Chameleon has black chest and foot.

NBard

New Member
My baby veiled chameleon has two black patches. One on his chest and another on his foot which appeared last night. He has recently shed 4 or 5 days ago which was when I saw the black patch on his chest. He still has a patch of skin on his knee. I have been keeping the enclosure at 100% humidity at night but I think that may be too much. I am backing it off now. I am concerned it is a bacterial infection. I applied a small amount of neosporin last night on his foot. But not his chest. He is otherwise very healthy. Eats alot, active, no sunken eyes, feces moist with good shape and no other abnormal behaviours of colours. I have included two photos. In the foot photo it is 30 minutes past his bed time and he is grumpy but I had to do the neosporin before bed. The other photo of his chest is his usual handling time taken a few days before.

I have 3 theories as to what it is.

First a fall, there are some big leaves and he can't grip onto that well so it might be physical trauma.

Bacterial infection, due to the high humidity and/or shedding.

A burn but that is significantly less likely given the locations but he does kind of hold himself horizontally when basking.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Veiled Chemeleon, Male, baby (maybe 3 months?), I've had him for a month.

Handling - I handle him once a day. I am assuming it is because he was in a high traffic area in the store but he is very tolerant of handling. He will voluntarily go onto my hand. I have house plants all over the house that I put him on to get him out and moving and so I don't overstress him by the handling. I do this to check on his health and clean the cage. He happily eats from my hand too. I wash my hands before I handle him, no soap residue left over.

Feeding - currently gut loaded crickets. He eats like 8 mediums a day, he is a voracious eater. During the day he hunts for his food the evening I hand feed him at least 3 crickets. I have this alfalfa mix from my cricket guy. I also add some veggies to the cricket cage, at the moment a baby carrot.

Supplements - I have only been using calcium powder so far.

Watering - Spray the enclosure down manually before liggts on and after lights off daily. I no longer see him drink (when the dripper is on) since I got a fogger.

Fecal Description - Poo is normal, white and brown, moist. The guy has not been tested for parasites. I plan on doing this soon I own my own microscope.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Screen with plastic around the outside so a makeshift hybrid. Is is a 18" by 18" by 36".

Lighting - I am out and about at the moment so I can't recall the details. But a heat lamp, basking spot is ~87 and UV lamp is a t5 horizontal lined diagonally across the cage placed ~6" above the vasking spot. It was lower but my guy was getting way too close for my comfort that is something I recently changed. Lights are between 7am and 7 pm.

Temperature - I keep the house around 68 lowest at all hours. The basking area is around 87 using a a digital themometer.

Humidity - Day ~40%, night unknown at the moment, I have had the door closed so I reached 100% but I am now leaving the door open. The overnight humidity is acheived by the fogger and a small room. The day humidity is using a humidifier for the house. I have a digital humidity meter inside the cage

Plants - Live plants, pothos, money tree and something else I know it is approved for chameleons but I forget the species. I also have an orchid in there should I remove it?

Placement - I have a very small desktop fan which is placed to blow tangentially across the face of the cage to disperse the fog. It runs 24/7. He is in my office, when I am at my desk he cannot see me. The top of the cage is about a half a foot higher than my head. I am 5'10"

Location - I am in Wyoming. Dry/arid area which gets very cold.
 

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Hi and welcome. Those look like burns to me. Little ones like to walk upside down on the screen top and can very easily get burned if the screen is too hot and especially if you sit your lights directly on top. The best course of action would be to take him to a vet and make sure that there is no infection from those sites and also get silver sulfadiazine cream to help the areas heal and prevent infection. I do see some areas that need some improvement in your husbandry and I'll go thru that in just a bit.
 
I have never seen him climb on the screens once since he has moved in. He likes to bask on the provided artificial vines or the plants.

I will update a picture of the enclosure when I get back but the T5 has been raised since that photo was taken to ~6-8" above basking spot (not directly on screen, about 4" above). the enclosure photo was old but I made this post while I was on the bus.
 
I'll be putting my feedback in bold. I do have some graphics that I'd like to share, but currently am having technical difficulties in doing that, so they will (hopefully) be in a separate post.
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Veiled Chemeleon, Male, baby (maybe 3 months?), I've had him for a month. That's a pretty good guess on age and seems close enough. Are you certain he's a boy though? Does he have a prominent nub on his back heels (tarsal spur)?

Handling - I handle him once a day. I am assuming it is because he was in a high traffic area in the store but he is very tolerant of handling. He will voluntarily go onto my hand. Chameleons tend to be a tad friendlier when little, but it does still give them stress. Chameleons who aren't happy with their enclosures will also appear friendly and willingly come out to us. I have house plants all over the house that I put him on to get him out and moving and so I don't overstress him by the handling. I do this to check on his health and clean the cage. He happily eats from my hand too. I wash my hands before I handle him, no soap residue left over.

Feeding - currently gut loaded crickets. He eats like 8 mediums a day, he is a voracious eater. He needs much more than that daily or since he's so little, for the next few weeks you could even feed him twice a day. He should basically be getting all he can eat within about 15-20 minutes. Little man is growing fast and needs lots of nutrition. Try adding more variety to his diet also. Rotating or mixing up staple feeders is always best. During the day he hunts for his food the evening I hand feed him at least 3 crickets. I have this alfalfa mix from my cricket guy. I also add some veggies to the cricket cage, at the moment a baby carrot. I think the alfalfa mix is probably ok, but definitely add more veggies. You want to keep your feeders well fed and as healthy as possible so that they'll offer more nutrition. This is one of the graphics I'll post later along with one on feeder variety.

Supplements - I have only been using calcium powder so far. Having correct supplementation is critical. Does your calcium have D3 or not? Hopefully it is a phosphorus free calcium without D3. You'll want to lightly dust every feeding with that, except when using a different supplement. There are lots of different supplements and regimens, but the one I prefer is to use a combination D3/multivitamin for one feeding every other week. The two best ones that I recommend are Repashy Calcium Plus Lod or Reptivite With D3. These two also contain preformed vitamin A, which is good for google eye health and we know chameleons can absorb well.

Watering - Spray the enclosure down manually before liggts on and after lights off daily. I no longer see him drink (when the dripper is on) since I got a fogger. Very good. It's best to spray for at least 2 minutes so that they have time to not only have drinking response triggered but time to clean their eyes. Also, I like to spray right before lights go off so that they have a drinking opportunity before sleep. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking, but also, using the fogger at night is an excellent way to hydrate your chameleon. The dripper probably isn't even needed, but no harm in using it for about 15 minutes during the day.

Fecal Description - Poo is normal, white and brown, moist. The guy has not been tested for parasites. I plan on doing this soon I own my own microscope. Cool! There is a blog that may help, but again...technical difficulties so I'll add it in a separate post.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Screen with plastic around the outside so a makeshift hybrid. Is is a 18" by 18" by 36". This is ok for now, but in a few short months he's going to be a big guy and be needing at least a 2x2x4' enclosure. If you are able to go larger than that, definitely do it. I combine 2 of the 2x2x4' enclosures for my chameleons and they use all of the space.

Lighting - I am out and about at the moment so I can't recall the details. But a heat lamp, basking spot is ~87 This is too hot for a little guy. You don't want his temp to exceed 78-80 right now. When he's fully grown, his ideal temp should be around 85. and UV lamp is a t5 What is the strength of your bulb? It should be either a 5.0 or 6%. If you aren't sure, it's written on the end of the bulb horizontal lined diagonally across the cage placed ~6" above the vasking spot. It was lower but my guy was getting way too close for my comfort that is something I recently changed. You will need to elevate your lights at least by 3-4' above the screen top to prevent any (further?) burns. I get little wire baskets from the dollar store that work great. Lights are between 7am and 7 pm.

Temperature - I keep the house around 68 lowest at all hours. The basking area is around 87 using a a digital themometer. Already covered basking temp above. At night, 68 is a fair enough temp drop and low enough to use the fogger at night.

Humidity - Day ~40%, night unknown at the moment, I have had the door closed so I reached 100% but I am now leaving the door open. I am assuming you mean your night humidity is 100%. That is perfect and simulates the natural hydration chameleons get in nature thru fog. The overnight humidity is acheived by the fogger and a small room. The day humidity is using a humidifier for the house. I have a digital humidity meter inside the cage

Plants - Live plants, pothos, money tree and something else I know it is approved for chameleons but I forget the species. I also have an orchid in there should I remove it? I know some people put orchids in their panther enclosures, but I'm not sure about using them for veiled. Veileds like to nibble their plants, so it's important they are all known to be safe. Little ones don't usually eat plants, but when he grows up, he might devour them...or not.

Placement - I have a very small desktop fan which is placed to blow tangentially across the face of the cage to disperse the fog. It runs 24/7. He is in my office, when I am at my desk he cannot see me. The top of the cage is about a half a foot higher than my head. I am 5'10" The fan should be fine as long as it isn't blowing directly at him. Most will use a small computer type fan on the enclosure top to suck out the air to improve ventilation. Yes to the height...perfect. The higher above us they are, the safer they feel.

Location - I am in Wyoming. Dry/arid area which gets very cold.
Even though you haven't seen your little guy walking along the screen top, it doesn't necessarily mean he hasn't been doing it. Basically all baby and young chameleons do it until they become too big to continue. The don't usually feel the heat on their bellies until after they've already gotten burned. Plain Neopsporin (the one with no other ingredients) is safe to use until you can get to a vet. I don't believe it's a fungal infection or anything from humidity. With high humidity you're most likely to see a respiratory infection if it's too warm (over 70). The other options of injury or cricket bites - I am inclined to believe it is neither. However, I would like to caution you about leaving loose crickets in the enclosure. If he doesn't find and eat them, they will get hungry and at night, try to eat him. Either remove all crickets or make sure to leave a small piece of food in the enclosure for them (like a piece of carrot). You can/should go thru his enclosure and make sure that there are no sharp or abrasive things in there that could hurt him.
 
Here are some links that may be of some help to you. Chameleon Academy is leading our way in everything chameleon and along with a large website full of info, there are awesome podcasts and YouTube videos. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
If you can provide a double wide https://chameleonacademy.com/double-wide-chameleon-cage-project/
Greatest thing since sliced bread! https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/
Here are the graphics I promised.

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IMG_1188.jpeg
 
I would be more likely to think fungal infection rather than bacterial…if it isn’t a burn. I’m not a vet…it’s just my opinion.
 
looks like an injury to me. dark black tends to indicate bruising... If it goes away then that is what it is. but basking is too hot so depending on if baby can get closer it could be a thermal burn. Granted it is not presenting how they normally look.
 
@MissSkittles

Thank you very much for the advice, critiques and info graphics. All is very helpful and I will be addressing everything you have mentioned. I will be sure to keep this thread updated.
 
Here is some updated pictures. I may not have noticed but there is a black patch on his inner thigh as well. There is also some whitish discolouration. I applied some neosporin and have some chlorhexidine arriving tomorrow. I am working on all the suggestions right now.
 

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Here is some updated pictures. I may not have noticed but there is a black patch on his inner thigh as well. There is also some whitish discolouration. I applied some neosporin and have some chlorhexidine arriving tomorrow. I am working on all the suggestions right now.
With these pics, I no longer think it looks at all like burns and doesn't look like any injury either. When you go to the vet, perhaps you'll want to print out a copy of the article that @kinyonga gave the link for.
 
I agree completely I do not like the look of the inner foot. This baby is not a translucent so the discoloration and pale appearance of that foot along with all the black is concerning to me. And far outside my area of knowledge. If you post the city and state that you live in we may be able to direct you to a good cham vet.
 
I have seen a reptile vet she said that there was some stuck shed leading to constriction and a secondary infection. She has advised me to use iodine 1:10 soaks or chlorhexidine, competely dry then neosporin. If it gets any worse we will get some prescription strength antibiotics.

He is still very active, good poo, eating until satiated. He is not liking my poking and proding but nothing I can do about that.

It is looking very much the same. Maybe a little better this morning. I have no pictures.
 
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I have seen a reptile vet she said that there was some stuck shed leading to constriction and a secondary infection. She has advised me to use iodine 1:10 soaks or chlorhexidine, competely dry then neosporin. If it gets any worse we will get some prescription strength antibiotics.

He is still very active, good poo, eating until satiated. He is not liking my poking and proding but nothing I can do about that.
hmmm this honestly does not make sense due to the locations... It would be one thing if it was only on the foot or on the tail. Then I would believe that there could have been a constriction.

Did they do any testing to ensure it was not fungal or another issue?
 
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