TRIBUTE TO BEEZER
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
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.