baby won't grow

i hatched some baby veiled back in may and i kept 2 female. 1 of the babies is still the same size as it was when it hatched and the other has trippled in size since hatching. why won't this one grow it get natural sun light and is feed everyday
 

studiocham

New Member
Sometimes, you get runts. There can be genetic or incubation causes. Did you have a lot of moisture in your incubation? Overly wet eggs can cause runts. The water goes through the shell, into the albumen, and then to the yolk. The yolk becomes saturated and oversize, and as the baby matures in the egg, it has minimal space to grow to normal size. Most will drown before hatching, but some hatch as runts.

Do you recall if the runt was one of the last to hatch? Did she leave some extra yolk in the shell when she hatched? Was she obviously smaller at hatching, or about the same size as her siblings?

I own three runts- 2 CB, 1 WC. The WC came into this country late in the year, the only juvenile in a group of much larger adults/subadults. They were from the same locale, I'm told, and this WC runt is the same unusual morph as one of the near-full-size animals he came in with. Because melleri only breed once a year, and this little guy was still very much a baby 6-ish months after the usual hatch season, either he hatched (unlikely) out of season, or he was already clearly undersize for his age.

The runts have very slow growth rates compared to the rest of my chams, but they get the natural sun, the same supplements, the same feeding as the normals. It's disturbing to see a runt eat as much as a regular one and still not grow. It's really sad when the chams indoors are growing faster than the natural-basking runts!

In my experience, runts tend to be more prone to illness and have to be watched closely. I have seen one with what appeared to be a brain disability, but luckily, it's a chameleon and shooting bugs isn't that difficult.
 

Jordan

New Member
I have read something similiar to what StudioCham touched on. If they do not eat the yolk (or forced in when hatching) that their digestive tract may not function properly. At least at first. The rest could of have been going good from birth. His may have took a couple of weeks. This was a speculation by observation. Their was no actual scientific evidendence to back this up. It is kind of interesting. On the other hand veileds do mass hatchings. It is possible that he may have needed more time to develop. For some reason when one triggers the hatching they all follow with veileds. Could be so they have better odds of surviving predators that may attack them or so they can dig out easier. Who knows for sure.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just to let you know, if the veiled eggs are all separated by about an inch in all directions in the incubation container, they hatch individually...with the odd exception. If one walks over the egg of an unhatched one, it will likely be the next to hatch, for instance. This method of spacing the eggs also works with the eggs of other species of chameleons. IMHO having them hatch over a period of days or even a month or more gives them a better chance at survival because IMHO when they do hatch they are the best they can be.

I agree with studiocham that sometimes growth is affected by genetics and incubation....but I'm sure there are other reasons too. I would expect the last egg (or more) produced in the clutch could be short of nutrients if the female runs out. The necropsy of one runt that I had (she lived to be 6 months of age and was no bigger than a one month old) came back showing a vitamin A defeciency....don't know why she was the only one that didn't grow or why she had a vitamin A deficiency when this runt and her siblings all got the same light, the same supplements, the same feeding, etc. I can only assume that some might have difficulty metabolizing nutrients for some reason. BTW...I'm NOT suggesting that you increase the vitamin A...because you don't know that this is the problem. A blood test might tell you though. A vet might be able to do tests to determine a solution or at least a cause.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
 

studiocham

New Member
The necropsy of one runt that I had (she lived to be 6 months of age and was no bigger than a one month old) came back showing a vitamin A defeciency....don't know why she was the only one that didn't grow or why she had a vitamin A deficiency when this runt and her siblings all got the same light, the same supplements, the same feeding, etc. I can only assume that some might have difficulty metabolizing nutrients for some reason.
This is something I wondered about with one of my runts. She seems to not store Vit A, even with a nice tummy on her. It just runs right through her, which means I constantly battle hypovitaminosis A with her. She has a larger runt sibling here, without an A issue. The other siblings here are huge and beautiful. At the time, I ruled out inadequate A as the cause of diminished size because 1. the very largest sibling here came down with hypo-A (did blood chem panel) at the same time as my runt showed the first symptom, thus it wasn't size limited; and 2. she was not growing from day one, and her hypo-A showed up almost 1 year later. One would expect (though we can be surprised!) that if she was more prone to hypo-A from the start, she would have at least shown symptoms, if not died, much sooner.

The slightly larger CB runt that has always, almost from hatching, shown a very unusual brilliant emerald color. She stood out from the other white-and-green striped babies, so I kept her. She is still this color, and is either UV-sensitive or temperature sensitive, she avoids prolonged direct sunlight and prefers dense foliage, like deep forest chameleon species. All the others, including hypo-A runt, are heavy baskers.

So the spectrum is: CB runt with hypo-A, slightly larger runt sibling without, some normal siblings without, and one big sibling with... plus 40+ sold siblings, only one I know of turned out to be a runt and developed hypo-A. The CBs, including my hypo-A runt, are about 20 months old. Both the WC and CB runts have juvenile color and features (neoteny) and look like 3-4 month olds. The WC runt is the same size as the hypo-A runt, and has been in captivity over one year. I'll wager he's about the same age as the CBs, as mine hatched at the same time this species hatches in Africa.

Does/did your runt have an unusual coloration or neoteny?

A blood test might tell you though. A vet might be able to do tests to determine a solution or at least a cause.
Some vets won't draw blood on a cham less than 12-14" total length, the caudal artery is too small. I had a vet who said the gauge required on a small cham would give poor results because the cells would get damaged. Necropsy is more likely, the vet can draw from the heart or aorta with a larger gauge needle.

It goes without saying that, as time has shown me that the runts have problems, they will not be bred. They are cute pets only.

Thank you for sharing, it gives us more pieces to the puzzle.
 
thanks i have noticed that my little girl doens't open her eyes very wide, but it hasn't stopped her from eating. i keep them outside so they get natural sunlight and i rotate dust every day miner-all and rep-cal calcuim
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
studiocham...thanks for the information! I can't comment on it right now...I need to read it over again so I can be sure I understand it all.

You asked..."Does/did your runt have an unusual coloration or neoteny?"...I can't tell you if her color was unusual or not. She was a C. chamaeleon and they vary a lot in color...some will be beige, some green, some almost yellow. She died when she was about 6 months old (if I remember correctly) and she still had the same (physical) look to her as she did the day she was born.

You said..."Some vets won't draw blood on a cham less than 12-14" total length, the caudal artery is too small"...I wasn't thinking clearly (obviously) when I suggested that...I should have paid more attention to the age of the chameleon! Oops!

You said..."It goes without saying that, as time has shown me that the runts have problems, they will not be bred. They are cute pets only."..my feelings exactly!

You said..."Thank you for sharing, it gives us more pieces to the puzzle."...I think sharing information is important! Sometimes something someone says gets the brain working!

I'll read the rest of your information and comment on it tomorrow if I have time!
Thanks again!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
One more thing that I didn't think to mention....at the time I had "the runt" I was using Neckton-Rep vitamins which contained pre-formed vitamin A.
 
Top Bottom