Chameleon laying first eggs!

zZzWolf

New Member
Hello everyone! Long story short I got a chameleon back in November from my herpetology teacher and I believe she is a flap necked chameleon. She is only about six inches long and fots on my palm. She has been doing really well and I feed her every other day about 5-7 crickets dusted with calcium. She has a uvb lamp and a combo heat and uvb lamp on during the day. I mist her at least once a day for a couple minutes but also have an auto mister that cycles if her urates aren’t looking great. Her cage is mesh and I was using spahgnum moss on the floor for water absorption and easy cleanup. She has shed twice since I got her and the second shed came off in almost one piece. High temp in cage is around 88 and low is 66. Humidity stays around 50-60.

So to my question. Recently she had been acting weird and going to the bottom of the cage and finally started to go under the moss so I figured she probably needed to lay eggs. I set up a nesting box with dirt and sand mixture and she immediately started digging. I checked on her before bed and she was in the hole rear end first. In the morning it had caved and she looked like she was trying to dig out but was very tired. I helped her out and she tried to climb the branch so I put her on the vine and while doing so she has some quite liquid poop and urate. I checked on her a couple hours later and there were two eggs in the box but she is still on the vine. Do I need to be worried that she popped them out while on the vine? I figured she is just very tired and couldn’t climb back down. How long should I wait to she if she returns to normal and try to feed her and get her energy back up before I would be concerned she is retaining eggs?

Pictures of her and her setup from a couple months ago and then the two eggs today
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum and the world of chameleons!

Did she lay any eggs in the hole overnight? Are you sure it collapsed and that she wasn't filling it in?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there. You have a female Panther chameleon... You are going to want to make some changes to your husbandry so that her environment is correct. Including the UVB source your using. 2in1 bulbs like you are using are not recommended for chams.

With how much she has been eating and the temps she is being kept at I am betting she has a lot more eggs she needs to lay.
We only recommend females be fed 3 feeders 3 days a week and basking temps be kept at 78-80max. This reduces clutch sizes and makes it much easier for them to lay without complications.

Start reading this for proper info. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/

Consider doing a husbandry review if she successfully gets through this clutch.
 

zZzWolf

New Member
Welcome to the forum and the world of chameleons!

Did she lay any eggs in the hole overnight? Are you sure it collapsed and that she wasn't filling it in?
I checked and couldn’t find any. She was half buried and rocking side to side while trying to pull herself out so I don’t think so.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
When they drop eggs it's not usually a good sign. They usually have problems laying the rest of the clutch. I would give her complete privacy and if she shows any signs of decline...lethargy, sitting low in the cage, eyes shut during the day, etc she will need to see a vet right away and likely have surgery to remove the eggs effort she gets too weak to get through that.
 

zZzWolf

New Member
Hi there. You have a female Panther chameleon... You are going to want to make some changes to your husbandry so that her environment is correct. Including the UVB source your using. 2in1 bulbs like you are using are not recommended for chams.

With how much she has been eating and the temps she is being kept at I am betting she has a lot more eggs she needs to lay.
We only recommend females be fed 3 feeders 3 days a week and basking temps be kept at 78-80max. This reduces clutch sizes and makes it much easier for them to lay without complications.

Start reading this for proper info. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/

Consider doing a husbandry review if she successfully gets through this clutch.
I have a bulb that is purely uvb. The two in one is mostly for the heat. I didn’t think she was a panther because she is smaller and I couldn’t find a picture with colors like hers but I also don’t know how old she is. She has been doing really well but I’ll adjust as needed.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a bulb that is purely uvb. The two in one is mostly for the heat. I didn’t think she was a panther because she is smaller and I couldn’t find a picture with colors like hers but I also don’t know how old she is. She has been doing really well but I’ll adjust as needed.
Thats correct but the only recommended UVB sources for chameleons are linear fixtures. T5HO fixture with a 5.0 UVB linear bulb. If you read through that link it will speak directly to this aspect of husbandry as well. But you will need to make quite a few adjustments and that link will help teach you everything.
 

zZzWolf

New Member
When they drop eggs it's not usually a good sign. They usually have problems laying the rest of the clutch. I would give her complete privacy and if she shows any signs of decline...lethargy, sitting low in the cage, eyes shut during the day, etc she will need to see a vet right away and likely have surgery to remove the eggs effort she gets too weak to get through that.
So after coming home from work tonight she has laid a total of 9 eggs so far from what I can see. Some were in the hole I began in the dirt but others were outside of the box. And she is currently asleep on the bottom of the cage not in the box.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I wonder if a shot of oxytocin given to her ASAP would help? 9 +2 dropped before doesn't sound like enough...but I'm not a vet and could be wrong. Maybe you should talk to a good chameleon vet?

She didn't fill the hole in?
 

zZzWolf

New Member
I wonder if a shot of oxytocin given to her ASAP would help? 9 +2 dropped before doesn't sound like enough...but I'm not a vet and could be wrong. Maybe you should talk to a good chameleon vet?

She didn't fill the hole in?
If she did not fully but I didn’t want to go rummaging around yet.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I don't know how much you know....so I'm going to try to explain it all...but I do know it was good of you to take her on and try to help her.

When a female veiled or Panther (and some other species of) chameleon has a normal sized clutch this is how it should go....When a chameleon lays eggs, she might dig a couple of test holes but should chose one and dig it until it's big enough to for her to lay the eggs in. She will then turn around butt down and should lay ALL her eggs at the same "sitting". When she's done she should fill the hole in, tamp it down, etc and return to the branches skinny, hungry and thirsty.

You should not let her see you while she is digging the hole or laying the eggs. She will likely stop digging thinking it's not a safe place to lay the eggs.

When a chameleon has a larger clutch than she should or sometimes even when she can't find a laying site that she's happy with, she will drop eggs here and there. She may still lay some of them in the hole...but if she keeps dropping them even after she has laid some in the hole...she's in trouble. It's almost always husbandry related in my experience.

Now...sometimes, if the timing is right (while she still has the "desire"/hormones to lay the eggs) a vet can give her a shot of oxytocin and it will help her lay the eggs. If it isn't given in the right time frame (while she still has the "desire") it doesn't usually work.
(It can be a risk if her eggs are deformed or too large).

If she can't/doesn't lay all the eggs then she will soon die because they need to come out...if you catch it in time (before her health declines too much) she can have them removed surgically.

Almost always, when the female is dropping eggs like that, even if she makes it through this egglaying she will not make it through the next clutch unless husbandry things are corrected right away.

Just trying to explain the while thing to you so you will understand.
Hope you can get her through this!
 
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