Building immune system

Amber'sChams

New Member
I just recently lost my panther chameleon to an infection that he couldn’t kick. I’m worried that he and my other chameleon who passed a couple of years ago from an infection had weak immune systems due to a husbandry issue. I can’t stop thinking about this and don’t want to get another chameleon until I know I have corrected anything that could have caused this. So here is my complete routine and setup. Any advice would be appreciated. I absolutely love reptiles (especially chameleons) and I want to make sure they are thriving in my care.

  • Reptibreeze 24x24x48 inches
  • 2 zoo med reptisun terrarium hoods (1 holding a fluorescent reptisun 10.0 UVB T5 HO bulb and the other holding a fluorescent 24w T5 HO grow light for the plants)
  • Flukers sun dome lamp with a 60w zoomed daylight blue reptile bulb for heat
  • Lights are on a timer and stay on from 8 AM to 8 PM
  • Mistking goes off at 8:10 AM for 10 minutes, 10 AM for 5 minutes, 12 PM for 10 minutes, 2 PM for 5 minutes, 4 PM for 10 minutes, 6 PM for 5 minutes, and 7:30 PM for 10 minutes. I used tap water which I will not be doing in the future. I will be using purified from here on out.
  • I have included a picture to show the branches and vines I had included inside the enclosure
  • I used a DIY feeder cup made out of a Sunny D bottle and I glued mesh in it for crickets to crawl (Not in picture. I threw it away a few days ago. It was getting old.)
  • I have 5 live plants I switch throughout the year in the enclosure. A hibiscus, a spider plant, a begonia, a pothos, and a wandering Jew.
  • The potting mix for these plants is a mixture of coconut fiber and play sand (did lots of research on this due to them getting overwatered). I have river rocks covering the top of the potting mix.
  • There is nothing on the floor of the enclosure. This makes it easier to clean and I rarely ever see them at the bottom.
  • Feeders were mainly crickets as a staple, superworms, and hornworms. They occasionally got silkworms as well.
  • I would gut load the cricket and superworms with carrots or fluker’s orange cubes. The crickets also had trays of fluker’s high calcium cricket diet and cricket quencher. I’m considering replacing these with a Repashy superload as well as sprinkling some bee pollen into the gut load. Any thoughts?
  • All insects were dusted with rep-cal calcium. On the 1st and 15th of the month I would switch the calcium out with the rep-cal calcium with Vit. D3. On the 2nd and 16th I would switch the calcium out with rep-cal herptivite. (I did recently find out that the rep-cal D3 and herptivite supplements aren’t recommended so I will be switching those out with just the one Repashy calcium plus LoD 3).
  • Deep cleaning was an absolute pain so I only did it once every 3 months (I know this should have happened more often). However, I did spot clean daily.
 

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Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I dont have enough time to examine whole husbandry but that’s extremly much water in one day.. I mist 2 times a day for like 30 seconds..
 

Amber'sChams

New Member
I dont have enough time to examine whole husbandry but that’s extremly much water in one day.. I mist 2 times a day for like 30 seconds..
I did fail to mention that he was a panther and I live in Texas so we are very dry here. This was the only way I could keep his humidity a consistent 50%. Any recommendations on how to keep humidity up without all the misting?
 

Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I did fail to mention that he was a panther and I live in Texas so we are very dry here. This was the only way I could keep his humidity a consistent 50%. Any recommendations on how to keep humidity up without all the misting?
Did you tru the humidifier? Maybe he got sick because of the spraying water on him too much..
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I dont have enough time to examine whole husbandry but that’s extremly much water in one day.. I mist 2 times a day for like 30 seconds..
It is a lot, but it shouldn't harm anything either, as long as the humidity and ventilation wasn't out of control. Before the fogger era, everyone misted a TON, myself included, and I didn't know anyone that experienced problems from it. My Panthers always liked water for the most part too.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Point being, I'd think the issue would lie elsewhere. Sorry I'm in a rush and just opened this or I'd help further.
 

Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
It is a lot, but it shouldn't harm anything either, as long as the humidity and ventilation wasn't out of control. Before the fogger era, everyone misted a TON, myself included, and I didn't know anyone that experienced problems from it. My Panthers always liked water for the most part too.
Oh okay. That was only thing I noticed that is off.. Anyways thank you for correcting me!
 

Edmar1023

Established Member
Holy misting.... LOL. I don’t think u have to always keep it at 50. It can vary... I’m sure in nature humidity isn’t always the sAme every day. I know for most part it has to be at fifty. But I let mine drop from time to time to let things dry out. And maybe get more live plants to keep the humidity high. What u think James?
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I just recently lost my panther chameleon to an infection that he couldn’t kick. I’m worried that he and my other chameleon who passed a couple of years ago from an infection had weak immune systems due to a husbandry issue. I can’t stop thinking about this and don’t want to get another chameleon until I know I have corrected anything that could have caused this. So here is my complete routine and setup. Any advice would be appreciated. I absolutely love reptiles (especially chameleons) and I want to make sure they are thriving in my care.


  • Mistking goes off at 8:10 AM for 10 minutes, 10 AM for 5 minutes, 12 PM for 10 minutes, 2 PM for 5 minutes, 4 PM for 10 minutes, 6 PM for 5 minutes, and 7:30 PM for 10 minutes. I used tap water which I will not be doing in the future. I will be using purified from here on out.
I agree that sounds like much, and there are other ways of maintaining humidity. Wrapping the enclosure in plastic (shower curtain or window insulation kits) is one way. As long as there is ventilation at the top, and that panel beneath the door, there is enough for a chimney effect.

Another way is a small humidifier.



All purified waters are not created equal. Some do still contain calcium, and calcium is the bane of misters. To be sure, RO water or distilled water would be better choices.

What happened previously may have been due to a husbandry issue or not. Chameleons are fecund animals and close to the bottom of the food chain, which means—please pardon my bluntness—they can die easily, and have a weaker will to survive than larger animals. My point is that their immune systems—and your husbandry—may have had nothing to do with what happened, and beating yourself up over it is not helpful or productive. These things can & do happen to the best of keepers. There can also be genetic factors over which we have no control.

I won't say, "forgive yourself" because there may very well be nothing to forgive. Instead, try to be positive. You appear to be very diligent in correcting any deficits/errors, and that is highly commendable.

Best wishes in the future. :)
 
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