bumps on ribcage??? help!


New Member
I have a young veiled female cham. Around 2-3 months old. She has a 12x18x24 terranium with a waterfall that i clean and change the water every two days which is filtered water. I feed her mealworms and crickets which i dust with calcium and vitamins twice a week. I mist her cage usually around three times a day and i also have a dripper that drip into the waterfall. She has a uvb light and a basking light. The basking temp is 87 degrees and overall is around 76 degrees. I have only had her for about a week and she has been doing fine. Everything is normal, she eats and is a happy little chamy that roams her cage. In the last few days though a few things have changed. She isn't drinking very well.... i've tried misting her a few extra times and idk what else i can do about that. Also she has really weird sleeping patters i turn her lights on at 8 and i turn them off at eight. But i wake up as late as 1am and she's still awake then shell take naps aaround noon or one... aslo she has little bumps where her ribs are that appear when she breaths in...it looks almost like she has broken ribs but she doesn't act hurt. im very worried... she hasn't been acting different or bad... but it worries me that she isn't drinking and has those weird bumps... please help! I need advice.. i love my little girl and if its serious i want to fix it.
If you can go to the "How to Ask for Help" section, fill out the questions and paste here. We will have a better idea of what is going on and will be able to help. Pictures are always a huge help... If you can get a few it would be awesome. :)
your basking temp is too high for a 2-3month old. It should be around 80. So you need to change that. You should not be dusting with a multivitamin that often. Cut that back to a couple times a month. Also does your calcium contain d3? If not then get some calcium with d3 and use that a couple times a month also. When you wake up and find your cham not sleeping, is there any light on in the room that could distract your cham from sleeping. They need total darkness to sleep. If so, then cover your cage with a blanket or towel to darken the cage. your cham should not be sleeping during the day. What exact type of uvb light are you using? If it is wrong, It could be causing your cham to close its eyes. And I would get rid of the waterfall. you cannot be there every second to monitor if your chameleon poops in there and then she may drink out of it. Please fill this out
https://www.chameleonforums.com/how-ask-help-66/ and also post some pics of your cham with the bumps on the ribs.
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The only light i have on is a night lamp and its very dim. I worry she will get too cold as it gets to be about 60 in the house at night. Waterfall out got it!. The uvb is a reptisun 5.0 and.. (having a bad blonde day) how do i post pictures i've been scowering the sight... and i can't seem to figure it out.... oh ya i forgot to give specific details about dusting. Every monday wed and fri i don't dust her food with anything. Tuesday i dust her food with reptivite with xd and wed i dust food with a repti calcium withouht xd. Ill start doing that schedule only twice a minth instead. I was thinking about getting one of those heat lamps that don't produce light... would that make her get too hott?
you cham can take the 60's at night. It will be ok. If you want you can get a little ceramic heater if the temps get below 60 or something or the heat light then like you said that does not produce light. Get rid of the light at night. It is probably what is keeping your cham awake. The reptisun is good, but is it the tube or the compact? Also what are you using for a basking bulb that is getting the temp up to 87 degrees. To post pics, just click on the paperclip above where you are posting this text(next to the right of the white smiley face) and download off of your computer. You need to get yourself a plain calcium without d3 and dust your feeders at every feeding with that. Now trying to figure out why your cham is napping during the day. She should not be doing that. Sometimes if the temps are too hot they will close their eyes but your overall cage temp is ok at 76. When she is closing her eyes is she been under the basking light? Also how long are you misting for when you do?
Close and clear photos will help identify these 'bumps'.
Are you aware that chams ribs bend like an elbow in the middle? This is to allow shock/impact reduction after falling.
These 'joints' in the ribcage have been misidentified as 'bumps' of concern before today. :)
Bumps on ribs in veiled chameleons that age usually means not enough usable calcium. Either not enough supplementation of calcium or usable d3 whether through lighting or dietary supplementation. If your tube is close enough to your lizard for effective use, the bumps are a sure sign you need to increase your d3 supplement usage or your calcium. In your case it is a little tricky to determine which because you aren't using calcium daily. I don't believe you stated what brand of calcium and vitamins you are using. Some are better than others...

I'll disagree about what previous poster said about temp, but concede that most nowadays do keep them cooler. I've raised lots and lots of baby veileds over the past 20 years though, and your temps would be fine with any of mine.

I think you are possibly too worried about night heat. I let babies and adults alike go down near 50 at night during the cooler months without problems. On the other hand, in your situation I'd probably leave mild night heat on this winter because of the other problem. But let the cage temps go into the 60s at night...

edit- jojackson is correct in his description and I hadn't thought of that because I have seen a number of beginners fail to adequately provide calcium and d3 to baby veileds in the past and in that case it will leave permanent bumps along the ribs. But maybe you are just witnessing normal breathing. Can you post a pic?
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Its a reptisun tube that i have over her cage. I am hoping the reason she took a nap in the day was because she didn't sleep the night before. But i could just be over worrying about my azula. The repticalcium without d3 should i be using that everyday? Because i don't i've been giving it to her once a week.... another worry is the dehydration. Her eyes are sunken and her stool in hard so i know she isn't getting enough water but idk what else to do... i've eeven taken her out and tried using a syringe. (Doesn't work very well because i don't wanna force her mouth open... im a softie). I've also tried putting her under warm water . I have a dripper and i mist her quite often... i haven't seen her drink and idk what else to do.. ill see if i can post pictures... though i might have to wait till i get on a computer.
And the bumps weren't there when i first had her. Im pretty sure there not normal bumps or joints or whatever. There uneven.. ill post pictures as soon as i can...
Also she has really weird sleeping patters i turn her lights on at 8 and i turn them off at eight. But i wake up as late as 1am and she's still awake then shell take naps aaround noon or one..

Photoperiod (daylight hours) is an aspect of lizard care that is vitally important to lizard health and function, is in my opinion, not rated highly enough or considered often enough as a factor with 'restless' lizards.
Good old nature is pretty consistant with it, anywhere on the globe where lizards are found, but in captivity, especially in todays world, full darkness is often non existant.
so much light pollution in out homes goes unnoticed by us, how many electric devices of all kinds, light your home at night?
clocks, dvds, everything emits light just about.

With the above issue, its worth considering if artificial lighting in your home is disrupting your lizards photoperiod. Lack of consistancy (when folk manually turn on/off lighting) is also disruptive to your lizards photocycle.

Ensuring consistant on/off times by use of a timer, and ensuring its really dark enough for your lizard, should remedy this issue.
Be aware that night roaming insects can also disturb your sleeping cham if numbers are too great.

Re the hydration issue, I suggest purchasing a supplie of jiucy grub (hornworm/waxworm or similar) asap, and gutloading with moist fruit and leafy veg before feeding. This will generally improve its hydration, but the main issue is to get your lizard drinking and soon.
If its not touching the dripper and spraying isnt doing it, you need to stimulate the lizard to drink by replicating nature.
Live plants (safe ones that can be eaten) will greatly improve matters, more especially if the dripper drips over the leaves.
Young chamd tend to 'scrape' wet leaves to obtain moisture after rain (they do eat the leaf sometimes too), so you might try that.
Also it occures to me that running water (your waterfall) may itself be annoying the lizard, vibration/noise etc), so since its unnessary, you mighht judst remove that and add plants which will provide secure places to hide aswell, making the lizard more comfortable.
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You've only had her a week- probably some of this came with her and just didn't show until now. A healthy cham will not crash in a week without supplements or proper lighting at 2-3 months old.

I'd toss the waterfall out- most cham keepers feel bad bacteria can build up in those.

Here is how I used to water before I had an automated misting system-

I'd mist like you are doing. If the lizard seemed dehydrated and needed to drink, I'd make sure I hit the chameleon directly with the mist for a few pumps- they might shy from it but it nearly always starts them drinking within a minute or two afterwards. I would also run a drip cup- just a plastic dixie cup with a pinhole poked into the bottom- a pin is shaped like a "V" so the further you press in the bigger the hole and the faster the drip. I'd press in part way so I got a drip about every second. Place it on top of the cage so it drips down into the cage and hits a leaf and rolls off the leaf and into a catch bowl (shallow for your young chameleon in case it ever falls in and make sure a branch is there so it can climb out). Clean the catch bowl daily. Mist just enough so everything dries out completely in an hour or two. A dixie cup like I describe can drip for 20 minutes or so before emptying. After misting, start the drip and leave the room or back off and watch quietly so the cham will not be afraid to move and use the dripper. At least until you feel he is looking better. If he is dehydrated like yours you can do this 2 or 3 times a day- just make sure the cage dries out between times. Depending on your drainage situation you can get drippers at the store that last much longer too and they can be run all day if you can drain the runoff somehow.

Are there any other animals in the home that your lizard can see that might cause stress?

Actually after reading jojacksons comments- I think your nightlight for mild heat might be giving off too much light even if it is colored Would make sense if he is awake in the middle of the night. Wouldn't be surprised if it's giving off a little more heat than you want too. They really do best with some night cooldown for deeper sleep...
Flux is correct about night /light/heat, I must've missed that. If it dosent fall below 60f odd inside your home, you really wont need night heating, and cooling temps at night mimic nature and are required for your lizards health.
If your home does get much below 60f, then you can still keep it warm by using a ceramic heat bulb/coil instead of a light bulb.
These give off no visible light at all, but beware, they do get very hot, so if you use one, be certain of good ventilation and never place it right ontop the cage, your cham can climb!
Ok waterfall is a goner. I have been gutloading my crickets with fuit but maybe ill try some other juicy stuff. What live plants are best for young veilds? And will they eat dead worms? Our petstore doesn't sell live wax worms and such... i could figure something out though. And i think ill try covering her cage with a dark blanket from now on. There really isn't any light in her bedroom.. she shares a bedroom with me and i like it dark too... literally no clocks no computers nothing.. cept my cell phone. I actually am using a dixie cup... how funny! I have that absorbable moss stuff at the bottom of her cage... is that bad to use? The petstore people recomended it.. i change it every two weeks so it doesn't get bacteria and she hardly ever wanders down there. Im hoping she drinks when i am not watching but it just doesn't seem like it. Thanks for all the advice! It really helps having fellow chameleon lovers help out. I grew up around chameleons my mom raised them. But its so different owning and loving one of your own!
After two weeks the substrate will be crawling with bacteria, not to mention theres an outside risk of ingestion if your lizard zaps bugs off it.
Live plants should provide oodles of humidity (unless your arizona maybe) so your probly better off keeping it simple and easy to clean/find poo, by leaving the floor bare.
Your Mom is goldmine of info at your disposal, definately consult her too! :)
I would but my mommas with her chamys in heaven:) okay awesome. Im gonna start dusting her food with repticalcium with d3 every day and the reptivite without d3 twice a month. Waterfall goes bye bye, live plants.. but which ones? Misting and gutloading crickets with juicy stuff. Darker nights for better sleep. And everything will be better and make azula happier. Anything else u can think of??? You all are life savers!
Sorry if you said, but I didn't see it...

You say the UV bulb is on top of your cage - what kind of cage do you have, and what material is the top made out of? Is it a coiled bulb or is it a linear tube?

Also you can buy live worms online - I'm sure someone in the US can point you in the direction of a good supplier - take a look at the site sponsors!
Hopefully that was a typo...you're backwards on the D3...you need to be D3 free most of the time, D3 every couple of weeks is enough.

The easiest thing is to have 3 jars: Calcium with nothing else. Use that every day. Calcium with D3. Use that twice a month. Vitamins. Use that twice a month. I think that's the general recommendation.

I'm so happy you are taking up your Mom's love. As an old Mom, I appreciate that.
Its a linear bulb on top of a metal mesh stuff. Its a zoomed light hood. And where are the sponsors? This site? So i dust the food with the reptivite without d3 everyday? Haha sorry i get confused early. Ya i always loved my moms chamys when i was little! There precious creatures.
Its a linear bulb on top of a metal mesh stuff. Its a zoomed light hood. And where are the sponsors? This site? So i dust the food with the reptivite without d3 everyday? Haha sorry i get confused early. Ya i always loved my moms chamys when i was little! There precious creatures.

That's cool - a lot of people dont realise that UVB doesnt pass through glass and stuff.

As for the supplementing, you can search for examples of peoples supplementing schedules (im very forgetful and generally useless so i have a big wall planner in my hall with little stickers and stuff on as to what my cham needs to have each day!). Heres a good blog entry (gotta love sandrachameleon for all things foody!) that has lots of good information, and you can come up with a supplement schedule and I'm sure people would be willing to offer any advice if you post it in the food/supplement part of the forum to make sure its tailored to your chams exact needs. Its not as complicated as it sounds (i was totally daunted by it) - I just got a calendar and worked out which days he needed what.

As for site sponsors, if you click the "classifieds" tab at the top on the green bar, there is a list of site sponsors at the top. I just assumed you were in the US (most of the sponsors are US companies), but if you're in the UK, you can private message me and ill recommend some good sites that I've used and can recommend.

Hope that helps!

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