Aka. How to make your chameleon lame til the end of his days. The tongue is for the chameleon one of the most important organs for its body. It has the spectacular function of being shot for a quite a distance to catch the prey to bring it back to the mouth, where it is crushed by powerful jaws and swallowed. The chameleons have a very limited ability to change this mode to just picking up a feeder and it is not successful, as a strategy, because chameleons are very slow.
We often see that people enjoy feeding the chameleons with hand or with tongs. Of course, it is tempting to see the chameleons' spectacular feeding strategy in action and to show it to children and friends. But it is very dangerous and you can lame the chameleon forever.
So, what about hand feeding Chameleons or feeding it with tongs?
This is the best way how to hurt the tongue: you are not capable of losing the insect in time when the tip of the tongue hits the insect and overstretching the retractor muscle causes tears in it and as a result you can see limited or lost function of the tongue, sometimes with the necessity to amputate it.
Now, if it happened to you already, the only chance is to let it regenerate for some time, it means stop feeding it for at least five days.
The worst thing you can do is to challenge the injured tongue right after the injury and try to feed him and force him to shoot again. It's like if you were to break a leg and insist immediately walking on it
it makes it only worse
There is a chance the tongue will get back to its function. The prognosis is hard to make as there is no way how to investigate the level of the injury of the retractor muscle (musculus retractor
linguae). It is also impossible to do any surgery on it because the structures are so tiny and in the moment when you reach a VET they are so damaged that no surgical intervention is really possible.
The tongue can afterwards work normally to not at all and there is nothing you can do
Usually, the animal is sentenced for the lifelong hand-feeding or it would die.
Unlike you the same can happen if you feed the Chamaeleon with a very big or an insect which is capable of very strong grasping of the underground on which it is sitting like a big roach or big locust. And this is also why it is strongly advisable to respect the general recommendation feed the chameleons with feeders that do not exceed the length of their mouth or the distance between the eyes only. What's the smaller pay the danger is minimal.
See the video: Bt
So, what about hand
feeding Chameleons or feeding it with tongs?