Chameleon Spasm?

Hi so I’ve already asked the forum this a while ago about my veiled chameleon doing a spasm with his back legs but I didn’t really know how to explain it or anything. We’ll he’s doing it again and I have some more things to note so maybe we can get to the bottom of things.
So it seems to be only when he’s being handled. And we don’t handle him often anymore since he started doing his spasm.
He’s always been a pretty social-able cham and very friendly so he was fine with being handled never showed any signs of stress or aggression.
Not every time we handle him, but a lot of times when we get him out he will be perfectly normal and then out of the blue he starts to walk frantically backwards, you can tell it’s scared for him and he grips on extremely tight and his back legs and tail tremble and spasm trying to hold on but they can’t.
Once we put him back near his enclosure he calms down and gets on his branch fine again. We often find him sitting with his back legs down and his front legs up.
We just want him to be okay and we’ve done so much research trying to find anything similar but can’t find anything.
He never seems weak besides the sitting but usually he’s climbing all over his enclosure and seems 100% healthy. He’s not dehydrated he doesn’t seem impacted none of him is swollen no bumps nothing unusual.
I will post his info/husbandry down below. Unable to post any photos because my camera is broken.

-male veiled chameleon about 9/10 months old
-calcium without d3 dusting on bugs every day, vitamins every two weeks (the kinds everyone uses, I always forget what it’s called, zoomed?)
-he has plenty of sticks to climb on in enclosure he has pathos plants in there
-he has the lights that come in the kit we’ve been unable to buy the linear just yet but we have been taking him outside plenty to get natural uvb about 30 minutes a few times a week when it’s warm
-he has a bowl of water in there shaped like a rock covered with leaves and we mist his e cage about every two/three hours
-right now all he is eating is mealworms we’ve tried crickets but he wouldn’t eat them so next pet store visit we are gonna get Dubai roaches and try those

Please let me know any thoughts or advice on what’s wrong with our cham! All appreciated. 😢 let me know if I missed any information! Thanks so much for reading this and for possible help!
Can you take a video of him doing this?

Does he flatten his body when he’s doing this??
Hi! I haven’t been able to take a video because when it happens I get extremely nervous and nauseous and close my eyes and let my boyfriend put him up! He doesn’t flatten his body. I’m too scared to take him out and record a video because I’m not sure if it hurts him doing it but I know it definitely scares him :((


Chameleon Queen
You said…”he has a bowl of water in there shaped like a rock covered with leaves and we mist his e cage about every two/three hours“…why do you have a bowl of water in the cage??

You said…”right now all he is eating is mealworms”….mealworms are ok once in a while but you need to get him to eat roaches, crickets, silkworms, bsfl, etc as well using mealworms, waxworms, hornworms as treats once in a while. You need to feed/gut load the insects well to with a wide variety of greens, veggies and a very little bit of fruit.

@Beman …can you comment about the lights please?

You said,..”out of the blue he starts to walk frantically backwards, you can tell it’s scared for him and he grips on extremely tight and his back legs and tail tremble and spasm trying to hold on”…it sounds like he’s afraid of something or possibly showing aggression to something….but it’s hard to tell without seeing it. Might be something totally different than that.
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Just like him to have a bowl of water in there in case he gets thirsty in between misting times. I said in the paragraph before next time we go to pet store we’ll be getting him different bugs. I’ve already asked someone on here about my lights they’re fine if I couldn’t get a linear bulb yet take him outside for sun which I’ve been doing. He doesn’t seem afraid or aggressive at all. More like his hind legs and tail go stiff for some reason so he freaks. It only happens when we take him out to handle him which he never did that before and he’s always been very friendly and has never been stressed when being handled.


Chameleon Queen
Personally, I would never use or recommend a water dish for a chameleon…they usually end up being a haven for bacteria for one thing.
although they will drink from standing water, it’s not normal for them.

As for the insects, I know you said you were getting different ones…I was just trying to give you a bit more information on the variety of insects.

Sunlight is always a good option to be able to get enough UVB to produce the needed D3. I looked at some of your other posts and see that you’ve been given information about lighting on here already…sorry to have suggested it again…it’s hard to keep track of every thread.

As far as the spasms go, unless we/I can see it happening, it’s hard to be sure what’s going on…but I hope you’re able to solve that and the other issues with your chameleon.
We usually wash it about once a week I can wash it more often or just take it out. I’m extremely terrified of what he’s doing so I’ll see if tomorrow my boyfriend can get him out and record him doing it. And no problem for suggesting it again I’m always open for advice.


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Staff member
With the husbandry being off it could be anything going on... Lighting really needs to be corrected. There are also multiple types of supplements so knowing exactly what your using is important for us to determine if something is missing. Pics of the cham and the entire enclosure would help as well.
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