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  #1  
Old 03-01-2007, 05:54 PM
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Rehydrating schedule?

I wanted to know how many times should I be putting my cham trough the shower in order to rehydrate her? For the past two days, I've suspected that she wasn't getting enough water because I could start to see her spine and tail bone potrude through her skin. I knew this was a bad sign. But when she pooped it was still solid and white at the end. So she must have been getting water. Then when I checked today, the poop was solid but the part that was supposed to be white turned out to be yellow and runny. Before this, she would spend most of the day basking under her lights and not moving much. Her eyes looked healthy and she was eating. I just never saw her dirnk. She is a juvenile female veiled. The ambient temp is around 70* and the basking gets to 80*F-85*F. So today I put her in the shower with a plant and misted her for a good 20 minutes. When I put her back in the cage, she was active again. So how many more days should I do this?
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:35 PM
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Howdy,

I would suspect something other than just dehydration when you see tailbone and spine. I'd think that fat isn't being stored. What feeders, schedule, quantity?
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:57 PM
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I've been feeding primarly medium sized crickets. They are gutloaded with flukers cricket food. I even made sure the crickets were getting plenty of water by smahing a couple to find out how much water was in them...
I've also been feeding her a wax worm or two each day. She can't resist those. I feed the wax worms with apples and the cricket chow. I also just got in my order of silkworms. I might try to feed those to her tommorow. But they are smaller than what I expected. Will chameleons go after smaller food? As for the crickets, I throw in about 5 or 6 in the morning, then around 8 later in the afternoon. After she eats those, I reward her with a waxworm.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:21 PM
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You need to add fresh vegetables to your cricket gutload.
Flukers cricket food is a diet for maintaining crickets not gut-loading (IMO).
carrot, sweet potato, collard greens, apple, orange, zuchinni need to be fed to gutload. (NO tomato, spinich or brocolli!).
Waxworms should be kept in dry wheat or bran cereal with a few drops of honey. Additionally these need to be limited to 2 or 3 a week.
IMO more variety of bugs are needed. Glad to hear you got some silkworms. I would let them grow up a little but your cham will probably eat them at the size they are.

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Old 03-01-2007, 11:45 PM
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I just cut up some apples for my wax worms. Is it okay for the waxworms to eat apples? I usually throw in some apple slices in my chams cage so the crickets won't eat my cham. But thanks for the info. Also, is a juvenile ready to eat roaches?
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:51 PM
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You can get roaches in all different sizes...they start out at about 1/8th".
They can be expensive so I have started a breeding colony. The idea is that you would eventually have a surplus of all different sizes.
IMO your wasting your apples on waxworms. Cereal and honey.

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Old 03-02-2007, 11:01 AM
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What is your watering setup? Are you depending strictly on feeders for moisture? You need to have a dripper (at a minimum) hand spray the cage a few times/day and/or use a mist system of humidifier. Much of this depends on where you live. If in a cold dry region, hydration can be a real challenge.

As has been advised fresh veggies are a must for your crickets.
waxworms invade honeybee nests and will pretty much feed on honey and beeswax - here is a link for info: waxworms

keep in mind that silkworms will only eat fresh mulberry leaves or the artificial diet so I hope you ordered some chow along with them. You can feed them short term on butternut squash.

Can you post a pic of your cham and your setup? Here are some ?? for you:
Tips for asking questions

If your chameleon is having problems and you want input from other chameleon owners, be sure to include as much information as possible:

1. Cage type: What size and type of cage (screen, glass, etc.)?

2. Temperatures: What is the basking temperature? How do you measure the temperature in your setup? What is the temperature in the warmest spot? The coolest spot? At night? During the day? You should measure the temperature of the chameleons' skin or the surface of its current branch to get a more accurate reading. Do you leave any heat on at night? What is the temperature in the room at night?

3. Lighting: What brand is your UVB light? How long have you been using it? How long are your lights on each day? Do you leave any lights on at night? Where are the lights? on top?

4. Humidity: Do you have a humidity gauge? What is the range of relative humidity (RH) from lowest to highest? How long does it take to go from high to low? Do you use a humidifier? Do you live in the north or south (or other)?

5. Water: Have you observed your chameleon drinking? How often do you mist? Do you have a dripper?

6. Food: Have you observed your chameleon eating? What is the chameleon's diet? Where do you get your live feeder prey? What are you feeding the feeders? Fresh veggies? Gut load? If you use a commercial gut load what is the brand? If you make your own what are the ingredients?

7. Supplements: What type of supplement(s) do you use? Brand name(s)? How often do you use supplements?

8. Plants & branches: What plants do you have? Are your plants alive or fake? Do the plants provide lots of coverage where the chameleon will feel safe? Can you see your chameleon most of the time or can it hide from your view?

9. Chameleon facts: How old is the chameleon? Do you know if it is wild caught or captive born? Did you get the chameleon at a show? Breeder?

10. Handling: Do you handle your chameleon? How often and how long? What is its reaction to you? Is the cage in a quiet part of the house or is it in a busy or noisy area? Any big stereo speakers near the cage? Is your chameleon alone in the cage? Can your chameleon see any other herps or pets from the cage?

11. Veterinarians: Do you have a veterinarian who KNOWS chameleons?

One last thing: As great as everyone is here (and they are), if there is a medical problem there is no substitute for a trip to the veterinarian.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:25 PM
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Thanks I appreciate the help. As far as her hydration goes. There have been some signs of improvement today. I gave her a warm shower mist yesterday and today for 20 min each. Now her poop is gradually starting to get back to white. But there is still a little touch of yellow in it. The humidity is hard to keep up even with live plants in the cage and a dripper going all day. I'll post some pics of my cham and her setup this weekend when I get a hold of a camera. Also her tail bone and spine is not showing as much as before. She also seems more active and is not just basking all day any more. She will eat 8-15 medium crickets a day. As far as the questions, here are the answers.


1. Cage type: What size and type of cage (screen, glass, etc.)?

My cage is a full screen fresh air wire enclosure made by zilla that measures (24"L x 12"W x 26"H)

2. Temperatures: What is the basking temperature? How do you measure the temperature in your setup? What is the temperature in the warmest spot? The coolest spot? At night? During the day? You should measure the temperature of the chameleons' skin or the surface of its current branch to get a more accurate reading. Do you leave any heat on at night? What is the temperature in the room at night?

Basking temp goes to 80*f-85*F. I have one digital thermometer with a probe set up that attatches to her basking area. There is another Thermometer in the shaded area near the top of the enclosure to measure the ambient air up there. Also one more themometer on the bottom to measure temp down there. Ambient temp is 70*F. Her hydrometer is set up near the area she is always at. and measures 50-60% humidity. I have to water extra 4 times a day to keep humidity up in my area.The temp drops to 77*F at the highest spot to 70* wear she sleeps. I have a nightime bulb for this.

3. Lighting: What brand is your UVB light? How long have you been using it? How long are your lights on each day? Do you leave any lights on at night? Where are the lights? on top?

I use a reptisun 5.0 uva/uvb light. I just got it 2 weeks ago and plan to replace it every six months. Right now the lights turn on from 6:00am-7:00pm.
All lights are positioned on top and I leave a blue night light on at night.

4. Humidity: Do you have a humidity gauge? What is the range of relative humidity (RH) from lowest to highest? How long does it take to go from high to low? Do you use a humidifier? Do you live in the north or south (or other)?

I use an analog hydrometer to gauge the humidity. Lowest humidity drops to 40% and highest is 60%. Usually it jumps right to 60% right after I mist. It then doesn't drop to 40% until 2-3 hours later. I'm still saving for a humidifier. I will definetly need before the summer time because summers here are really dry and hot. I live in northern california near stocktan/modesto and 1 hour drive from sacromento.

5. Water: Have you observed your chameleon drinking? How often do you mist? Do you have a dripper?

Out of the whole 2 weeks that I had her, I only saw her drinking twice. The first week her poop was white and healthy. Then the second week it started to get yellow. I mist 3-5 times a day depending on the color of her poop. I also have a dripper running all day. But I haven't seen her drink from it ever. It drips onto some leaves right near her favorite perch. Sometimes she will rub her nose into some droplets of water but I don't know if she is drinking it.

6. Food: Have you observed your chameleon eating? What is the chameleon's diet? Where do you get your live feeder prey? What are you feeding the feeders? Fresh veggies? Gut load? If you use a commercial gut load what is the brand? If you make your own what are the ingredients?

My cham eats all day. She eats mainly crickets with an ocasional wax worm. I now feed her silk worms, wich she loves. By the way do silkworms need to be dusted? I buy my silkworms from mulberryfarms and crickets and wax worms from petco or petsmart. I just put crickets on a diet of flukers all purpose feeder, apples, sweet potato, and lettuce. For the silk worms, I feed them the premade chow from Mulberry farms. I change it every day to avoid mold.

7. Supplements: What type of supplement(s) do you use? Brand name(s)? How often do you use supplements?

I was using essential minerals calcium and Vit. D3 by nature zone. It doesn't say anything about phosphorus in the ingrediants. So switched to another brand just to be safe. I am now using Jurassi Cal Calcium supplement for reptiles and amphibians. It is phosphorus free but doesn't have vit D3. Is this good? I dust with calcium 4 times a week and dust with vitamines including vit A once a month.

8. Plants & branches: What plants do you have? Are your plants alive or fake? Do the plants provide lots of coverage where the chameleon will feel safe? Can you see your chameleon most of the time or can it hide from your view?

I have plenty of fake plants and vines for her to hide in. I also have one live corn plant at the bottom. I can see her clearly on her basking perch but when she goes to sleep, it can be a challenge finding her amongst all the leaves.

9. Chameleon facts: How old is the chameleon? Do you know if it is wild caught or captive born? Did you get the chameleon at a show? Breeder?

She is about 4 months old and is captive bred. I bought her from a pet store that had her for a week. I know she was only there for a week because I go there alot and she didn't even have a name tag up yet. They got her from a local breeder. The only reason I bought her there was because she looked very healthy and active.

10. Handling: Do you handle your chameleon? How often and how long? What is its reaction to you? Is the cage in a quiet part of the house or is it in a busy or noisy area? Any big stereo speakers near the cage? Is your chameleon alone in the cage? Can your chameleon see any other herps or pets from the cage?

I only handle my chameleon when I need to transport her to a box to keep her in for cleaning the cage. Handling doesn't last longer than 1-2 minutes. I've been doing this about 3-4 times a week. Sometimes she is willing to walk on my hand and other times she will get pissed. When she gets really mad I just back off and try later on. Her cage is in my room above eye level. It is quiet and I don't allow little kids in my room. She is alone in her cage, but I do have a small dog who doesn't notice her or bark at her.

11. Veterinarians: Do you have a veterinarian who KNOWS chameleons?

I found a chameleon vet in my area. But I haven't taken her for a check up yet until I get my next paycheck. I really hope it will not be too expensive. How much should I expect for a check up?
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