Chameleon unwell....advice?

DaisysMom

New Member
Hello all, new to the community and to being a chameleon mom. I have a female veiled chameleon. She is about 6 months old.
She resides in a 18x18x24 mesh cage with branches, vines a log structure and a 3 tiered rock waterfall. She also has a fogger we run for her 12 hour wake time and a dripper is available if needed. She gets crickets , wax worms and meal worms. We have vitamins and calcium both dust her food once a week.
We have a 5.0 UVB and a 100 W heat bulb.
Now, she was doing great til about 2 weeks ago. She would hunt and chase her crickets, eat as many wax worms as we gave her and chased her meal worms around.
Then we went on vacation a cpl weeks ago, leaving her in the care of a friend who was coming to also care for our cat.
When we got home, she looked off, wasn’t eating... the original waterfall fountain had mysteriously died while we were gone, though we have replaced it... (I know they are dew drinkers but I’ve actually seen her drink from the falling water of the water fall sooo...)
Now a cpl days ago she was horribly dehydrated. We showered her twice a day, syringed water and some pedialyte... I watered some baby food chicken flavor and syringed her that as well...
Her color has come back, eyes look good, crest is full ... but she’s lethargic. She won’t eat on her own. I can now get her to eat small meal worms and wax worms but I have to physically put them in her mouth.
I’m not sure what else to do...
we live in the sticks in WY and a herp vet is over 2 hrs away. I haven’t seen a poo since day before yesterday.
Her front legs are good, her back feet grip but it’s like they are too weak to push her around?

Any advice here would be appreciated... I know a vet is preferable but atm I can’t get away...

Thanks in advance...
Donna
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh boy, sorry to hear your girl is not well. I would say at this point she needs a vet ASAP. Can you send pics of her and the set up? This will give us a better picture on how to give advice. Also, waterfalls harbor bacteria so it is likely she could have a bacterial infection of some kind. If you could please fill out the help for we will do as much as possible to help you until you can get her to a vet.
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.
 

DaisysMom

New Member
We wash her waterfall out every week... I scrub it all and the stuff from her cage . I have felt mats for the floor which I change and wash weekly. She has plastic vines and some that are a kinda fabric... as far as I can tell she doesn’t eat these, no missing plants pieces or anything..
I’ll post pic tomorrow. I’ve already darkened her cage here for sleep.
Her heat runs about 85-95 during day and 69 ish at night. Humidity is 70-80 during the day. That was where I think we erred ... because we ran her fogger all day we assumed she’d be good...but it turned out her humidity was tanked. So we moved her cage from the window, put sides up on all but the front to hold in her moisture and now she runs a good 70-80% through the day.
She seems so much perkier...except for the not moving much and needing hand fed. I’m waiting on what is sure to be a chunk of funds to make the trip to the next state over to see a vet. The locals here are only in town once a week and not herp vets.
As far as handling, we usually only handle her to clean out her cage weekly, she tolerates it well and seems very relaxed.
No live plants , I’m so nervous about getting them right... and her cage was by the kitchen window where the morning sun came in, but
I gave most the other info above...
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Every single thing is wrong.

Cage is too small.
Humidity is too way too high.
Basking temp is too high.
Fogging during the day is bad.
That waterfall needs to go, it serves no purpose.
You need live plants.
Cage should not be by a window, if it's getting hot.
She shouldn't be fed meanworms.
She dang sure should not be fed chicken....
Dusting Vitamins should be Bi weekly, not Weekly.
Calcium should be every feeding not Weekly.

We need to see your lighting, and you need to go to the Vet. Also your chunk is bigger than that, every I just said needs change now, and likely more than that.

We need pictures.

This is a mess.

From you are describing, I am picturing a stressed to the Max Cham, with an RI, probably MBD, that is knocking on deaths door. I will be surprised if this thread has a happy ending harsh reality. Everything you have done is wrong, not trying to be mean, but brashness is sometimes needed especially when it's reality.
 
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Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Regarding fogging, please give this podcast a listen, episode 110 is about fogging and hydration. Fogging should only be done late at night while it's cool:
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-110-fogging-and-airflow-with-mario-jungmann/

Episode 89 though a bit older is also about hydration and definitely worth a listen;
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/

I suggest live plants and branches,they are great for chameleons! I have an umbrella plant, a lot of keepers also use pothos and ficus. Real branches are free, just hose off and make sure no bugs on them.

Have you reviewed the care sheet yet?
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

And these care graphics are awesome and contain tons of good info. Definitely make sure your lighting is correct, it's crucial to your chameleons health:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/images/
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
P. S. Waterfalls are a big no no for chameleons, so I would definitely take that out. Even if cleaned daily wouldn't be enough. Not worth the health risk to your cham.
 

DaisysMom

New Member
Th
Every single thing is wrong.

Cage is too small.
Humidity is too way too high.
Basking temp is too high.
Fogging during the day is bad.
That waterfall needs to go, it serves no purpose.
You need live plants.
Cage should not be by a window, if it's getting hot.
She shouldn't be fed meanworms.
She dang sure should not be fed chicken....
Dusting Vitamins should be Bi weekly, not Weekly.
Calcium should be every feeding not Weekly.

We need to see your lighting, and you need to go to the Vet. Also your chunk is bigger than that, every I just said needs change now, and likely more than that.

We need pictures.

This is a mess.

From you are describing, I am picturing a stressed to the Max Cham, with an RI, probably MBD, that is knocking on deaths door. I will be surprised if this thread has a happy ending harsh reality. Everything you have done is wrong, not trying to be mean, but brashness is sometimes needed especially when it's reality.
[/
Regarding fogging, please give this podcast a listen, episode 110 is about fogging and hydration. Fogging should only be done late at night while it's cool:
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-110-fogging-and-airflow-with-mario-jungmann/

Episode 89 though a bit older is also about hydration and definitely worth a listen;
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/

I suggest live plants and branches,they are great for chameleons! I have an umbrella plant, a lot of keepers also use pothos and ficus. Real branches are free, just hose off and make sure no bugs on them.

Have you reviewed the care sheet yet?
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

And these care graphics are awesome and contain tons of good info. Definitely make sure your lighting is correct, it's crucial to your chameleons health:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/images/
thank you, we had been reading so much on line and so much information contradicts itself, we live in WY, it’s very dry here, zero humidity... so running her fogger on low and misting twice a day only had the humidity at 35% ... so we turned up the fogger which created a great water drip on her leaves which she drank off of... but we read they needed 60-80% humidity... it’s sits around 70% goes up and down with the heat of the day...but this has only been going on about 3 days now... it was bottomed out before that.

I appreciate the articles I’ll look into them.

Another reader said her cage is too small... but she is only 6 months old...the plan was to go larger as she grew... she’s only about palm size right now.

I fear we muddled the whole thing trying to pick out the best of the information out there...
I only found this site yesterday...sooo...

Ugh...

Again, I’ll get pics up tomorrow.

One question though...

As she is unwell, if the fogger runs even on low at night her body temp plummets and she goes icy cold... should I just not fog?
I can’t get the humidity without the fogger...so I’m a little lost....

Thank you again...
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Th


thank you, we had been reading so much on line and so much information contradicts itself, we live in WY, it’s very dry here, zero humidity... so running her fogger on low and misting twice a day only had the humidity at 35% ... so we turned up the fogger which created a great water drip on her leaves which she drank off of... but we read they needed 60-80% humidity... it’s sits around 70% goes up and down with the heat of the day...but this has only been going on about 3 days now... it was bottomed out before that.

I appreciate the articles I’ll look into them.

Another reader said her cage is too small... but she is only 6 months old...the plan was to go larger as she grew... she’s only about palm size right now.

I fear we muddled the whole thing trying to pick out the best of the information out there...
I only found this site yesterday...sooo...

Ugh...

Again, I’ll get pics up tomorrow.

One question though...

As she is unwell, if the fogger runs even on low at night her body temp plummets and she goes icy cold... should I just not fog?
I can’t get the humidity without the fogger...so I’m a little lost....

Thank you again...
Humidity for veilds only needs to be 30-40% during the day and 90-100% at night. I live in Colorado and just use a cool mist humidifier running on low from noon to 5pm in their room.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Th


thank you, we had been reading so much on line and so much information contradicts itself, we live in WY, it’s very dry here, zero humidity... so running her fogger on low and misting twice a day only had the humidity at 35% ... so we turned up the fogger which created a great water drip on her leaves which she drank off of... but we read they needed 60-80% humidity... it’s sits around 70% goes up and down with the heat of the day...but this has only been going on about 3 days now... it was bottomed out before that.

I appreciate the articles I’ll look into them.

Another reader said her cage is too small... but she is only 6 months old...the plan was to go larger as she grew... she’s only about palm size right now.

I fear we muddled the whole thing trying to pick out the best of the information out there...
I only found this site yesterday...sooo...

Ugh...

Again, I’ll get pics up tomorrow.

One question though...

As she is unwell, if the fogger runs even on low at night her body temp plummets and she goes icy cold... should I just not fog?
I can’t get the humidity without the fogger...so I’m a little lost....

Thank you again...
Ya she most definitely does not need 80% humidity. Veilied Chameleons are from Yemen, they are the least water/humidity requiring species there is in captivity.


30-40% throughout the day, with the Spikes from a Mister (not a fogger) is good enough. It should be misted quite awhile in screen, and that with live plants will retain the humidity.

Your basking temps are also too high for a Young Female. That coupled with small cage, means hot throughout humid throughout, which in turn RI.

The problem with the cage size, at her age, is less about her moving around in it, and more about the climates (tempatures) that are in the cage.
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Th


thank you, we had been reading so much on line and so much information contradicts itself, we live in WY, it’s very dry here, zero humidity... so running her fogger on low and misting twice a day only had the humidity at 35% ... so we turned up the fogger which created a great water drip on her leaves which she drank off of... but we read they needed 60-80% humidity... it’s sits around 70% goes up and down with the heat of the day...but this has only been going on about 3 days now... it was bottomed out before that.

I appreciate the articles I’ll look into them.

Another reader said her cage is too small... but she is only 6 months old...the plan was to go larger as she grew... she’s only about palm size right now.

I fear we muddled the whole thing trying to pick out the best of the information out there...
I only found this site yesterday...sooo...

Ugh...

Again, I’ll get pics up tomorrow.

One question though...

As she is unwell, if the fogger runs even on low at night her body temp plummets and she goes icy cold... should I just not fog?
I can’t get the humidity without the fogger...so I’m a little lost....

Thank you again...
I'm in Colorado so super dry here as well so I understand the humidity struggle! I do run my fogger overnight because if I don't, humidity goes down to 20% when it's supposed to be 80-100% overnight (I have a panther chameleon.) But I'm not sure about your situation. Usually fogging doesn't lower temperature more than just a few degrees so I'm not sure why that's happening in your case. I'm not sure if you should keep fogging or not right now, I'm hoping more experienced people chime in with a recommendation. I hope you are able to get her to a good vet soon.
 

DaisysMom

New Member
P. S. Waterfalls are a big no no for chameleons, so I would definitely take that out. Even if cleaned daily wouldn't be enough. Not worth the health risk to your cham.
Thank you I’ll be removing it
I'm in Colorado so super dry here as well so I understand the humidity struggle! I do run my fogger overnight because if I don't, humidity goes down to 20% when it's supposed to be 80-100% overnight (I have a panther chameleon.) But I'm not sure about your situation. Usually fogging doesn't lower temperature more than just a few degrees so I'm not sure why that's happening in your case. I'm not sure if you should keep fogging or not right now, I'm hoping more experienced people chime in with a recommendation. I hope you are able to get her to a good vet soon.
thank you...

We will make some changes tonight, and adjust cage tomorrow. I wish I could have found you guys sooner!
Anyways, thank you all so much for the advice. Will keep you informed!
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you I’ll be removing it

thank you...

We will make some changes tonight, and adjust cage tomorrow. I wish I could have found you guys sooner!
Anyways, thank you all so much for the advice. Will keep you informed!
This forum is great, a huge wealth of information. I'm really lucky that I found it before I got my cham, I think it saved me from making some of costly mistakes. I've learnt so much, and spent countless hours reading and learning on here, there's so much to know. Chameleons are such wonderful, fascinating creatures! I love taking care of mine, I even love taking care of his feeder bugs, lol. I have eight different types of insects I feed him. It's a fun hobby. I hope you're able to get your girl on track so you can enjoy her.
 

MrsM

Avid Member
Thank you I’ll be removing it...
There’s a lot of things wrong that others have mentioned. Fix those things but before your chameleon goes too long without food also try getting a syringe and some reptaboost or carnivore care. Stop feeding mealworms and waxworms. Gutload crickets and try bsfl or silkworms.
 

DaisysMom

New Member
Does anyone have an online supplier for worms? The nearest pet store is 1 and 1/2 hours away and they don’t have anything but the meal worms, wax worms, crickets and horned worms? And they are awful to pick thru and find good live specimens ...
I was ordering the wax worms on line but the heat had them all pupating before they showed up or just being flat out dead... so I worry about on line ordering...but...
the joys of living out in the sticks.... but we read meal worms were a food source but as the community seems to disagree I’d love to know if you have a supplier that isn’t a local pet store? Perhaps a link?
Thank you again all...
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yep, rainbowmealworms is where I get all of my crickets, we also have a number of forum members that sell a variety of feeder insects that are healthy and well cared for, plus you're supporting fellow keepers and their families :)
 
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