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I believe my panther chameleon is sick, I’ve seen some

Customer Question
I believe my panther...

I believe my panther chameleon is sick, I’ve seen some strange behavior from him

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. How old is Chameleon?

I’m not exactly sure but he is young, about 5in not including tail

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Chameleon?

He was keeping his mouth open yesterday, been extra thirsty and looks like he’s been trying to vomit

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Reptile
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
1/15/2018
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 4 months ago
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,837
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles. I’m reviewing your question now and will be right back.
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Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 4 months ago
It sounds like your chameleon will need to be seen by a reptile vet. His symptoms are serious. However, some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take to support him in the meantime.What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?Has he been eating normally?
What types of lighting and heating equipment to you have?Thank you.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Cool side is 65 basking area is 85
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He’s been eating a little bit less than usualy but still eating
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Also this all started after he finished his shed, which is kind of strange
Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 4 months ago
Thank you for getting back to me. I’ll go to work on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I’m a slow typist, so I’ll appreciate your patience.
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Reptile Expert: Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist replied 4 months ago

Thank you for waiting. Shedding is a stressful time for lizards, and increases their chances of getting ill. Based on your description, your chameleon may have a respiratory infection (the open mouth breathing), but the other symptoms could indicate a second illness. Chameleons are so fragile that they can quickly deteriorate, so I recommend a vet visit as soon as possible. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist

One of the most important things you can do is adjust the temperatures. For a youngster, the basking areas should be about 90*F. (For adults 100*F.) For all ages, the coolest part of the cage should be about 75*F. Being too chilly greatly increases the chances of sickness developing. Adjusting the temps now can give his immune system a boost.

You can increase the temperature by using a higher wattage bulb in the basking light fixture, lowering t he fixture itself (but not so low that he can be burned on it), or by adding a second fixture. If you need a second fixture, you don't have to buy something expensive from a pet store.If you live in an area that has farm stores, you can buy a clip-on metal light fixture made to keep baby chicks warm for just a few dollars. Don't buy the accompanying bulb, however. You need an ordinary incandescent bulb in the basking light. Hardware and home improvement stores sell similar light fixtures as work lights.

Proper humidity is also very important for panther chameleons. It should be maintained at 60 to 70%. A drip system (sold in pet stores and online) is usually needed to keep it at that level.

I'll also give you a first aid measure. Whenever a lizard eats less, there is danger of dehydration. Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your chameleon for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their skin and vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely.

You didn't give me information on the types of light, I apologize if you already know about the next information I'll give you. I just want to be sure. Chameleons need two types of light: a basking light for warmth, and a UVB light. Pet stores often are poorly informed on UVB lights and sell people the wrong thing. If you're not sure yours provides UVB, it's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 in the straight tube style is a good brand that does. If you choose another brand be absolutely certain it provides UVB rays. Don't take the word of pet store personnel, but read it for yourself. Full-spectrum, DayGlo, daylight, UV, and UVA are NOT the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to a reptile’s health. Without this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because they won't be able to produce vitamin D. Vitamin supplements are not a good replacement for the proper lighting. MBD causes a very slow and painful death. UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. Light that comes through a window isn't sufficient because the glass filters out the UVB rays.

If you'd like to review other information on panther chameleons, here is a reputable site:

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Care-Sheets/Lizards/Panther-Chameleon/

If you have more concerns, just let me know. I'm glad to help. I hope your chameleon will reach a full recovery.

Anna

My goal is to provide you with excellent 5 star service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!

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