Chameleon Sleeping in Day, Not as Active, Sunken Eyes

koomer

New Member
Hello. Recently, I've caught my chameleon sleeping during the day. She's been sleeping in when I wake her up and goes to sleep before I even turn off her lights, which isn't normal for her. She was acting completely normal at the beginning of the week. Her eyes also look sunken to me, which obviously isn't a very good sign. She also experienced some diarrhea a few days ago, but I thought it was because I fed her too much fruit. Any insight on what could be the problem?

  • Your Chameleon - Female veiled chameleon. Not sure of exact age, but she's likely around two years and a half.
  • Handling - I handle her pretty often. Usually, she'll want to be held and climbs out onto me when she wants out; this'll happen 3-5 times a week typically.
  • Feeding - I feed her crickets most of the time, though she occasionally gets fruit as well. (apple, banana, strawberry, grapes). I usually feed her every day.
  • Supplements - Zoomed Repticalcium and Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamins. She receives calcium dust at least 4 days a week, and to be honest, I've slacked on the vitamins. She usually gets that around once a month for a few days.
  • Watering - I have a dripper for her to drink out of, which I turn on to offer her water at least twice a day. I mist her 1-2 times a day for around a minute.
  • Fecal Description - I noticed she experienced some diarrhea for a few days this last week. I thought this might be because I fed her too much fruit, but now I'm not so sure. Her usual fecal looks relatively normal, though occasionally her urates look yellow. She's never been tested for parasites.
  • History - She had a thermal burn on her casque and upper back nearly a year ago. I believe it's fully healed, though part of her casque fell off. She also laid eggs in June of 2019.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 16 in by 16 in by 28 in mesh cage
  • Lighting - I have a ceramic heat bulb and uvb coil day bulb, Not sure of exact brands. I keep the heat bulb on 24/7 since it gets relatively cold at night. I turn the day bulb on when I wake up (8 am on weekdays, 9-10 am on weekends) and turn it off around 11pm -12 am.
  • Temperature - 85 degree F near basking spot and 70 degrees on the bottom.
  • Humidity - Don't have any way to measure humidity
  • Plants - No live plants
  • Placement - She's located relatively close to my guinea pig, but the guinea pig is usually out of her field of sight. Other than that, there's nothing significant near her.5A365054-E65A-41B2-AAD2-5566C04EF8D4.jpegCC0CD015-67A8-4B84-8D49-6526AB03852F.jpegE04A7CBE-E1D2-4618-9C50-A0E6B92BBED5.jpeg10CACD30-D7B4-4969-AC95-6BD94DCD320A.jpeg
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello and welcome to the forums :) So unfortunately, sleeping during the day is the #1 sign of poor health and stress in a chameleon.

THANK YOU so much for filling out the how to ask for help form. Super helpful. There are a few husbandry changes I would suggest you make ASAP.

The first being your UVB. The UVB you have right now is insufficent :( It doesn't give off enough UVB for your chameleon. Instead you want a linear T5 HO (high output) Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% bulb. This is super important.

Secondly, what kind of calcium are you using? With vitamin D3 or without vitamin D3?

Here is a video all about supplements that is worth watching:



You can measure humifity with a hygrometer. You can pick these up at Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc. It doesn't have to be a reptile specific one.

I'd switch your heat lamp to a 12 hours on, 12 hours off cycle. Chameleons need total darkness while sleeping. If heat is an issue at night I'd recommend a ceramic heater for her enclosure, or a portable heater for the room.

I would also add in more plants and vines. Having places to hide makes a chameleon feel safer.

Do you have any pictures of the poop?

What are you gutloading her crickets with? Do you have access to other types of bugs?
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
She's in dire need of a vet. Her body is shutting down. Eyes closed and sunken in is a sign of intense stress. She also has visible MBD from your lack of proper UVB. Coil bulbs do nothing.
 

koomer

New Member
Hello and welcome to the forums :) So unfortunately, sleeping during the day is the #1 sign of poor health and stress in a chameleon.

THANK YOU so much for filling out the how to ask for help form. Super helpful. There are a few husbandry changes I would suggest you make ASAP.

The first being your UVB. The UVB you have right now is insufficent :( It doesn't give off enough UVB for your chameleon. Instead you want a linear T5 HO (high output) Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% bulb. This is super important.

Secondly, what kind of calcium are you using? With vitamin D3 or without vitamin D3?

Here is a video all about supplements that is worth watching:



You can measure humifity with a hygrometer. You can pick these up at Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc. It doesn't have to be a reptile specific one.

I'd switch your heat lamp to a 12 hours on, 12 hours off cycle. Chameleons need total darkness while sleeping. If heat is an issue at night I'd recommend a ceramic heater for her enclosure, or a portable heater for the room.

I would also add in more plants and vines. Having places to hide makes a chameleon feel safer.

Do you have any pictures of the poop?

What are you gutloading her crickets with? Do you have access to other types of bugs?

The heat lamp doesnt emit any light; sorry, I probably should’ve clarified that. I’ll be sure to pick up a better uvb bulb tomorrow, along with a humidity tester and some more leaves.

The calcium has D3 in it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the poop. But the diarrhea overall looked very watery.

My local pet store also sells fruit flies, meal worms, and dubia roaches. I use cricket food (I no longer have the box with the brand on it; apologies), but its supposed to supply the crickets with food and water.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
How long have you had her? Has she ever laid eggs?

She need s to see a vet to get some proper liquid calcium to help her with her MBD. Once the bones are strong again this can be discontinued.

Instead of the heat emitting bulb I would use a regular incandescent household bulb of a wattage that produces at emperature in the basking area in the low to mid 80'sF.

The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear ReptiSun 5.0 tube light.

In addition to the liquid calcium you need to make sure she gets proper supplements, well fed/gutloaded insects and you should have a lay bin in her cage at al times since she's old enough to produce eggs.

Supplements...because most feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phos it's important to dust the insects just before feeding them to her lightly with a phos free calcium powder like RepCal at all feedings but 4 a month. I dust twice a month with a phos free calcium/D3 powder lightly to ensure that it gets some D3 without overdosing it. I leave it to produce the rest of the D3 it needs from its exposure to the UVB. D3 from supplements can build up in the system and lead to health issues...D3 produced from exposure to UVB won't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it at will.
I dust twice a month with Herptivite which has beta carotene (a prOformed source of vitamin A). This leaves it up to the owner to provide prEformed vitamin A if needed. proformed sources won't build up in the system like prEformed sources will.

Feeding/gutloading insects such as locusts, crickets, roaches, superworms...I recommend greens such as dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, mustard greens, escarole, and veggies such as carrots, squash, sweet red peppers, sweet potato, zucchini, etc and a tiny bit of fruit such as apples, pears, melon, berries.

She should be fed every two or three days....how much do you feed her in a week?
 

koomer

New Member
How long have you had her? Has she ever laid eggs?

She need s to see a vet to get some proper liquid calcium to help her with her MBD. Once the bones are strong again this can be discontinued.

Instead of the heat emitting bulb I would use a regular incandescent household bulb of a wattage that produces at emperature in the basking area in the low to mid 80'sF.

The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear ReptiSun 5.0 tube light.

In addition to the liquid calcium you need to make sure she gets proper supplements, well fed/gutloaded insects and you should have a lay bin in her cage at al times since she's old enough to produce eggs.

Supplements...because most feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phos it's important to dust the insects just before feeding them to her lightly with a phos free calcium powder like RepCal at all feedings but 4 a month. I dust twice a month with a phos free calcium/D3 powder lightly to ensure that it gets some D3 without overdosing it. I leave it to produce the rest of the D3 it needs from its exposure to the UVB. D3 from supplements can build up in the system and lead to health issues...D3 produced from exposure to UVB won't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it at will.
I dust twice a month with Herptivite which has beta carotene (a prOformed source of vitamin A). This leaves it up to the owner to provide prEformed vitamin A if needed. proformed sources won't build up in the system like prEformed sources will.

Feeding/gutloading insects such as locusts, crickets, roaches, superworms...I recommend greens such as dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, mustard greens, escarole, and veggies such as carrots, squash, sweet red peppers, sweet potato, zucchini, etc and a tiny bit of fruit such as apples, pears, melon, berries.

She should be fed every two or three days....how much do you feed her in a week?
ive had her for a little over two years and she has laid eggs, as stated in the form i filled out. she also has a laying bin ready to her at all time

i usually feed her around 4-7 crickets daily, though ive been trying to switch to every other day, so ive been doing that with around 10 crickets.
 

koomer

New Member
i got her out to feed her. she tried shooting her tongue at my fingers several times, so its good to know shes still hungry. im trying to schedule her a vet appointment. unfortunately, i dont have many good reptile veternarians in my town.

i forgot to mention this before, but i suspected she had a odd spot on her. i posted about this before but no one seemed too concerned. it looks greyish to me now though, so i just want to be safe0F902808-5311-4EC7-B3B9-CFBEC7DA0739.jpeg
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oops...missed the line about egglaying.
There's no laybin in the cage in the photos...so do you only put it in when you think she needs to lay?

I don't know what the spot is...has it grow at all? The vet should know.
 

koomer

New Member
Oops...missed the line about egglaying.
There's no laybin in the cage in the photos...so do you only put it in when you think she needs to lay?

I don't know what the spot is...has it grow at all? The vet should know.
the laybin is the two tubs in the bottom of the photos, sorry its a bit difficult to see. theyre filled with soil.

the spot has stayed in the same place and i dont think its grown any
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
There’s a lay bin in in there :)

Good news about the heat lamp having no light.

While you’re shopping, I would pick up some calcium WITHOUT D3. You’ll want to use that 6 days/week and alternate on that 7th day with a multivitamin and calcium with D3.

I would switch to fresh veggies for gutload. Commercial gutloads aren’t great.

Good ingredients to use for gutloading: mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, collard greens, escarole lettuce, papaya, watercress and alfalfa

Sort of good things to use for gutloading: sweet potato, carrots, oranges, mango, butternut squash, kale, apples, beet greens, blackberries, bok choy and green beans

Dry ingredients to use: bee pollen, organic non-salted sunflower seeds, spirulina, dried seaweed, flax seed and organic non-salted almonds

Bad things to use for gutloading: potatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, grains, beans, oats, bread, cereal, meat, eggs, dog food, cat food, fish food, canned or dead insects, and vertebrates

Foods to boost immune health: Bee pollen, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Green Peppers, Kale, Mangoes, Turnip Greens, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Oranges, Nectarines, Tangerines, Peaches, Pink Grapefruit, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potato, Berries, Apples, Nuts, and Watermelon

Foods to aid with nerve and eye health: whole grains, dark leafy greens, flax seed, almonds, and Brazil nuts


 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oooh also! Dubia roaches are great feeders :) There’s also tons of places online you can buy bugs. I like Josh’s Frogs. Variety is key with chameleons. Dubia roaches, superworms, hornworms, black solider fly larvae, silkworms, etc.
 

koomer

New Member
Oooh also! Dubia roaches are great feeders :) There’s also tons of places online you can buy bugs. I like Josh’s Frogs. Variety is key with chameleons. Dubia roaches, superworms, hornworms, black solider fly larvae, silkworms, etc.
thank you so mych for the help. youve been very kind and patient with me.

ill be honest, i had a breakdown with the thought of her dying so its good to know that i can help her get better and be a better owner.

she climbed up to my shoulder after i fed her a few crickets and shes resting there now, though i think shes eyeing my desk to climb over to haha. im scheduling an appointment for the vet for her tomorrow
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
Absolutely! Happy to help :)

I know it can be scary, but you have a great community behind you to help coach and support you. Keep making the changes as soon as you can, and hopefully she’ll turn around.

I’d try to keep handling to a minimum, as this can be stressful for them.

Please ask any questions you have especially while out shopping tomorrow. I know all the choices can be intimidating.
 

koomer

New Member
hello everyone. i just got back from a vet appointment with her. the vet felt something in her abdomen, so they decided to do an xray. they found a fatty tumor grown next to her heart and a lot more in her intestines, so much so they he couldn’t make out her organs. they would usually do surgery for something like this, but the placement and her size makes it to where she very likely wouldnt have made it out living.

at this point i dont know what to do. it seems like my only options are to euthanize her or to wait it out. thank you for all your help
 

koomer

New Member
im not even sure if i should go out and buy anything to improve her set up. it seems like it would only be delaying the inevitable
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
hello everyone. i just got back from a vet appointment with her. the vet felt something in her abdomen, so they decided to do an xray. they found a fatty tumor grown next to her heart and a lot more in her intestines, so much so they he couldn’t make out her organs. they would usually do surgery for something like this, but the placement and her size makes it to where she very likely wouldnt have made it out living.

at this point i dont know what to do. it seems like my only options are to euthanize her or to wait it out. thank you for all your help
So very sorry that you’ve gotten such bad news. This is a very difficult decision to make. I’ve always gone by if my animal is having any signs of pain or distress...I don’t want them to suffer any for my sake. :(
 

koomer

New Member
So very sorry that you’ve gotten such bad news. This is a very difficult decision to make. I’ve always gone by if my animal is having any signs of pain or distress...I don’t want them to suffer any for my sake. :(
shes not in any visible pain, and my mom seems very against euthanasia, so i think im just going to take care of her the best i can.

i honestly dont even know if she’ll make it through tonight. she hasn’t eaten anything ive offered her and shes really pale.. it just kills me to see her like this.
 

koomer

New Member
i offered her crickets and banana, which she wasnt interested in either of. but she ate a small bite of strawberry, which has always been one of her favorites. i dont know how much longer she’s going to last.
 
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