3 Month Old Chameleon Not Eating and Sleeping Most of The Time

Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by Christiancaicedo, May 16, 2018 at 12:32 PM.

  1. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    Chameleon Info:
    • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, Male, 3-4 Months Old. 2 days?
    • Handling - Not often at all?
    • Feeding - I'm attempting to feed him 8-12 crickets per day around noon each day. I tried free range feeding him but I think his cage is too big for him at the moment so I'm starting to cup feed him. I'm gut-loading with carrots and collard greens.
    • Supplements - I have a zoo-med Calcium supplement without D3 and then a Calcium supplement with D3. I have not purchased any vitamins yet.
    • Watering - I'm just misting him at the moment for about 5 minutes 3 times a day. I've seen him drink twice so far, so I'm pretty sure he's hydrated.
    • Fecal Description - I've only seen 1 dropping which was black/white so his feces looks good.
    • History - No history

    Cage Info:
    • Cage Type - 18x18x36 screen cage.
    • Lighting - I'm using a Solar Brite 100 watt lamb which emits UVA/UVB/Heat. I have him on a 14 hour light schedule from 8:00 A.M. - 10:00 P.M.
    • Temperature - His basking spot his right around 90º. His low temp at night is around 70º. I'm using a dial thermometer that is attached to his cage at the same height of his basking spot.
    • Humidity - His humidity levels sit between 55 - 75 throughout the day. I'm using a hygrometer which sits next to the thermometer to measure humidity levels.
    • Plants - I have 2 live plants in his cage. One large Hibiscus because I read online that those are good plants to have for chameleons to climb/hide in and to snack on. I also have a smaller Golden Pothos to give him climbing/hiding space for the middle/lower parts of his cage. I have another rather large log that reaches from the bottom of his cage to the top with lots of branches sticking out horizontally for him to move about. Lastly, I have 2 6ft fake branches which wraps around throughout the cage and reaches the bottom so he has ways to get back up the cage if he ends up on the bottom.
    • Placement - I have my cage located in a separate office/studio space, which I use for maybe 4-5 hours a day. Other than that no one goes in there besides my kitten, who is interested in the cage but usually just sits at the bottom looking up at it. He's only noticed my Cham maybe 2 or 3 times but doesn't do anything to him. The room never has lights on unless I'm working in there in the evening. Throughout the day I will leave the blinds from the window open to get some natural sunlight.
    • Location - I'm located in Austin, TX so I'm in a location that has very high humidity and temperatures for about 8-10 months out of the year.

    Current Problem - My biggest concern is the fact the he seems to be on a hunger strike at the moment. I tried free range feeding him and then I realized his cage is probably too big and he's in a new environment. I then switched to cup feeding today but he still has no interest in his food at all. I've seen him drink a couple times but I still have not seen him eat. I've tried holding him and taking a cricket with some tweezers and rubbing the cricket against his mouth but he turns away and has no interest in the food. I've tried taking a tooth pick with the non-pokey side to gently open his mouth but he still doesn't open at all. The other thing I'm concerned with is the fact that he keeps his eyes shut all day. This is something new that he's doing as of yesterday. He will move around but keep his eyes completely shut and just feel around to figure out where he needs to go. His humidity levels are good and I'm very persistent on making sure he gets misted throughout the day for a minimum of 3 minutes. I've only had him for 2 days now so I'm hoping that he's more or less scared with his new environment and me helicoptering over him to be sure he's ok. I'm starting to back off and let him relax on his own. Let me know if there's anything else I should try!
     

    Attached Files:

    Melodie21 likes this.
  2. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    I should also state that I usually only handle him when he falls and it seems like he's stuck on the bottom of the cage, I'll usually grab him and put him up about halfway (where he's at in the pictures). I've noticed he's been falling because he hasn't been watching where he's going. I'm also feeding him very small crickets that he should have no problem with eating.
     
  3. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    To start, falling, closed eyes(which also look sunken in the pics), are very bad signs. A healthy small cham should be able to find crickets in a much larger cage. So him struggling with that is also a warning sign. Did you get him from a pet shop? They're notoriously clueless with chameleons and petsmart/Petco are usually the worst. They often come with health issues and should be seen by a vet.

    Your lighting isn't right, it should be on a 12 hour schedule, I like having it with sunrise/sunset. That bulb is not good either which may be causing the eye issues. youll want a linear uvb. The 5.0 reptisun is a good start for that. And have a ~60w incandescent to make about an 85 degree basking spot. Add some horizontal branches up and down the cage too.

    Read up on the care sheets for veileds here, they are a great place to start.
     
  4. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    I did get him from a pet store, though it's an exotic store that specializes in reptiles, arachnids and birds. I did order a duel deep dome light as well as the 5.0 reptisun which should be arriving tomorrow. I've had him since Monday and he looked fine all day and while I was at the store all the way up till yesterday afternoon.
     
  5. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Sorry to say, but the dual deep dome isn't good. You want the linear hood, can you return it? The CFL bulbs are known to cause eye problems and generally focus the uvb in one spot rather than spread it out through the enclosure.

    I have seen plenty of pet stores that specialize that have had less than ideal conditions. Maybe yours did, but you still run into the problem of them being in contact with constant new feeders and other reptiles coming in and out of the store. Many parasites and illnesses can be spread just by being in the same room. A healthy chameleon should never fall or close its eyes during the day.
     
    JapSolum and chameleonneeds like this.
  6. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    Sounds good, I'll get on that. Thanks!
     
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  7. chameleonneeds

    chameleonneeds Avid Member

    I second that the lighting is likely the cause for your chameleons eye problems. Sometimes a vitamin A deficiency is the problem but I highly doubt that is the case. Make the necessary changes James has advised you as soon as possible and you should see a turn around quite quickly if it is indeed the lighting. You may even want to keep that light off till you have a replacement 5.0 uvb tube. Maybe, if weather permits, you can place his cage outside in natural sunlight until you get the new lights. And if weather permits you should keep him in as much natural sunlight as possible, even if you do get the new lights. Natural sunlight does great things for chameleons in captivity.
     
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  8. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    I put him outside as the temperature is perfect at the moment, he's definitely perking up and starting to open his eyes a bit more!
     
    chameleonneeds and jamest0o0 like this.
  9. chameleonneeds

    chameleonneeds Avid Member

    Perfect. Here in Johanesburg South Africa I have kept my Panthers and veileds outdoors all summer long even at night (although not necessary, it was just convenient that night time temps were still warm). Only in winter do they come back in and under lights.

    A word of caution with outdoor keeping.
    1. Never leave him unattended if he isn't secured in his cage as they will leave your sight very quickly
    2. Make sure there aren't any birds or other animals that can break through the cage to get at him. Also make sure a garden servicer doesn't slice open your cage with a weed whacker. This has happened to me and I've lost a panther.
    3. It gets real hot real quick outside so you want to increase the length and amount of misting sessions if it is too hot. Sometimes I leave mine out in direct sunlight for a few hours then move them under tree shade. You must make sure he has the option to shade. You will know he is overheating if he goes bright green and opens his mouth.
     
    #9 chameleonneeds, May 16, 2018 at 2:13 PM
    Last edited: May 16, 2018 at 2:21 PM
    Christiancaicedo and jamest0o0 like this.
  10. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    Well, unfortunately I had to take him to the vet an he passed as I was leaving :/ They took a look at him, tried feeding him and they came to the conclusion that there were more than likely too many issues to even diagnose him with anything. They said he was extremely dehydrated, very malnourished, could have had a vitamin deficiency or more than likely had one of those issues and then had picked up some sort of virus/parasite while at the pet store. I took his body to the store and they took a look at him and let me know that I should have called them if he wasn't eating. They threw some crickets into the Cham cage and had me watch to make sure which one was actually eating and let me take him home free of charge! this little guy looks much much healthier. He appears to have a better weight, his eyes are wide open and searching about and he's moving all over the place exploring his cage! Thanks so much for the help guys! I went and purchased a Zoo-Med 75w bulb to put in his basking spot, I also picked up a UVB 5.0 strip. I also plan on sticking this guy outside on my porch in his cage on the days I work from home, so long as I can keep an eye on him!
     

    Attached Files:

  11. JapSolum

    JapSolum Member

    sorry for your loss but if I read that right and you only had him two days when this all started I would say all those issues were pre existing but that does look like a happy healthy guy, so hopefully the new lights, and healthier cham go smoothly for you
     
  12. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Keep an eye on him/her. If the other did have parasites, it's likely this one could too.
     
  13. JapSolum

    JapSolum Member

    very true, if they came from same place, might be a good idea to bring a fecal sample in to vet just to make sure
     
  14. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    Alright, well this guy is much healthier. He's moving around a ton and hasn't closed his eyes except for sleeping last night. However, I'm having the same damn issue where I have yet to see him eat... I left food in a cup for him while I was at work right beneath his basking spot. My girlfriend periodically checked on him to mist and to see if he had eaten any crickets. I have tried rubbing crickets against his mouth but still nothing.. He gets extremely frightened by me (rightfully so). He starts to almost 'pant' and start to turn purple/brown (I'm assuming in hopes to scare a predator away making them think he's a sick). I'm pulling my hair out of my head because I haven't seen him eat and he does not look as hearty as he did yesterday... I saw him eat in the pet store so I know he knows how to hunt but I'm starting to think that there's something I'm not doing right which is driving me more crazy... I've attached a picture of him at the moment, which he looks a bit skinnier than what he actually looks like while I'm not sticking a phone in his face... I've also attached a picture of his poop.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    Alright, well I placed 2 crickets in front of him that looked wounded and weren't hopping around but still moving and it appears that he has eaten them!
     
  16. zigzagzug

    zigzagzug New Member

    Glad to hear he ate some crickets! How much is he drinking? That fecal + urate is telling me that he needs more water.
     
    #16 zigzagzug, May 17, 2018 at 9:07 PM
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 9:35 PM
  17. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    I don't know how long his feces was sitting out but I had just found it when I took that pick and it was right around his basking spot where it could have easily dried out within an hour. The last time I misted him I spent about 5 minutes making sure everything was well misted. I also setup a dripper which was falling right onto a leaf which fell onto another leaf and then on to the branch near his basking spot. He started to climb down into his Hibiscus plant where the drops were falling to and he was right under the drops. I assumed that he was drinking from it at this point before I left for dinner. I left when the dripper was about halfway empty and when I came back it was empty and he was hanging out in his basking spot. Other than that I saw him drinking from a leaf yesterday evening after I misted him.
     
  18. JapSolum

    JapSolum Member

    the dried out part isnt the issue, the urate should be white (if they aren't going very often the tip may be slightly discolored) but that urate is bright orange and that's not a good sign. more mistings for longer periods of time might help. but with how orange that is, I would give him a shower. put him on a plant in the shower point the head so it's not directly hitting the plant. turn it on warm but not hot and leave him in there for like 5 mins. that should trigger his drinking response.
     
  19. Christiancaicedo

    Christiancaicedo New Member

    Sweet, that'll be the first thing I do in the morning! I also have some liquid food that the vet had given me for the previous little guy. Do you think that might help with both hydration and/or filling him up if he isn't actually eating crickets?
     
  20. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    I agree, that fecal doesn't look that great. Definitely give the shower method a try. He's still not been eating? IME young chameleons are voracious eaters, mine would easily pack away 2 dozen crickets a day at times. It's a bit of a bad sign that the other chameleon had so many issues. That is clearly terrible husbandry by the store or whoever had him before. Try to give him the least amount of stress possible while showering him. Set him on a large plant, make sure he's secure, set the shower on a mist setting or face against wall so the tiny drops bounce off onto the plant. then let him be for awhile 30+ min at least. Make sure the water is cool, not hot. Think of the temperature of rain during summer.
     

Share This Page



Loading...