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Male Chamaeleo Trioceros Quadricornis

Photo by Andy Beveridge 

( Beezer's keeper and dedicated chameleon owner )

We've been noticing that Beezer is not quite his normal self for about a week now - since just after he regurgitated his breakfast. Although nothing was visibly wrong he's just not been as active as usual and appears to act depressed. It's difficult to explain really.

Beezer, a CB male C. quadricornis of known history is now sick with similar eye problems to what Mr. Hoe started with. He has had no contact with Mr. Hoe but was caged next to him for a few months.  Blood work on Beezer suggests he has serious kidney problems and is probably fighting a virus. Something which could be viral inclusion bodies has been seen in his red blood cells and his white cells are very active. We have taken more blood for a closer look.  Beezer has no obvious secondary problems yet.

We are currently nursing a couple of very sick chameleons. Since the illness they have causes impaired kidney function hydration is a big concern for us. The sickest one (Beezer) cannot/will-not eat or drink for himself any more. We are focusing on supportive therapy, in this case just administering minimal food and enough fluids to hopefully keep him hydrated. We are currently providing the fluids orally as sterile saline/lactate (you know, whatchamacallits solution, from a drip bag). Our vet is uncertain as to the real fluid requirements. It's a little stressful for the cham but we are administering about 1ml of fluid per day. He seems to swallow it OK but I am wondering if we are really using a suitable amount - it's all a bit guesswork at the moment. He is a 1 year old male quad of about 70g bodyweight. I realize that the actual amount of fluid loss we need to make up would depend on a lot of factors but can anyone give me any clues? The slightly healthier cham is still active and is eating and drinking fine but we are still administering additional fluids - again, as about 1ml a day. 

I don't think Beezer is going to live much longer - he coughed up blood this morning and I thought he would be gone by now but somehow he is still hanging in there. But we have another male quad who appears to have the same problem and we'd like to do the best possible for them. Well, I would say we're making definite but slow progress but it's probably too late for Beezer. It seems the eye problems we have seen here (in Beezer and in our male hoehnelli before him) are pretty definitely just edema and that the real problem has little to do with his eyes. Although there was a small eye infection in Mr. Hoe we suspected that was just a secondary  problem. Beezer has no eye infection, just the same edema around his eyes.



a touching poem by Andrew Bowen aged 8

   Editorial note

The chameleon health problems mentioned above are in no way the result of poor husbandry. Andy has done an absolutely marvelous job with these and many other chameleons. These excerpts are examples of the diligence he shows in monitoring his chameleons and administering any necessary additional care. He very graciously shares his experiences for all to learn from.

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