Baby Red Bar Panther Cham. is not eating and is hiding

Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by andren32, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. andren32

    andren32 New Member

    Chameleon Info:
    Your Chameleon – Red Bar Panther, most likely male, ~4months( born on 9/25/11). He has been in our care for ~6days.

    Handling – He has been only handled a few times very minimally (while adjusting the cage husbandry)

    Feeding – he has been feed crickets and mealworms. I have not observed him eating any meal worms (meal worms being held on my fingers or on a container lid with close proximity) he has been given roughly 6 crickets each feeding. He has been feed twice a day. The feeder crickets are given broccoli, carottes and oat meal.

    Supplements – Rep-Cal calcium with Vit D3/Rep-Cal herptvit multivitamin. (I still need to pick up rep-cal calcium without VitD3) crickets /mealworms are dusted with D3 twice a week and multivite also 3 times a week.

    Watering – currently he is misted 2-3times a day with a spray bottle, a misting head is soon to arrive and will be hooked up to an automatic misting system from Mistking.

    Fecal Description – There has been no feces that I have been able to observe. I am unsure if the chameleon has been tested for parasites.

    History – He was purchased from and shipped.

    Cage Info:
    Cage Type – Zoomed screened 16X16X20

    Lighting – Repti-glow 5.0 UVB and Repti-glow red heat light 50W. they get roughly 12hours of lighting/day
    Temperature – Basking ~80-85 F. and the floor is ~60-65 F. (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp is 64 F. How do you measure these temps? With digital thermometer from zoomed.

    Humidity – I am unsure of the humidity levels.

    Plants – Live plants are used : ficus, Epipremnum aureum and dwarf schefflera

    Placement - The cages are in front of a window; however, this window gets good sunlight in the morning and my blue bar panther really seems to enjoy basking in it. The window is never opened. And there is not much traffic as the cages are located in my room. The height of the top of the cage is approximately 50 inches from the ground.
    Location – Irvine California (southern Cali)

    Current Problem –
    My girlfriend’s new baby red bar panther chameleon arrived about 6days ago. He arrived quite active and hungry (observing him eat at least 3 crickets). He did arrive a little skinny (his rib cage was apparent). About two days ago we got some live plants (from home depot) that she wanted to put in his cage so after cleaning them she took out the temporary plant (I can remember the name of it) with him still attached to the plant and put in the new plants (mentions above). To transfer the little guy back in, she wanted to allow him to climb back into his cage on his own. This was done by holding the plant he was in and tilting it into his cage. This cause the little guy to fall to the floor, she quickly put her finger out and he walked on to it. She then placed him in his cage. Ever since then he has been very illusive and has not really been eating. Today he has hidden himself under some leaves and doesn’t move much. I am getting concerned because I have not seen him eat anything even when I place mealworms nearby. I have also not seen him drink any drops of water.

    Directly next to his cage is my baby blue bar panther which is younger than her red bar. He has just the same regiment of food/lighting/water as hers. The blue bar is doing well but the red bar is not eating and seems very scared. I am including a picture of the set up. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
    the red bar's cage is on the left right and side (one with more plants)
    this picture is showing a lid that had mealworms on it. you can see the red bar chameleon attached to the screen behind some plants looking at the camera.
  2. camimom

    camimom New Member

    First, get rid of that red light. not needed. get a regular house bulb for basking.
    Second- you are using too much d3. d3 is only used twice a month.

    Since you recently got him, and then you changed the plants on him, he is probably just adjusting which is why he hides.
    Chameleons are built to take falls, so him falling was probably nothing to worry about.
    dont be feeding mealworms regularly, not very nutritous bugs.
    also, you need to do some more research on gutloading.
    and you need a divider between the two cages.
    when the girl hits 6 months old, the sight of a male can make her produce eggs. and you want to avoid that as long as possible.
    are you planning on breeding them? if so, you shoudl wait until she is at least 1.5 years oldl. JMo.
  3. reptoman

    reptoman Avid Member

    Couple of things. Your gutload choice is not the best. Broccoli is high in ocylates that can acutally prevent calcium absorbtion so better to give the crickets something like apple or squash or carrots.
    You supplement schedule needs to have calcium without D3 for the everyday dusting (lightly and not ghosting the crickets) and the with D3 once a month. Overdoing the D3 is a common rookie mistake that almost always results in the cham closing its eyes during the day until the supplements are sorted out. There are several good blogs about supplementation and gutloading that you should take a look at.
    You should have a visual barrier between the 2 cages even at this young age. If 2 males can see eachother, or a male and female for that matter, it will cause stress that could result in the behaviour you describe. One might not seem affected but the other is completey consumed by the presence of another cham in their territory and they may not eat due to the constant stress.

    As for him being elusive after the trama of falling onto the floor, it happens so I would not worry too much about it. I have had the same thing happen and it will take a while for him to re-acclimate to his surroundings and start eating in front of you again. Some chams are shy and never want to eat while you are watching so you may have to sit still a distance away and wait until he thinks you are not there.
  4. Undertow11

    Undertow11 New Member

    A few thoughts:

    I can't tell from the pic, but is there a visual divide between the two cages? As the chameleons get older, they will become more and more territorial and you'll want to make sure there is some kind of divide between the cages so that they can't see each other at all (posterboard, a towel, dark cloth, etc... just about anything will work as long as it blocks the view). Sometimes the visual intimidation/disturbance of seeing another chameleon will distract them and affect their normal habits, especially when the cages are close together.

    Sometimes chameleons are just shy about eating/drinking... the chameleon might well be drinking and eating normally after you leave the room for awhile and it feels like the coast is clear. A good indicator of hydration level is the eyes... if the chameleon's eyes begin to look like they are sunken in at all, then you have an issue. It's best to consult a vet who specializes in reptiles at that point. A vet can force-feed (aka. "bump") the chameleon and try to bring his levels back to a healthy place. Technically, you can do this yourself, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who hasn't had at least a little training with it.

    I would keep a close eye on him to see if you start to notice any further changes to his eyes and his weight/appearance.
    If you want to be positive he's had something to drink, grab him behind his head and use an eye-dropper to place a couple drops of water in his mouth when he opens it (usually they get pissed when they're grabbed and open their mouths immediately). If he doesn't open up and you're still concerned, consult a vet. I would only recommend handling him if he starts to look dehydrated though. It's always best to leave them alone unless you really need to interact with them.

    Also, if you're using live plants, please be sure to double check your soil. Only use organic soil that doesn't contain perlite or fertilizer (perlite = the little white grains often found in commercial soil).
  5. carol5208

    carol5208 Chameleon Enthusiast

    how long are you misting for? Sometimes it can take them awhile to get stimulated to drink. i would mist for atleast 3 minutes straight if you are not already. I use a dripper to hydrate my chameleon as he rarely drinks from mistings. Let the dripper drip on a vine or branch of leaf that he can lick.
  6. andren32

    andren32 New Member

    Thanks so much for the advice, im gonna get on the Calcium without D3 ASAP!. As far as i know we have both males so I'm not planing to breed them; however, if I find out that one is a female I think I just might look up how to do that.
    Thanks again!
  7. andren32

    andren32 New Member

    Thanks for the advise. I am going to watch to see any changes. I'll also put up a divider asap!
  8. andren32

    andren32 New Member

    I'm totally gonna get some squash and apples for the crickets. I also have FLUKER's orange cubes "complete cricket diet" do you recommend these?
  9. andren32

    andren32 New Member

    Do you know if it would be okay to give the crickets some avocado for gutloading?
  10. reptoman

    reptoman Avid Member

    I have not tried avacado but I have not heard that its a bad choice. I use a mix of mustard greens, carrots, apple, yellow squash for providing moisture for my circkets and dubias. I use a dry gutload for the rest of the time. Flukers dry gutload is ok, but there are better ones out there. Sandrachameleon has a good blog on gutloading insects. Its worth reading. Good luck with your chams and dont hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
  11. Davonat

    Davonat New Member

    Chances are he is scared of the other cham ! Especially if the other 1 is bigger. Get that vision block in there. I held a mirror up to my little guy afew days ago to see how he would react.... At first he got all tough... but then he hauled _ ss! Im not doing that again till he gets WAY bigger:eek:

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