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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Bit of advice needed.

I recently decided to start keeping some Bearded Pygmy Chams - I have three in total (possibly two girls and a boy).

The other two are doing fine, seem pretty happy but one of the girls is pretty ill.

Almost since I had her she's been walking around "gaping" i.e with her mouth very slightly open all the time. At first I put it down to her being angry, or not liking the humidity but soon realised that sometimes she was taking a sharp breath in and then making a "popping" sound. Shortly after I then noticed that she was blowing bubbles with her spit - I believe in the full sized guys this means they have a respiratory infection?

So I've moved her into her own small tank for a bit, kept the heat and humidty just right for her and put food in.

She seems really weak though - struggling to walk around and generally doesn't look great. When I go near her she's not changing colour at all (the others start displaying black lines / spots) and I don't think she's eating at all.

I've got an appointment with a local repitle specialist vet, but realisticly i'm not sure what they will be able to do for her. Firstly she's tiny and secondly I have no idea how you'd get medication into her!

Anyone have any experiences like this with these guys? I know they are only tiny but I don't want her suffering!
 

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More experienced keepers will be on soon to answer your question. You have got an appointment with the vet which is the right move. They usually want to know about the set up, temps etc and what your measuring the temps with .

Sorry i cant be more help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's no problem and thanks for reminding me about set up info.


I did a fair bit of reasearch about these little guys before I got them so I personally am happy that the setup is suitable, as always with crits like this there's loads of conflicting information out there....

Exotera mini/tall

No lighting, small heat matt to one side of the viv but only covers a small proportion of it - I hardly ever see them near this so presume they are warm enough - it helps at night to stop it dropping lower than 18

Daytime temps are in the 21-24 range, at night it's 19-23. I measure with a lucky reptile digital temp/hydro dual guage.

Hymidity is roughly 70 - 90% - I was spraying twice a day but I think this was over kill, so now they are just getting one mist a day with another tiny one just to create some dew on the leaves in case they are thirsty.

They are being fed both micro crickets and fruit fly's dusted, I put a bit of food in the tank with the live food so that the crickets don't bite them (not sure if they are big enough or would)

The male is just about to start a shed by the looks of things, and the other two seem very active.
 

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That's no problem and thanks for reminding me about set up info.


I did a fair bit of reasearch about these little guys before I got them so I personally am happy that the setup is suitable, as always with crits like this there's loads of conflicting information out there....

Exotera mini/tall

No lighting, small heat matt to one side of the viv but only covers a small proportion of it - I hardly ever see them near this so presume they are warm enough - it helps at night to stop it dropping lower than 18

Daytime temps are in the 21-24 range, at night it's 19-23. I measure with a lucky reptile digital temp/hydro dual guage.

Hymidity is roughly 70 - 90% - I was spraying twice a day but I think this was over kill, so now they are just getting one mist a day with another tiny one just to create some dew on the leaves in case they are thirsty.

They are being fed both micro crickets and fruit fly's dusted, I put a bit of food in the tank with the live food so that the crickets don't bite them (not sure if they are big enough or would)

The male is just about to start a shed by the looks of things, and the other two seem very active.
The set up sounds fine. personally I provide UV to mine as well but different breeders will debate that fact.

Rasping as you described is a sign of and RI. However the gaping could also be a defensive or dominant behavior. I've known male pygmys to gasp and inflate themselves to appear more intimidating which also gives a rasping/popping sound too. If you have two males this could be the problem.

These guys stress easily and can have serious problems from it. the latic acid build up from long periods of stress can be fatal, hence why is is recommended that these guys are not handled ,pocked etc.

Even a specialist vet is unlikly to have seen a pygmy cham before, so be careful about over stressing it. as the vet visit may make things worse.

most RI's benefit from a slight increase in temp and upping humidity. In pygmys i would up one end of the tank to 25/6 c (no more) whilst keeping the other end cool. so they can thermoregulate whilst maintaining or increasing the humidity. This should help reduce the RI symptoms.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Jay,

As you say - lots of conflicting advice on the UV front, mine were CB'd and they didn't provide UV so I made the call, I think it's something that obvioulsy needs abit more research and a concrete answer.

Also thanks for the advice about the best conditions for an RI - I will up her temp a bit more.

Of course I am wondering if you are right and I have two males on my hands, it's so hard to tell when they are this small - seperating her out was a bit of a hard call, I didn't know if it was going to stress her out more.

I don't handle them at all unless I really have to so totally agree with what you are saying about them - they are just not those kind of pets and I knew that from the start.

The vets will be about £30 for the cons, so I'll see how it goes...As you say though I'm not holding out too much hope that they'll have even seen these guys before

Will update when I get back
 

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Thanks Jay,

As you say - lots of conflicting advice on the UV front, mine were CB'd and they didn't provide UV so I made the call, I think it's something that obvioulsy needs abit more research and a concrete answer.

Also thanks for the advice about the best conditions for an RI - I will up her temp a bit more.

Of course I am wondering if you are right and I have two males on my hands, it's so hard to tell when they are this small - seperating her out was a bit of a hard call, I didn't know if it was going to stress her out more.

I don't handle them at all unless I really have to so totally agree with what you are saying about them - they are just not those kind of pets and I knew that from the start.

The vets will be about £30 for the cons, so I'll see how it goes...As you say though I'm not holding out too much hope that they'll have even seen these guys before

Will update when I get back
I wrote a couple of articles on these with Neil Tricket for PRK earlier this year, they might help if you check them out.

They are awesome little creatures they are just so delicate that's the only problem.

I hope the vet helps as if not its a stressful situation which has done more harm then good, but you never know. Just keep handling and poking to a minimum which may mean you inform the vet at the start.

I breed mine and provide UV, the largest breeder in the UK does about 50/50 and notices no difference in hatchling, egg quality or adults. So it really is up to you.

If you post pics I can try and sex them for you but if they are still young it could be harder. Where did you get them from as CB??

jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Jay,

Sorry to report that both I and the vet felt it was best to let her go
humanely. We discussed getting a line into her to get some fluids etc but as the vet pointed out even a very thin needle was risky and I didn't want to risk putting her in even more pain.

Even if this could have happened when she tried to weigh her the scales just said 0g :( so getting an idea of what dose to use would have been hard (although I suppose just the lowest one possible but I'm not an expert so won't comment)

The vet spotted an eye problem (closed up and puffed up) and also concured that it was likely she had a respiratory infection given her breathing - she called a colleague who had dealt with some pygmy's recently who concured that at this age and size it's difficult to do anything without the risk of hurting her even more. It's likely it was an eye infection and after that she likely stopped drinking and eating - so basicly was just starving to death - seemed like a pretty horrible way to go so I couldnt let her suffer.

The one good thing to come out of this is that I've finally found a decent reptile vet in the area who actually is actually interested in treating them, she seemed pretty knowledgeable too.

*sigh*
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I guess the next question is - now that I've got a boy and a girl on their own will they be ok? - I've read that it's best to have a trio (two girls) as this results in less stress on the girls of the group.

Thoughts?
 
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