bulb.

    The substrate at the pet store was some of that green plastic fake grass stuff. I have no substrate in my set-up.

    It's feces is very minimal and has a whitish to rusty tinge to it. I am planning on collecting some of it tomorrow (if there is enough) and having a co-worker analyze the sample for me.
  5. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    I will post a picture tomorrow, don't want to wake it snapping a pic tonight
  6. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    When the chameleon defecates there should be a brown sausage-like piece and a white piece.

    Its recommended to use the linear tube type UVB bulbs. The compacts can cause eye problems, etc.

    Is it active at all? Does it sit with its eyes closed during the day?
  7. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    It has been active seems to enjoy crawling in the fake tree outside the cage more than anything, was really active this afternoon when I took it outside in the sun...put it back in the cage and it just kind of sits there, the cricket can crawl right over it and no reaction. Seems to really enjoy sitting on the buddha statue outside cage near the fake tree. I let it crawl around outside of the cage for about an hour each day and then when the weather has been nice I take it outside for some natural sun. There hasn't been any sausage like piece at all, just kind of a runny brown blob with some white.
  8. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    The runny brown blob could be a sign of parasites. You might want to get a fecal done to see.
  9. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    That I will definitely do, I'll do that tomorrow if I can get enough gathered for a sample, I think I may just take the little one in to and see if we can't get a scraping of that skin on the hip...Kinyonga, when it comes to parasites how hard is it to treat chameleons and is something like Ivermec, baytril or nystatin (fungal) safe for chams???
  10. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    I wouldn't use ivermectin with a Senegal. There was a report of one dying when it was used...it wasn't conclusive that it died from the ivermectin but it was suggested to avoid it in case.

    Fenbendazole is used most often....but it depends on what the parasite is. You need to do a fecal to determine the parasite species and then find out the medication that will kill that parasite. If the parasite load is very heavy, killing the parasites can kill the chameleon.

    Senegals seem to be more prone to blood parasites (Foleyella)...don't know what fenbendazole will do in that case.
  11. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Does the spot on the hip look like a pox "pimple" or is it flat?
  12. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    I took a fresh fecal sample in to my co-worker this afternoon. It was another small blob of runny white and brown. She's going to take a look at it this afternoon and get back to me. She's going to do a normal smear view through the microscope as well as a liquid suspension to check for protozoa as well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best, but at least with having my co-worker look at the sample I'll be able to take the results to the vet and be able to get the right treatment (I hope) We don't have any vets that specialize in herps in my area so it's best to try and diagnose it yourself and just ask for the meds here for it.

    She's been drinking today, not eating still though, she was quite active this morning and seemed tickled to go to the zoo and go for a car ride - she's surprisingly social and seems to really enjoy being out of the cage. Right now she's just perching under the uvb bulb.

    I will put some pictures on in a few hours as I have to go and run some errands first.
  13. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    I have found the female Senegals to be fairly friendly.
    The males are too most of the time.

    Don't remember...is she adult? Do you have a place for her to dig to lay eggs in the cage?
  14. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    I got the results back on the tests and in the very small sample I was able to get there were no parasites...which is a good sign, but i'll definitely analyze any sample I can get...and still troubling because why isn't it eating?!?!?!?!
  15. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    The spot on the hip is kind of a crusty yellowish color no bigger in diameter than the font size on these letters I'm typing....still trying to get pics, my sister borrowed my camera and I won't get it back til late tonight grrr
  16. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Do you have a place for her to lay eggs...assuming its a female?

    One clean fecal doesn't mean there aren't any.

    Does she sit with her mouth open?
  17. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    I don't have a place to lay eggs, but judging by how skinny she is I'm not sure she could at this point.(if it is female) Do you have some suggestions for what to use to provide an egg laying place??

    She doesn't sit with her mouth open, she sits kind of with her head pointing down slumped a bit, but not with her mouth open.
  18. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    For an egglaying site that you can keep in the cage just for her to start to dig in to show you she needs to lay eggs, use a container, that when empty is large enough for her to fit into with a couple of inches of space all around including above and below her. Fill it about 2/3rds full of moist washed playsand. Its just a precaution...failure to provide a place if it is needed will lead to eggbinding usually.
  19. thekeeper

    thekeeper New Member

    Good to know, I appreciate that tremendously Kin, thank you!!
  20. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    How's the chameleon now? Eating yet? Feces any better?

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