He is lethargic and looked dehydrated, so i had him in the shower for intensive rehydration last night...this morning

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Customer: He is lethargic and looked dehydrated, so i had him in the shower for intensive rehydration last night...this morning his color looks better and ate a couple of crickets over night but he still looks to be keeping his eyes closed. I am wondering if this is parasite related
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What type of reptile are we talking about?
Customer: veiled chameleon
JA: How much does the chameleon weigh?
Customer: i am not 100% sure right now didnt want to stress him further to weigh him
JA: Has he thrown up since eating the crickets?
Customer: not that i have observed. i checked his enclosure and dont see anything
JA: And what's the chameleon's name and age?
Customer: Shamwow and about a year
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: his last urates looked good but i havent seen any new fecal droppings yesterday or today
Answered by Anna in 23 mins 2 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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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 about Shamwow’s problem. We can’t rule out parasites, but parasites usually cause symptoms such as diarrhea, blood in the stool, abdominal bloating, and sometimes appetite loss. Some additional information may help me determine what is going on.

What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and in the coolest part of the cage?

What is the humidity es it sit on top of a screen or plastic lid! level?

Is there any discharge from his eyes?

What brand of UVB light do you have? Does it sit on top of a screen or plastic lid? Is the output 5% or 10%?

Thank you.

Customer
sit on top screen, i can look up the bulb its a blue one and a red one at night
Customer
zoo med daylight blue is the bulb, high 80's in the basking spot and about 72 in the cooler spot
Customer
i use a mist king that mists every 90 minutes for 45 seconds
Customer
i see now discharge from his eyes, when they are closed they look sunken in but when he opens them they still pop out
Customer
i did notice the area where i live has had dry heat when we are usually very humid, my hygrometer battery died over the weekend so i dont know the humidity now...i am going to be getting a new one after work today

Thank you for getting back to me. I’m going to go to work on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I’m not a fast typist, so I’ll appreciate your patience.

Customer
Thank you Dr Anna, I really appreciate it. My biggest concern was a parasite or bacteria but his cage is clean so not sure how that would happen

You’re welcome. While we can’t rule it out, a parasite is unlikely because we usually see these shortly after purchase in young lizards. They pick up parasites during transport and in the pet store. Bacteria, however, are always present regardless of how clean the habitat is kept. Since you see discharge from the eyes, Shamwow may have an eye infection or the beginning of a respiratory infection, which can begin in the eyes. Chameleons are among the most fragile of reptiles, and once an illness develops, they almost never recover without veterinary help. For that reason, I recommend scheduling a vet visit. This site has a directory of reptile vets:

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

I’m going to give you this now, while I type some more, so you can look for a vet while you wait. I’ll be back.

Customer
ok, i think i mispoke, there is no discharge just when closed his eyes sink in
Customer
it was supposed to be "no" not "now"
im so sorry

That’s ok. Your mister should maintain humidity, but I’m glad you’re getting a new hygrometer. I have re-read your information, and it has raised a couple more questions before we go on.

Is he staying at the bottom of the cage?

Have you noticed any reluctance to climb, or gas he fallen?

Customer
he was at the bottom of the cage, thats why i did the shower intense rehydrating, he is in his basking spot this morning but keeping his eyes mostly closed
Customer
I have not seen him fall and he was reluctant to climb yesterday but after the shower he was climbing on the vine i set up in there and climbed to the top of the cage, i have not seen him or notice him fall
Customer
as a matter of fact after he was seemingly rehydrated he ate a couple crickets (i slept with him last night to keep an eye on him)

Thank you. Your temperatures are good, and with a mister in the cage, your humidity probably is, too. There is one big problem in the habitat. You have absolutely no UVB light. Without that light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) develops. It is caused by lack of UVB and /or calcium. Symptoms often include reluctance to climb, staying on the floor, falls, twitching, weak legs, and eventually, paralysis of the back legs. If it continues from there, it causes a slow, painful death as it affects the internal organs. Shamwow does not have any of these distinctive symptoms, but without UVB light, he is most certainly in the early stages. MBD is not something that might develop, but rather, it always occurs with lack of UVB or calcium.

Chameleons need a light that emits 5% output of UVB, but a screen or plastic top filters out half of the UVB. Almost all chameleon setups require the bulb be on top of the lid. Fir that reason, you will need a bulb with 10% output. I recommend the a Reptisun 10.0. Don’t take recommendations from pet store staff; they often steer people wrong.UV, UVA, full spectrum, daylight, and Dayglo are not the same thing. The light must specifically say UVB and 10% output. Avoid the Thrive brand which some of the pet stores sell. I have seen a number of cases of MBD develop in lizards under that brand. Even though it seems to be right, something is wrong with them. If you get the Reptisun 10.0, you can’t go wrong. The bulbs are good for 6 months, and after that, must be replaced, even though they look fine. They continue to give off visible light long after they emit no UVB.

This is a very serious issue, and I can tell how much you care for Shamwow, so I want to make sure you don’t lose him to this nasty disease in the future. But keeping the eyes closed is not a symptom of MBD, so we still have to deal with that. In case something has irritated his eyes, you can try putting in a drop of saline solution (the kind made for contact lenses) several times today. But if that doesn’t help, I do recommend a vet visit. Keeping the eyes closed, with no discharge, often simply means a chameleon doesn’t feel good. It’s a very vague symptom and doesn't tell us what us wrong. Chameleons are so frail, that I really hate to wait for other symptoms to develop.

If you have more questions, just let me know. I’m glad to help in any way I can. I hope Shamwow will be fine.

Customer
thank you! I will go and get the UVB bulb today! thank you sooooo much
Customer
if i dont seen an improvement tomorrow i will call and schedule a vet appt

You’re welcome. You have a good plan. I hope Shamwow will soon return to normal.

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