Cham eating rocks..

jenstar

New Member
So I've noticed my cham ate a rock today out of the soil of the plant i have. I am going out today to buy some river rocks to cover the soil but because he ate a rock today, that makes me think he has eaten them before. Will he be ok? His poops have always been good and seems to be eating ok. Do rocks pass through him? He is only 4 months old.

thanks
 

Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
did u acctually see him swallow the rock? if so i would prob concider a vet visit for xrays and like you said get some river rocks too big for him to eat to cover anything he might try, soil, rocks, ect
 

jenstar

New Member
did u acctually see him swallow the rock? if so i would prob concider a vet visit for xrays and like you said get some river rocks too big for him to eat to cover anything he might try, soil, rocks, ect
Ya i was watching him crawl around and then he snatched up a rock and it made a sound as he was chewing it that I have heard before sitting on the couch so I assume he has eaten them before. I just thought he was eating crickets..
 

fluxlizard

New Member
Was it a white piece of perlite?

Perlite sometimes attracts them and it is bad news when they eat it. It can clog them up and eventually kill them.

I always used to warn about this on my care sheets- repot your plant with perlite free potting soil. I like to also cover the soil with a thin (1/2 to 1") layer of peat moss...
 
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Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
if its possible i would prob sched a vet visit just to be safe

Ya i was watching him crawl around and then he snatched up a rock and it made a sound as he was chewing it that I have heard before sitting on the couch so I assume he has eaten them before. I just thought he was eating crickets..
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Ya i was watching him crawl around and then he snatched up a rock and it made a sound as he was chewing it that I have heard before sitting on the couch so I assume he has eaten them before. I just thought he was eating crickets..
He may or may not have eaten them before, however even if he has that is no reason to not be concerned about it. It only takes one rock to get stuck to lose your cham, do you really want to take that risk? The size and shape of the rock matters and I'm sure you've noticed that is pretty variable from rock to rock. You should definitely discourage and prevent this behavior by eliminating any rocks small enough for him to eat from his cage. If that will be difficult then you need to cover the soil/rocks with rocks larger than your cham's head so he can't eat them. Another option is to cover the area you're concerned about with screen. You should definitely do something though.
 

melric

Established Member
Was it a white piece of perlite?

Perlite sometimes attracts them and it is bad news when they eat it. It can clog them up and eventually kill them.

I always used to warn about this on my care sheets- repot your plant with perlite free potting soil. I like to also cover the soil with a thin (1/2 to 1") layer of peat moss...
I caught my chameleon eating perlite. I had to take it out. What's up with that? He ate a couple of pieces. Although, the bag says it's non-toxic.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
The perlite may be non-toxic but it still might cause an impaction. For some reason chameleons are often attracted to white things.
 

Craig94089

New Member
I know this is old thread, but having my 7.5 month old panther for a few days I noticed he is a dirt eater and rock chewer. I'm so paranoid that I put weed barrier over the dirt, screen on top of that, kept the huge river rocks in, removed the smaller rocks, even though they are bigger than his head, and cut large bamboo sticks to wedge in were there was screen exposed.

He's actually moving down the cage to check out what I just did. He pecked and moved on. We shall see if he eventually loses interest. What a turkey. : ).
 

foshizzle11

New Member
Haha, we haven't had an issue with either of our two chams. Both haven't cared about dirt at all and the crickets tend to stay out of the soil.

Good luck, hopefully all your deterrents work!
 

melble68

Established Member
Haha, we haven't had an issue with either of our two chams. Both haven't cared about dirt at all and the crickets tend to stay out of the soil.

Good luck, hopefully all your deterrents work!
Your sarcasm and humor is bad timing. We all are concerned with the health and safety of our chams. We all attempt to be proactive about the well being of our chameleons. You should also. Regardless of the fact that you have never seen your chameleons pay any attention to the dirt, they may, so you should also protect them. :mad:
 

foshizzle11

New Member
I was snickering at what was used to deter his/her chameleons, and I think it is great. We have rocks in there that are bigger than his and her head so thanks for the tips.

Someone needs to relax.
 

Craig94089

New Member
Sorry if I created any misunderstandings. I really wanted to convey that one of the important things I've learned from this forum is find creativity in problems and share how I am working around a behavior that is undesirable and create an environment I can feel is cham safe.

I took the virtual laugh as a kudos for my work around.
 

melble68

Established Member
Foshizel I read your post as the fact that you didn't utilize rocks. And that you were mocking mocking everybody that your chameleons didn't need rocks to cover up the soil. My bad for not reading into it that you actually have rocks when you didn't say it. I'm plenty relax. No worries. We all learn every day from other forum members. This is a great place to share the wealth of information everybody learns from their own experiences with other members.
 

foshizzle11

New Member
Sorry if I created any misunderstandings. I really wanted to convey that one of the important things I've learned from this forum is find creativity in problems and share how I am working around a behavior that is undesirable and create an environment I can feel is cham safe.

I took the virtual laugh as a kudos for my work around.

Thanks Craig, I'm glad you posted what you did, how is it working?
 

Craig94089

New Member
It's working out quite nice. He still visits the area but becomes quickly disinterested. When I'm within range all he wants is to come out so he'll move away from the rocks if I catch him down there.

I was initially horrified when I noticed he ate a big mouthful of dirt but he pooped it out fine.
 
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