Any final suggestions?

Robobob

Member
So unfortunately and with much sadness i have come to the decision that i might have to put my panther chameleon up for adoption since i cant seem to find a solution to he's bad habits involving his eating habbits.

Since the day i got him about 6 months ago he has always been a picky eater. I have offered him all kinds of insects ranging from crickets, locusts, dubia, mealworms, caterpillars.. you name it, and allthough he have been trough phases
where he have been eating somewhat normal it has mostly been a struggle with hand feeding to get him to take any insects whatsoever.

But troughtout all this time there is one thing he has been snacking on frequently that has had me concerned on a daily basis, which is the cork bark that makes up the back side of his enclosure.
At the start i thought after doing research that he might be doing it because he lacks certain minerals or something but i have since then come to the possible conclusion that he simple likes to snack on it, sitting next to his feeding bowl filled with
various insects, gut loaded and ready but instead ripping off pieces of bark and happily chewing. the fact that he is very healthy, active and not constantly constipated is kind of a mystery to me.

At this point i feel like i might want to give him away to someone who has a more suitable enclosure for him where he cant keep up his bad habits of eating bark. i wish i could just remove the rear of the enclosure but it's firmly build into the cage to
the point where i cant take it out without destroying it. I also dont want to buy a new one since i spent aproximately 1000 dollars and more hours than i can keep track on the project. And say i did spend hundreds of dollars on a new enclosure, there is no guarantee he wont find something else unsuitable to start eating.

In retrospect i would not have build an enclosure like this if i knew that there is a possibility that the animal might start eating out of it, but i am a first time owner and know that i did everything i thought was right to make him a perfect home.
I also had close to zero luck finding similar problems with other people's pets and the only similar threads i've read is mostly how concerned owners ask for advice after their chameleon accidently eats a chip of wood after missing a shot with it's tongue. And to add to it the store where i bought him from also keeps bark in their enclosure and they have said they never recall experiencing a problem like this.

I would appreciate if people could avoid cocky comments like me being a irresponsible owner, i really devote an extreme amount of time, money and worry about my pet but i have come to the crossroads where i dont know what to do anymore,
so if anyone feel like they have a suggestion that i can try before finding him another home it would be really appreciated.

Thanks in advance
picture of enclosure and cham below

64657288_441081133398098_1142009495946264576_n.jpg
66303030_947400665600944_5501268969148907520_n.jpg
66694548_209155633305317_4255508280400412672_n.jpg
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's a beautiful Cham and a pretty enclosure. Sadly I have no way to help. This is the first I have ever heard of this happening.

It's strange.

Have you consulted a Vet? I really don't know what else to suggest. I am halfway tempted to say if it doesn't seem to be hurting him, there is no harm? I really don't know though.

Truly just wanted to give me condolences, this is an odd and unfortunate event :(.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay, so in an effort to help. I googled.


I am not sure how you had trouble finding anything about it. I found a bunch. Apparently it's normal some Panthers just do that, usually when young and they will grow out of it.
 

Chameleophlaged

Established Member
First I'll say good looking cham, and a beautiful enclosure, it's obvious you are not someone to be ostracized then I'll say...don't give up hang in there. I have a large number of chams, a LOT of them are picky eaters

I'd then say, try flying insects, they can't seem to resist them. I live in the city so I can't collect them, so I have to buy, so I'm limited in variety, but black soldier flies, moths and especially bees seem to get their immediate attention. Some people are afraid of feeding bees to them, but I've been doing it for a long time without a sting (cham, me...not so lucky) and the pollen on their legs is the best of gutloads.
 

Robobob

Member
Okay, so in an effort to help. I googled.


I am not sure how you had trouble finding anything about it. I found a bunch. Apparently it's normal some Panthers just do that, usually when young and they will grow out of it.
Thanks for the reply!

I havn't contacted a vet, mainly since there is not chameleon specialist in my country as far as i'm concerned. I get most of the advice from forums like this and from a book i bought.

Hmm i havnt been able to find the info you seem to look at, should it really be normal and non harmful tho? The last week the only thing i seem him eat on his own is a mealworm or so, apart from that he sticks to his bark diet :(

Today i tried on two seperate occasions to put locusts between him and the bark as he tries to bite it and then as a reflex, he bites into the locust and eat it whole with huge apetite. So there is seemingly nothing wrong with his teeth or mouth. He's about 11 months now i recon so i'm not sure he is considered that young anymore
 

MrsM

Avid Member
Not to be a you know what but if that’s what he eats and it’s causing no harm perhaps start dusting that bark with calcium.
Jk sorry.
 

Robobob

Member
First I'll say good looking cham, and a beautiful enclosure, it's obvious you are not someone to be ostracized then I'll say...don't give up hang in there. I have a large number of chams, a LOT of them are picky eaters

I'd then say, try flying insects, they can't seem to resist them. I live in the city so I can't collect them, so I have to buy, so I'm limited in variety, but black soldier flies, moths and especially bees seem to get their immediate attention. Some people are afraid of feeding bees to them, but I've been doing it for a long time without a sting (cham, me...not so lucky) and the pollen on their legs is the best of gutloads.
Thanks, i'll see if i can find something to spark his appetite again!
Thing i forgot to mention is that he is unable to shoot his tongue. He has been like this since
i got him, think it's some sort of damage from when he was a juvenile that never healed properly.
It never stopped him from eating tho, it's just that i have to hand feed him/use a cup since he's not that great of catching things on his own
 

MrsM

Avid Member
Thanks, i'll see if i can find something to spark his appetite again!
Thing i forgot to mention is that he is unable to shoot his tongue. He has been like this since
i got him, think it's some sort of damage from when he was a juvenile that never healed properly.
It never stopped him from eating tho, it's just that i have to hand feed him/use a cup since he's not that great of catching things on his own
Well that solves some of the mystery-
If he is hungry and you aren’t there to hand feed him he may be helping himself.
I’d also suggest setting up some feeder stations/ bug runs so he can get himself food without interacting with you.
It will be way easier if the bugs are stuck in little feeding zones.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks, i'll see if i can find something to spark his appetite again!
Thing i forgot to mention is that he is unable to shoot his tongue. He has been like this since
i got him, think it's some sort of damage from when he was a juvenile that never healed properly.
It never stopped him from eating tho, it's just that i have to hand feed him/use a cup since he's not that great of catching things on his own

Hmm ya that could maybe lead to it. Maybe he is trying to use the bark to scratch his tongue or his throat or something. There has to be a reason he is eating that, I just don't know what it is.

Or Like MrsM said, he is just hungry, and your not there to feed him.

I'm staying tuned, as 3 of my cage walls are covered in that bark and I am curious now.
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
He is young so its not uncommon for a young chameleon to try and eat anything they can get a hold of, especially for veiled and panthers.

Is his tongue there or is it missing? Tongue issues mostly come from either poor nutrition or injury.

I like the idea of adding a feeder station. You can make one from a water jug. Cut a section of the jug out and glue a piece of screen inside for the bugs to climb. put a few small holes on the bottom for drainage and use magnets to hold the feeder to the enclosure wall. This should keep the feeder bugs in one spot for him to go over to and have his fill.
 

MrsM

Avid Member
Or Like MrsM said, he is just hungry, and your not there to feed him.
Not just hungry without someone there, he may feel stressed with hand feeding. I had a chameleon that didn’t shoot her tongue well, and she was stressed/frustrated with hand feeding. I set up a milk carton bug run (cyberloc will need a more posh looking one for that gorgeous viv) plus some reptaboost to jump start her appetite and she went for it.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Not just hungry without someone there, he may feel stressed with hand feeding. I had a chameleon that didn’t shoot her tongue well, and she was stressed/frustrated with hand feeding. I set up a milk carton bug run (cyberloc will need a more posh looking one for that gorgeous viv) plus some reptaboost to jump start her appetite and she went for it.

Posh is Key! A sunny D carton works great though.
 

Robobob

Member
Hmm ya that could maybe lead to it. Maybe he is trying to use the bark to scratch his tongue or his throat or something. There has to be a reason he is eating that, I just don't know what it is.

Or Like MrsM said, he is just hungry, and your not there to feed him.

I'm staying tuned, as 3 of my cage walls are covered in that bark and I am curious now.

I'm currently using a insect feeder made from a plastic bottle as shown in the picture below, however he seem less and less interested by it with every passing week and now he only just occasionally eats a mealworm or two from it. Today i tried mixing crickets, mealworms and a locusts in there just to see if he would go for any of it but he just climbed on top of it and used it as a branch to reach his favourite bark .. he really drives me mad
 

Attachments

Robobob

Member
Not just hungry without someone there, he may feel stressed with hand feeding. I had a chameleon that didn’t shoot her tongue well, and she was stressed/frustrated with hand feeding. I set up a milk carton bug run (cyberloc will need a more posh looking one for that gorgeous viv) plus some reptaboost to jump start her appetite and she went for it.

I'm not too sure stress is the reason, he happily climbs out on my hand if i offer him to get out of his cage to climb on his favourite indoor tree that he loves so he is kind of used to my hand, besides i work 12 hours shift where i fill his feeding cup up to let him tend to himself troughout the day but it's usefully untouched when i get back. I simply had better luck getting him to eat when hand feeding than having him eat on his own trough the cup

Will try the reptaboost tho! thanks for the tip
 

MrsM

Avid Member
I'm currently using a insect feeder made from a plastic bottle as shown in the picture below, however he seem less and less interested by it with every passing week and now he only just occasionally eats a mealworm or two from it. Today i tried mixing crickets, mealworms and a locusts in there just to see if he would go for any of it but he just climbed on top of it and used it as a branch to reach his favourite bark .. he really drives me mad
Wow, your baby is really giving you challenges! I still recommend reptaboost and screen over the cork. Gutload with variety. Alfalfa seems to smell strong enough to grab my chameleons attention when it is being picky. Im interested to see what you do and how it goes.
 

Robobob

Member
Wow, your baby is really giving you challenges! I still recommend reptaboost and screen over the cork. Gutload with variety. Alfalfa seems to smell strong enough to grab my chameleons attention when it is being picky. Im interested to see what you do and how it goes.
Ill definetly try that tomorrow! thanks
 
Top Bottom