Bloated stomach veiled male chameleon

chic9336

New Member
Hey! I have a veiled chameleon that is around 5-6 months old! His name is Milo! His diet consists of Dubai roaches and crickets! When I came home from work I found he was asleep with his stomach extended out?! I’m worried about how big it looks and how he has been acting recently. I’ve been concerned recently because his attitude has completely changed from loving his cage to wanting to get out of it and explore more. Every time he sees the cage door open he bolts for the door. I’ve talked to my local feeder about it and he said to get a Ficus tree from Home Depot and let him walk around in that, so I did. We’ve been doing that a lot and it seems to help but I still don’t understand why?
His cage :reptibreeze open air 24 x 24 x 48
His lights: t8 & 100 watz daylight blue
 

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Valerie crouch

New Member
hi there 🙂 the daylight blue is most likely part of what he doesn’t like in his cage. I usually suggest a 75-100watt incandescent frosted white bulb in a wide dome for safer heating in a cage. As far as the roaming though, looking at his size, I think he is racing sexual maturity, and has what some of us like to call wanderlust. Basically he is like a hormonal teenager right now looking for a female to mate with. Once the males hit that stage they move around a lot, and he is shedding, so I’m sure you have noticed him being even more active because of that as well. The angle makes it a little hard to see his eyes well, and it looks like he may be a little dehydrated. Has he pooped today? If so what colors? Normal colors are brown and white, the white part is the urates. If that part is yellow or Orange it indicates dehydration, and that can lead to constapation. How long has his belly looked like this? And how do you hydrate him?
 

chic9336

New Member
Hello! I spray his cage as often as I can about 5 times a day and have a fogger that mists and humidified the area on some leaves. He gets the bulge every so often so when he stands up or moves around it goes away as in the picture. It often appears when he is stressed or is asleep. This sometimes can happen twice a week or every 12 days. I tried to take the picture of his eye but he is very mad at me rn because I woke him up. They didn’t today but do seem a little bit sunken in I sprayed his cage just now and he drank a little but stopped and went but up to the top.
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Valerie crouch

New Member
His poop has looked white and has pooped only once today.
Ok that’s good, once a day is good. He looks good belly wise in this pic. It could just be that he is puffing himself out like that. They can make themselves look bigger or smaller just by flexing certain muscles. For example when they start basking in the morning they look like a pancake lol. If misting is your preference, sometimes if your Cham really trusts you, they will allow you to get close and lightly touch the water bottle to their mouth, and spray lightly. They get more water this way, or even from a slow running sink faucet. But if your Cham allows you to spray into his mouth just go slow, and stop spraying if he lifts his head upwards. They swallow a little slow because of those big tongues they have. I always suggest letting them drink until they stop drinking. Doing it this way prevents the mess, takes less time, and ensures your Buddy is drinking enough. When he swells like that, do you know if it’s before or after he goes poop? I know that when my boy pigs out more than usual, sometimes he won’t poop for a day if it’s wax worms or crickets, and the next day he looks a little pudgy until he poops a really big poop, than his belly goes back to normal again. It’s only ever happened to him 2 times, but when it did it was wax worms the first time, and there were a few completely not digested, and it smelled really bad, like worse than usual, so if you see any of that happening at the same time than it’s normal, and feeding smaller feeders and even berries once a week will help keep him more regular. If you don’t notice anything like that happening alongside the belly swelling, I would get him looked at by a reptile vet to be safe. Where did you get him? Do you know if he is wild caught or captive bred? Also having a white pathos or a hibiscus or two that he can chomp on can help keep his bowls moving well too. Proper heat is the other important part of digestion. If he isn’t getting warm enough in the morning, he won’t digest well. Have you noticed how long he sits under his heat lamp, in his basking spot each day? And is he normally darker colored like in his sleeping pic or more light and bright colors?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. Imho, having his belly be that large is a concern. Even though he has pooped, I’d be concerned that he may have eaten a fake leaf and have some degree on impaction. Since veileds will nibble their plants, it’s important to have only real live plants that are safe. All it takes is one nibble of a fake leaf.
There’s also possibility of parasites. A simple fecal check by a vet can determine that. I’d definitely be making a vet visit if he were mine.
Usually when a chameleon is wanting out of his enclosure, there’s something about it that he doesn’t like. Could you post a pic of your entire enclosure, including lights and floor? Maybe we can help see if that’s the case. What are your temps and humidity?
Also, as males get older, hormones start kicking in and they start looking for a mate and patrol their territory. This usually occurs around 10+ months old though.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. Imho, having his belly be that large is a concern. Even though he has pooped, I’d be concerned that he may have eaten a fake leaf and have some degree on impaction. Since veileds will nibble their plants, it’s important to have only real live plants that are safe. All it takes is one nibble of a fake leaf.
+1. I'd also get rid of those fake vines for the same reason. There are many live vines that they like, e.g. pothos, philodendron, wandering jew, madagascar jasmine, etc.
 

chic9336

New Member
I do actually have 2 real golden pothos in the back and bottom with a couple of fake vines, I do want to upgrade him to all real plants but I am not sure the best way to hang or get the pot higher to vine. Temp thermometer is at a 77% and humidity thermometer is 69%. I mist his cage constantly and last night when I saw his stomach I woke him up and he climbed onto me and drank water as I sprayed it into his mouth as mentioned above. I did this till he stopped drinking then he went back to bed.
 

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chic9336

New Member
I do actually have 2 real golden pothos in the back and bottom with a couple of fake vines, I do want to upgrade him to all real plants but I am not sure the best way to hang or get the pot higher to vine. Temp thermometer is at a 77% and humidity thermometer is 69%. I mist his cage constantly and last night when I saw his stomach I woke him up and he climbed onto me and drank water as I sprayed it into his mouth as mentioned above. I did this till he stopped drinking then he went back to bed.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I do actually have 2 real golden pothos in the back and bottom with a couple of fake vines, I do want to upgrade him to all real plants but I am not sure the best way to hang or get the pot higher to vine. Temp thermometer is at a 77% and humidity thermometer is 69%. I mist his cage constantly and last night when I saw his stomach I woke him up and he climbed onto me and drank water as I sprayed it into his mouth as mentioned above. I did this till he stopped drinking then he went back to bed.
Dragon Ledges https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ are incredible for hanging plants, vines and branches up higher.
Your humidity is a bit high at 69%. During the day you want it between 30-50% and you do want his enclosure to dry out in between misting. Be very careful spraying into his mouth. Their airway is in the front of their mouth and they can easily aspirate like this. Usually misting for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day is more than adequate for hydration. Some choose to run a dripper for a short time in the afternoon instead of a mid day misting.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
He looks much better today! I do agree the humidity doesn’t need to be as high in the day time, and drying out between missing is very important. Also miss skittles I taught the OP how to do the up close spray slowly and carefully a few drops at a time, allowing for adequate swallowing time between just because he was still dehydrated with misting, and because of the chameleon takes well to it, the OP can easily decrease the humidity due to needing much less missing in the day time. Less bacteria builds up this way. Anyway I explained it very thoroughly how to do it safely to prevent getting fluid in the lungs. It is safe when done correctly.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
So it’s ok to have some fake vines off the leaves are still not plastic. The plastic ones are easily eaten and are hard so they can cause impacting as well as internal bleeding, but the silk plants are soft enough to pass through their bowls of eaten. It looks like yours are silk. I have Golden and white pathos myself, and my boy tears up my white pathos. Apparently the yellow are a bit harder on their bellies, so they don’t often eat ‘em, but they still do the job of having safe live plants that will be big and strong one day. I have personally also found luck with hibiscus, and monstera. They get big and hearty and are also safe. I have a list of veiled safe plants from fl chams. I can send a copy if you do decide to do more live plants. I also learned that on the bottom of the enclosure, keeping it bare is best. Makes cleaning easier, and there are less places for bacteria to hide and reproduce. Also some chams will eat substrate, and end up getting impacted too.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
@MissSkittles said..."Be very careful spraying into his mouth. Their airway is in the front of their mouth and they can easily aspirate like this"...I agree 100% with this....it's so easy to do and once you do it's a big problem. Best to water them another safer way..
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am going to disagree that silk plants are ok. Artificial vines are fine, but any fake plant, be it plastic or silk is an artificial material that poses risk of impaction if ingested. There is absolutely no reason to take this risk.
I am also still going to caution against spraying water directly into chams mouth. Again, it is taking a risk for aspiration that there is no reason to do so. Much better options would be feeding hornworms or silkworms to boost hydration, adding an extra long misting, a dripper and using naturalistic hydration of boosting night time humidity to near 100%.
I do not wish to call you out, however I believe that you are providing questionable advisement that could pose unnecessary risks. While we each take our own liberties with basic husbandry to better suit our individual needs, it is important that we stick to the tried and true and err on the side of caution when advising others.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
.... I am not sure the best way to hang or get the pot higher to vine.
One option: At a home improvement store, pick up some aluminum stock—bar, angle, or channel (whichever you prefer—something with holes will offer more versatility, e.g. https://www.lowes.com/search?searchTerm=aluminum+shapes ...and some stainless sheet metal screws (#8 x twice the thickness of the aluminum). Cut the aluminum to fit inside the frame, drill a hole at each end (if one isn't conveniently there already), and attach with sheet metal screws.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/little-positive-things.180671/#post-1641789
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
So it’s ok to have some fake vines off the leaves are still not plastic. The plastic ones are easily eaten and are hard so they can cause impacting as well as internal bleeding, but the silk plants are soft enough to pass through their bowls of eaten. It looks like yours are silk. I have Golden and white pathos myself, and my boy tears up my white pathos. Apparently the yellow are a bit harder on their bellies, so they don’t often eat ‘em, but they still do the job of having safe live plants that will be big and strong one day. I have personally also found luck with hibiscus, and monstera. They get big and hearty and are also safe. I have a list of veiled safe plants from fl chams. I can send a copy if you do decide to do more live plants. I also learned that on the bottom of the enclosure, keeping it bare is best. Makes cleaning easier, and there are less places for bacteria to hide and reproduce. Also some chams will eat substrate, and end up getting impacted too.
Again, I deplore any fake plants or vines. If anything can be bitten off—or sloughed off if abraded—it poses a potential impaction, irritation, and poisoning risk. Microplastics, dyes, glues, stiffeners, lacquers, anti-microbials to retard mold & mildew, etc. With so many live (or dried, like grape vine) options available, why risk it?
The first and most important rule is:
...as chameleons live on living plants in the wild, they should be provided living plants in captivity too.
....
Any attempt to trick the natural environment by using fake plats and plastic vines and branches has negative consequences on the health of the chameleons and can lead to their suffering and death. Not only do the plastic plants not possess most of the vital properties of the natural plants, but they add unnatural environment elements and poisons and micro-plastics to the environment too. Therefore, abscond from using fake plants by all means.
https://www.chameleons.info/l/safe-and-unsafe-plants/

Hibiscus are fine, but full disclosure—they are a full-sun plant, and will require a kick-butt plant light, periodic rotation, or periodic replacement.

The "safe plant" list from FL Chams is cat/dog safe—not chameleon or even reptile safe.
These lists are chameleon-safe:
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://www.madcham.de/en/pflanzen-fuers-terrarium/
https://www.chameleons.info/l/safe-and-unsafe-plants/
https://www.chameleonschool.com/safe-plants-for-chameleons/

I taught the OP how to do the up close spray slowly and carefully a few drops at a time, allowing for adequate swallowing time between just because he was still dehydrated with misting, and because of the chameleon takes well to it, the OP can easily decrease the humidity due to needing much less missing in the day time. Less bacteria builds up this way. Anyway I explained it very thoroughly how to do it safely to prevent getting fluid in the lungs. It is safe when done correctly.
IMO, this is just plain reckless. From [B]ferretinmyshoes[/B]
Yes! Spraying water into his mouth while he is hissing (so his trachea is wide open) could spray it directly down into his lungs! And if not while he is inhaling to replace the air from hissing he could suck in water sitting in his mouth. Please stop doing this before he aspirates and gets pneumonia!!
https://www.chameleonforums.com/thr...nging-chameleons-mouth-lol.73027/#post-683211
 
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Valerie crouch

New Member
I thought this site might actually have some experienced keepers that don’t just sit and repeat everything they read online likes parrot, and somehow think they know what they are talking about. Apparently I was wrong about that and apparently you are all too busy jumping down my throat to read what I actually wrote. The Flchams veiled safe plant list is chameleon safe, and is absolutely not safe for dogs or cats at all, because many of the plants on the list are poisonous to dogs, cats, and other reptiles. So I don’t know where your getting your information, but it is incorrect. What I said was not reckless at all, spraying a few drops at a time, giving the Cham time to swallow between is safe. If I said just spray the water down his throat, and didn’t explain exactly how to do it safely than it would be reckless. I swear some of you people live to online bully people. Maybe if you volunteered with these animals like I did after owning my first Cham, and worked with breeders with over 30yrs of experience you could stop giving out bad information. Also I recommended only to do this if the Cham was comfortable, not hissing!!! You people are ridiculous seriously. Go volunteer at a reptile vet or a zoo or a rescue so you can learn for one that a chameleon that is dehydrated will not eat, so how is feeding them with hydrated worms helpful in this situation at all, it’s not, but after the chameleon is rehydrated sure adding those to the diet is fine, but hornworms are very high in fat, and protein, and should only be fed as a treat worm. 🙂 secondly learn to read my entire very detailed instructions, and why I have made them before criticizing what I say thank you very much. Also fogger and misters often cause respiratory infections because they keep things too wet for too long, and because they tend to grow bacteria in the machine in case you didn’t all know that! OP I’m sorry that these people are not actually giving you any accurate information, and that they feel the need to bully you about your enclosure needlessly. I’m getting off this forum, because it’s poorly informed people like these guys that shove bad information down people’s throats, causing chameleons to get sick and die, than when it happens, they blame the owner that was just following their advice. I’m a moderator on r/veiledchameleons on Reddit and also belong to r/chameleons on Reddit. The people there including the founder have over 30yrs experience with these guys, and don’t act like the people on this thread that think they know it all. I’m sure you can see that your chameleon is looking better hydrated, and that you were very careful, so good job. You can join us on Reddit if you like, but ya I’m off this forum now for good, and will be placing a bad review about it.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
Again, I deplore any fake plants or vines. If anything can be bitten off—or sloughed off if abraded—it poses a potential impaction, irritation, and poisoning risk. Microplastics, dyes, glues, stiffeners, lacquers, anti-microbials to retard mold & mildew, etc. With so many live (or dried, like grape vine) options available, why risk it?


Hibiscus are fine, but full disclosure—they are a full-sun plant, and will require a kick-butt plant light, periodic rotation, or periodic replacement.

The "safe plant" list from FL Chams is cat/dog safe—not chameleon or even reptile safe.
These lists are chameleon-safe:
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://www.madcham.de/en/pflanzen-fuers-terrarium/
https://www.chameleons.info/l/safe-and-unsafe-plants/
https://www.chameleonschool.com/safe-plants-for-chameleons/


IMO, this is just plain reckless. From [B]ferretinmyshoes[/B]
Again, I deplore any fake plants or vines. If anything can be bitten off—or sloughed off if abraded—it poses a potential impaction, irritation, and poisoning risk. Microplastics, dyes, glues, stiffeners, lacquers, anti-microbials to retard mold & mildew, etc. With so many live (or dried, like grape vine) options available, why risk it?


Hibiscus are fine, but full disclosure—they are a full-sun plant, and will require a kick-butt plant light, periodic rotation, or periodic replacement.

The "safe plant" list from FL Chams is cat/dog safe—not chameleon or even reptile safe.
These lists are chameleon-safe:
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://www.madcham.de/en/pflanzen-fuers-terrarium/
https://www.chameleons.info/l/safe-and-unsafe-plants/
https://www.chameleonschool.com/safe-plants-for-chameleons/


IMO, this is just plain reckless. From [B]ferretinmyshoes[/B]
Again, I deplore any fake plants or vines. If anything can be bitten off—or sloughed off if abraded—it poses a potential impaction, irritation, and poisoning risk. Microplastics, dyes, glues, stiffeners, lacquers, anti-microbials to retard mold & mildew, etc. With so many live (or dried, like grape vine) options available, why risk it?


Hibiscus are fine, but full disclosure—they are a full-sun plant, and will require a kick-butt plant light, periodic rotation, or periodic replacement.

The "safe plant" list from FL Chams is cat/dog safe—not chameleon or even reptile safe.
These lists are chameleon-safe:
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://www.madcham.de/en/pflanzen-fuers-terrarium/
https://www.chameleons.info/l/safe-and-unsafe-plants/
https://www.chameleonschool.com/safe-plants-for-chameleons/


IMO, this is just plain reckless. From [B]ferretinmyshoes[/B]
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
Again, I deplore any fake plants or vines. If anything can be bitten off—or sloughed off if abraded—it poses a potential impaction, irritation, and poisoning risk. Microplastics, dyes, glues, stiffeners, lacquers, anti-microbials to retard mold & mildew, etc. With so many live (or dried, like grape vine) options available, why risk it?


Hibiscus are fine, but full disclosure—they are a full-sun plant, and will require a kick-butt plant light, periodic rotation, or periodic replacement.

The "safe plant" list from FL Chams is cat/dog safe—not chameleon or even reptile safe.
These lists are chameleon-safe:
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://www.madcham.de/en/pflanzen-fuers-terrarium/
https://www.chameleons.info/l/safe-and-unsafe-plants/
https://www.chameleonschool.com/safe-plants-for-chameleons/


IMO, this is just plain reckless. From [B]ferretinmyshoes[/B]
I just want to add that anytime that would spray water into a hissing chams mouth would have to be an idiot! Hence the reason I told the OP only to do my method of the chameleon was comfortable with it. Maybe read my original posts in full before jumping on the bully bandwagon 🙂
 
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