Worried my Cham was burned

KingJulian

New Member
Found this article on burns...Hope it helps :)

Thermal burns occur when a chameleon can get too close or come in direct contact with a heat source, like any basking bulb or ceramic heater. Chameleons do not have the same reactions with excessive heat as mammals and will remain still even if in direct contact with the bulb. This is a common occurrence in captivity and can result in severe burning of the skin and muscle tissue, this may lead to the animal’s demise if prolonged exposure has taken place.

To prevent this from happening it is always better to keep any light or heat sources outside of the enclosure where ever possible, also if using screen or mesh cages the basking spot should be elevated off the cage by at least a few inches, as it is quite common for chameleons to receive burns when climbing on the top of screen enclosures. The height in which you suspend your basking spot will depend on what wattage bulb you are using, the higher the wattage the higher your basking spot will need to be, if you are not sure then place the back of your hand on the inside of the mesh directly under the bulb and hold it there for one minute, if you have to pull your hand away within that time it is to hot and will need to be raised a little to be safe for your animal. If you have to have your heat source inside the enclosure then it is paramount that the chameleon cannot get near it, make sure there are no vines or plants that may enable the animal to gain access to the area where the fitting or the bulb itself is positioned. Be warned, the chameleon does not have to come in direct contact with the bulb to be burnt.

Unfortunately, once a chameleon has been burnt, the scarring will be permanent. The first signs of a burn will be the area turning white and at this point it normally doesn’t seem too bad and the animal may carry on its usual habits, don’t be put at ease by this and a visit to the vets is a must to receive immediate treatment. Over time, the affected area will turn black and scab over, eventually the necrotic tissue will peel and fall off leaving a pink coloured scar underneath. Some severe burns across the back can leave large amounts of tissue loss and care must be taken to ensure the area does not become infected.
 

KingJulian

New Member
It could be an infection. I'm not too sure...There was a veiled on here the other day with a very swollen casque and somebody said maybe allergies? I'm fairly new to the world of chameleons, so I'm probably not a lot of help, but just trying to give what knowledge I do have :)
 

Simon1986

New Member
I had the lighting outside with my female yemen yet she still managed to get a burn. i thought it was her shedding but i took her to the vets and she ended up having anti biotics perscribed.

I'd get it checked out by a vet as ive learnt that chameleons seem to be experts at concealing pain and discomfort
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
It looks look the scar remaining from a burn after the tissue has sloughed off. The skin is closed now so likely no treatment is needed unless it starts having any discharge, but the damage is permanent. They can be burned from several inches away even with the light outside the cage if the temperature gets too hot under the bulb.
 

MystikD

New Member
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Here is one more pic of the wound. The more I read the more it sounds like an infection of some kind. I have Animax Ointment from when I save a Iguana from Petco. Could this maybe help. Or just wait for the the vet. I am very worried. He too was saved from Petsmart with a severe eye infection about 9 months ago.
 
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