Worried my boy is going to die soon :(

VictorHugo

New Member
Hello,
My poor panther chameleon is on death’s door, and I’m writing here in hopes that someone here knows something my vet and I don’t.

My darling is about 5 years old. His name is Victor Hugo. :)

Vic has been in pretty good health. He lives at my dance studio in a large glass enclosure. (3ft x 3 ft x &18in or so) He is quite social, and enjoys climbing vines in the big sunny window and helping the office staff get their admin work done :) Seriously, he really does love to be active and out and about, and is very loved.

About 6 months ago I noticed he was falling more than usual. He was eating and drinking as usual so I made some adjustments to his enclosure (moved things closer to the floor) and kept an eye on him.

A couple of months after that, I noticed what looked like a wound on his butt, next to his bum hole. I also noticed some white spots- looked like maybe a fungus- on his side. Size of a pencil eraser. I took him to the vet, and got some antiseptic to apply with a warm bath. I took his enclosure apart, bleached or replaced everything, and moved him closer to the floor in case he fell. Fungal tests came back negative, though vet and I are suspicious of those results.

A couple of weeks later, the wound was looking worse, not better. The skin surrounding the wound had turned black and was clearly going to fall off. It was moving down his tail toward the tip. Back to the vet we went and got some oral antibiotics and an iodine solution to apply to the wound daily. He also stopped eating during this time and started rapidly losing weight, so I had to grind up bugs and feed them to him with a syringe, and give him some intense supplements. Drinking was still ok and I’ve still been giving him a warm soak each day. His feces started looking like basically undigested insects. No white/yellow, just brown bugs and you could still see the wings and everything.

For the past 2 weeks he perked up a bit, was hunting crickets and eating more, and seeming energetic even though it didn’t seem he was gaining weight.

Vet wants to do a parasite test but his stool is so hard, I’m not sure they’ll find anything alive.

The last couple of days have been rough. His eyes are dark and sunken, and his intestines are now falling out of the wound. Sometimes he pulls them back in on his own, but tonight I had to put a bandaid over it because he couldn’t seem to pull or hold it back in :(

Sorry. I know that’s a lot. I feel like the vet and I are in over our heads.

I’m in the car right now so don’t have my husbandry list handy but I monitor humidity/temp/UVB very carefully. Gut load feeders with repashy and give victor the correct supps on his bugs and a bit of vit. D once a month for his eyes. He eats super worms crickets and stink bugs.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts. I’m worried I’m going to lose him soon :(

Best,
Stephanie

Photos of him today (sad :( ) wound at its worst last month and wound more recently, better. And the prolapse.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Your poor guy....he really needs to see a good chameleon vet. There is definitely something bad going on in his vent area.

Please answer the husbandry questions in the how to ask for help thread below...we can check it to see if there are any changes that need to be made...but I doubt any of it will have to do with what's going on with his vent area...
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/how-to-ask-for-help.66/

If soft tissue is hanging out, then you need to keep it moist with KY jelly (not Vaseline or anything that is meant to heal it).
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Do you have photos of the white lumps on his side?

What color are his urates?

Please be aware that I'm not a vet and can only give you my opinion based on my experiences, what I've read, etc.
 

VictorHugo

New Member
Do you have photos of the white lumps on his side?

What color are his urates?

Please be aware that I'm not a vet and can only give you my opinion based on my experiences, what I've read, etc.

Do you have photos of the white lumps on his side?

What color are his urates?

Please be aware that I'm not a vet and can only give you my opinion based on my experiences, what I've read, etc.
Hello,
Thanks for trying to help.

His urates are white. Lots of small bits these days instead of larger fewer.

Any idea what would make his food not digest?

Attached a photo of what I think might be the fungus! It’s on his ribs. This is an older photo- there’s one on the other side tooo now.
E4F36E9F-D927-45A4-BD02-9C3CC7492B48.jpeg
 

VictorHugo

New Member
Your poor guy....he really needs to see a good chameleon vet. There is definitely something bad going on in his vent area.

Please answer the husbandry questions in the how to ask for help thread below...we can check it to see if there are any changes that need to be made...but I doubt any of it will have to do with what's going on with his vent area...
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/how-to-ask-for-help.66/

If soft tissue is hanging out, then you need to keep it moist with KY jelly (not Vaseline or anything that is meant to heal it).
Yeah I agree- I’m not sure we have any reptile experts here in Madison, WI but the person I got him from may know more and I’ll call her tomorrow.

When I get home I’ll fill out the husbandry form.

I did get some KY for him and gave him a cool sugar bath tonight to try to reduce swelling. Poor buddy :( He is on antibiotics so at least the probability of infection is lower. :/
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."Yeah I agree- I’m not sure we have any reptile experts here in Madison, WI but the person I got him from may know more and I’ll call her tomorrow"...there used to be an excellent vet there...I'll have to look to see if he's still there.

You said..."I did get some KY for him and gave him a cool sugar bath tonight to try to reduce swelling. Poor buddy :( He is on antibiotics so at least the probability of infection is lower. :/"...what antibiotic is he on? Oral or injected? Good that you tried the sugar to shrink it down...but be aware that if its exposed it can pick up fungus and that can add to the problems if it's not already a part of the problem.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."Any idea what would make his food not digest"... What is the temperature where he sits in the cage?
There are a few things that could cause that...I don't even want to guess.
 

VictorHugo

New Member
You said..."Yeah I agree- I’m not sure we have any reptile experts here in Madison, WI but the person I got him from may know more and I’ll call her tomorrow"...there used to be an excellent vet there...I'll have to look to see if he's still there.

You said..."I did get some KY for him and gave him a cool sugar bath tonight to try to reduce swelling. Poor buddy :( He is on antibiotics so at least the probability of infection is lower. :/"...what antibiotic is he on? Oral or injected? Good that you tried the sugar to shrink it down...but be aware that if its exposed it can pick up fungus and that can add to the problems if it's not already a part of the problem.
 

VictorHugo

New Member
Great- if you find the name of someone I’ll check them out!

Oral antibiotic.

I did cover it with a bandaid with ky on it because I couldn’t get it back in all of the way.

Around 80-85 during the day- he’s at the bottom now because I moved everything down so he wouldn’t hurt himself when he falls.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I looked for that vet I know...but he's not in Wisconsin anymore sadly. Don't know who else is...but @jannb might be able to tell you some.

What is the antibiotic?

Well, if that's the temperature where he sits all day, then temperature is not the reason for lack of digestion. Sigh.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I don't think the white on his side is fungal...but I'm not a vet, as I said...so it's just my best guess. It could be a papilloma, but it's not big enough for me to be sure. All the fungal infections I've seen have been darker in color.

Feeling very unhelpful at the moment...sorry. Good chameleon vet is the best/only option IMHO.
 

VictorHugo

New Member
Thank you for weighing in! Do you have much experience with parasites? I wonder if it’s that? Might explain the weight loss even though he’s been eating enough? And the undigested food? It’s just been tough/impossible to get a good decal sample!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I'm sure parasites could be a possibility.
There are so many parasites they can end up with, I'll never know enough about it...and I kept chameleons for over 30 years.
 

VictorHugo

New Member
Thanks. I’m on their calendar for next Wednesday- the soonest they could get us in :/ I coaxed him into eating 3 crickets today and re-band aided his prolapse. If anyone else has any thoughts pease let me know. ❤️
 

VictorHugo

New Member
Yeah, he said I *could* take him to the ER but would cost around $700 minimum. 😞 I’m on a wait list too. And am going to back to my regular vet tomorrow.
 
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