Chameleon Tongue not shooting out very far

Kamran_k

Established Member
Hello, I have a 4 1/2 month old young Jacksons chameleon and I just took him to the vet for his first parasite check today, and in the morning he shot his tongue out and got the Crickets and super worm just fine but right now I fed him and he shot his tongue out barley maybe like an inch and missed the cricket multiple times maybe 3-4 and I was wondering if I should be alarmed I heard they can get mouth injuries from tong feedings is this true I dont use metal only wood tongs. should I upgrade to a capture cup to feed crickets because I know they can bite so thats why I feed crickets with tongs.
 

Kamran_k

Established Member
here is a photo of his eye
 

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Kamran_k

Established Member
a couple days ago he escaped out of his cage for about 20 minutes and I found him under my cabinet. I took him to the vet today and now im waiting for test results from his fecal. And that costed around 126 dollars but I did not get a check up should I go back for a check up or no?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
$126 for just a fecal!? You got hosed, i’d find a new vet or complain. My vet will do a $30 fecal, the checkup is a little more.

Tong feeding can def hurt. Clarice has shot the tongs before when I was dropping bugs in her feeder and her little tongue stuck to the tong/grips. She seemed fine after but it was enough for me to keep tongs out of their range. You can use coated tongs which have softer tips to protect mouths/tongues.
 
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Kamran_k

Established Member
@JacksJill okay I will keep you guys posted. If this happens tomorrow I will be going back to the vet to rule out anything sinister. @snitz427 Yea I know needless to say I was pretty furious that they charged me that much maybe because it was last minute but still that seemed quite Egregious.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Definitely go to a vet and do pretty much anything @JacksJill says, but my guy sometimes will do that too. I will be trying to hand feed him and he will shoot his tongue out maybe an inch or 2 and miss the same thing 3 times before I move it close and he gets it. It really freaked me out... until within the same breath he turned around and sniped the tiniest cricket from clear across his enclosure in one try :rolleyes: shooting issues can for sure sometimes mean a deficiency of some sort, so you should take it seriously, but also keep an eye on the rest of his behavior. I think that sometimes when it comes to hand or tong feeding they can get a little nervous of us so it affects their shooting ability. If it is a constant issue, then I would absolutely see a vet, but if it's an issue only when its hand feeding, it may just be behavioral.
This is just my experience though, and it's not even with a jacksons, so like I said do anything that @JacksJill says because she is the jacksons whisperer!
 

Kamran_k

Established Member
Good news guys so he ate and his tongue shot out and did great. Should I still go to the vet or no? I think @JacksJill was right and he was dehydrated because he drank about 10 min before he ate and his tongue worked great right now.
 
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Kamran_k

Established Member
@JacksJill I was so nervous feeding him I was like omg please work. Also I think Im gonna ditch the tongs now and switch to feeder cup. Any suggestions on where to buy or even a DIY feeder cup?
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm so glad. The other possibilities were a sprain type injury and you just pulled that out. They will get lazy if they are well fed and not make a serious effort. Some vitamin deficiencies can cause tongue problems.
There is more but they don't seem to apply. Yay!
About two months ago I noticed my guy was getting lazy / didn't seem to have the usual zap when targeting black soldier flys I started to include a vitamin A capsule to suppliment him once a month now and it made a big difference rather quickly.

I was told by someone on the forums shortly after getting my baby boy the down side of tongs , potential harm to the Cham tongue. While I don't enjoy holding bugs I try or just use a lid from the feeder container as it's got dull rounded edges on the top.

I started to phase out crickets and use worms and bsfl. I use the lid for the larvae to feed them off he almost instantly knows what that means. I've tried to hand feed as much as possible to ensure he eats. With bsfl I usually get a little closer so he can see them moving.
If he won't take a worm from my hand I'll use the same type of lid for worms mainly silk which takes a lot longer to entice him with but he loves the color of horn and gobbles them up instantly when offered he also gets right to action for the wiggly nature of supers. I tend to keep the lid a good distance and make him " work" for the worms .

My hope of hand or lid feeding is to associate food with my hands in his enclosure. And I can control the distance that he has to shoot to get his food. I figure it's a muscle and needs a work out once in a while.
And in turn lower the stress of me entering his domain. So far he's cool with my getting in to spot clean and make minor adjustments without showing stress colors or putting up the Chameleon salute.

That feeder cup above intrigues me but I feel like my guy will freak out over it / not realize there is food in there
Anyway not to dilute the thread too much. Glad to hear your Chameleon is shooting at full strength @Kamran_k
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
It took my chameleons including my wild caught less than 2 days to start using the feeder. Most morning I have to shoo chameleons out of the feeder so I can get the bugs in there.
I don't like tongs because I don't feel like I can release quickly enough to not pull back against their tongue. I'm not a big fan of holding some bugs. To introduce hand feeding I use a clear plastic spoon. As they adjust to me I edge my hand closer to the bowl of the spoon until they will take things directly from my hand. I can keep dubia on their backs in the "bowl" and they get eaten that way reliably.
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
It took my chameleons including my wild caught less than 2 days to start using the feeder. Most morning I have to shoo chameleons out of the feeder so I can get the bugs in there.
I don't like tongs because I don't feel like I can release quickly enough to not pull back against their tongue. I'm not a big fan of holding some bugs. To introduce hand feeding I use a clear plastic spoon. As they adjust to me I edge my hand closer to the bowl of the spoon until they will take things directly from my hand. I can keep dubia on their backs in the "bowl" and they get eaten that way reliably.
Next time I attempt dubia I'll use that approach my dudes not a fan sadly , I have a local bearded dragon breader that almost gives dubia away as they breed them as well. And I know they are far superior to crickets ...
Thank you !!!
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
@Multivitamins there is some debate as to wether chameleons can convert betacarotene to vitamin A. It also seems like the doses of D3 we are giving may inhibit vitamin A in their system. It is a good idea to give small amounts of vitamin A (retinol) monthly. Repashy has vitamin A in some of it's supplements.
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Multivitamins there is some debate as to wether chameleons can convert betacarotene to vitamin A. It also seems like the doses of D3 we are giving may inhibit vitamin A in their system. It is a good idea to give small amounts of vitamin A (retinol) monthly. Repashy has vitamin A in some of it's supplements.

Yeah I had been using the rep-cal line products when i started off , herptivite which only has beta carotene and noticed my guy had eye issues after about 6 months or so I switched to repashy products, sadly one tub of the dust is essentially a lifetime supply. The repashy is more well rounded and does have vitamin A but I feel much better adding the gel capsule of vitamin A once a month. The vitamin D-3 is what is transporting calcium through the body to my understanding so the balance of calcium to phosphorus and vitamin a to d3 are a fine line to tread. With the push towards nutritious gutloads and the offering of higher quality suppliments I hope our husbandry is getting better and simplified. I know many recommend repashy LoD which is a all in one but I don't know the balance it provides but others swear by it. I've got enough powder suppliments for 3 lifetimes now so I don't know if I can justify another powder suppliment purchase as much as it would simplify my schedule.

And the vitamin a capsules are keeping me healthy as well so there's another reason to add it to the suppliment schedule I take three a week my Cham gets it once a month.
 
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