Chameleon Medical: Gout



Gout is the concentration of uric acid crystals around the joints causing a painful condition. Chameleons will often develop gout around their “ankles” and legs with have a swollen appearance. The painful nature of it will make using the limb difficult. At this time it is unclear what causes the gout, though it is suspected to be dietary.


Suspect gout if your chameleon’s ankles start to have a rounder than usual or swollen appearance. Any show of discomfort when using the foot to grasp a perch is a sign of a progressing case of gout. As the gout can be subtle to begin with, take note of any difficulty hanging onto the branch. Metabolic Bone Disease will result in feet being too weak to grab a branch, while gout is it being too painful to grab the branch tightly. It is important to determine which one it is before embarking on a treatment plan!

Jackson's Chameleon with gout

The gout in the leg of this chameleon has swollen it to proportions where it is no longer useable.

Female Jackson's Chameleon with gout

This chameleon is having trouble grasping onto branches due to the pain of the gout in her legs.

chameleon showing gout

This shows a Kinyongia multituberculata with a gout deposit on his left front foot.

discolored chameleon skin

The same Kinyongia multituberculata with the gout deposit removed by a vet.


The vet will have approaches to try to reduce the gout. A standard medicine is Allopurinol which will help keep deposits from occurring.This is worth going in to address as gout is painful for your chameleon and they will eventually just not want to use their limbs.