Update on my sick boy!

My boy is very sick

Postby QtCreaCha » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:51 pm

I need recommendations of a reptile vet specialising in particular with chameleons, not just any reptile vet. I have had my boy at one and am NOT happy at all. I am starting to lose it completely and feel helpless and need to know what is wrong with him. Before getting my chams I did so much research and constantly phone experts for guidance. I pretty much do everything by the book, so Im not feeling happy. I was warned by someone I must be careful as they suspect he has MBD but the pet shop owner assured me he hasn't. He is no younger than 12mnths I suspect, his diet includes mainly silkworms, cockroaches, crickets, superworms and the pet shop owner fed him pinkies but I could possibly never be able to do that, even the silkworms are bad enough for me. I have all the lights, powders, etc, etc, that's needed as a basic requirement. I recently changed cages and did battle to control temp and humididty a bit but have changed him back, could that have such an influence on his condition?I have only had him since April and over the last 6/7 weeks Things started changing. He has terribly swollen joints and dry, cacky areas on either side of his body which almost looks as though he has been burnt, which is not possible. He can't get that close to his lights. The whole little back ridge looks as though it has dried out completely and rot, it's brown and I saw this morning it is breaking off to show raw flesh underneath. At the vet I saw his skin around his joints have cracked and a yellowish brown liquid is coming out. I have read up on every single possible chameleon illness, skin problem, MBD and I relate to a little in everything. At the best of times, he is an overly aggressive dude and his main purpose everyday is to eat Mom..... So you can imagine the stress for both him and I with syringe feeding and rubbing ointment on, it's been hectic but I now need someone who actually knows what the hell is happening and not guessing or assuming and hoping for the best. I would like any advise from anyone as to who and where is the BEST place, person, vet to take him, I don't care how far or how much!! Pls.
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby THE Brad » Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:28 pm

Hi there!

Dam that sounds like a very unfortunate situation... I have not come across any vets that have ever saved any of my chameleons so i cant help you there (although im sure there should be one out there that can help)... these animals hide illness very well until its too late but the best i can do as a person that is passionate about chameleons and has experience in them is give advice! I do have a few questions to ask.. Give me a call on 076 15 808 39 Brad
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby Chamssss » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:45 pm

It sounds like a burn the way you are describing it.

But fill this out so we can better understand your problem and tell you which things need to be changed.
Don leave the details!

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
Location - Where are you geographically located?

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Current Problem - The current problem that you are concerned about.

Pictures are helpful
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby QtCreaCha » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:01 pm

I finally have some pics where one is able to see the smaller detail a bit better but how the hell do I post them??? It seems complicated! Maybe for now I should just mail some to you until I have time to figure this posting of pics out. Then I will also start my reply thesis to you. I am going to take him to Onderstepoort tomorrow anyway, I think that will be my best bet, I can't go on one more day seeing him like this, it's killing me. I must admit though, although he looks really really eina, he definately has more strength and is more mobile and ate by himself too after I fed him that other Hills prescription diet supplement. His little knees have now cracked and are bleeding too. It looks as though something is literally eating him. His side wounds are definately smaller and healing without a doubt. And no it is definately not burn wounds.
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby Cornelius » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:46 pm

Hi there,

So sorry to hear about your boy.

If anyone will be able to help you it's definitely Chamssss.

I hope that you get him sorted and please keep us posted on this.

Regards,
There is something that is much more scarce, something finer by far , something rarer than ability.
It is the Ability to recognise Ability

http://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Rand-Herpetological-Association/125756994130804?v=photos#!/pages/West-Rand-Herpetological-Association/125756994130804
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby Chamssss » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:50 pm

I think maybe he actual has a skin diseas or problem, I have never heard of this in chameleons.

The way I upload pictures is I upload my pics onto a site called photobucket which is free, then I copy the direct link and paste inbetween the Img brackets. that you can select above your reply message you are typing.
That I think is the long way, some peopel do it another way.
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby QtCreaCha » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:47 pm

Yes definitely sad Cornelius I am devastated to say the very least, I am totally overboard when it comes to my animals, they are my life and get 5 star treatment and care so this is a bit frustrating to say the very least and Im feeling guilty in case it is something I have or have not done. But I will do whatever it takes to pull him through. Chamssss, Im going to try that quickly, I will answer all your other q tmrw only as I want to do it all together and not bits and pieces and I need to finish an urgent report for tmrw morn. Thanx for your help. Im going to try get to David tmrw too for more silkworms and will probably have Cruz with me after Onderstepoort and see what he thinks. What area are you in then I can bring him to you too?
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby QtCreaCha » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:40 pm

Image

Image

Image

No man Chamssss, Im computer challenged!! So now I have got some pics on photobucket, now how? You said link into Img, it wont paste!

-Fixed- Westley
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby Chameleons » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:52 pm

If it is quicker you are welcome to e-mail the pictures to me and I will try to post them for you.
David
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See photos of Malaysian insects on my Facebook page: Exotic Insects
Breeding Insects as feeder food by David Haggett now available from Amazon
Exotic Chameleons in South Africa, care and breeding by David Haggett also available from Amazon
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Re: My boy is very sick

Postby QtCreaCha » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:10 pm

Well Mr Chamssss, U could have been a vet yourself..... Well done, u are spot on! Your diagnosis from photo's were exactly what the "competent vet" diagnosed. I am very impressed........
My worst nightmare came true in that I am responsible for his injuries. And that which I believed is definitely not the cause is apparently the exact cause.... Like you said, The Infra red bulb!!! This to me is still confusing as his closest point where he can be to that bulb is what I thought to be 16cm but it's actually 30cm. According to this vet it should be at least 40-45cm away from them. That heat you feel from that bulb is NOT the real rays it's omitting onto their skin.

Now if your UV bulb is more than 30cm away from the chams, we know that it does nothing for them but the infra red should be 40cm away? How the hell. David said exactly what you said about that bulb. The vet also confirmed he has definitely had MBD! Note the word had? He said had? So I am assuming he has recovered from it to an extent. To answer your question My UV bulb is a brand new repti-glo, I bought it in April when I got him, so it's not with me and the calcium is T-REX and not expired as you asked.

Now that which totally upsets me the most, is the damage done to his knees, you must see how bad they are now and this vet does not have much hope for his one leg in particular, it has completely peeled open to reveal the joint and all the joint fluid has leaked out already!!! Now had that so called reptile vet I took him to a week ago really knew what the hell he was talking about, the damage done to his knees could have been avoided, Im mad as hell. I actually have been crying the whole afternoon non stop, out of anger for that vet, anger at myself for allowing this, heart sore that he has to go through this, it's just awful, not to mention I had to walk into the same room and put him on the same counter I lost my cockatoo and african grey on. Sooooooooo I have had a positively #$%^ day. I just feel it' is very important to post this info and that people are aware of this danger cos I have never read it or been warned about the infra red light to be able to cause this damage. It' not like my cage is small either, it's 1.1M by 60cm by 60cm! So how is it that more chameleons don't suffer these wounds in the smaller enclosures?

So on the bright side, he got an injection for pain so Im feeling a bit more relieved, both his back legs are bandaged up completely, which looks funny but im happy about that cos I can't stand seeing those little eina knees. I have pain med and anti-biotics to administer every two days and other cream to put on daily. So this boy has got no choice but to start liking his Mom more and drop the attitude. I got him tons of silkworms and he played now-u-see-it-now-u-don't with 4 worms! 4 TO 0 worms in 4 seconds!! I will take him back to Onderstepoort on Saturday for a check up and see if they can save his legs.

Now my other concern is my female. She is back in her original all glass cage I got her in from previous owner so I can control temp and humidity better but I hate this cage and she hates this cage and her infra red is right in her face??? Im feeling a bit despondent but maybe after a good nights rest I will feel better to sort all these things cos Im being very hard on myself because of this.

IM MAD MAD MAD AT THAT OTHER VET!!!! WHAT qualifies one to be a reptile vet??? Does the fact that your mother breeds with bearded dragons qualify you as a reptile vet?? So can a qualified Dr, take on the title as a Paediatrician cos his Mother runs a day care? I know Im lashing out here but come on, how could another vet immediately draw this conclusion, you said it word for word simply by photo's and so did David??
I was also told by him that one cannot tell for sure if a chameleon has MBD, I would need to do an x-ray to determine that which would be too difficult because of my chameleons aggression and he wont be still and is too weak for anaesthetic?? He told me it was some sort of fungal or bacterial problem hence the F10 cream!! Ag Im just really livid, had I just gone to Onderstepoort then, This damage to his knees could have been avoided cos the first little crack was on his table at the vet where the joint fluid came out a bit. So had it been treated properly then, I don't believe it would have gotten to this.
I just think it is imperative that all exotic pet owners go straight to the facility with proper qualified vets in all fields with all the necessary instruments and machines important to diagnose any problem as accurately as possible and there is more than one to back up opinions and findings!

Anyway, at least the worrying of the unknown is over, now just to pull myself towards myself and not beat myself up too badly, learn from this and hopefully others too and hope and pray my goggo will have ok legs. Thanx for all your advise.

PS. My eggs are fertile, well actually I don't know if they are but my chameleons eggs definitely are! I have the holes, temp, incubator everything set up to the best as what I have been told and have read.....which may not be so gr8 considering my boy's condition!! No, it's ok, I pretty much have them under control. Have about 36 that still look fine.

Will keep you updated.
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Update on my sick boy!

Postby QtCreaCha » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:16 pm

Well, the last two weeks have been quite trying to say the very least, I had Cruz back at the vet on Friday and his bandages were removed. There is definitely an improvement in swelling and infection but we still need to wait till it is completely healed and dead tissue removed before stitching his knee up and waiting for the healing process. I am quite amazed as to how capable he still is around his cage with two bandaged back legs(see attached pic). I went looking for ceramic heating lamps to warm the enclosures at night, as it is really cold here on the plots at the moment. All the ceramic heaters were also infra red? Or at least the ones I saw, so I am still using my original infra red lights but have moved both his and her furniture really far away as possible.

I have also moved my chameleons into my room as this is the warmest room in my home, in fact I have moved ALL my animals into my room!! HA! So apart from the bassets and my foster doggy that sleep on my bed with me, my fish, birds, hamsters and chameleons AND my incubator are all in my room! They all have their own space and birds are not near my chams, it's actually quite cozy! Feels like Im in the jungle with the waterfall in the background and the sound of crickets!! LOVE IT!

Well I can finally say I was officially bitten by Cruz!! And man alive, one thing is for sure, he aint to weak to give a good bite, I screamed so loud I don't know who got a bigger fright, him or myself! HA! So Im glad he has his strength still but I am so concerned about his stress levels? Normally every morning during the feeding and administering of meds, then basking in the sun, he returns to his beautiful bright colours..... but for the past 4 days or so, he has stayed dark in colour, refuses to drink or eat anything by himself, which I believe is normal but it's as though he deliberately clenches his jaw shut and makes it almost impossible to administer his meds and food. And being alone through this process does not help either.

It has been quite a challenge for me and I spend a good hour every morning just doctoring and feeding him alone and it most certainly has taken a toll on both him and I but I feel positive that he will recover completely and be just great. I have grown so much closer to him after all this but am worried about the stress. For a chameleon that is never really handled at all and now suddenly being handled every morning and now every evening too, as I syringe feed him at night too now and travelling back and forth in the car to Onderstepoort, surely eventually will affect him? Could one give a chameleon rescue drops? Or anything else to possibly calm him that you know of? Well back to Onderstepoort Tmrw for another check up and bandage change so will ask the vet too.

I measured him today and he is 37cm long from head to end of tail, could this give any indication as to how old he could possibly be?

Image

Can you pls tell me what I am doing wrong with posting of pics?

Merged
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Re: Update on my sick boy!

Postby QtCreaCha » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:19 pm

Oh ok, obviously nothing, as the pic is here! My darling boy, breaks my heart to see him like this!
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