Chameleon not acting normal.

Ethantrombone16

New Member
I have a male veiled chameleon, about 11 months old. He is in a 18x18x36” cage, with a 50w heat and 50w uvb. I’ve handled him every other day. He has a plant dripped system, as well as 3 mistings about 5 minutes each. Over the last week, he has been not eating or drinking much at all. He used to tolerate being handled very well, now he does whatever he can to get away from me, even jumping straight out of my hand and very aggressively biting at everything. His eyelids seem to be swollen, and he can’t close them all the way. He is also dark all the time, except when he is sleeping.
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
I have a male veiled chameleon, about 11 months old. He is in a 18x18x36” cage, with a 50w heat and 50w uvb. I’ve handled him every other day. He has a plant dripped system, as well as 3 mistings about 5 minutes each. Over the last week, he has been not eating or drinking much at all. He used to tolerate being handled very well, now he does whatever he can to get away from me, even jumping straight out of my hand and very aggressively biting at everything. His eyelids seem to be swollen, and he can’t close them all the way. He is also dark all the time, except when he is sleeping.
Can you fill this out please and attach pics of the viv and the cham, close ups on eye if possible. Are you sure it's a male?

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.

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Ethantrombone16

New Member
My chameleon- Adult male, veiled chameleon, about 12 months old. I have had him since he was about 2 months old. I am pretty sure he is a male, he has tarsal spurs on his hind legs. I’ll try and grab a picture of them.
Handling- about 2 times a week, very short, not even 5 minutes most times. Once a week we will go outside to a small tree I have in my backyard. He seems very happy to be there and enjoys the sun.
Feeding- until recently I was feeding about 8 large crickets, guy loaded with flunkers gut load (the orange cubes) I recently made the switch to Dubai’s, and my other chameleon has hopped all over them. At first I thought it could have been the roaches, but I realized the problem occurred before the switch. They now are given 3 large roaches a day.
Supplements- I switch back and forth between a calcium without d3 and a vitamin A supplement. I dust the roaches 5 out of 7 meals every week, and the vitamin a on the other two.
Watering- I have a dripping system installed, which is a pump in a water source (as you can tell in the picture it’s it perfect but it works) and I mist 3 times a day, in the morning, afternoon, and evening, for about 5 minutes. I have never seen either of my chams drink, and the chameleon in question has very sunken eyes, as you can see.
Fecal- poop has been much smaller recently. What is there is dark brown, very dry, and very little white substance. No yellow, surprisingly enough.
History- we got him from a big box store, he looked incredibly healthy and well cared for. When he was smaller he was much much more nice and tolerant.
Cage type- it is an 18x18x36” all screen cage.
Lighting- I am using a flunkers 50w heat bulb, and a 50w uvb bulb. I have a timer running for 7am to 7pm every day.
Temp- Cage sits right around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with the bottom being around 72
humidity- between 40-60% higher right after I mist.
Plants- no live plants, planning to add some with the new cage I’m building. I have a vine, as well as some fake foliage for him to hide under if he feels so inclined.
Placement- he sits on my dresser, next to a north facing window, as that is the only place I’m allowed to keep him. Very low traffic, but also not a lot of natural light.
Geography- I am in southeast Iowa, right next to Illinois.

Current problem- eyes very sunken. He is shedding very poorly. He doesn’t eat, poops very little. He hides behind his water container, and won’t move unless I pick him up. Then he goes right back. He even sleeps there. He has gotten incredibly aggressive, doing whatever he can to avoid being handled.
 

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cham_urchin

Established Member
I'm relatively new to cham husbandry, but I can see he is dehydrated. You can induce him to drink by putting him in the shower/sink and indirectly spraying water against the side of the tub/sink so it bounces off towards him. Water will accumulate on his head, drip off his snout and encourage him to drink.

There are in-depth care sheet available on this site that will guide you on proper diet (gutloading) as the orange cubes are rubbish, proper lighting (UVB) which is CRUCIAL to your cham's health, and proper environment. Please read them all. Welcome to the forum!
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/
 

Chameleomom

Chameleon Enthusiast
From what I can see your chameleon is dehydrated and your set up SHOULD look like a jungle. You need a lot more branches and foliage. What type of lighting do you have? What is your basking temp? How far away is your basking branch? What is your misting schedule?
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you much. Should I be worried at all about his behavior?
These are probably stress and health related. You can find a great source of information on body language and behavior on the Chameleon breeder podcast. And it's free !!!
I would try to make immediate or asap changes to the enclosure with supplimentary branches and vines and possibly a live pothos plant to create a more suitable living space.

The pothos are amazing plants that can handle misting and low light. They will help retain humidity and allow places for water to collect so your Cham can drink. Use a plastic container Tupperware or even a solo cup, with a small hole poked in the bottom. place it on the top on the container so that it can freely drop water into the enclosure.
 

Ethantrombone16

New Member
I plan to add much more foliage in the new cage. We will start that very soon now. We have a zoo med little dripper so we will start that back up as well. Their basking temp is around 78, which I hear from some that’s fine, from others I hear it’s too low. Again I am misting 3 times throughout every day.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I plan to add much more foliage in the new cage. We will start that very soon now. We have a zoo med little dripper so we will start that back up as well. Their basking temp is around 78, which I hear from some that’s fine, from others I hear it’s too low. Again I am misting 3 times throughout every day.
When you say Their what do you mean by this? 78 is too low for an adult male veiled. He needs massive upgrades to his cage. Much larger, Correct lighting, etc.
 

Ethantrombone16

New Member
Alright, cage upgrades will begin soon. And I refer to “their” because I have two chams, in independent cages, with the exact same setups. I apologize for the confusion. My other cham is doing quite well, except for some issues with ample heating, which I will be fixing.
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
My chameleon- Adult male, veiled chameleon, about 12 months old. I have had him since he was about 2 months old. I am pretty sure he is a male, he has tarsal spurs on his hind legs. I’ll try and grab a picture of them.
Handling- about 2 times a week, very short, not even 5 minutes most times. Once a week we will go outside to a small tree I have in my backyard. He seems very happy to be there and enjoys the sun.

Fine

Feeding- until recently I was feeding about 8 large crickets, guy loaded with flunkers gut load (the orange cubes) I recently made the switch to Dubai’s, and my other chameleon has hopped all over them. At first I thought it could have been the roaches, but I realized the problem occurred before the switch. They now are given 3 large roaches a day.

Your gutload is pretty much useless and over time that is transfered to your cham.
Adults are usually fed every other day and you should be offering a variety, not a single thing over and over.
If that guy is eating 3 large roaches a day every day, he's eating pretty well. However what you feeding isn't as nutritious due to poor gut load.

Supplements- I switch back and forth between a calcium without d3 and a vitamin A supplement. I dust the roaches 5 out of 7 meals every week, and the vitamin a on the other two.

Calcium NO D3 every feed. Calcium with D3 2x month. Multi vitamins 2x month.
What are using for this and what Vit A are you using?

Watering- I have a dripping system installed, which is a pump in a water source (as you can tell in the picture it’s it perfect but it works) and I mist 3 times a day, in the morning, afternoon, and evening, for about 5 minutes. I have never seen either of my chams drink, and the chameleon in question has very sunken eyes, as you can see.

As long as the dripper isn't recycling water that's fine but it may be better to have the tank outside the cage.
How are you misting?

Fecal- poop has been much smaller recently. What is there is dark brown, very dry, and very little white substance. No yellow, surprisingly enough.

Output all depends on his intake of course. Roaches and crickets are pretty low in moisture content. I think it's hornworms (check that) that are recommended to help hydration. (We don't get them in UK so never used).

History- we got him from a big box store, he looked incredibly healthy and well cared for. When he was smaller he was much much more nice and tolerant.

Like me... a grumpy old guy

Cage type- it is an 18x18x36” all screen cage.

Really needs work! It is far too bare and needs vines/sticks etc. of various sizes plus live plants such as pothos etc. It really doesn't look like a nice place to have to exist in right now quite honestly.

Lighting- I am using a flunkers 50w heat bulb, and a 50w uvb bulb. I have a timer running for 7am to 7pm every day.

I'm going to guess that you have a coil UVB bulb. If you've read any other posts here you will know that it's junk and you must provide a T5HO or T8 tube UVB such as the Arcadia 6%. (Higher with lots of foliage but right now the cage is bare).
Wattage is pretty irrelevant. What should be of concern is the temperature AT BASKING SPOT and the gradients through the rest of the setup.

Temp- Cage sits right around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with the bottom being around 72

Too low for adult panther never mind a veiled. Please check the care sheets and make adjustments asap. Also make sure you adjust distances from heat source and basking spot so he doesn't get burnt.
What about night time temps?

humidity- between 40-60% higher right after I mist.

Given how dehydrated he looks you need to increase, even just in the short term. You may need to wrap 2 or 3 sides in shower curtain or similar to keep it up.

Plants- no live plants, planning to add some with the new cage I’m building. I have a vine, as well as some fake foliage for him to hide under if he feels so inclined.

Sorry but right now, it's just not good. You need to either to add to the current setup now or really move with his new digs. He could well be very stressed which could be cause for his health issues.

Placement- he sits on my dresser, next to a north facing window, as that is the only place I’m allowed to keep him. Very low traffic, but also not a lot of natural light.

UVB can't get through glass so other than warmth, the natural light there doesn't count. What about draughts from the window?

Geography- I am in southeast Iowa, right next to Illinois.

Current problem- eyes very sunken. He is shedding very poorly. He doesn’t eat, poops very little.

Earlier you said he eats 3 roaches a day. If he's not eating, he's got no waste to get rid of.
As they get older, chams start to get patchy in their shedding, it's no longer that explosion. However dehydration and poor humidity will make this worse.

He hides behind his water container, and won’t move unless I pick him up. Then he goes right back. He even sleeps there. He has gotten incredibly aggressive, doing whatever he can to avoid being handled.

Again, he has no where to feel safe and comfortable so he gets stressed. He needs options with plenty of cover and access to a basking spot that is at the right temprature.

Dehydration is a killer. Get him in the shower, on a branch, bounce luke warm (NOT HOT) off the tiles and stay with him. This needs to be a good long period and keep a good watch to see if he'll drink. Repeat this as needed. Don't spray him directly with the shower.

If he doesn't improve quickly, you need to get him to the vets asap.

Get the husbandry, especially UVB and decor sorted asap and do the same for your other cham (only guessing but assume the same or similar)
 
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