Keeps falling out of his branches and just lays on the ground. He is acting like his legs do not work. Panther

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Customer: Keeps falling out of his branches and just lays on the ground. He is acting like his legs do not work.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Panther Chameleon
JA: OK. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the Panther. What is the Panther's name and age?
Customer: Crayon and is about 4 months old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Crayon?
Customer: Not that I can think of
Answered by Anna in 13 mins 4 years ago
30+ years of experience

17,020 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles. I’m sorry to hear of this problem. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take.What brand of UVB light do you have?How often do you give the chameleon a calcium supplement?What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?Thank you.
Not using a UVB light. His tank is in a sun room and a fair amount of sun reaches the tank a few hours a day. Temp seems to stay around 73 degrees all around. I have not given him a calcium supplement. Just water, crickets and super worms.
If at all possible can we schedule a call for 5pm EST? I am in the middle of 5 different things right now.

Hello again. It wasn't me who attempted to call you earlier. I have asked a moderator to try to find out who it was, and have them call you back. In the meantime, I'll give you some information here. I'll be right back with that as soon as I finish typing it.

Thank you for waiting. That sunlight coming in through the sun room isn't doing your chameleon any good at all. Glass is made to filter out UVB rays. So, the sun feels good to him through the windows, but isn't providing any UVB.

It's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 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. 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.

Unfortunately, your chameleon is exhibiting signs of MBD right now. Falling and legs that don't work are the main symptoms. They can also have seizures. Besides UVB light, lizards need a calcium supplement to prevent MBD. Prey insects should be dusted in plain calcium powder.

I’ll start with a first aid measure.Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Add a big scoop of calcium powder and mix it in. 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.

Your chameleon is also cold. The basking area right under the heat light should be 85 to 90 degrees. The lower parts of the cage should be 75*F. Here is a reputable site where you can read more about care. You will notice they recommend th 5.0 UVB light, but at this point, your chameleon needs the 10.0 because MBD has already developed. Whoever gave you information on care to begin with really steered you wrong, so even though you have been trying to keep him healthy, when you had wrong information to begin with, things have gone wrong.

In summary, I recommend immediately getting a UVB light, and leave it on 14 hours per day. Provide Pedialyte/calcium soaks, and adjust the temperatures to the proper range. Chameleons are among the most delicate of reptiles, and when something goes wrong, they almost never get better without a vet's help. So in addition to the steps above, I do recommend scheduling a vet appointment. Here is a link to a directory of reptile vets:

Please let me know if no one calls you back in the next hour, and I'll follow-up on it. I hope your chameleon will reach a full recovery.


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17,020 satisfied customers
30+ years of experience
+ years of experience

17020 satisfied customers



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