Annual Vet Expenses

Annual Vet Expenses

  • $0

    Votes: 22 17.3%
  • $1 - $199

    Votes: 41 32.3%
  • $200 - $499

    Votes: 43 33.9%
  • $500 - $999

    Votes: 10 7.9%
  • $1000 - $1999

    Votes: 3 2.4%
  • $2000+

    Votes: 8 6.3%

  • Total voters


Staff member
Chameleons are delicate creatures and it's not uncommon for them to occasionally require the services of an experienced veterinarian. This can become quite expensive for keepers especially when caring for multiple animals. I thought it would be interesting to see what other people around the world are spending. For those that don't mind sharing, what are your chameleon related vet expenses for an average year and how many chameleons would that normally include? What is your general geographic location?

Annual Vet Expenses?



New Member
My vet here in NY specialises in reptiles. A reptile appointment is $75 per animal, with fees for tests and procedures. Ivy gets an annual checkup and poop test and it's around $125. He's incredibly thorough, possibly because I live in a posh area and there aren't many reptile keepers and he loves his job! I took my two tortoises in for a post-hibernation checkup and that cost $300, because one had parasites and needed a shot.

So one healthy chameleon costs $125ish a year, but $75 minimum every time I worry about her is a fair bit, so I probably spend nearer $275-300 a year on her vet bills.


Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm in South Florida and have two chameleon vets. One that is mobile and comes to my house for check up's, fecals, blood work and minor surgeries. I have a specialist that he sends me to for additional testing such as ultra sounds and for major surgeries. The past couple of years I have spent more than $2000.00 a year because so many of my guys were/are all old at about the same time with multiply health issues. I had 11 chameleons two years ago. Out of the 11 chams I have two left plus 3 newer chameleons.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Probably in the $200 range annually with no huge health crises but maybe one or two smaller issues and regular fecals.


New Member
I know this may seem a bit off, but be careful out there with vets who claim to be "reptile" specialists. I lost my dear "Lola" to one of them, who treated her with knowledge based on what he did with a horse.

so long.
This year has been quite pricey as we have several chameleons and 5 of them have been to the vet 3 of them had bacterial infections so with each one was 400.00 for gram stain, culture and meds while another had an xray and the last one became egg bound so with hydration, oxytocin and calcium injections that were not successful and she wasn't strong enough for surgery ran about 300.00 so so far over 1500.00


Avid Member
I am in Colorado and my Vet (also a moderator on this site) charged me $96 for a bi-annual check up with fecal. If only bi-annual check ups are needed, I would only pay $200/yr.


Chameleon Enthusiast
general check-ups, often less than $200 a year.
If there is an illness that requires multiple visits and medication and tests, that can run many hundreds for a single animal

Tay And A

I've always been curious on this topic: which vet to go to in your local area? Could a moderator start a topic like this? I know it may be complex but it could save a few Chams lives. I couldn't find an exotic vet anywhere near me until one day I was searching a job website and stumbled upon east mill plain animal hospital in Vancouver, Washington. They did an amazing job with our little Layla baby. Total cost $200 she had a prolapse.


Biologist & Ecologist
I picked the $200-500 option. I think that even on the worst vet bill year I didn't break the $500 mark, even with two surgeries and a couple eye issues. And even this year with Guinevere's 3 rounds of antibiotics, several vet visits, and cultures over 6 months I don't think I made it to $300.

So on a normal year between a few fecals, and maybe something super minor (like an eye ointment) I don't usually go past $100-150.

But it helps that I've volunteered at vet clinics and wildlife rescues for a good half of my life and that I studied biology, because I can smell a redundant charge or test a mile away and know which procedures or medicines to allow. So I usually save myself at least a few dozen dollars worth in unnecessary expenditures that I either don't need or can do myself.


New Member
Since this question is related to the subject, I will ask it here instead of making a new forum. I'm a first time keeper of a veiled, or any cham for that matter. How often should I take him to get him checked by a vet, if at all? And what should I get him checked for. His age is 2 years old.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Since this question is related to the subject, I will ask it here instead of making a new forum. I'm a first time keeper of a veiled, or any cham for that matter. How often should I take him to get him checked by a vet, if at all? And what should I get him checked for. His age is 2 years old.
At 2 years old I would recommend check ups and a fecal every 6 months. It's important to find a vet that's familiar with chameleons and to build a good relationship with your vet for if and when you really need him/her, like in an emergency.


New Member
I picked the 200-500 option. We try to bring every new reptile to the vet for at least a check-up and possible de-worming and I also run a small reptile rescue out of our basement and a lot of the time they come in with various ailments (ie: Picasso:) so the majority of out vet expenses comes from that.:D
First year -so far two fecals 16.00 each - One vet visit $50.00 (and it was a Sunday)
North Jersey - but he's a "reptile vet" not a chameleon specialist - any recomendations for North Jersey - from personal experience ?


Avid Member
I originally chose the lower end, but that was the last year. This year we are already at $700 and still have more visits to go. Might actually hit close to 1000 this year.


Biologist & Ecologist
I spent last night doing a major revamp of my chameleon records binder and sifted through and organized all my vet receipts (I'm trying to keep track of every dollar that goes into the chameleons this year, out of my own curiosity) and have the exact figure of vet expenses from 2013.

So I was wrong in my initial statement - In 2013 I spent a total of $644.02 on the chameleons, with $416.56 of that going mainly into treating Guinevere for her various infections and treating Thaddeus for parasites. The remainder was spent treating Daedalus for his rectal prolapse, which was not successful.

I was surprised, I thought the year's total was closer to $300, so more than half off from the actual figure! Goes to show how useful it is to keep receipts in order.
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