Black spots on Veiled chameleon, pls help!

Cham_Cynth

New Member
Black flat spot on my female Veiled Cham - what could it be?! 🥺 I just noticed on Babu (my Cham) that she has a black spot on her upper left and lower right side. She’s still very young I’d say less than a year old, maybe 4-5 months. Purchased from a pet store and they didn’t have much details on her 🙈😢 (told me I was buying a male) 😒 but I came to find out she’s a female 😌 Anyway she is active very sweet, friendly and loves large sized crickets (gut loaded on calcium cubes and get calcium dusted) and mealworms. She has been drinking water and eating perfectly fine, she does look a lil on the heavy side than usual. UV 50 watt basking spot bulb, 80 F, 50% humidity. Help me help Babu Frik! P.S. These spots were not there yesterday.
 

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Cham_Cynth

New Member
Thanks Carlos for your reply! I thought too but I find it odd since I have a 50watt bulb hanging 9.5 inches above her enclosure. I put my hand and it’s not too hot. But I hope it’s a burn and not fungal or bacterial diagnosis.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. :) I’m really not sure what those marks are from, but I do have some suspicions. I am seeing obvious signs of metabolic bone disease in your sweet girl and I’m wondering if perhaps she fractured a rib, which caused bruising. Her bendy right front arm is actually where her bone has fractured. I would be more than happy to help you to correct things to help her become as healthy as possible. While whatever damage has already occurred from mbd can’t be reversed, the mbd can be corrected with correct care. I know it’s a lot of questions, but it would be easiest for both of us if you answer the below in as much detail as possible. If you include pics of your entire enclosure, including lights, that would be a great help too. We need to get your pretty girl in optimal health as she’s getting very close to egg laying age.

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.
 

Cham_Cynth

New Member
Now that I am remembering she did fall off her favorite tree 2 days ago where I usually put her when I clean her terrarium. The distance was maybe 4 inches, she thinks she can do anything when she’s exploring. Got her in September and new to reptile care, so thank you for your patience. Learning as we go… anyway her (temporary) enclosure is 20x13, 10 gallon glass terrarium and top metal screen. There is plastic leaves and a small live pothos plant. Bulb is 50 watt by the PetSmart brand Thrive, has a light dome hanging 9.5 inches above the enclosure and not on top of the metal screen. I mist her enclosure with a spray bottle twice a day and mainly on the glass and leaves as she likes to drink by this method but prefers the flukers drip system she gets excited as I place it above her metal enclosure and gets real close and waits for the water to drip and licks slowly and carefully. The average temp is 80-84 degrees F and 50-54% humidity, measured by a thermohygrometer NOT DIGITAL, but I just ordered one! She’s located in a nook where there is no air vent not even across the hallway of the nook has an air vent so her temps never change drastically, we live in a Hill Country city in Texas. My friend is a vet and she is going to see her tomorrow. As I’ve mentioned I’ve only had her since September and when we got her she was very tiny.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok, I’m about to drop a lot of learning on you and you may get overwhelmed. To help, I’m going to first address the most important things.
Chameleons live in trees, so an aquarium is not going to work for many reasons. You need to get her a large enclosure of a minimum of 2x2x4’. ReptiBreeze XL is the type/size that is best. Besides giving her plenty of space to move around, it will also provide increased ventilation which will prevent respiratory and other infections. Then of course not being in an appropriate enclosure is very stressful for her.
She needs an appropriate uvb light. A T5HO is the standard with either a ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. It needs to be as long as the enclosure is wide, so you’ll need a 24”. Both ReptiSun and Arcadia usually provide the bulb with the fixture. You already have a basking light. You’ll want your basking area to be located about 8-9” directly below the uvb for ideal uv level. You do not want any screw in uvb lights as they are ineffective. Uvb is how your chameleon gets vitamin D3, which is essential for converting calcium into a usable form. Lights should be on a 12 hour on/off schedule, with no lights or added heat at night.
Next is supplements. You need to be using a phosphorus free calcium without D3 at every feeding. There are many other ways to get D3 and multivitamins in, but I’m going to tell you what I find the easiest. One feeding every 2 weeks you’ll need to use ReptiVite with D3. It also comes without, so be sure to get the correct one.
These are the things that are needed as soon as possible and not negotiable for your chameleon. I won’t lie…it’s going to be costly. However, without a correct enclosure, lights and supplements, her future will be very grim. You can look around on Craig’sList and Facebook marketplace for a gently used enclosure or light fixture (I wouldn’t trust a used uvb bulb) if you need. Just make sure to sanitize it all very well.
If weather is still warm where you are, you can take her outside on your hand for some natural sunlight and uvb.
Next you need lots of branches, vines and live safe plants. Branches can be gathered anywhere. Just avoid pine and others that have sap. I give branches a little scrub with dish soap, blast with the hose and let dry in the sun. Avoid the black Exo Terra fake vines as they tend to shed tiny particles that can get into your cham’s eyes. You want to give your girl many little ‘roads’ to travel on. Then you want only live plants. Veileds and especially the girls eat their plants. It only takes one nibble of a fake leaf to get impacted. You want a taller center plant, like a schefflera, weeping fig or money tree. Then around it some pothos, philodendron or other vining plants. You want to create a forest edge with plenty of places to take shade and hide. Attaching a pic of one of my enclosures to give you an idea plus a safe plant graphic.
Your temps and humidity are ok. It would be better to keep your girl’s temps no higher than 80 though. Ideal day humidity is between 30-50%. At night, some use a cool mist fogger to simulate natural hydration thru fog.
Misting should be for at least 2 minutes right before lights go on and just before lights off. Mid day you can add either a 3rd misting or run a dripper for about 20-30 minutes.
You should be feeding her a variety of healthy well kept bugs. You don’t say how much you are feeding her now, and on the chance they she may have started trying to produce eggs, I don’t want to tell you to do anything that may deprive her of needed nutrition. However, as long as she’s not getting more than 6-8 feeders daily, don’t change the amount. More on this later. I’m attaching feeder and gutloading graphics for you. I don’t specifically gutload, but I do keep my feeder bugs well fed a variety of fresh produce and Repashy Bug Burger. Many of the feeders you will probably have to order on line. Check the forum sponsors for some vendors. I recently got some really nice feeders from http://www.lindasgonebuggie.com/ for a really great price.
Last, but far from least and I probably should have better prioritized this, is a visit with a vet experienced with chameleons. Your girl may and probably will need some special care and supplements that only a vet can determine and prescribe. Taking a fresh poo and having a check for parasites is also a good idea.
I feel like I’m forgetting something. If I am, someone else will chime in. Now, I have some homework for you. The most accurate and up to date site for all things chameleon is https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/ Besides there being just a bunch of really bad info out there about keeping chams, there’s also stuff that has drastically changed as we learn more about chams. Another terrific and accurate resource is Neptune the chameleon on YouTube. She has a ton of videos and her library is always growing. Then, of course there’s us here. Ask any questions you may have, share any challenges or ask for further advice, share your girl’s pics and progress…take full advantage of this amazing community of even more amazing people. 💗
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Cham_Cynth

New Member
She’s never been tested for parasites as she is very young and I’ve only had her for 2 months. Her droppings are brown oval shaped and white urates daily never runny or watery. I feed her between 7-10 live large crickets from pet store and Flukers mealworms. I use the Flukers D3 calcium dust and orange cubes for the crickets. I feed her everyday between 9-10am. I handle her daily in the PM if she wants, usually I open the screen and allow her to come out on her own and 99.9% she does and when I approach with my hand she then climbs on. She has a skeleton friend that she loves to hug 😅 at night when she sleeps!!
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
That was getting way too long, so I’m going to very briefly go over eggs here. Regardless of whether your girl ever even sees a boy, she will produce and lay eggs. This does shorten the lives of our sweet girls, so we try to reduce their egg production and laying thru lower temps and limited feeding. I feed my girls 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week (plus some treats) and keep basking temp no higher than 80. You’ll eventually need to prepare a lay bin and keep it as a permanent part of her enclosure to avoid the guessing game. I’ve used play sand as well as play sand mixed with some organic soil. Both work very well. No coco fiber, eco earth or other fluffy things as they don’t hold tunnels and collapse. My girls have preferred bins of about 12-13” long and wide, filled with about 6” deep of sand. Lay bin graphic attached.
First is the receptive period..,she gets all prettied up with her colors/patterns and is restlessly searching her enclosure for a boy. This can last a couple of weeks. A few weeks later she’ll be looking plump and may have some changes to her appearance. This is gravid…she’s forming eggs. When she’s ready to lay them, she’ll go to her bin and start digging. Absolute privacy is essential. It may take 1-2 days or so and she’s done when she’s comp,Evelyn covered her tunnel and is basking again.
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Cham_Cynth

New Member
Thanks so much for the super detailed information!! Truly appreciate you, as I mentioned this is a temporary enclosure, currently waiting for her new one to come in!😆😆
 

Cham_Cynth

New Member
That was getting way too long, so I’m going to very briefly go over eggs here. Regardless of whether your girl ever even sees a boy, she will produce and lay eggs. This does shorten the lives of our sweet girls, so we try to reduce their egg production and laying thru lower temps and limited feeding. I feed my girls 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week (plus some treats) and keep basking temp no higher than 80. You’ll eventually need to prepare a lay bin and keep it as a permanent part of her enclosure to avoid the guessing game. I’ve used play sand as well as play sand mixed with some organic soil. Both work very well. No coco fiber, eco earth or other fluffy things as they don’t hold tunnels and collapse. My girls have preferred bins of about 12-13” long and wide, filled with about 6” deep of sand. Lay bin graphic attached.
First is the receptive period..,she gets all prettied up with her colors/patterns and is restlessly searching her enclosure for a boy. This can last a couple of weeks. A few weeks later she’ll be looking plump and may have some changes to her appearance. This is gravid…she’s forming eggs. When she’s ready to lay them, she’ll go to her bin and start digging. Absolute privacy is essential. It may take 1-2 days or so and she’s done when she’s comp,Evelyn covered her tunnel and is basking again.
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Great super helpful advice I am definitely going to do some changes for her asap! Thank you so much!!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
She’s never been tested for parasites as she is very young and I’ve only had her for 2 months. Her droppings are brown oval shaped and white urates daily never runny or watery. I feed her between 7-10 live large crickets from pet store and Flukers mealworms. I use the Flukers D3 calcium dust and orange cubes for the crickets. I feed her everyday between 9-10am. I handle her daily in the PM if she wants, usually I open the screen and allow her to come out on her own and 99.9% she does and when I approach with my hand she then climbs on. She has a skeleton friend that she loves to hug 😅 at night when she sleeps!!
Dang! I think you read faster than I do!
Mealworms are ok to use in a pinch, but not a good staple feeder at all. I was told by an experience cham vet that silkworms and roaches are the most nutritious, so those along with crickets are my staple feeders. For fun I let bsfl pupate into flies and let my chams keep busy hunting them down in their enclosures. You only want to feed once in the morning so she has time to bask and digest properly.
The orange cubes are a mistake we’ve all made. All they are good for is hydrating your bugs.
Hate to say, but the reason she’s so friendly and willingly comes out to you is because she is unhappy in her current tank and wants out.
If you‘ve been using the calcium with D3 daily, you’re overdosing her on it. However, it may be why she isn’t in really bad shape. D3 is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it builds up in our bodies and can reach toxic levels. Since you already have that supplement though, I’ll change my suggestion of supplements. You still need the calcium without D3 for every feeding except one per week. One feeding every other week, you’ll use the calcium with D3. Then you need to get a multivitamin that doesn’t contain D3. I still suggest ReptiVite, but the one without D3. You’ll give that one feeding every other week too, but alternating with the D3.
 

Cham_Cynth

New Member
Dang! I think you read faster than I do!
Mealworms are ok to use in a pinch, but not a good staple feeder at all. I was told by an experience cham vet that silkworms and roaches are the most nutritious, so those along with crickets are my staple feeders. For fun I let bsfl pupate into flies and let my chams keep busy hunting them down in their enclosures. You only want to feed once in the morning so she has time to bask and digest properly.
The orange cubes are a mistake we’ve all made. All they are good for is hydrating your bugs.
Hate to say, but the reason she’s so friendly and willingly comes out to you is because she is unhappy in her current tank and wants out.
If you‘ve been using the calcium with D3 daily, you’re overdosing her on it. However, it may be why she isn’t in really bad shape. D3 is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it builds up in our bodies and can reach toxic levels. Since you already have that supplement though, I’ll change my suggestion of supplements. You still need the calcium without D3 for every feeding except one per week. One feeding every other week, you’ll use the calcium with D3. Then you need to get a multivitamin that doesn’t contain D3. I still suggest ReptiVite, but the one without D3. You’ll give that one feeding every other week too, but alternating with the D3.
Lots of helpful information that I will definitely take into consideration and make changes for her asap! I code for a living so I read very fast and I am also going to refer back to this post as I initiate the changes for Babu! Will keep you updated❤️
 
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