Adopted relinquished little girl, would love tips and suggestions

Hi all! I rescued a little girl who was relinquished to my work, and would love some input on how I could do things better. This is my first chameleon, and she deserves the world.
I have been researching quite a bit, and a lot of info I've found here on this forum. I do have some more questions though. Where do you guys safely place the temperature probe to get accurate readings of basking spot temperature? Hydrometer? What is typical healthy chameleon behavior like during the day? I set up her cage so the vines are running through the plants, so she has an easier time seeing and drinking, however they are farther from the basking spot than they should be, and won't get adequate heat. I left one vine up under the light, but she hasn't been using that one as much, although I just checked on her and she moved herself to it, so maybe I am just paranoid. She also pooped out an undigested roach yesterday, so I am not sure if it is from too many roaches being force fed (please see history for this) and she can't digest them, or not basking under the lights enough. There was the TINIEST little yellow and white urate, but we're working on getting her hydrated so I'm not mad about it.


Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, F, appx 3 years, I've had her for 3 days. Her name is Georgia :)
  • Handling - I have to handle her every day due to the treatments listed in the history.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? Dubia roaches for the moment since I have to force feed. What amount? 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening per the vet. I skipped today due to her defecating an undigested roach, and will resume in the morning. I just found something saying they should eat in the morning in order to bask and digest them. I was hoping for more insight on what to do for this, we don't want to overfeed her right off the bat. What is the schedule? See previous :) How are you gut-loading your feeders? I use adult bearded dragon food to gut load for my leopard gecko due to the appropriate nutrient content and low calcium to phosphorous ratio, with some mustard greens atm. I am using those same roaches for her. Would love more insight into this, I started researching bug burger vs. dinofuel vs. others
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Zoo med repti-calcium with and without D3 and zoo med reptivite with and without D3. I've been doing calcium without D3 almost every feeding, and have done vitamins 1 feeding. I don't want to use D3 yet because I'm not 100% sure the calcium at work doesn't have it, so I want to make sure she doesn't get an overdose.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? Monsoon mister on cycle and hand misting. I would also love dripper suggestions! How often and how long to you mist? Monsoon is 3x a day for 1 minute, and I hand mist in between. Do you see your chameleon drinking? I DID TODAY AND I CRIED TEARS OF JOY
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Yesterday she pooped an undigested roach, and there was what looked to be a normal, brown dropping attached to it as well, however it was pretty hard to tell. We did not test her yet, however we don't want to overload her system with medication, so we are waiting until the antibiotics are finished. There was a very small white and yellow urate.
  • History -I work as a veterinary technician at a clinic that sees exotics, and a little girl was brought in with her eyes closed and was really skinny, dehydrated and malnourished. The owners decided to relinquish her as they could not afford or were not willing to pursue treatment. The owner of our practice was going to euthanize her, however she still has grip strength and feistiness, and was still willing to climb and no MBD-so some of my coworkers fought to have her treated to at least try. I've been interested in chameleons and have a general understanding of reptiles along with some other species in my home, so I adopted her :) She is a veiled chameleon we believe to be about 3. We think she has conjunctivitis due to possible retained shed/eyecaps/issues from poor husbandry, and is malnourished because she stopped hunting when the eye problems became an issue and the owners had not noticed that she had stopped eating and drinking. She is on antibiotics, eye flushes, antibiotic eye drops, misting extra to make sure she gets enough moisture, and have been force feeding her gut loaded and dusted roaches. She received subcutaneous fluids a few times to improve her dehydration, and I'm trying to monitor her hydration to see if she needs to go back for more fluids. We've had some wins-she's looking brighter, isn't stumbling as much in general, and can see out of her left eye!!! She's also much sassier, hissing, trying to bite and lunging when I go in to do her treatments (YAY!!! I love this, it tells me she has the energy to get mad at me. Get mad baby, I can take it!) Today I misted her and she got MAD, and I then took a dropper and dropped some water droplets onto her face in rhythm so she would understand it was there, she then focused on some of her leaves, crawled over and drank from them!! I literally cried happy tears, that is a huge step!
  • Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - ZooMed Reptibreeze medium 16x16x30 (screen)
  • Lighting - Combo basking/UVB lamp-60W daylight blue heat bulb and reptisun 5.0 bulb. On from 7am-7pm
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Would love suggestions on how to measure basking spot, and I don't want to cut any more holes in the screen and I want to make sure it is mounted safely. Lowest overnight temp? I have my current thermometer on the side, it gets to 70. How do you measure these temps? I have one thermometer mounted, I have another one ready to go.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? I am not quite sure where the best place is to mount my hydrometer, I would have to cut a really large hole in the screen to mount this. How are you creating and maintaining these levels? Misting.What do you use to measure humidity? wellllll, I'm here for the best suggestions on where it should go-first chameleon cage :) I have the hydrometer!
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? Yes! If so, what kind? Snow White Pothos, ficus benjamina and schefflera
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? In the not really used formal living room. Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? No, however it is by the stairs in the center of the house, but it is in a mostly unused room. At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? About 5 feet, although I will be getting a new table for her cage when I can.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Southern California
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi all! I rescued a little girl who was relinquished to my work, and would love some input on how I could do things better. This is my first chameleon, and she deserves the world.
I have been researching quite a bit, and a lot of info I've found here on this forum. I do have some more questions though. Where do you guys safely place the temperature probe to get accurate readings of basking spot temperature? Hydrometer? What is typical healthy chameleon behavior like during the day? I set up her cage so the vines are running through the plants, so she has an easier time seeing and drinking, however they are farther from the basking spot than they should be, and won't get adequate heat. I left one vine up under the light, but she hasn't been using that one as much, although I just checked on her and she moved herself to it, so maybe I am just paranoid. She also pooped out an undigested roach yesterday, so I am not sure if it is from too many roaches being force fed (please see history for this) and she can't digest them, or not basking under the lights enough. There was the TINIEST little yellow and white urate, but we're working on getting her hydrated so I'm not mad about it.


Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, F, appx 3 years, I've had her for 3 days. Her name is Georgia :)
  • Handling - I have to handle her every day due to the treatments listed in the history.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? Dubia roaches for the moment since I have to force feed. What amount? 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening per the vet. I skipped today due to her defecating an undigested roach, and will resume in the morning. I just found something saying they should eat in the morning in order to bask and digest them. I was hoping for more insight on what to do for this, we don't want to overfeed her right off the bat. What is the schedule? See previous :) How are you gut-loading your feeders? I use adult bearded dragon food to gut load for my leopard gecko due to the appropriate nutrient content and low calcium to phosphorous ratio, with some mustard greens atm. I am using those same roaches for her. Would love more insight into this, I started researching bug burger vs. dinofuel vs. others
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Zoo med repti-calcium with and without D3 and zoo med reptivite with and without D3. I've been doing calcium without D3 almost every feeding, and have done vitamins 1 feeding. I don't want to use D3 yet because I'm not 100% sure the calcium at work doesn't have it, so I want to make sure she doesn't get an overdose.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? Monsoon mister on cycle and hand misting. I would also love dripper suggestions! How often and how long to you mist? Monsoon is 3x a day for 1 minute, and I hand mist in between. Do you see your chameleon drinking? I DID TODAY AND I CRIED TEARS OF JOY
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Yesterday she pooped an undigested roach, and there was what looked to be a normal, brown dropping attached to it as well, however it was pretty hard to tell. We did not test her yet, however we don't want to overload her system with medication, so we are waiting until the antibiotics are finished. There was a very small white and yellow urate.
  • History -I work as a veterinary technician at a clinic that sees exotics, and a little girl was brought in with her eyes closed and was really skinny, dehydrated and malnourished. The owners decided to relinquish her as they could not afford or were not willing to pursue treatment. The owner of our practice was going to euthanize her, however she still has grip strength and feistiness, and was still willing to climb and no MBD-so some of my coworkers fought to have her treated to at least try. I've been interested in chameleons and have a general understanding of reptiles along with some other species in my home, so I adopted her :) She is a veiled chameleon we believe to be about 3. We think she has conjunctivitis due to possible retained shed/eyecaps/issues from poor husbandry, and is malnourished because she stopped hunting when the eye problems became an issue and the owners had not noticed that she had stopped eating and drinking. She is on antibiotics, eye flushes, antibiotic eye drops, misting extra to make sure she gets enough moisture, and have been force feeding her gut loaded and dusted roaches. She received subcutaneous fluids a few times to improve her dehydration, and I'm trying to monitor her hydration to see if she needs to go back for more fluids. We've had some wins-she's looking brighter, isn't stumbling as much in general, and can see out of her left eye!!! She's also much sassier, hissing, trying to bite and lunging when I go in to do her treatments (YAY!!! I love this, it tells me she has the energy to get mad at me. Get mad baby, I can take it!) Today I misted her and she got MAD, and I then took a dropper and dropped some water droplets onto her face in rhythm so she would understand it was there, she then focused on some of her leaves, crawled over and drank from them!! I literally cried happy tears, that is a huge step!
  • Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - ZooMed Reptibreeze medium 16x16x30 (screen)
  • Lighting - Combo basking/UVB lamp-60W daylight blue heat bulb and reptisun 5.0 bulb. On from 7am-7pm
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Would love suggestions on how to measure basking spot, and I don't want to cut any more holes in the screen and I want to make sure it is mounted safely. Lowest overnight temp? I have my current thermometer on the side, it gets to 70. How do you measure these temps? I have one thermometer mounted, I have another one ready to go.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? I am not quite sure where the best place is to mount my hydrometer, I would have to cut a really large hole in the screen to mount this. How are you creating and maintaining these levels? Misting.What do you use to measure humidity? wellllll, I'm here for the best suggestions on where it should go-first chameleon cage :) I have the hydrometer!
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? Yes! If so, what kind? Snow White Pothos, ficus benjamina and schefflera
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? In the not really used formal living room. Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? No, however it is by the stairs in the center of the house, but it is in a mostly unused room. At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? About 5 feet, although I will be getting a new table for her cage when I can.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Southern California
Welcome and hi there! You should look into different lighting. The combo unit you are running is less then optimal for providing the right UVB for her. You need a T5 bulb and fixture. If you want personalized help with this Todd at lightyourreptiles.com is awesome.
Check out these resource links as well
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

I have a heat gun to measure my temps it is more accurate I think then all the heat probes. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FYVEJMY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04__o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I put my hydrometers close to the area of moisture but not in the path of being sprayed or you will get inaccurate readings.
Good luck with your new adventure! I hope she feels better soon :)
 
Welcome and hi there! You should look into different lighting. The combo unit you are running is less then optimal for providing the right UVB for her. You need a T5 bulb and fixture. If you want personalized help with this Todd at lightyourreptiles.com is awesome.
Check out these resource links as well
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

I have a heat gun to measure my temps it is more accurate I think then all the heat probes. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FYVEJMY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04__o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I put my hydrometers close to the area of moisture but not in the path of being sprayed or you will get inaccurate readings.
Good luck with your new adventure! I hope she feels better soon :)
Thank you so much, I will look into that! I feel really bad because I can tell that I’m becoming a big stressor to her, hopefully she will get better as we go.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you so much, I will look into that! I feel really bad because I can tell that I’m becoming a big stressor to her, hopefully she will get better as we go.
You are trying to give her everything she needs and even though it causes stress it is better then not being someone's priority and dying because of it. :)
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Good on you for bringing this little girl home! I also recently had a veiled chameleon relinquished to the clinic I work at, and he's similarly unimpressed with my handling now that he can see me. Keep us posted on Georgia's progress! There's plenty of excellent info kicking around these forums, and lots of experienced keepers to help us newbies. :)
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
So am I! He's definitely full of attitude now. It's certainly an adventure! I'm sure Georgia will show similar progress in no time with some TLC. Good husbandry practices go such a long way with reptiles!
 
That’s so awesome!! I hope so, that’s so true tho :) She’s been drinking from leaves and I am literally the PROUDEST mama ever! I walk up to look at her and she hisses and sways and lunges, so I’m like-ok you see me, you know who I am, you’re upset about it right now, and I’m ok with this!!
 
So I ordered the 24" arcadia double bulb fixture with arcadia 6% and 6.5K daylight bulb from Todd :) Do I need a better basking lamp or will she be ok with the blue daylight bulb?

We started her on antibiotic eye drops, and I'm starting to see some discharge coming out of her right eye. The vet is happy about it because she thinks she's starting to try and clear whatever is going on out. She opened her right eye today!!! There's some opaque covering over it, and I think it's a bunch of stuck shed. I spoke to the doctor today, and she also thinks it's probably that, so we're going in tomorrow to see if we can get it out! Here's hoping we can help her with it :) She's the grumpiest little girl and does some interesting screaming/acrobatics combo, I feel bad!
 
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