Chameleon Doesn’t like Powdered Calcium

ElliotG

Avid Member
Hello! This is my first post, so thank you for accepting me into this lovely community!

I have a Veiled Chameleon at the moment. I’ve had him for about 4 weeks now, he’s around 3 years old according to the person I bought him off of (the people I bought him from obviously had no idea how to take care of him to wrll I’ve noticed his veil was bent when I got him. So I’m really worried about his calcium intake.

I’ve been trying to feed him dusted insects, but seems to be picky about what he wants. I’ve tried two calcium’s with him and I’m going to try a calcium I use with my Leopard geckos to see if he likes it. He’s ate dusted insects once or twice, but mostly will refuse until I give him undusted. Is there anything I can supplement with? I’ve tried lightly dusting and everything. He just refuses. I’m a bit worried about him and the chance of MBD forming or already being formed. Besides this weird eating habit. He’s a pretty healthy a feisty boy. Just wanting him to get a bit more calcium and vitamin intake. Thanks!

a few pics of him and his veil.
36761D4D-4FB4-4374-A0BC-D6CBC5E0F954.jpeg7A54D22B-5246-40CB-9805-248D6EDBE8CB.jpegF2C2A27A-D7D0-4951-8A67-790CBEDF2F20.jpeg36293141-05B8-4057-904D-F51536D72AAC.jpeg9AB04894-C07A-4F71-B0A8-9E3EF48BCC3E.jpeg

FYI I don’t handle him too much. Only when needing to move him for his safety (like when I’m rearranging his cage.) or to put him outside on a tree and let him catch some rays.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Hello there and welcome. You say your boy doesn't like powdered calcium. Well although powdered calcium is the best way to go when it comes to giving your cham his daily dose of calcium there is an alternative. It is liquid calcium. Just spray your feeder with liquid calcium just before feeding to your cham. Just remember the powdered cal. is best so try to switch him back after a while. Also you need to give him calcium with vitamin D3 twice a month. Only two times a month NO MORE. Say like once on the 1st and once on the 15th. If your still using liquid calcium when its time to give D3 then spay liquid cal. then sprinkle your D3 dust over the liquid calcium. It holds great with the liquid. Also that basking bulb should be 60-65 watt bulb and it needs to be placed 9 inches from the top of chameleon. Oh yeah that veil thing is actually called a casque. That's OK when I first started I think I called it a crest.lol
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
If you can please fill this out for top notch care for you chameleon....

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.
 

ElliotG

Avid Member
Hello there and welcome. You say your boy doesn't like powdered calcium. Well although powdered calcium is the best way to go when it comes to giving your cham his daily dose of calcium there is an alternative. It is liquid calcium. Just spray your feeder with liquid calcium just before feeding to your cham. Just remember the powdered cal. is best so try to switch him back after a while. Also you need to give him calcium with vitamin D3 twice a month. Only two times a month NO MORE. Say like once on the 1st and once on the 15th. If your still using liquid calcium when its time to give D3 then spay liquid cal. then sprinkle your D3 dust over the liquid calcium. It holds great with the liquid. Also that basking bulb should be 60-65 watt bulb and it needs to be placed 9 inches from the top of chameleon. Oh yeah that veil thing is actually called a casque. That's OK when I first started I think I called it a crest.lol
Thank you for the bulb info! It’s currently a 75 watt, I’ll make sure to place it higher away from him. It’s a bit closer because it does get colder in that room sometimes, but I’ll just go monitor it more.

I’ll definitely look into the liquid calcium too. I’ve been trying calcium without d3 mostly, then a calcium with d3 and a bit of vitamins. I don’t try to give him the calcium with d3 too often, just wanted to see if he would accept it.
 

ElliotG

Avid Member
What bugs are you offering? It’s more likely disinterest in the bug itself than it is the calcium powder.
I’ve offered him crickets, Dubai roaches, meal worms, super worms, even horn worms, all dusted and undusted. He won’t touch the dusted ones.
 

ElliotG

Avid Member
If you can please fill this out for top notch care for you chameleon....

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.
Thank you!
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ve been trying to feed him dusted insects, but seems to be picky about what he wants. I’ve tried two calcium’s with him and I’m going to try a calcium I use with my Leopard geckos to see if he likes it. He’s ate dusted insects once or twice, but mostly will refuse until I give him undusted. Is there anything I can supplement with? I’ve tried lightly dusting and everything. He just refuses. I’m a bit worried about him and the chance of MBD forming or already being formed. Besides this weird eating habit. He’s a pretty healthy a feisty boy. Just wanting him to get a bit more calcium and vitamin intake. Thanks!

I had a similar issue with my bearded dragon. When they get hungry enough, they'll eat the dusted insects. Just keep the dusting light (not like a sugar donut). ;)
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Thank you for the bulb info! It’s currently a 75 watt, I’ll make sure to place it higher away from him. It’s a bit closer because it does get colder in that room sometimes, but I’ll just go monitor it more.

I’ll definitely look into the liquid calcium too. I’ve been trying calcium without d3 mostly, then a calcium with d3 and a bit of vitamins. I don’t try to give him the calcium with d3 too often, just wanted to see if he would accept it.
You do want night temps to drop to 50 to 55 degrees at night so he can thermo regulate. He will have lots more energy the following day. Your basking area in the day should be 83 degrees, no more than 85. Lights should only be on for 12 hours a day. Then off 12 hours a day. That's a must. So the temps can drop. The closer the basking light is to the cham the higher risk of thermal burns your going to have
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah no I am with @Gingero on this one. HIGHLY doubt it has anything to do with the calcium. Unless your dusting them to look like powdered donuts which is no bueno.

What feeders are you using? Please post pictures of the supplements your actually trying.
 

ElliotG

Avid Member
You do want night temps to drop to 50 to 55 degrees at night so he can thermo regulate. He will have lots more energy the following day. Your basking area in the day should be 83 degrees, no more than 85. Lights should only be on for 12 hours a day. Then off 12 hours a day. That's a must. So the temps can drop. The closer the basking light is to the cham the higher risk of thermal burns your going to have
I have all that down. I have a timer that turns the lights off at night. I’ve lifted the bulb away so that he doesn’t burn himself. Thanks for the info!
 

ElliotG

Avid Member
Yeah no I am with @Gingero on this one. HIGHLY doubt it has anything to do with the calcium. Unless your dusting them to look like powdered donuts which is no bueno.

What feeders are you using? Please post pictures of the supplements your actually trying.
Feeders that I’m using were listed above. Hornworms, meal worms, super worms, crickets, and Dubai roaches.

E50169E1-CDF9-481F-AA80-C08F0344AFC4.jpeg7ECFE668-2074-487E-98D6-84A1870C8974.jpeg


D579EC06-7DF4-4285-8310-D25F8757C5FB.jpeg
Both the zoomed calcium’s I use with the chameleons (I have two, the 3 year old and the baby.) I use the calcium without d3 most the time and the reptivite I use 2-4 times a month.

Repashy I use with my geckos but might try with him. Right now I’m doing as @Klyde O'Scope and not trying to offer him food for a day or two and see if he’ll accept it.

I don’t dust too much. I’ll shake them in a bag with calcium and then if they’re too powdered I’ll shake off the excess in an another bag with more feeders. So I don’t think that’s the problem.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Feeders that I’m using were listed above. Hornworms, meal worms, super worms, crickets, and Dubai roaches.

View attachment 305685View attachment 305686


View attachment 305687
Both the zoomed calcium’s I use with the chameleons (I have two, the 3 year old and the baby.) I use the calcium without d3 most the time and the reptivite I use 2-4 times a month.

Repashy I use with my geckos but might try with him. Right now I’m doing as @Klyde O'Scope and not trying to offer him food for a day or two and see if he’ll accept it.

I don’t dust too much. I’ll shake them in a bag with calcium and then if they’re too powdered I’ll shake off the excess in an another bag with more feeders. So I don’t think that’s the problem.
So reptivite should only be given 2 times a month for Veileds and Panthers. Every other week at one feeding. Repashy calcium plus would be the same schedule. BUT not when using the reptivite. It is one or the other. Then all other feedings it would be calcium without D3.

How often are you feeding him and how much each time?
 

ElliotG

Avid Member
So reptivite should only be given 2 times a month for Veileds and Panthers. Every other week at one feeding. Repashy calcium plus would be the same schedule. BUT not when using the reptivite. It is one or the other. Then all other feedings it would be calcium without D3.

How often are you feeding him and how much each time?
He’s kinda got a weird eating schedule at the moment. Because again he’s been finicky so I haven’t been able to establish a good schedule. I want to feed him every other day or every two-three days. He ate 4 small-medium horn worms yesterday.

I’ll reduce reptivite to 2 times a month for the other chameleon. He’s not picky at all and devours almost anything. So I’m not too worried about him.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
He’s kinda got a weird eating schedule at the moment. Because again he’s been finicky so I haven’t been able to establish a good schedule. I want to feed him every other day or every two-three days. He ate 4 small-medium horn worms yesterday.

I’ll reduce reptivite to 2 times a month for the other chameleon. He’s not picky at all and devours almost anything. So I’m not too worried about him.
So here is a staple feeder image... At his age you would really only be feeding 3 days a week at most 2-4 feeders.

Hornworms you would want to mix in with other feeders. They are more of a treat but they can cause very loose stools if that is all the cham eats in a feeding.

Do you have any idea what he was eating prior or how they were feeding him?

chameleon-food(1).jpg
 

ElliotG

Avid Member
So here is a staple feeder image... At his age you would really only be feeding 3 days a week at most 2-4 feeders.

Hornworms you would want to mix in with other feeders. They are more of a treat but they can cause very loose stools if that is all the cham eats in a feeding.

Do you have any idea what he was eating prior or how they were feeding him?

View attachment 305743
Thanks for the photo! That’s gives me a better idea of what to feed him.

They told me crickets and just crickets. He came from a pretty crappy situation. Had no lights, lived in a small cage, had minimal foliage and places to climb in his old cage, a home where they smoked next to him. A small mist once a day. I’m surprised he’s in as good of health as he is. Ive been trying roaches with him, he hasn’t eaten any. But seems willing to try new foods since he had his first worms with me. He also ate crickets with me too. Ive been trying to add variety to his diet. I might try banana roaches with him to see if the bright colors catch his attention. But I’ll try feeding him tomorrow and see if he’ll accept anything with calcium.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the photo! That’s gives me a better idea of what to feed him.

They told me crickets and just crickets. He came from a pretty crappy situation. Had no lights, lived in a small cage, had minimal foliage and places to climb in his old cage, a home where they smoked next to him. A small mist once a day. I’m surprised he’s in as good of health as he is. Ive been trying roaches with him, he hasn’t eaten any. But seems willing to try new foods since he had his first worms with me. He also ate crickets with me too. Ive been trying to add variety to his diet. I might try banana roaches with him to see if the bright colors catch his attention. But I’ll try feeding him tomorrow and see if he’ll accept anything with calcium.
Depending on how long you have had him there will be a settling in period as well. If you fill out the form that was posted above by copy pasting it into your reply we can give you more thorough feedback.

Just note that you should not use the nets with chameleons. They need branches. The nets are not made for them to grip properly and their nails can get stuck in them. It also looks like that heat lamp is very close to him. Thermal burns would be a risk with this.
 

ElliotG

Avid Member
Depending on how long you have had him there will be a settling in period as well. If you fill out the form that was posted above by copy pasting it into your reply we can give you more thorough feedback.

Just note that you should not use the nets with chameleons. They need branches. The nets are not made for them to grip properly and their nails can get stuck in them. It also looks like that heat lamp is very close to him. Thermal burns would be a risk with this.
I moved the lamp up higher. I can remove the net. I made sure it has big enough holes for his hands to grip through and wasn’t made out of a fabric type of material. It’s made out of a reed/plant like material. I’ll look into getting him a branch though.
 

Thompson

Chameleon Enthusiast
He is a hefty guy. Definitely unhealthily overweight. He’s full grown so don’t be discouraged if he doesn’t seem to eat that often and that much (depending on the size of the feeders you’re feeding him. Which should be medium-large Dubai/crickets/silkies etc.). His veil does look bent and when you mentioned the previous owners had no uvb lights for him and probably didn’t properly supplement him either, I recommend you take him to the vet to go get checked and diagnosed for MBD. They’ll run some blood work and take some x-rays to properly diagnose MBD, and determine the extent at which the disease has already progressed, and this would allow you and the vet to determine a proper way to stop the progression, if he has MBD.. whether that be simply what you’ve already done, which is get him the proper lights, temps, and supplements, or if he needs an injection or oral calcium in order to correct any calcium:phosphorus imbalances
 
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