Chameleon not eating

Hello everyone, i purchased a juvenile female veiled chameleon from petsmart around a month ago. For the couple weeks she was eating really well and drinking. But now over the past 2 weeks she has only eaten a mealworm and a small cricket even with my offering her roaches, mealworms of different life stages, hornworms and crickets. She still is drinking but takes naps during the day and ik this means issues and nothing remotely good. This is my first chameleon and i have grown really attached to her and just want to see her thrive so badly. I’ve been on this website a few times before and know there is a form of information about your chameleon to fill out for stuff like this that i would be more than happen to fill out if someone put it in this thread. Here is a picture of my chameleon and her enclosure.
 

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Hello everyone, i purchased a juvenile female veiled chameleon from petsmart around a month ago. For the couple weeks she was eating really well and drinking. But now over the past 2 weeks she has only eaten a mealworm and a small cricket even with my offering her roaches, mealworms of different life stages, hornworms and crickets. She still is drinking but takes naps during the day and ik this means issues and nothing remotely good. This is my first chameleon and i have grown really attached to her and just want to see her thrive so badly. I’ve been on this website a few times before and know there is a form of information about your chameleon to fill out for stuff like this that i would be more than happen to fill out if someone put it in this thread. Here is a picture of my chameleon and her enclosure.
3ED64A62-DC63-4D6E-9FD6-36139C2FE2FA.jpeg
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello everyone, i purchased a juvenile female veiled chameleon from petsmart around a month ago. For the couple weeks she was eating really well and drinking. But now over the past 2 weeks she has only eaten a mealworm and a small cricket even with my offering her roaches, mealworms of different life stages, hornworms and crickets. She still is drinking but takes naps during the day and ik this means issues and nothing remotely good. This is my first chameleon and i have grown really attached to her and just want to see her thrive so badly. I’ve been on this website a few times before and know there is a form of information about your chameleon to fill out for stuff like this that i would be more than happen to fill out if someone put it in this thread. Here is a picture of my chameleon and her enclosure.
Hi there right off the enclosure is set up incorrectly for her... Here is the form please be detailed in your responses.

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.
 
Hi there right off the enclosure is set up incorrectly for her... Here is the form please be detailed in your responses.

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.
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? She is a veiled chameleon and she has been in my care for about a month.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I handle her i’d say every other day to try and build a bond with her.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I feed her crickets and mealworms which are gutloaded with carrots which i would give her whatever she was eating every day which she would typically eat around 5 mealworms or 5 crickets depending on there sized and i have even tried offering dubia roaches and hornworms since she stopped eating.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I was using reptivite every few feedings and calcium every other feeding.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I use a misting system that mists for one minute every 4 hours
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? The pee is a white color and the poop a darker color
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. I don’t have any previous information other than i got her from my local petsmart
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? She is in a glass cage that is 18x18x24
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I have a 5.0 linear uvb bulb and a 60w blue daytime bulb.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I dont have a thermometer in her cage right now but my room never gets lower than 70 degrees at any time plus she has the 60w blue daytime bulb for heat.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? My humidity levels are 50-65% during the day and around 70% at night. These levels are maintained with my misting system and I believe with the drainage layer in the very bottom of her setup.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a live golden pothos plant in the back corner of the cage.
  • 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? The setup is on a table against the wall of my bedroom. This is not really a high traffic area and there is an airvent below the table.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I am located in Pennsylvania
For further details i plan on putting her in a dragon ledge hybrid cage that is 2x2x4 in the next few weeks
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? She is a veiled chameleon and she has been in my care for about a month.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I handle her i’d say every other day to try and build a bond with her.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I feed her crickets and mealworms which are gutloaded with carrots which i would give her whatever she was eating every day which she would typically eat around 5 mealworms or 5 crickets depending on there sized and i have even tried offering dubia roaches and hornworms since she stopped eating.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I was using reptivite every few feedings and calcium every other feeding.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I use a misting system that mists for one minute every 4 hours
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? The pee is a white color and the poop a darker color
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. I don’t have any previous information other than i got her from my local petsmart
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? She is in a glass cage that is 18x18x24
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I have a 5.0 linear uvb bulb and a 60w blue daytime bulb.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I dont have a thermometer in her cage right now but my room never gets lower than 70 degrees at any time plus she has the 60w blue daytime bulb for heat.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? My humidity levels are 50-65% during the day and around 70% at night. These levels are maintained with my misting system and I believe with the drainage layer in the very bottom of her setup.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a live golden pothos plant in the back corner of the cage.
  • 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? The setup is on a table against the wall of my bedroom. This is not really a high traffic area and there is an airvent below the table.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I am located in Pennsylvania
For further details i plan on putting her in a dragon ledge hybrid cage that is 2x2x4 in the next few weeks
Give me a few to go through it all.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Evanstouffer1 See my feedback and questions in bold.
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? She is a veiled chameleon and she has been in my care for about a month.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I handle her i’d say every other day to try and build a bond with her. Stop handling her... It adds stress in an already stressed environment. She is young and this is not something you want to do with a baby that is not stable.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I feed her crickets and mealworms which are gutloaded with carrots which i would give her whatever she was eating every day which she would typically eat around 5 mealworms or 5 crickets depending on there sized and i have even tried offering dubia roaches and hornworms since she stopped eating. Feeders would have to be very small for her. the 1/4 size. Anything bigger and she is not going to attempt to eat them. At this size they should be eating at least 25 feeders a day. You should not be feeding mealworms at all they are low in nutritional value and high it chitin so it makes them harder to digest. See feeder image below. You should not be only using carrots for gutload. See image below. If you do not want to do all fresh variety then get the commercial gutload like repashy bug burger and mix as directed for your feeders.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I was using reptivite every few feedings and calcium every other feeding. This is incorrect supplementation. They have to have calcium without D3 at every feeding. All feeders should be dusted in it just prior to giving them to the cham. Reptivite if it is the with D3 version should ONLY be used 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th. Which one do you have and which calcium do you have? Take pics of them.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I use a misting system that mists for one minute every 4 hours
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? The pee is a white color and the poop a darker color.. I would suggest getting a fecal tested for parasites at the vet.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. I don’t have any previous information other than i got her from my local petsmart..
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? She is in a glass cage that is 18x18x24
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I have a 5.0 linear uvb bulb and a 60w blue daytime bulb. Which linear fixture did you buy. Is it a T8 or a T5HO fixture. This is extremely important.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I dont have a thermometer in her cage right now but my room never gets lower than 70 degrees at any time plus she has the 60w blue daytime bulb for heat. You have to know this levels. It could be baking her in that glass cage. And babies do not handle hot temps. It kills them. You need a wired probe with digital gauge to put below the heat fixture. 78 at basking would be your temp for her. But then they have to be able to move down out of the heat to thermo regulate. Your cage set up all being on the floor does not allow for that.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? My humidity levels are 50-65% during the day and around 70% at night. These levels are maintained with my misting system and I believe with the drainage layer in the very bottom of her setup. Daytime levels are high. You want 30-50% max during the day. One reason why glass cages are not good for new keepers. Makes it harder to get your temps and humidity right.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a live golden pothos plant in the back corner of the cage. Not enough plant coverage and not enough branches to climb on. They are arboreal so they live in trees... Fake plants are dangerous with veileds because they eat them.
  • 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? The setup is on a table against the wall of my bedroom. This is not really a high traffic area and there is an airvent below the table.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I am located in Pennsylvania
For further details i plan on putting her in a dragon ledge hybrid cage that is 2x2x4 in the next few weeks


This chameleon is extremely stressed and shutting down. The incorrect environment is contributing to this. You have a few potential additional causes as well. Please answer the questions about the UVB and supplements. Along with the others I asked.


Your cage is set up entirely incorrect for a chameleon. All of the moss is an impaction risk. No branches for her her to climb up and lack of live plants to make her feel safe.

So additional resources... Read everything here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/


chameleon-gutload.jpg
chameleon-food(1).jpg
 
@Evanstouffer1 See my feedback and questions in bold.
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? She is a veiled chameleon and she has been in my care for about a month.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I handle her i’d say every other day to try and build a bond with her. Stop handling her... It adds stress in an already stressed environment. She is young and this is not something you want to do with a baby that is not stable.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I feed her crickets and mealworms which are gutloaded with carrots which i would give her whatever she was eating every day which she would typically eat around 5 mealworms or 5 crickets depending on there sized and i have even tried offering dubia roaches and hornworms since she stopped eating. Feeders would have to be very small for her. the 1/4 size. Anything bigger and she is not going to attempt to eat them. At this size they should be eating at least 25 feeders a day. You should not be feeding mealworms at all they are low in nutritional value and high it chitin so it makes them harder to digest. See feeder image below. You should not be only using carrots for gutload. See image below. If you do not want to do all fresh variety then get the commercial gutload like repashy bug burger and mix as directed for your feeders.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I was using reptivite every few feedings and calcium every other feeding. This is incorrect supplementation. They have to have calcium without D3 at every feeding. All feeders should be dusted in it just prior to giving them to the cham. Reptivite if it is the with D3 version should ONLY be used 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th. Which one do you have and which calcium do you have? Take pics of them.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I use a misting system that mists for one minute every 4 hours
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? The pee is a white color and the poop a darker color.. I would suggest getting a fecal tested for parasites at the vet.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. I don’t have any previous information other than i got her from my local petsmart..
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? She is in a glass cage that is 18x18x24
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I have a 5.0 linear uvb bulb and a 60w blue daytime bulb. Which linear fixture did you buy. Is it a T8 or a T5HO fixture. This is extremely important.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I dont have a thermometer in her cage right now but my room never gets lower than 70 degrees at any time plus she has the 60w blue daytime bulb for heat. You have to know this levels. It could be baking her in that glass cage. And babies do not handle hot temps. It kills them. You need a wired probe with digital gauge to put below the heat fixture. 78 at basking would be your temp for her. But then they have to be able to move down out of the heat to thermo regulate. Your cage set up all being on the floor does not allow for that.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? My humidity levels are 50-65% during the day and around 70% at night. These levels are maintained with my misting system and I believe with the drainage layer in the very bottom of her setup. Daytime levels are high. You want 30-50% max during the day. One reason why glass cages are not good for new keepers. Makes it harder to get your temps and humidity right.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a live golden pothos plant in the back corner of the cage. Not enough plant coverage and not enough branches to climb on. They are arboreal so they live in trees... Fake plants are dangerous with veileds because they eat them.
  • 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? The setup is on a table against the wall of my bedroom. This is not really a high traffic area and there is an airvent below the table.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I am located in Pennsylvania
For further details i plan on putting her in a dragon ledge hybrid cage that is 2x2x4 in the next few weeks


This chameleon is extremely stressed and shutting down. The incorrect environment is contributing to this. You have a few potential additional causes as well. Please answer the questions about the UVB and supplements. Along with the others I asked.


Your cage is set up entirely incorrect for a chameleon. All of the moss is an impaction risk. No branches for her her to climb up and lack of live plants to make her feel safe.

So additional resources... Read everything here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/


View attachment 291749View attachment 291750
Would adding a smaller live tree in the cage be a good start? I am at work right now so i cant provide information about the bulbs or anything else
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Would adding a smaller live tree in the cage be a good start? I am at work right now so i cant provide information about the bulbs or anything else
It would be a good start... A small umbrella tree. Even two... Just to fill out the cage and provide height.

Let me know about the bulbs...

Closing eyes is a stress/ illness response. It is not a good thing to see in babies.
 
It would be a good start... A small umbrella tree. Even two... Just to fill out the cage and provide height.

Let me know about the bulbs...

Closing eyes is a stress/ illness response. It is not a good thing to see in babies.
Thank you so much! I will check the second i get to my room when i get off work tonight. I will go get more plants right away tomorrow morning for her. I just want to make her happy and feel safe and i really appreciate the help.
 
It would be a good start... A small umbrella tree. Even two... Just to fill out the cage and provide height.

Let me know about the bulbs...

Closing eyes is a stress/ illness response. It is not a good thing to see in babies.
I just got home and the box for my bulbs says that they are T5 HO
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum. It can definitely be stressful when your Chams not doing well. Not eating and sleeping during the day do sound like signs of stress

@Beman is great helping new keepers and has given great advice.

I think two things are important to hopefully helping your little get better. Ensuring proper environmental conditions and treating any acute illness. Beman and others can help with the enclosure, but she’ll likely need to see a veterinarian with reptile experience very soon.
Is she holding her nose in air?
Is she still moving normally, or does she have difficulty holding up her own weight, falling?

she will eventually need a larger enclosure, but in her current one you want to create gradients of heat, UVB, humidity and exposure
As already mentioned, a thermometer with a probe at her basking area is important so you can monitor her basking temps. Low 80s should be the maximum temps for her basking spot and you can raise her basking bulb or reduce the wattage to achieve this

A T5HO UVB bulb should provide plenty of UVB light for her. In this smaller enclosure you might consider raising the fixture a few inches above the enclosure

as noted your daytime humidity is a little too high. I have a couple of glass enclosures as well, and I need to use fans on timers during the day to lower daytime humidity. I am using a small computer fan currently and it works well. Nighttime humidity above 75-80% is great for them.

the last is exposure. Lots of branches so she can access all levels of the cage. In this size enclosure, an upper level in the top third and some in the middle the lower third. And more importantly, live plants creating areas she can totally hide away from being seen and from the heat and UVB light

nutrition through feeder variety (as much different appropriately sized bugs as you can find, variety in feeding/gutloading of the bugs and proper supplementation that Beman has also addressed
2EF5D1E5-B0DA-4C09-9185-AABF126743BC.jpeg
E78B0542-CF58-46C8-802D-D62A739AB671.jpeg
E8B6D72A-253A-4631-9C6C-78F0C0F637EC.jpeg
 
It would be a good start... A small umbrella tree. Even two... Just to fill out the cage and provide height.

Let me know about the bulbs...

Closing eyes is a stress/ illness response. It is not a good thing to see in babies.
C3AFB48E-04EC-4418-A2F1-0B90501CD879.jpeg
Just got finished planting the 2 new live plants and took out the fake vines like you mentioned. Im about to run to the pet store and grab some spagnum moss and add a layer of that to the bottom and will be adding more springtails and isopods as soon as i get the chance
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
View attachment 291831Just got finished planting the 2 new live plants and took out the fake vines like you mentioned. Im about to run to the pet store and grab some spagnum moss and add a layer of that to the bottom and will be adding more springtails and isopods as soon as i get the chance
So you actually do not want moss you want leaf litter. The moss she can eat and become impacted by.

I need to know what your uvb is ... So that I can tell you how many inches below this she needs to be able to get to for the correct UVI level.
And you need to get a temp probe to put below the heat fixture. But you need some branches in there as well. Go in your yard and grab some. As long as they are not from sap producing trees like pine, cedar, and eucalyptus they can be used.
 
So you actually do not want moss you want leaf litter. The moss she can eat and become impacted by.

I need to know what your uvb is ... So that I can tell you how many inches below this she needs to be able to get to for the correct UVI level.
And you need to get a temp probe to put below the heat fixture. But you need some branches in there as well. Go in your yard and grab some. As long as they are not from sap producing trees like pine, cedar, and eucalyptus they can be used.
The uvb bulb is a 5.0 and T5 HO
 
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