Chewing his tail, stuck shed?

Hi! My veiled chameleon has been chewing his tail the past two days & I’m trying to get to the bottom of why. He’s been to the vet less than 2 weeks a go for a different problem which was sorted. He had sperm stuck inside his hemipene, he had it squeezed out, flushed out with iodine & then was on an anti inflammatory medication. He was also a slight bit dehydrated but had a fluid injection. Other than that he was deemed to be very healthy.
Earlier I tried to see if I could see anything on his tail but it was very sticky (from his spit?) and there was a hair wrapped around it. I’m not sure the hair has got stuck there before & causing it or whether it’s because it’s sticky. But he was still chewing even after I removed the hair. I’m thinking maybe he thinks it’s a worm? But it does look like there is still some shed stuck but he’s never had a problem with shedding before. I’ve attached a picture of his tail, he’s got soil all over it too so he’s a bit dirty today 😭 I’m at work all day too, so I’m dreading what I’m going to go home to!
 

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chamoflage

Member
Awww poor guy. I know some animals (big cats) will chew on their tails from stress, and others will lick their paws until they're raw (dogs in my experience) but I don't know if chameleons have the same tendency. Hopefully another keeper has had experience with the cause and/or treatment for your little guy. I hope he feels better soon!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Has he shed recently? Sometimes they will actually pull the shed off. Can be freaky when it involves their tail. I am concerned about the look of the tail though. Seems swollen in areas. Wondering if there is not an underlying issue going on.

Can you take a picture of his entire enclosure including lights on top so we can see what your working with and a current picture of the entire chameleon?
 
Awww poor guy. I know some animals (big cats) will chew on their tails from stress, and others will lick their paws until they're raw (dogs in my experience) but I don't know if chameleons have the same tendency. Hopefully another keeper has had experience with the cause and/or treatment for your little guy. I hope he feels better soon!
I was worried it could be stress. Since coming back from the vet I’ve been misting his tank a bit more to help with his hydration, and he’s scared of water which is why he struggles with drinking as much as he should anyway 😭
 
Has he shed recently? Sometimes they will actually pull the shed off. Can be freaky when it involves their tail. I am concerned about the look of the tail though. Seems swollen in areas. Wondering if there is not an underlying issue going on.

Can you take a picture of his entire enclosure including lights on top so we can see what your working with and a current picture of the entire chameleon?
He shed roughly two weeks ago, his tail is usually last to shed too! I didn’t notice the swelling until you said, he has got swelling where his hemipene is but it’s slowly going down since having the medicine. All of this has been quite stressful for him so maybe this has something to do with it. I’m at work all day and don’t have a picture of his enclosure but it’s 2ftx2ftx1.5ft glass tank (I want to get a screen one but I’m from UK and worried I won’t be able to get the correct temps). He has a 150w ceramic heater on a thermostat, uv bulb, and 50w spotlight/day bulb. His temps are 28c in his day time hot end and night time 24/25c with a thermostat. His humidity is 50-70%, I mist his tank daily but have been doing it a bit more to help with his hydration. He has no substrate, he has devils ivy plants in the middle of his tank with lots of branches going through his tank, and two plastic plants which I stick on the glass each side next to his main branches as a way to climb up. The soil in his plants should be organic and I put river stones on top to keep him from swallowing any. This is the most recent picture I have of him, this was taken 2 days a go! Thanks!
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello, there! I've got a lot of info/questions, so bear with me!

You want his humidity levels to be between 30-50% during the day, preferably on the lower end of that range, and can go up to 100% at night, but only if it is 65*F or lower (~18*C or lower) and only if there is enough airflow (a chimney effect in your glass terrarium). You can use a dripper to add water without humidity during the day, too. How long do you mist for each time? Filling out this form in as much detail as possible, including more pics of him, his entire enclosure, and his lights, would be super helpful, as well!

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.
 
The minimum sized cage for him needs to be either a 36"x18"x36" tall or 2'x2'x4' tall, but preferably 4'x2'x4' tall or bigger. Bigger is always better!

With veileds, you want veiled-tested live plants only, as fake ones are an impaction risk.
Awesome! I did think it was a small tank for an adult but I got him from a pet store which told us it will be good for him for life, but now I regret listening to them 🙃 I’ll take his plastic plants out then & replace with more pothos or another plant instead, thank you!
 
Hello, there! I've got a lot of info/questions, so bear with me!

You want his humidity levels to be between 30-50% during the day, preferably on the lower end of that range, and can go up to 100% at night, but only if it is 65*F or lower (~18*C or lower) and only if there is enough airflow (a chimney effect in your glass terrarium). You can use a dripper to add water without humidity during the day, too. How long do you mist for each time? Filling out this form in as much detail as possible, including more pics of him, his entire enclosure, and his lights, would be super helpful, as well!

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.
Thanks! I told my vet that his humidity was 50-60% most of the time & he said it needs to be much higher. I did find that odd because I have always read around 50% online.

I would add more photos but I’m at work all day and will get home after his lights will go out, so I won’t be able to take any of his enclosure until tomorrow. However depending on how his tail looks I may phone the vet in the morning to be on the safe side!




Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - veiled chameleon, male, 2.5 years
  • Handling - Daily, he’s very sociable!
  • Feeding - I feel him crickets and locusts every other day around 6-8 bugs. Wax worms and meal worms as a treat every now and again & I use jelly pots & Arcadia InsectFuel to gutload
  • Supplements - Vetark Calcidust (without D3) every feed & Zoo Med Reptivite Multi vitamin with D3 once a week.
  • Watering - I’ve used a dripper plant before but he will knock it over and flood his tank or try and eat the leaves, so I use a bottle for now and offer him water whenever I can which is will most of the time drink from. I mist 2 times a day normally for around 2 mins each time. But since his vet visit I have misted him 4 times a day.
  • Fecal Description - normal consistency, his last poop was a normal brown colour and his wee was mostly whit with some yellow as he didn’t go to the toilet since being to the vet. There was a weird consistency with the liquid around his poop but I put it down to the iodine he was flushed out with?? He hasn’t been tested for parasites
  • History - As said in post and previous comments
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 2ftx2x1.5 glass cage with screen on top
  • Lighting - 150w ceramic heater on thermostat, 50w spotlight/day bulb, uv bulb (can’t think of the brand names off the top of my head!) 12 hour day 9am-9pm
  • Temperature - 28c in basking area, 24/25c at night with thermostat, I have a thermometer in there with a humidity one too
  • Humidity - 50-60, 70/sometimes 80 when misting
  • Plants - Devil’s Ivy
  • Placement - His cage is in my lounge next to my back windows, and is on top of a wooden 2ft high vivarium
  • Location - UK
Current Problem - Tail chewing!
 
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