Chameleon sitting at the top of vivarium??

comicchameleon

New Member
Hi there,
So recently my chameleon has been acting different to normal and its really worrying me!

So, 2 nights ago, at midnight, I heard Jellal (my yemen chameleon), moving in his vivarium. I had a look at him, and he was holding onto the very top left corner of him vivarium, by the polystyrene rock effect wall. He was so close to the top, the top of his head was grazing the mesh screen of the vivarium!
So, I got him onto a plant and moved him back to where he usually sleeps, but he then tried to climb back up the wall. I've never seen him act like this before.
He was fine the next day, back to his usual self. But...
I came home from work today, and he's sitting back up there again!? As its the very top of his vivarium it isn't as foliage heavy, so I don't know what he's doing.

So, you're probably wondering why I'm really worried/ freaked out about this. I'm an amateur chameleon enthusiast, and Jellal is my second chameleon. My first one passed away early last year, and when he got ill he would do this. I still don't know why my previous chameleon did that, but seeing Jellal do it too really makes me worry. I've booked to take him to the vets tomorrow (the soonest appointment I could get), but was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of what Jellal might be doing and what I'm doing wrong as a keeper. I would love to know because if this is a sign that he's ill I want to help him asap.
Thank you.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Being as how you said this is your second one and that you are an amateur I would fill out this form with as much detail as possible and post pictures of the entire enclosure lights down including more pics of your cham.

Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. By providing this information you will receive more accurate and beneficial responses. It might not be necessary to answer all these questions, but the more you provide the better. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person can only guess at what your problem may be. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who can directly examine your animal can give a true diagnosis of your chameleon's health.


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.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there,
So recently my chameleon has been acting different to normal and its really worrying me!

So, 2 nights ago, at midnight, I heard Jellal (my yemen chameleon), moving in his vivarium. I had a look at him, and he was holding onto the very top left corner of him vivarium, by the polystyrene rock effect wall. He was so close to the top, the top of his head was grazing the mesh screen of the vivarium!
So, I got him onto a plant and moved him back to where he usually sleeps, but he then tried to climb back up the wall. I've never seen him act like this before.
He was fine the next day, back to his usual self. But...
I came home from work today, and he's sitting back up there again!? As its the very top of his vivarium it isn't as foliage heavy, so I don't know what he's doing.

So, you're probably wondering why I'm really worried/ freaked out about this. I'm an amateur chameleon enthusiast, and Jellal is my second chameleon. My first one passed away early last year, and when he got ill he would do this. I still don't know why my previous chameleon did that, but seeing Jellal do it too really makes me worry. I've booked to take him to the vets tomorrow (the soonest appointment I could get), but was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of what Jellal might be doing and what I'm doing wrong as a keeper. I would love to know because if this is a sign that he's ill I want to help him asap.
Thank you.
Is it me or does she look quite skinny? The arms look skeletal.

Please post a photo of the entire enclosure. I suspect that may be part of the issue
 

comicchameleon

New Member
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, approximately 1 year old. I've had Jellal (male) since he was six months old, although the shopkeeper he came from seemed rather skeptical about his age.
  • Handling - once a fortnight, he really doesn't like handling but will come out briefly
  • Feeding - medium locusts, about 10-12 a day. Half of them in the morning, half at 4pm. I use jelly pots and leafy greens (eg dandelion leaves or cavolo nero)
  • Supplements - Nutrobal, and 3 locusts a day are dusted.
  • Watering - I mist by hand, twice a day, each time using 200ml of water. There's also a water bowl and a small waterfall. I see Jellal drinking water running down the sides of his vivarium and off leaves whenever I mist it.
  • Fecal Description - Cream urates and dark brown faeces. Usually a little firm, but soft when pressure is applied.
  • History - I got Jellal from my local, well known reptile specialist. My previous chameleon was also from here. When I got Jellal I was with a shop assistant who couldn't tell me many specifics about Jellal, and even when I spoke to the manager he couldn't tell me much (his age is estimated by the manager).

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Exoterra glass with a mesh lid, 45x45x60cm
  • Lighting - I have one heat lamp, and one Exoterra UVB100. I turn them on when I wake up and off when I go to bed (so about 14 hours on, 10 hours off)
  • Temperature - Floor temperature is 23 c and top is 28 c. At night it drops at the bottom of the vivarium to 20 c. I heat the vivarium using a heat lamp and a heat mat, and I measured the temperature using my Komodo digital thermometer (for the night temperature I used a dial thermometer)
  • Humidity - 50% humidity, I mist twice a day, and I have a small waterfall and a water bowl. All the water I use has Reptisafe water conditioner in it. I have a dial hydrometer to measure this.
  • Plants - no live plants, although there is orchid bark at the bottom of the vivarium. There are several artificial plants throughout the vivarium.
  • Placement - the vivarium is in my room. It is in a very low traffic area (just me entering really).There's a window in my room that is occasionally open, and as it is cold I have a fan heater running in here as well. The top of the vivarium is 114cm from the floor.
  • Location - The UK

Current Problem - My chameleon is sitting very close to the top of his vivarium, and its worrying me (see above in thread for more detail).
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Post pics of the entire cage lights down please.
I will start going through your form.
 

comicchameleon

New Member
Is it me or does she look quite skinny? The arms look skeletal.

Please post a photo of the entire enclosure. I suspect that may be part of the issue
I've just put up a photo of the vivarium, but if you want any others please let me know. He's shed his skin but he is small. I previously mentioned this to my vet but he didn't seem too fussed. I'll mention it to him again tomorrow though.
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh man. That is a very skinny chameleon and a lot of husbandry changes need to be made. But have no fear! You are in good hands, and lots of people with lots of experience are willing to help you.

@Beman already said they are working on feedback. I'll follow-up with any additional comments after they post as to not repeat anything.
 

comicchameleon

New Member
Oh man. That is a very skinny chameleon and a lot of husbandry changes need to be made. But have no fear! You are in good hands, and lots of people with lots of experience are willing to help you.

@Beman already said they are working on feedback. I'll follow-up with any additional comments after they post as to not repeat anything.
Ahh thank you so much for the feedback! I want to give Jellal the best quality of life I can give him, so please tell me what I can do to make it better. The best is what he deserves and if what I'm currently doing isn't the best I'm all eyes and ears to any advice you can give.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Current Problem - My chameleon is sitting very close to the top of his vivarium, and its worrying me (see above in thread for more detail).

I am going to red bold all feedback and additional questions. Your going to get a ton of information thrown at you at once. Please breath and know we are trying to help you.

Chameleon Info:


  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, approximately 1 year old. I've had Jellal (male) since he was six months old, although the shopkeeper he came from seemed rather skeptical about his age.
  • Handling - once a fortnight, he really doesn't like handling but will come out briefly
  • Feeding - medium locusts, about 10-12 a day. Half of them in the morning, half at 4pm. I use jelly pots and leafy greens (eg dandelion leaves or cavolo nero) They really need to be fed in the first half of the day so that they have all day to digest. If he is a year old he would be on a reduced feeding plan to every other day. However he looks very very thin and frail which says he is not gaining adequate weight for his age. Gutload is not adequate see image below.
  • Supplements - Nutrobal, and 3 locusts a day are dusted. Is this what you are using? https://www.vetark.co.uk/pages/Nutrobal-for-reptiles.aspx
  • Watering - I mist by hand, twice a day, each time using 200ml of water. There's also a water bowl and a small waterfall. I see Jellal drinking water running down the sides of his vivarium and off leaves whenever I mist it. How long are you misting for? Waterfall and bowl need to be removed asap as these are a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Fecal Description - Cream urates and dark brown faeces. Usually a little firm, but soft when pressure is applied. Have you gotten a fecal done?
  • History - I got Jellal from my local, well known reptile specialist. My previous chameleon was also from here. When I got Jellal I was with a shop assistant who couldn't tell me many specifics about Jellal, and even when I spoke to the manager he couldn't tell me much (his age is estimated by the manager).

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Exoterra glass with a mesh lid, 45x45x60cm This cage is much too small for him. He needs a minimum of 60x60x122 cm.
  • Lighting - I have one heat lamp, and one Exoterra UVB100. I turn them on when I wake up and off when I go to bed (so about 14 hours on, 10 hours off) The UVB bulb is the wrong type for a chameleon. He needs a linear T5HO fixture with a 5.0 zoo med bulb or a 6% arcadia bulb to prevent MBD> If he has been under this compact bulb for this long he is already probably showing internal damage from MBD. He has to have horrizontal basking branches in the cage to get to the uvb and be able to bask to get the right level of UVB and HEat.
  • Temperature - Floor temperature is 23 c and top is 28 c. At night it drops at the bottom of the vivarium to 20 c. I heat the vivarium using a heat lamp and a heat mat, and I measured the temperature using my Komodo digital thermometer (for the night temperature I used a dial thermometer 28 c. is a little low for a basking but like I said you will need to add horizontal basking branches for him.
  • Humidity - 50% humidity, I mist twice a day, and I have a small waterfall and a water bowl. All the water I use has Reptisafe water conditioner in it. I have a dial hydrometer to measure this. you do not want to have the humidity any higher or he is at risk for developing an RI.
  • Plants - no live plants, although there is orchid bark at the bottom of the vivarium. There are several artificial plants throughout the vivarium. Live plants are better since veileds will eat their plants. Bark is not recommended. The only time sub straight is recommended is when you are running a fully bio active enclosure.
  • Placement - the vivarium is in my room. It is in a very low traffic area (just me entering really).There's a window in my room that is occasionally open, and as it is cold I have a fan heater running in here as well. The top of the vivarium is 114cm from the floor.
  • Location - The UK
Ok hun so multiple issues with his enclosure and husbandry. MY first concern is the lack of weight on him and I am leaning toward parasites. You need to take in a fecal now. Lighting has to be corrected for UVB now. MBD is serious and can kill them.

I am concerned as well with D3 overdose but I do not know enough about the nutrobal supplement except it does have D3 in it. D3 should not be given more then 2 times a month rotating with a multivitamin on opposing weeks. Then you want a calcium WITHOUT d3 at every other feeding.

The enclosure is set up totally wrong and does not give him anywhere to climb or hide. Temps are off which is why he is going to the top. But there are not basking branches so he is doing all he can with a small enclosure that is not set up to suit his needs.

Additionally did you find out what the first cham passed away from and is this cham in the same enclosure?

chameleon-food(1).jpg
chameleon-gutload.jpg
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh man. That is a very skinny chameleon and a lot of husbandry changes need to be made. But have no fear! You are in good hands, and lots of people with lots of experience are willing to help you.

@Beman already said they are working on feedback. I'll follow-up with any additional comments after they post as to not repeat anything.
Do you have a video of enclosure set up so they can see what this needs to be?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here are images of my enclosure. This is what he needs. So branches and live plants. The glass enclosures can be harder to do this in but it is possible when done totally bio active. Now this is what he does need. But honestly my concern is getting that fecal done now. Certain parasites are worse then others.

cage front 6-21-19.jpg
basking level 6-21-19.jpg
 

comicchameleon

New Member
I am going to red bold all feedback and additional questions. Your going to get a ton of information thrown at you at once. Please breath and know we are trying to help you.
Chameleon Info:


  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, approximately 1 year old. I've had Jellal (male) since he was six months old, although the shopkeeper he came from seemed rather skeptical about his age.
  • Handling - once a fortnight, he really doesn't like handling but will come out briefly
  • Feeding - medium locusts, about 10-12 a day. Half of them in the morning, half at 4pm. I use jelly pots and leafy greens (eg dandelion leaves or cavolo nero) They really need to be fed in the first half of the day so that they have all day to digest. If he is a year old he would be on a reduced feeding plan to every other day. However he looks very very thin and frail which says he is not gaining adequate weight for his age. Gutload is not adequate see image below.
  • Supplements - Nutrobal, and 3 locusts a day are dusted. Is this what you are using? https://www.vetark.co.uk/pages/Nutrobal-for-reptiles.aspx
  • Watering - I mist by hand, twice a day, each time using 200ml of water. There's also a water bowl and a small waterfall. I see Jellal drinking water running down the sides of his vivarium and off leaves whenever I mist it. How long are you misting for? Waterfall and bowl need to be removed asap as these are a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Fecal Description - Cream urates and dark brown faeces. Usually a little firm, but soft when pressure is applied. Have you gotten a fecal done?
  • History - I got Jellal from my local, well known reptile specialist. My previous chameleon was also from here. When I got Jellal I was with a shop assistant who couldn't tell me many specifics about Jellal, and even when I spoke to the manager he couldn't tell me much (his age is estimated by the manager).

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Exoterra glass with a mesh lid, 45x45x60cm This cage is much too small for him. He needs a minimum of 60x60x122 cm.
  • Lighting - I have one heat lamp, and one Exoterra UVB100. I turn them on when I wake up and off when I go to bed (so about 14 hours on, 10 hours off) The UVB bulb is the wrong type for a chameleon. He needs a linear T5HO fixture with a 5.0 zoo med bulb or a 6% arcadia bulb to prevent MBD> If he has been under this compact bulb for this long he is already probably showing internal damage from MBD. He has to have horrizontal basking branches in the cage to get to the uvb and be able to bask to get the right level of UVB and HEat.
  • Temperature - Floor temperature is 23 c and top is 28 c. At night it drops at the bottom of the vivarium to 20 c. I heat the vivarium using a heat lamp and a heat mat, and I measured the temperature using my Komodo digital thermometer (for the night temperature I used a dial thermometer 28 c. is a little low for a basking but like I said you will need to add horizontal basking branches for him.
  • Humidity - 50% humidity, I mist twice a day, and I have a small waterfall and a water bowl. All the water I use has Reptisafe water conditioner in it. I have a dial hydrometer to measure this. you do not want to have the humidity any higher or he is at risk for developing an RI.
  • Plants - no live plants, although there is orchid bark at the bottom of the vivarium. There are several artificial plants throughout the vivarium. Live plants are better since veileds will eat their plants. Bark is not recommended. The only time sub straight is recommended is when you are running a fully bio active enclosure.
  • Placement - the vivarium is in my room. It is in a very low traffic area (just me entering really).There's a window in my room that is occasionally open, and as it is cold I have a fan heater running in here as well. The top of the vivarium is 114cm from the floor.
  • Location - The UK
Ok hun so multiple issues with his enclosure and husbandry. MY first concern is the lack of weight on him and I am leaning toward parasites. You need to take in a fecal now. Lighting has to be corrected for UVB now. MBD is serious and can kill them.

I am concerned as well with D3 overdose but I do not know enough about the nutrobal supplement except it does have D3 in it. D3 should not be given more then 2 times a month rotating with a multivitamin on opposing weeks. Then you want a calcium WITHOUT d3 at every other feeding.

The enclosure is set up totally wrong and does not give him anywhere to climb or hide. Temps are off which is why he is going to the top. But there are not basking branches so he is doing all he can with a small enclosure that is not set up to suit his needs.

Additionally did you find out what the first cham passed away from and is this cham in the same enclosure?

View attachment 255459View attachment 255460
Okay I have so much to work on. Thank you so much for the replies, it was a lot of information but Jellal deserves the best and I need to provide that for him.
Ok, so following on from your information in red:
- I can change his feeding pattern now, and from now on will only feed him in the mornings (he's already eaten today).
- the nutrobal link you added is what I'm using.
- I slowly and gently mist for about 5 minutes each time I mist. I'll take the bowl and waterfall out right now.
- I haven't had a fecal test done, but I called the vets who said they can do one for me, and so getting one done tomorrow.
- I'll try and persuade my parents to get a new vivarium, but if not I've started a job last month so I can soon afford to buy one myself.
- The pet store is closed now (its 8pm here), but I'll go in tomorrow and get him some more branches he can use for basking. Last time I was at the store they had these string/ hessian basking canopy thingies, but they didn't mention use for chameleons. Do you think its worth getting one of them? Whilst I'm at the store I'll get the new, correct UV bulbs.
- I'm taking the waterfall and water bowl out, so that should keep theme general humidity levels a bit lower. I'll wait and see what happens and tell you.
- The nutrobal contains D3 and multivitamins, and was instructed to use by the reptile shop manager.
- Like I said, going to the store I'll get some more plants for Jellal. I'd like to transition to live plants at some point, if you have any advice on how to do so that would be much appreciated.
- The vets told me my first chameleon died of septicemia, and passed away after I had him for about 4 weeks. The vivarium is the same one my previous chameleon had, it was thoroughly cleaned first and all the interior stuff was bought brand new for Jellal.

Thank you so much for helping me, I'm trying to get this all sorted now and really appreciate all the advice.
 

comicchameleon

New Member
Here are images of my enclosure. This is what he needs. So branches and live plants. The glass enclosures can be harder to do this in but it is possible when done totally bio active. Now this is what he does need. But honestly my concern is getting that fecal done now. Certain parasites are worse then others.

View attachment 255461View attachment 255462
Ok thank you so much, so I definitely need more plants and branches. To make the private/ hiding spots do you just cluster areas of lots of plants??
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
It's so awesome that you're taking all of these feedback and making changes. Jellal will be so happy.

I would suggest changing your supplement schedule. I made a video all about supplements:



I also made a video all about adding in live plants:

Adding live plants:



Also going to include this video about gutloading:

 
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