Black markings on female veiled chameleon

Roxy3000

Member
I bumped the temps up to 83 yesterday to see if that would do anything. Even I knew that 94 could seriously harm her and I have completely ignored that whole 70% humidity and continued misting her just twice a day
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I bumped the temps up to 83 yesterday to see if that would do anything. Even I knew that 94 could seriously harm her and I have completely ignored that whole 70% humidity and continued misting her just twice a day
Ok do not increase her food intake... She should be getting 3 feeders 3 days a week only. It does look like she is holding a ton of eggs though :( That would put pressure on her organs and lungs.
 

Roxy3000

Member
From what I've read on these forums, I have seen similar markings on other chameleons that look like nerve damage (bruises, blood draws etc) so your theory about eggs pressing on the spine is a good theory. If they are pressing on her spine, how do I help her?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh dear. I thought if her organs were under pressure she would stop eating. I guess she just loves food that much
Veileds are eaters lol. Anything not nailed down goes in the mouth. FYI hotter temps increase their metabolism too.

You really want to get her through this clutch... Then you need a really good reptile vet. Please do not listen to this one for what they have said.
Stick to your regular supplementation calcium without d3 at all feedings then multivitamin with D3 2 times a month. Feeding 3 days a week 3 feeders each time.
Keep humidity within the regular range. You do not need to deviate from the proper husbandry.

See feedback in bold.


Chameleon - Roxy, Veiled chameleon, female, maybe 2 years 9 months old (unsure of exact age). Been in my care for 2 years, 6 months.

  • Handling - Rarely, maybe once a month.
  • Feeding - 3-4 3 only feeder insects every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Occasionally I will give her raw vegetables or little bits of apple or grape. No feeding her anything other then her insects. Leave the fruit and veg for her bugs to eat. All bugs gut loaded with Repashy Bug Burger and fruits and veggies, mostly mustard/collard greens, bell pepper, squash, apple, papaya, bee pollen, carrot.
  • Supplements - Zoo Med plain calcium with every feeding, Reptivite with D3 twice a month. Note: Supplement schedule was, unfortunately, wrong for quite some time; she would get Reptivite twice a month and calcium with D3 twice a month as well.
  • Watering - Use The Little Dripper and mist twice a day. I mist once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I often see my chameleon flicking tongue at little dripper and water usually squirts into her mouth during misting.
  • Fecal Description - Brown stool, solid. Mostly white urates, sometimes with some yellow at the end. She has passed urates every day for the past week, which is a little odd. Last bowel movement was April 11. Never been tested for parasites.
  • History - Has had compact UVB for most of her time in my care. I’m thinking very serious MBD was prevented because ever since I got her I made sure to bring her outside for natural sun for a couple of hours as often as possible. The D3 four times a month might’ve helped too. The first time she laid eggs was 12/18/18, laid 39 eggs,
  • 9/30/19 laid 39 eggs again. I used to feed her 4 times a week but recently found out it needs to be three times a week. We want to get her down under 20 eggs each clutch. So basking temp 78 and 3 (medium size no larger) feeders will help reduce clutch size.
Cage Info:



  • Cage Type - Screen cage 16x16x30 (I am planning to upgrade to 18x18x36 or maybe even 2x2x4 once she has laid her eggs) go with the 2x2x4. DIY cages makes one that is better then the reptibreeze and basically the same price.
  • Lighting - 75w reptile basking bulb, Reptisun T5 linear 5.0 UVB bulb Note: Had been using compact Reptisun 5.0 UVB bulb and 60w daylight blue bulb until March 11 2021 when we replaced with lighting stated above. Make sure you have a 8-9 inch distance from UVB fixture sitting on top of the cage to the branch below it. This will give her the correct UVI level.
  • Temperature - Basking spot controlled by thermostat, gets no higher than 80 degrees, ambient temperature 72-77. Nighttime temps can drop down to 53 lowest but lately has been in the high 50s. Get basking down to 78
  • Humidity - Daytime 40-60, nighttime 50+.
  • Plants - Fake vines/leaves, live Bromeliad.... When you do your cage size upgrade get more live plants see this link. For now make sure she is not trying to eat the plastic ones. These can always be used on the outside of the cage to make her feel hidden. see the veiled tested ones here https://chameleonacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Chameleon-Plants-122819.pdf
  • Placement - Cage located in our garden house, low foot traffic. Placed in corner of room between two windows.
  • Location - Southern California
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
From what I've read on these forums, I have seen similar markings on other chameleons that look like nerve damage (bruises, blood draws etc) so your theory about eggs pressing on the spine is a good theory. If they are pressing on her spine, how do I help her?
really just got to get her through this clutch... Then be very strict about food intake and keeping basking at 78. Upgrade cage size so she is able to move around more.
 

Roxy3000

Member
So it is ok to keep the basking at 83 for now to help her through this time? Also, the vet told me to give her calcium glubionate once a day. I gave her some today at the instructed dose; should I continue to do so? Thank you for all your help I really appreciate it!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So it is ok to keep the basking at 83 for now to help her through this time? Also, the vet told me to give her calcium glubionate once a day. I gave her some today at the instructed dose; should I continue to do so? Thank you for all your help I really appreciate it!
So I can not give feedback on the calcium glubionate since I am not a vet and have no hands on experience with it. I suppose if they thought she needed it because calcium levels are low due to egg production than it is best to go with what they recommend. You could always ask them to clarify the reason for it and to tell you what is considered a normal calcium level for a veiled. Then you could compare that with the results of the blood work they did run for calcium levels.

Also I do not know what the reasoning was for them to increase temps... Especially to the amounts they suggested. Vets will recommend a 5 degree bump when a cham is fighting an infection.
 

Roxy3000

Member
Very helpful, thank you. I want her to pass her eggs quickly and without any problems but this potential gout has me concerned she won't. I want to do everything I can to help her through this. I will continue to cover her cage with a sheet and leave her alone. I was told by another chameleon keeper that her laying bin is too big and I should replace with something smaller and fill up with at least 6 inches of play sand. Do you recommend this? As I mentioned above, the bin I have is 15 inches tall with a 12 inch diameter and is filled with 12 inches of washed play sand mixed with eco earth and reptisoil.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Very helpful, thank you. I want her to pass her eggs quickly and without any problems but this potential gout has me concerned she won't. I want to do everything I can to help her through this. I will continue to cover her cage with a sheet and leave her alone. I was told by another chameleon keeper that her laying bin is too big and I should replace with something smaller and fill up with at least 6 inches of play sand. Do you recommend this? As I mentioned above, the bin I have is 15 inches tall with a 12 inch diameter and is filled with 12 inches of washed play sand mixed with eco earth and reptisoil.
Yes, I totally agree with the other keeper that told you that. 12 inches is far too deep for her. Reduce it to 6 inches. Make sure it will hold a tunnel and use the moist playsand... This link below will be a helpful video for you for that. Cover the bottom half of the cage with the sheet so she still has full air flow on the top half. You just do not want her to see you when she is in digging.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/
 

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Roxy3000

Member
Ok. I rarely go into our garden house except to mist/feed/check on her. I also keep all the feeder insects in there and I go in there sometimes to get bugs for our bearded dragon/change the insects food. Other than that she is alone. I thought covering the top half is a good idea because it prevents her from seeing people walking by her window (which happens often enough). But if you don't think this is an issue I will cover only the bottom half.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok. I rarely go into our garden house except to mist/feed/check on her. I also keep all the feeder insects in there and I go in there sometimes to get bugs for our bearded dragon/change the insects food. Other than that she is alone. I thought covering the top half is a good idea because it prevents her from seeing people walking by her window (which happens often enough). But if you don't think this is an issue I will cover only the bottom half.
I would only cover the bottom half if she were mine. It is more about her feeling secure when she goes to check out the lay bin and starts her test holes. Otherwise your just tossing a sheet up where her direct eyeline at basking would be which could cause more stress. Plus a sheet on all will limit airflow quite a bit.
 

Roxy3000

Member
Today I set it up so I have the sheet over the top part and leave a gap near the bottom. Before it was the opposite; top half uncovered, bottom half covered. I've always gotten mixed messages about how much privacy they need when they are gravid. I know how important it is they have 100% privacy when they are digging but what about before that? Is it a big deal if she sees people walking past the window when she is basking or sees me when I clean out the cricket enclosure? I have been scared to go into the garden house too often for a month because I am so unsure about how much privacy they need. I would love to get some clarification on how much privacy they actually need if they are not in the laying bin but might be ready to lay soon.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Today I set it up so I have the sheet over the top part and leave a gap near the bottom. Before it was the opposite; top half uncovered, bottom half covered. I've always gotten mixed messages about how much privacy they need when they are gravid. I know how important it is they have 100% privacy when they are digging but what about before that? Is it a big deal if she sees people walking past the window when she is basking or sees me when I clean out the cricket enclosure? I have been scared to go into the garden house too often for a month because I am so unsure about how much privacy they need. I would love to get some clarification on how much privacy they actually need if they are not in the laying bin but might be ready to lay soon.
Being as how she has laid two times before I would continue with the top half uncovered and only cover the bottom. She is used to seeing you so that is nothing new. Your not bothering her your just in the room getting bugs or cleaning them. Again nothing new. So that is not going to be something that would cause her stress.

Now if you got a new dog or a child was running around being a crazy child then that would be different IMO. But what she is used to and knows is not going to freak her out and since she is separate and in calm area of the house she will be fine.
 

Roxy3000

Member
I've been especially anxious going in there because she has been gaping at me any time I come near her cage. She never used to do that unless my hand was too close to her. My family and I used to go into the garden house to paint or read etc. Since she has had her gravid colors we all stopped doing things in there. Do you think we should continue to avoid the garden house or can we proceed once again going in there to paint or do other quiet things?
Thank you for all your responses!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've been especially anxious going in there because she has been gaping at me any time I come near her cage. She never used to do that unless my hand was too close to her. My family and I used to go into the garden house to paint or read etc. Since she has had her gravid colors we all stopped doing things in there. Do you think we should continue to avoid the garden house or can we proceed once again going in there to paint or do other quiet things?
Thank you for all your responses!
When you say paint your meaning something that does not produce fumes right? Sitting in there quietly should be fine. I just wouldn't be putting on music and having a dance party.

honestly I can tell by looking at her that she is really uncomfortable. And she is in a tiny space and feels icky. I mean when I was 9 months pregnant I wanted to slap most people that got near me. So her gaping when she sees you does not surprise me. My concern is with her health issues not being able to see her. If the eggs start pushing up on her lungs she will gape to breathe easier. These are things you need to be able to watch for. If she is covered completely you will not be able to watch for issues.

And your welcome. :)
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I'm not a vet. Anything I say comes from what I've learned through experience or reading, etc.

I agree with @Beman about the arm and foot being swollen. The black color to her tail could have been caused by a blood draw, if there was one...but it seems too extensive.

The rest of it on the shoulders and lower area is worrisome to me...sorry to say. I'm thinking like @Beman said...something like nerve damage.

I hope she gets through the egglaying.
I hope you can find a good chameleon vet too.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I keep just the bottom half of the enclosure covered when my girls are gravid so that they’ll feel more secure when they go into their bin. My enclosures are up high and I’m short, so if I wanted to peek over the sheet, I’d need a stool.
If you need help finding a vet experienced with chameleons, let us know your general vicinity and another member can help you with that.
 
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