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Reptiles/Flap neck chameleon


A client brought in a wild flap necked chameleon. It has trauma to both eyes but nowhere else on its body, possibly from birds attacking it. It has been on some anti-biotics and eye ointment to keep the eyes lubricated. The one eye shows movement. I have been tube feeding it Hills A/D diet and meal worms. I am concerned he cannot see as he battles to find my hand in front of him. As he is a wild chameleon he needs to be able to hunt and stay away from predators. Any advice will help.

Hi Monika,

Were you able to perform a Fluorescein stain? Is it otherwise possible to determine whether the trauma extends beyond the turrets to the actual eyes? Extensive damage to the surrounding turrets can make that difficult to assess until some healing has occurred and the inflammation subsides. Recovery from severe corneal or lens damage is limited and would really determine his ability to return to a wild existence. Full eye movement is also critical.

I'm not a vet so I cannot offer medical advice but I would encourage you to continue the supportive care and enteral feeding until his prognosis can be fully determined.   Several years ago I received a very young veiled/yemen chameleon with severe eye damage from cricket bites. There was swelling and surrounding tissue damage. It took around 3 weeks of hand feeding, hydration and treatment before I was even able to determine that he still had eyes!

I hope that you might be able to find a suitable "semi-captive" situation for him if his recovery is not fully complete. Perhaps someone with a large screened veranda with plants or  a greenhouse who might be willing to accomodate and feed a "special needs" chameleon.
Someone in the local herptetology community should be able help you place him.

Good luck with him.  


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I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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