7 month old Male Veil ceased eating...Help!


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Question: What time frame should I allow before taking him to a Vet when my Chameleon shows no interest in food for the last 3 days. If you recommend me that I take him to the Vet, should he also get de-wormed just as a pre-caution. He's not WC. but maybe he has an upset stomach from something he ate and that will cleanse his stomach??
He's still been strong and alert and drinks normally. He poops O.K but obviously less poop since he hasn't been eating. Otherwise, no other health issues. He now refuses silkworms, hornworms, crickets, and waxworms. About one month ago, he still ate like a pig and slowly, he's been refusing almost all his insects.

All I can think of is that his cage can be bigger and that may be causing some of the stress. He's in a 18x18x36 now and he's next to a window with lots of sunshine and I see him pacing more and more but going to a higher cage height would mean re-locating him to another area in the house that does not have a sunny window and the set-up for his spot basking light and florescent light would all have to be moved, too.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Luckily, I live in an area where there are enough local Exotic Vets around me to choose from.

You said..."he's next to a window with lots of sunshine"...is he in an all-screen cage? What is the temperature in his basking area? Ambient?

You said..."I see him pacing more and more"...on the floor of the cage or on the branches? Are you sure its a male?

You said..."the set-up for his spot basking light and florescent light would all have to be moved, too"...does he get any UVB light? Direct sunlight? (Neither should pass through glass or plastic.)
ya my five month old female is doing the same thing. she wont even take waxworms and she does so i dont really know what would cause this type of behavior:(
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To response back to your questions:

1. In an all screen aluminum cage: 36 inch high.

2. Basking temp: Around 85-90 degrees.

I did bring him to an Exotic Vet. Turned out she really didn't know much about C. although she would never admit it! All she wanted to do was to take his X-rays, do blood work..etc. to find the problem. I told her, "No" especially because he was still very active, alert, and strong. Even the Vet stated that he had very strong reflexes and grip. I wanted the least invasive procedure done first like de-worming to see if that would clear up his system. She finally realized that she wasn't going to get me to O.K all the other procedures and she did do de-worming and also gave my C. a drug called Metacam thru a syringe as an appetite stimulant and it has anti-inflammatory qualities in the med, too.
Today, he absolutely still refuses to eat but he looks healthy and strong. Still drinking water but no sight of a bowel movement yet.

Any suggestions?? I wonder if I should bring him in to another Exotic Vet (who really knows Chameleons) and see if he might need an enema??

Howdy Christine,

It's always possible that he is overweight for his present age and condition and this is just his response. Note the weight that the vet marked down. If you don't have one already, get a simple digital gram scale that has a range up to around 500 grams or so and a resolution of 1 gram or better yet 0.1 gram. You can find them for between $12 and $30 that will do nicely. Track his weight. He can go for a week or two without much of an issue if he is on the heavy-side already. A loss of 10% is not a problem while in the pursuit of getting his appetite back.

What has been his feeding schedule, quantity, type?

Photos of his current setup (and him too!)

I always recommend having enclosures high up. Putting him in a location where he can be looking down at you while you are standing is best.

EDIT: Here's a scale:

Harbor Freight Tools store in your area:

They will match the internet price...
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I see that you've started a 2nd thread about this subject but I'll post this here where the Metacam was first mentioned...

I had not heard about Metacam (meloxicam) so I thought I'd read-up on it. Yes, it is an anti-inflammatory but it sure doesn't seem to be an appetite stimulant. It is a lot like aspirin and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). In the link below, you can read that side-effects are things like appetite loss etc. I'm wondering what symptom the vet was trying to treat with it... At least you weren't directed to continue its use.


If you can stand a little bit more travel distance try:

Yorba Linda Veterinary Hospital
Dr. Tom Greek
4872 Olinda St.
Yorba Linda CA 92886

Dr. Greek has worked on 500-1000 chameleons over the years and did some of his early work with (the famous) Dr. Mader. If you had to trust a vet's opinion, Dr. Greek is probably the best chameleon vet in our neighborhood and I drive 42 miles to get to him, passing 50 closer vets on the way :). Good prices. Good bedside manner.

Any other comments will be directed to the 2nd thread :).
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