Broken ribs and infected eye


New Member
I have a female Chameleon named Cami. I believe she is 4 months old. I have only had her for a month. She eats crickets and meal worms. I dust her food with calcium with out D3. I mist her 2-3 times a day. She also has a fake tree water pump. She is in a chameleon cage 16" L X 16" W X 30" H. She has lots of vines and sticks to climb on. She has blue 50w basking bulb.
My questions: She shed about week and a half ago and has been having trouble with one of her eyes. She kept it closed mostly of the time and it would bubble on one side when she rotated it back. I thought she just had an old piece of skin caught in her eye. I put her in the shower to see if that would help wash it out. She freaked out, she wouldn't even stand on she purch in the shower she panicked badly. She stayed in my hand the whole time. I took her out when she began panicking. Then she kept both eyes closed the irritated one kept swelling up really big and she kept rubbing it on my hand over and over. She tried crawling up my shoulder and fell I tried catching her and I did before she hit the ground but now I'm afraid her ribs have broken. She's moving great and still eating well, but she's taking deep breaths. I'm not sure how to help her. What can I do for her? I've called several vets and none will see her because the don't see reptiles. It's late where we live and she went to sleep a couple hours ago I got up to take pictures. The ribs look this bad in the pictures when she hisses and breathes deep when shes resting the look more normal.


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Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. Your chameleon looks very ill and in need of veterinary care ASAP. You may need to travel out of your area. Putting her in the shower is not going to help and could hurt her. Water that feels lukewarm to us is scalding hot to chams. Besides the eye and the ribs, the way she has positioned herself and you say is deep breathing makes me concerned she may have a respiratory infection as well.
There’s no way that my tired brain can think to say this without sounding rude, so please know that my intentions are only to help. With that said, just from what you have said, I can tell that your husbandry isn’t correct and may be contributing to her problems. I’m sure you love her and have done your very best, but chameleons are not very easy to keep properly and there’s so much misinformation from various pet stores, the internet, etc. that it’s hard to know what is correct.
No one here can provide medical care to your sweet little one and that is what she needs. We can however help you to correct what needs to be corrected and which will (along with veterinary care) help her to recover and have many happy and healthy years with you. The best way to do this is by answering the following questions in as much detail as possible and someone will go over it for you and let you know what needs to be improved and what doesn’t. We are all passionate about chameleons and most members like helping others, as we were helped when we first started keeping chameleons.
Here’s the questions, but find a vet and get her in today. Tell them it’s an emergency and can’t wait.

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.
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