Chameleon sick?

james10102

New Member
Hey guys, i have had my chameleon for around 2 months now, since yesterday she has been laying on the floor of the vivarium, she still ate today but not as much as usual, she hardly moves and when she does it is very shaky. (not in the usual movement). I have thought that she may need to lay eggs and therefore today i have put in a nest box, however as of now she seems to be unable or unwilling to move more than an inch let alone climb into it, any advice would be amazing...

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Yemen Chameleon, Female, 8 months old, been in my care for 2 months
Handling - Not once in the past month, seems to agitate her
Feeding - about 4 locust and a few waxworms, regularly change up the ratio slightly, only gutloading with various vegetables.
Supplements - exo terra multivitamins and calcium, once a week
Watering - i have a dripper and a water bowl, she seems to drink for the water bowl often enough
Fecal Description - mid brown colour with some white, not sure if she has been tested for parasites


Cage Info:
Cage Type -wood with glass screen, 3ft 2ft 2ft
Lighting - heat bulb and arcadia desert 10%
Temperature - at day basking spot is 86-90 and at night temperature is 75, temperature varies across vivarium
Humidity- around 60% when misted.
Location- UK
the substrate is woodchips, i have read posts about his bieng a bad idea due to impactation however i only hand feed her locust and put the waxworms in a dish so there is no way she could be impacted.

thanks for any help, will upload pictures tomorrow.
 

Juancito

Member
Hey guys, i have had my chameleon for around 2 months now, since yesterday she has been laying on the floor of the vivarium, she still ate today but not as much as usual, she hardly moves and when she does it is very shaky. (not in the usual movement). I have thought that she may need to lay eggs and therefore today i have put in a nest box, however as of now she seems to be unable or unwilling to move more than an inch let alone climb into it, any advice would be amazing...

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Yemen Chameleon, Female, 8 months old, been in my care for 2 months
Handling - Not once in the past month, seems to agitate her
Feeding - about 4 locust and a few waxworms, regularly change up the ratio slightly, only gutloading with various vegetables.
Supplements - exo terra multivitamins and calcium, once a week
Watering - i have a dripper and a water bowl, she seems to drink for the water bowl often enough
Fecal Description - mid brown colour with some white, not sure if she has been tested for parasites


Cage Info:
Cage Type -wood with glass screen, 3ft 2ft 2ft
Lighting - heat bulb and arcadia desert 10%
Temperature - at day basking spot is 86-90 and at night temperature is 75, temperature varies across vivarium
Humidity- around 60% when misted.
Location- UK
the substrate is woodchips, i have read posts about his bieng a bad idea due to impactation however i only hand feed her locust and put the waxworms in a dish so there is no way she could be impacted.

thanks for any help, will upload pictures tomorrow.

well there are a couple things I would change first and then see how she acts. your UVB light: I would change it to a reptisun 5.0 or something for a tropical species as you have desert. id change the woodchips. papertowels are easier anyways. you shouldn't give her vitamins every week only once a month with calcium with D3 and give her calcium without D3 or phosphorus every feeding and id use a 2x2x4ft cage
 

camimom

New Member
Hey guys, i have had my chameleon for around 2 months now, since yesterday she has been laying on the floor of the vivarium, she still ate today but not as much as usual, she hardly moves and when she does it is very shaky. (not in the usual movement). I have thought that she may need to lay eggs and therefore today i have put in a nest box, however as of now she seems to be unable or unwilling to move more than an inch let alone climb into it, any advice would be amazing...

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Yemen Chameleon, Female, 8 months old, been in my care for 2 months
Handling - Not once in the past month, seems to agitate her
Feeding - about 4 locust and a few waxworms, regularly change up the ratio slightly, only gutloading with various vegetables. How often are you feeding her?
Supplements - exo terra multivitamins and calcium, once a week You need a calcium without d3 every feeding, calcium with d3 twice a month, and the multivitamin twice a month.
Watering - i have a dripper and a water bowl, she seems to drink for the water bowl often enough water bowls are a bad idea. they can grow bacteria. you should be misting her at least 4-6 times daily.
Fecal Description - mid brown colour with some white, not sure if she has been tested for parasites


Cage Info:
Cage Type -wood with glass screen, 3ft 2ft 2ft
Lighting - heat bulb and arcadia desert 10% you need a tropical uvb bulb, not the desert.
Temperature - at day basking spot is 86-90 and at night temperature is 75, temperature varies across vivarium her basking spot should never be 90. that's too hot for a female.
Humidity- around 60% when misted.
Location- UK
the substrate is woodchips, i have read posts about his bieng a bad idea due to impactation however i only hand feed her locust and put the waxworms in a dish so there is no way she could be impacted. just because you hand feed, doesn't mean she wont eat the woodchips. shes a veiled, they eat things that aren't bugs all the time. remove it.

thanks for any help, will upload pictures tomorrow.

She could have eggs.

In which case you need a lay bin.

to make one, get a bucket that is at least 12 inches deep, and fill it with washed playsand or top soil, or a combo.

we need pics to see if there is anything we can see wrong with her.

how much foliage is in her cage?

Does she ever sit with her mouth open?
 

james10102

New Member
Thanks for the reply,
feeding her every day,
okay i will fix these things asap, very frustrating considering i did this research before buying my chameleon yet the pet shop guided me towards this wrong set up.
there are fake plants in the vivarium but no real plants, i put a egg bin in earlier today however it seems like she just doesnt want to move at all. she doesnt sit with her mouth open but seems to slouch a bit
here are two photos...
 

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camimom

New Member
Shes def rotund.

Probably has eggs.

make sure the lay bin is damp enough that she can dig a tunnel without it collapsing on her.

It has to be at least 12 inches deep.

if she wont go in it, you can put her in it,

then leave her alone

don't watch her.. or at least don't let her see you watching her.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Hi, welcome to the forum! I'm sorry that your female is not feeling well.

It sounds to me that if she's being really lethargic, that she is at the point where she heeds a vet. A chameleon should never just lie listless on the ground, and if she's having issues laying eggs, for example, she'll need help from a professional.

Is she really too weak to move at all?

A vet can give her a shot of oxytocin, which is the hormone that induces contractions (and a shot of calcium as well, which helps contractions too) and she'll just have the eggs, without the effort of digging if she's weak.

I also don't think that you need to change that light, just because a bulb sys "desert" doesn't mean that the UVB output is anything close to that of a desert. Especially if she does have nice plants in the cage, with areas of shade. No chameleon should sit completely exposed to a UVB will no where to hide, regardless of what intensity or brand you have.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Sounds like she could have eggs...but she is likely also lacking calcium since you are only using it once a week. She doesn't show some of the normal signs of calcium deficiency though. Chameleons need calcium for heir own bones and for muscle contractions and egg formation. And if there isn't enough in their diet they will take it from their own bones.

Have you tried settings in the egg container? Have you tried digging a hole for her?
 

VigilantSpearIII

New Member
Hmm, might be gravid... that is a big possibility. I know others are suggesting a vet, and that is a good idea. One thing you can do is take out that wood chips stuff. Even when hand feeding, I have seen veiled chams go down and try to eat whatever is laying about on the floor, dirt, leaves, woodchips, fecal matter, etc. Another thing you can do is take her outside for a little old fashioned sunlight. It couldn't hurt and in many cases where I had a sick cold-blooded buddy, it has worked wonders. Just let her bask in some real sunlight and see her reaction, there is no replacement for true sunlight. Good luck pal.
 

james10102

New Member
I put her in the bucket filled with moist sand this morning, she seems hardly able to move at all, should i give her some alone time with the sand or just take her to a vet asap? thanks for the help everyone
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Yea, vet please. Like I said, anytime an animal is so lethargic that they don't move at all, it's typically an emergency. It's probably too late for any home tricks or remedies, ane should go in her the injections I mentioned if the vet determines it's an egg issue.
 

james10102

New Member
I took her to the vet a few hours ago, as you all suggested she has eggs, she also had bad bones due to the eggs sapping her calcium apparantly. On top of this She also had a slight fold on one of her legs. I am gutted i didnt notice any of this before it was this far in and didnt give her calcium as often as i should have, i presumed the egg situation would occur much later on than 8 months. I have been given calcium to give her orally as well as painkillers for her leg, i am returning to the vet tomorrow where they will tell me if surgery is necessary (they said she may be too weak to lay the eggs herself) or if injecting oxytocin will be enough. Either way the vet said her chances are slim.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I'm sorry, poor girlie. I have my fingers crossed that thr oxytocin will be enough and that then she can recover quickly. Please keep us posted!
 
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