Chameleon black Tongue closed eyes

  • I came home today to realize my chameleon hasn’t been eating for the few days with eyes not being open today and I am not sure weather it’s his tongue or something else in the mouth. It is poking out and I do not know what it is, please help me and do I need to take them to the vet?
  • I have a chameleon for 2 years it’s is 3 years old male Veiled Chameleon
  • I handle my chameleon every day and always make sure it is healthy
  • I’m feeding him meal worms and 3 for breakfast 3 for lunch I turn on the lights at 8 am and give food at 9 am turn off at 9:00 but give food at 8:00 pm Every month I put in a powder for my gut load feeders so my chameleon can stay healthy.
  • the brand I use is Mazuri Better Bug Gut Loading Diet, 8 oz. and is used once a month​

  • I used to use a mister but it broke so I swapped to just spraying with a spray bottle. When I used to have the mister I would mist for 2 minutes. But with spray I only spray for 45 seconds. I don’t really see my chameleon drinking because I always leave the room, is that a problem?
  • My chameleon has always been healthy and never been tested for parasites but now I’m just not sure.
  • My chameleon has always been healthy and never let me pick him up but now he is tired and I can pick him up without him yelling because of the problem. His eyes were always open but now they’re not. And there is something sticking out I’m not sure if it is his tongue or not because it is black. It might be a worm but it’s not coming out the mouth.

  • I have a screen chameleon cage and the dimensions are 16 x 16 x 30 inches.
  • I use a desert day and night lighting kit but instead of a red blue it is purple. My schedule is on at 8 am off at 9 pm
  • I’m not sure about the temperature but I know my chameleon always stands at the top of the branch to get in the light but now not really.
  • The humidity is alright because the water is sprayed mostly everywhere so it can stay moist - The level is about high. I use a humidity cauge pressure analog
  • I use fake plant but real wood inside my dome.
  • I placed the dome in the right corner of my room next to the windows. It is placed on a mini desk so it is halfway up to the roof and half way down to the floor.
  • I’m located in LA



Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome and WOW! at the same time
I am not a vet.
1st- I would take him to a vet asap. (since I don't know your experience- I apologize if you are very experienced) Just trying to help. :) (y)
2nd- are you sure that is his tongue and not a piece of bark (substrate) he tried to eat and a thin piece went down his throat leaving the rest out of his mouth. I would make sure it is his tongue. It would have taken a few days to turn black like that even if it dried up.

Sorry if I go on and on but I like to fix problems and with chameleons, it is very (super) important to get it fixed as soon as possible, then work on the habitat and feeding issues (as mentioned by others -a lot needs to be fixed). (y)

Take to vet asap- 1 if the tongue is black it needs to be removed and treated for possible secondary infection, which may occur (I'm not sure it is the tongue). Being blunt- Gently hold your chameleon (he will probably open his mouth as many Veileds do as you mentioned "Yelling" that is normal) and touch the black object to find out what it is-- It has to be removed and I think a vet would be better-- as in Emergency Visit (I would personally just walk in since it is an emergency)
You mentioned it has not eaten in a few days-- So after problem with the black object is fixed food needs to be given (which feeding needs to be addressed with proper food items and vits/calcium.
Again, we need to get the black item identified/fixed before anything else. < I care so much it seems a little bossy, but I am just expressing the importance before something else happens. Thanks for understanding. (y)


Chameleon Enthusiast
could be (y)
There is way more to the story just from experience.
If I only ate 3 meal worms for morning and lunch-- Everything is game for food:unsure:. Just being silly.

We are here to help no matter what. :) (y)

Plus, I have seen chameleons shoot at the poop if there is a roach, isopod, cricket eating it. I would guess if a meal worm is under it, then fair game. a lot of guessing ----on our part. (y)
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His tongue is necrotic and needs to be surgically removed if he has any chance of living. It may be too late. Do you know how he injured his tongue?
You saved his life thank you so much I went straight to the vet they gave him antibiotics and fluids because he could not drink with the tongue you saved his life thank you. His tip of the tongue should naturally fall off because that is where it is and if not a surgery will be placed. But you saved him thank you so much.


Chameleon Queen
How are you going to feed it or get it to drink until the tongue falls off...if it even does?

Did the vet give you anything for pain for the chameleon?
Actually, you did. Great job! We can just come up with ideas, but it is your actions that really did it.(y)
So far the chameleon is healthy with the tongue still out but he’s not in danger in any way so just give it time and he will go back to being a healthy chameleon except now being fed by hand then just going to his bowl and eating
How are you going to feed it or get it to drink until the tongue falls off...if it even does?

Did the vet give you anything for pain for the chameleon?
The vet gave antibiotics and to feed I must do by hand and for drinking on Saturday they will and I think I’ll ask the vet on what to do


Chameleon Queen
How is he going to chew the insects with his tongue between his teeth or filling up his mouth?

If the tongue tip/blob falls off, and the long thin muscle remains it may cause him problems in the future.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Just making a comment-
I have never heard of a chameleon being healthy with a diet mentioned above. I am actually baffled at the vet not removing the tongue, so feeding and assisting with hydration can be done. JMHO (just my humble opinion) with the tongue still in its mouth like that I would think it would aspirate (drown) if given water. Plus, major work on habitat needs to be done. (y)
What vet did you take him to? It could explain how much they know about chameleons.

Remember, we are here to help but not all the information given is making sense. Sorry! It could be me getting old. :LOL: (y)


Chameleon Enthusiast
Excellent work getting him vet care! Now it's time to address your husbandry. In your pictures there are several things in regards to the cage that need to be corrected. You should still fill out the husbandry sheet for review.
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