Back Shedding Issues

hh566

New Member
Hello all!

I am posting regarding a couple concerns regarding my male veiled chameleon, Ripley. About a month ago, he had his first shed under my care. It seemed like it went pretty good until I noticed that his back never completely finished shedding. He just had loose pieces of shed skin on his back spikes. I thought that with time the skin would eventually fall off. However, about a week ago he went through another shed, and the same issue occurred. I don't know if this is something to worry about, or if it will cure itself over time, but I wanted to reach out because I don't know what to think about it. To try to help him, I would pull only the very loose skin with my wet finger but that could only do so much. The good is that it has never affected him and how we acts (appetite, willingness to come out, etc.) and that his shed around his toes always went well and never left any residue. Attached will be pictures of him earlier today.

Also, I wanted to know if by any chance I could get an age estimate of my boy.

Thank you guys for all the help and advice you have provided!
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. I don’t see a shedding issue as much as I see a burn along his spine. What are your basking temps? Can you post a pic of your enclosure, including the top so distance from lights can be seen?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome! Sadly, his back looks like a burn. What's his basking temp and the distance from the heat bulb to his basking branch? Don't try to remove the shed or use water either, neither help.
 

hh566

New Member
Welcome! Sadly, his back looks like a burn. What's his basking temp and the distance from the heat bulb to his basking branch? Don't try to remove the shed or use water either, neither help.
Hi. I don’t see a shedding issue as much as I see a burn along his spine. What are your basking temps? Can you post a pic of your enclosure, including the top so distance from lights can be seen?
The basking temps for this cage are around 85 F. I have the heat light around 6 inches away from the basking branch. Here are some pictures from a few minutes ago of him and his enclosure.
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
You'll want his heat bulb at least 8-9 inches away minimum. I am noticing some husbandry issues, so if you could fill this form out in as much detail as possible, it'd be great!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

hh566

New Member
You'll want his heat bulb at least 8-9 inches away minimum. I am noticing some husbandry issues, so if you could fill this form out in as much detail as possible, it'd be great!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon- The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Veiled chameleon, male. Age is unknown but I am assuming in the range of 3-5 months. I have had him in my care for over a month now.
  • Handling- How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • He will sometimes see me and seem that he wants to come out, so I would say around once a day but only for a few minutes.
  • Feeding- What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • He is being fed around 8-10 feeder crickets a day. Starts with 5-7 in the morning (11 AM) and then 4-5 later in the day (2-3PM). The are gutloaded with natural foods that I put in a food processor. Latest batch of gutload had collard greens, bell peppers, carrots, and a little bit of blue berries. He also gets a single waxworm and superworm, with a couple black soldier fly every day.
  • Supplements- What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • Repti Calcium without D3 every morning feeding, and then Repashy Calcium Plus every 2 weeks.
  • Watering- What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • I will mist the enclosure in the morning after lights on, and then before lights off. I mist for about 2-3 minutes each time. I have only seen him drink once, but there have been times when he will drink water straight from the misting bottle.
  • Fecal Description- Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • For the most part the urates are mostly white. Sometimes they will have a little bit of yellow, other days will be fully white, and on certain occasions the urates will be a little water-y. The feces portion is usually brown, with the exception one time where it was a duller, more "gray" brown.
  • History- Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • Vendor says the chameleons come from a trusted breeder.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type- Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • I am unsure of brand but it is a screen cage, dimensions are 18x18x30.
  • Lighting- What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • Schedule of lighting is 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM (ensured by a timed switch which turns the lights on and off automatically). UVB is a Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 HO T5 UVB Lamp. Heat lights are Zilla Mini Halogen Reptile Dome Heat Lamp with Zilla Mini Halogen Bulb, Day White, 25 Watt as the bulb.
  • Temperature- What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • The basking branch that the light points to has temperature ranges from 83-85F, with the rest of the cage being in the 75-80F range (floor is usually around 73-75F). Temperatures are measured with a laser infrared thermometer gun. At night temperatures drop to low 70F.
  • Humidity- What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • Humidity levels in the cage are always above 45 with maximums of 50. The levels are maintained by pump misting as mentioned above, along with sometimes running a dripper for him. I have a hygrometer next to the cage to measure the humidity, to get more precise measurements I will usually hold the hygrometer inside the cage for a moment.
  • Plants- Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • A mix of artificial and live. My live plant is a pothos which is growing, and the artificial plants are to provide some cover while the pothos grows.
  • Placement- Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
    • Cage is the the corner of my living room, not a lot of traffic other than me when I go to check on him and my other pet (sun conure, there is a big shelf between both their cages so that my chameleon doesn't have direct view of my sun conure). There are not any fans or air vents that point directly towards the enclosure, but the room has central air conditioning through vents. Cage roof is around 4 feet above the ground.
  • Location- Where are you geographically located?
    • South Florida, Miami area.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll be putting feedback in red.
  • Your Chameleon- The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Veiled chameleon, male. Age is unknown but I am assuming in the range of 3-5 months. I have had him in my care for over a month now. I’d guess he’s closer to maybe 5 months old.
  • Handling- How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • He will sometimes see me and seem that he wants to come out, so I would say around once a day but only for a few minutes.
  • Feeding- What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • He is being fed around 8-10 feeder crickets a day. Starts with 5-7 in the morning (11 AM) and then 4-5 later in the day (2-3PM). The are gutloaded with natural foods that I put in a food processor. Latest batch of gutload had collard greens, bell peppers, carrots, and a little bit of blue berries. He also gets a single waxworm and superworm, with a couple black soldier fly every day. Your variety is good. Do feed him once in the morning to give him time to bask and digest properly. As he gets older, you’ll need to reduce the number of feeders he gets to avoid obesity.
  • Supplements- What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • Repti Calcium without D3 every morning feeding, and then Repashy Calcium Plus every 2 weeks. Good
  • Watering- What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • I will mist the enclosure in the morning after lights on, and then before lights off. I mist for about 2-3 minutes each time. I have only seen him drink once, but there have been times when he will drink water straight from the misting bottle. If he’s drinking straight from the mister, you may want to either add an additional misting or a dripper at mid day.
  • Fecal Description- Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • For the most part the urates are mostly white. Sometimes they will have a little bit of yellow, other days will be fully white, and on certain occasions the urates will be a little water-y. The feces portion is usually brown, with the exception one time where it was a duller, more "gray" brown. I always think a fecal check for parasites is a good idea (along with basic veterinary wellness check).
  • History- Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • Vendor says the chameleons come from a trusted breeder.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type- Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • I am unsure of brand but it is a screen cage, dimensions are 18x18x30. You’ll be needing to upgrade him to a minimum of 2x2x4’. He’s already big enough that he needs the space.
  • Lighting- What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • Schedule of lighting is 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM (ensured by a timed switch which turns the lights on and off automatically). UVB is a Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 HO T5 UVB Lamp. Heat lights are Zilla Mini Halogen Reptile Dome Heat Lamp with Zilla Mini Halogen Bulb, Day White, 25 Watt as the bulb.
  • Temperature- What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • The basking branch that the light points to has temperature ranges from 83-85F, with the rest of the cage being in the 75-80F range (floor is usually around 73-75F). Temperatures are measured with a laser infrared thermometer gun. At night temperatures drop to low 70F. Basking temps are a bit high. You could reduce to 80-82. Also, while temp guns are great, they only measure surfaces. If you are taking a reading of his basking branch, keep in mind that his body is at least a few inches higher, and therefore the temp is hotter. A digital thermometer with a probe is best for measuring basking temp.
  • Humidity- What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • Humidity levels in the cage are always above 45 with maximums of 50. The levels are maintained by pump misting as mentioned above, along with sometimes running a dripper for him. Ahh...so you are using a dripper. Good. I have a hygrometer next to the cage to measure the humidity, to get more precise measurements I will usually hold the hygrometer inside the cage for a moment. Humidity levels are great. Ideal during the day is 30-50%. At night when temps are cool, you could add a cool mist humidifier for a few hours and boost humidity as high as 80-100%, which helps with naturalistic hydration.
  • Plants- Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • A mix of artificial and live. My live plant is a pothos which is growing, and the artificial plants are to provide some cover while the pothos grows. I suggest getting a tall centerpiece plant, like a ficus or money tree and removing all of the fake plants. Veileds nibble their plants and it only takes one time that he could ingest a fake leaf and get impacted. I hang my fake plants on the outside of my enclosure door for added privacy.
  • Placement- Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
    • Cage is the the corner of my living room, not a lot of traffic other than me when I go to check on him and my other pet (sun conure, there is a big shelf between both their cages so that my chameleon doesn't have direct view of my sun conure). There are not any fans or air vents that point directly towards the enclosure, but the room has central air conditioning through vents. Cage roof is around 4 feet above the ground.
  • Location- Where are you geographically located?
    • South Florida, Miami area.
That is definitely a burn along his spine. Did he have that when you got him? Regardless, do not try to pick at it or remove any shed skin. Truly, I would suggest a vet visit for it. Depending on how severe the burn is, it may need debridement and/or topical treatment of silver sulfadiazine. Possibly he’d also need an antibiotic too. Get the probed thermometer and as was said by @ERKleRose , move your basking area to 8-9” below your lights. This will not only help prevent burns and reduce temps, but will also put him in the zone for ideal UVI.
 
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