Chameleon not eating for a long time!

Kevrev

New Member
So I live in Colorado my adult Vail chameleon hasn't eaten anything to my knowledge for over 3 weeks. It's winter time and it's getting down to 10 F. at night and I read somewhere that someones chameleon didn't eat for a month in the winter, and then on a warm day he started eating again. I just made him a DIY larger cage about a month and a half ago and he hasn't eaten anything since then except for 1 cricket and 2 super worms. Has anyone seen anything like this? His basking spot is at about 80 F. And he's 2½ years old. He's surprisingly hasn't died and still drinks everyday. He spends a good hour a day also roaming his cage. I think I'm just now after a month and a half seeing the results of him not eating. His eyes are starting to sink in and I'm going to try to force feed him soon. Any advice?
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Swap out his bulb for a higher wattage or moving his basking branch up higher or both. Adult make Veilds need to be closer to 90*F. These temps are imperative for digestion. Try switching his feeders? I too live in Colorado
 

Kevrev

New Member
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Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
It’s not uncommon for chameleons to go on hunger strikes. It would be helpful if you filled out the how to ask for help form seeing as there are a lot of reasons that a chameleon could stop eating.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/how-to-ask-for-help.66/

I would refrain from trying to force feed for right now as that can be tricky to do properly and you’re not sure what’s wrong with him yet.

I’ll hold off on making any suggestions until you fill out the form so I can have all the info first.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
So I live in Colorado my adult Vail chameleon hasn't eaten anything to my knowledge for over 3 weeks. It's winter time and it's getting down to 10 F. at night and I read somewhere that someones chameleon didn't eat for a month in the winter, and then on a warm day he started eating again. I just made him a DIY larger cage about a month and a half ago and he hasn't eaten anything since then except for 1 cricket and 2 super worms. Has anyone seen anything like this? His basking spot is at about 80 F. And he's 2½ years old. He's surprisingly hasn't died and still drinks everyday. He spends a good hour a day also roaming his cage. I think I'm just now after a month and a half seeing the results of him not eating. His eyes are starting to sink in and I'm going to try to force feed him soon. Any advice?
I wouldn't say "force feed" so much as "trick feed". Is he one of the rare nice chams? If not, you're in luck. What I do is get them intentionally mad... so much so that they gape. Then it's just a matter of plopping a choice feeder into that mouth and checking the result. If he chews, win. If he spits it out... I'd probably take him to the vet.

My concern wouldn't so much be not eating as much as lack of supplementation - If he isn't eating, unless you happen to be mixing calcium and a multi vit into his water..?

^ that would be my other suggestion.

While climate does effect their eating habits, after about 2-3 weeks they start going through the stored nutrients in the body. Most species that go that long without eating go into brumation to slow their metabolism enough to not do this. However, you say he's still active and drinking daily, so this is not the case.

I do want to say though, the majority of my experience comes from Panthers. I do own a veiled female but I've only had her about 6 months and she was a rescue. I am also not a vet and my overall advice to you would be:

No one knows your cham like you. If you feel something is wrong, go to the vet before it becomes a serious issue.

Best wishes
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Do you free range the insects?
Is your chameleon pooping?
Is he drinking? How do you provide the water?

What supplements do you specifically use and how often for each? I'm particular.y looking for calcium, phosphorous, D3 and the type/source of vitamin A...is the A prOformed (beta carotene) or prEformed (palmitate, retinyl, retinol, etc)?
How do you gutload/feed the insects?

I would move the cage away from the window.
I would use a long linear tube UVB light such a s the reptisun 5.0.

The answers to the how to ask for help hread near the top of the health forum would help too.
 

Bush baby

Avid Member
Try fruits and veggies. Collard greens, bell pepper, blueberries, etc. You can apply light supplementation to these items without worrying if it will fall off. It's a good way to get food and hydration into him at the same time.
 

Ramrod

Chameleon Enthusiast
My veiled goes on a not eating his staples from time to time but will take fruits and vegies without hesitation.
Try grapes,sweet red pepper,kiwi,cucumber,ect. I just pin small slices to a spot he can get to easily when passing by.
Like bush baby said, you can dust supplements this way.
 

Kevrev

New Member
Any idea how I should put vegetables and things in his cage, on the floor, hooked to the side, balance on branches.....?

I'm getting to answering the questions, just have a lot going to right now!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Any idea how I should put vegetables and things in his cage, on the floor, hooked to the side, balance on branches.....?

I'm getting to answering the questions, just have a lot going to right now!
Some soft fruits can be cut into cham bite-sized pieces and placed in a feeding cup where your cham can see it. Greens and thinly shaved harder vegetables (like sweet potato) can be clipped to a branch where your cham can see and reach. I’m currently trying different ways, but clothes pins work okay. I have finicky girls, but they both enjoy blueberries.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Any idea how I should put vegetables and things in his cage, on the floor, hooked to the side, balance on branches.....?

I'm getting to answering the questions, just have a lot going to right now!
I've used a little dab of honey like glue to place different fruits and veg around... it works fairly well. That being said, my veiled will eat the hibiscus blooms and any worms/roaches/hoppers offered but I have yet to get her to eat any kind of fruit or veg that isn't growing in her cage. I even tried using the honey to "attach" fruits near the hibiscus buds to no avail. I've also put a bowl right by her feeding area to no avail. That's just my experience with one veiled though.
 

Kevrev

New Member
Good news I've moved his basking spot closer to the light and put a heat bulb that doesn't put off light on the other side of his cage to try to warm up he's general area. He ate a cricket in two superworms just now, hopefully warming up his cage is helping him eat more. I also saw him nibble on a bit of lettuce that I put in there using the honey trick, thanks a bunch you all!
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
10°f inside? If your Veiled is beingexposed to such lows it could be putting him into brumation a type of hibernation mode where they go dormant to a degree. Ceramic heater and/or wrap the three back panels with a blanket thick towel or something to keep in the warmth to keep nighttime temp closer to 60° but no lower than 50° to avoid brumation.
 

Kevrev

New Member
So today he just pooped a leaf..... And now he's eating a hole lot of food so that's good but why would he have eaten one of the plastic leafs?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
So today he just pooped a leaf..... And now he's eating a hole lot of food so that's good but why would he have eaten one of the plastic leafs?
Thank goodness he was able to pass the leaf. Veileds are plant eaters. Get Pothos...lots of big Pothos. :)
 
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