Concerned with my Cham

Pascal the Cham

New Member
I am New to reptiles and I have done tons of research and reading but I’m not sure what’s going on with my little guy. He’s a male Veiled chameleon and I’ve had him about 2 weeks and was told he’s about 3-4 months old. I am offering him crickets as I was told and I have noticed he’s not eating as much. He is not opening his eyes and is worrying me. My kids are already so attached and I want to make sure he is ok. Was told he was eating 5-10 crickets a day and the last 3 days he’s barely had 2-3. He seems to be gasping for air and I’m not sure what else to do. I’m misting him to ensure he has water. Any advice?! I’m attaching photos of him and his enclosure. His temp is at about 80 and his humidity around 65%.
 

Attachments

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your little guy is not looking very good. If you have a good reptile vet locally I would get him there ASAP. These guys tend to go down hill fast when they are in this state.
As far as husbandry goes it may be a little late in the game to help but I will leave the help form below. Just copy and paste them fill it out.
Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. By providing this information you will receive more accurate and beneficial responses. It might not be necessary to answer all these questions, but the more you provide the better. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person can only guess at what your problem may be. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who can directly examine your animal can give a true diagnosis of your chameleon's health.


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.

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Pascal the Cham

New Member
Thank you for the advice. Would u mind telling me why you feel he’s not so good? I will fill in the form with details as well.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Pascal the Cham ...in the photo with the pink mitten...you chameleon is looking bone thin, it's eye is sunken in, it's eye is shut...all indicators that it's very sick. The way it's hanging on the branch in the last 2 photos in post #1 is also an indicator. You said is gasping. Your chameleon needs to see a vet ASAP..like yesterday. Sorry to tell you that.

Where it's eyes shut the first few days you had it too?
 

Pascal the Cham

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male 3-4 months, been in my care for 2 weeks.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Every other day
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Crickets offering 5-10 a day, in the morning and evening. Used an orange slice as told by pet store but have now switched to calcium dust
  • 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? Misting by hand 2-4 times a day for about 1 min, also have the repti fogger humidifier
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Whitish yellow droppings, has not been tested.
  • 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? Screen top and glass around 12” wide x 18” tall x12” deep
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? zoo med daylight blue 60w with uva on for 12-14 hours a daily. Was using a red nighttime heat bulb as well but stopped after reading he does not need at night.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Range between 60-80 degrees keeping track with thermometer at top
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Between 60-80 currently have coconut fiber on the floor, misting and using the thermometer which includes measuring humidity. Have placed plastic wrap over the screen to help keep humidity. Also have mossy vine
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? No, plastic plants but real branches, currently changing.
  • 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? Currently on my kitchen counter top not near heat ventilation. Yes for high traffic in the kitchen (still have to find a good spot for him) about 4 ft from floor to top of cage
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Located in Chicago
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Concerned that he is not eating enough and staying in one particular spot. Color is still green.
 

Pascal the Cham

New Member
@Pascal the Cham ...in the photo with the pink mitten...you chameleon is looking bone thin, it's eye is sunken in, it's eye is shut...all indicators that it's very sick. The way it's hanging on the branch in the last 2 photos in post #1 is also an indicator. You said is gasping. Your chameleon needs to see a vet ASAP..like yesterday. Sorry to tell you that.

Where it's eyes shut the first few days you had it too?
No his eyes were open more frequently.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your chameleon is dying... You came here to us for help... I don't think being in disagreement with someone is going to help you or your chameleon in this situation you are in now. We can't help you unless you help yourself by please filling out the "help form". You will be given proper husbandry advice but please don't take it defensively or the wrong way. We're very passionate about our reptiles here.

I can tell you right off the bat from looking at your photos everything about your setup is inappropriate for a healthy chameleon. I'm sure you were sold it as being just fine at the pet store. I'm also sure the pet store told you not to listen to us Internet folks because we know nothing about what we're talking about too.

View attachment 255766
Think you may be jumping the gun a little bit here...

OP was simply answering a question that was asked to them in that quote you posted. Not disagreeing, they were just giving information that was asked of them. They also already posted the form
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male 3-4 months, been in my care for 2 weeks.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Every other day
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Crickets offering 5-10 a day, in the morning and evening. Used an orange slice as told by pet store but have now switched to calcium dust For feeding/gutloading you need to offer a wide variety of greens such as kale, dandelion greens, collards, a dive, mustard greens, and veggies such as zucchini, squash, sweet red pepper, sweet potato, squash, and a bit of fruit such as apples, pears, melon, berries. You want your insects to be healthy so,your chameleon can be.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I dust with a phos free calcium powder at almost every feeding lightly. This helps make up for the often poor rwtio of calcium to phos found in many feeder insects. I dust twice a month with a phos free calcium/D3 powder to ensure that the chameleon gets some D3 without overdosing it. I leave it to produce the rest of its D3 from its exposure to the uv light we use. D from supplements can build up in the system and lead to health issues...D3 produced from exposure to UVB won't as long as you allow the chameleon to move in and out of the UVB at will. I dust twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A. Vitamin A from prEformed sources can build up in the system and lead to health issues...but prOformed sources won't...so it's safe. It leaves it up to you to decide if/when your chameleon needs some prEformed vitamin A.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Misting by hand 2-4 times a day for about 1 min, also have the repti fogger humidifier You can also set up a dripper that runs at the rate of one or two drips per second. It can be a deli cup with a tiny hole in the bottom.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Whitish yellow droppings, has not been tested. there should be a brown part too. If the white part is very yellowish orange then your chameleon is dehydrated.
  • 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? Screen top and glass around 12” wide x 18” tall x12” deep you will need a bigger cage very soon...preferably one with vents in the front at least.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? zoo med daylight blue 60w with uva on for 12-14 hours a daily. Was using a red nighttime heat bulb as well but stopped after reading he does not need at night. You can use a regular incandescent household bulb of a wattage that puts the basking temperature in the right range...and you definitely need a UVB light asap. A long linear reptisun 5.0 is most often recommended.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Range between 60-80 degrees keeping track with thermometer at top
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Between 60-80 currently have coconut fiber on the floor, misting and using the thermometer which includes measuring humidity. Have placed plastic wrap over the screen to help keep humidity. Also have mossy vine
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? No, plastic plants but real branches, currently changing. it's important to use real non toxic plants that are well washed ...both sides of the leaves.
  • 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? Currently on my kitchen counter top not near heat ventilation. Yes for high traffic in the kitchen (still have to find a good spot for him) about 4 ft from floor to top of cage
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Located in Chicago
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Concerned that he is not eating enough and staying in one particular spot. Color is still green.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male 3-4 months, been in my care for 2 weeks.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Every other day
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Crickets offering 5-10 a day, in the morning and evening. Used an orange slice as told by pet store but have now switched to calcium dust
  • 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? Misting by hand 2-4 times a day for about 1 min, also have the repti fogger humidifier
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Whitish yellow droppings, has not been tested.
  • 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? Screen top and glass around 12” wide x 18” tall x12” deep
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? zoo med daylight blue 60w with uva on for 12-14 hours a daily. Was using a red nighttime heat bulb as well but stopped after reading he does not need at night.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Range between 60-80 degrees keeping track with thermometer at top
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Between 60-80 currently have coconut fiber on the floor, misting and using the thermometer which includes measuring humidity. Have placed plastic wrap over the screen to help keep humidity. Also have mossy vine
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? No, plastic plants but real branches, currently changing.
  • 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? Currently on my kitchen counter top not near heat ventilation. Yes for high traffic in the kitchen (still have to find a good spot for him) about 4 ft from floor to top of cage
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Located in Chicago
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Concerned that he is not eating enough and staying in one particular spot. Color is still green.
Your chameleon is in a dire situation, I'm sorry to say. It looks like skin and bones and they closed eyes are a very large concern. There are a lot of husbandry changes you need to make (almost everything unfortunately, to be honest), but a vet should be your first priority. Below I'll comment on specific husbandry changes that are important to make as soon as you can. But focus on making a vet appt first - at this point it is not optional.

Handling: Chameleons are not a good animal for handling, especially when you first get them. They are stress prone and frequent handling will make them distrust you. They need time to settle in first. Several weeks at least.

Feeding: Your gutload has almost no nutritional value to it. In order for crickets to provide your chameleon with the nutrients it requires, you need to offer the crickets healthy food like fresh produce (leafy greens like collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, escarole, sweet potato, papaya, etc) or a quality pre-made gutload (like Cricket Crack, NOT anything made by Fluker's). If you are feeding your crickets calcium, you can stop. That will not work for your chameleon.

Supplements: It appears you aren't supplementing at all, which is a critical aspect of chameleon care without which your chameleon will quickly fall ill. I recommend dusting feeders daily with Repashy Calcium Plus LoD. You do not feed the insects this, but cover the insect with it and then feed them to the chameleon.

Caging: Your enclosure is significantly too small for your chameleon. Even for a young one, you should use no less than 16x16x30. Adults need 24x24x48" enclosures and I would recommend just switching to one of these if your chameleon makes it.

Lighting: This category needs a total overhaul as well. First off, ditch the blue daylight bulb and replace it with a regular white household incandescent bulb instead. Colored lights are not recommended for chameleons.
More importantly, you don't list any UVB light at all?? Your chameleon needs a T5 HO linear UVB light right away if you do not have any. Without it, there is no chance of survival.

I implore you to read through the resources on this website in addition to making the above changes (but still vet above everything else) because there are many mistakes made in your current setup.
 

Pascal the Cham

New Member
My bad. Fixed.
I am here for assistance and in no way meant to seem like I was disagreeing. As I stated I’m new to this and wanted to be sure the signs I should be looking for. My concerns are already high so thanks for being so blunt! I’ve been anxious about all of it and have made numerous trips to the pet store to get what I can and found they aren’t actually the best source of info so joined here. I appreciate all the responses and I’m making updates as quickly as I can to his enclosure.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am here for assistance and in no way meant to seem like I was disagreeing. As I stated I’m new to this and wanted to be sure the signs I should be looking for. My concerns are already high so thanks for being so blunt! I’ve been anxious about all of it and have made numerous trips to the pet store to get what I can and found they aren’t actually the best source of info so joined here. I appreciate all the responses and I’m making updates as quickly as I can to his enclosure.
My apologies for being overly blunt. I failed to see your help form posting previously before typing away. We mean no harm to you or your cham or any egos. It can be difficult to judge a individuals intent behind text. So again I sincerely apologize for jumping the gun. I hope you can forgive my ignorance. I also hope you get the help you came to find.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
No one has mentioned the humidity being high. Ideally daytime humidity should be no higher than 40%. At night when it’s cooler it can be much higher. Hoping the little guy makes it thru. :(
 

Pascal the Cham

New Member
No one has mentioned the humidity being high. Ideally daytime humidity should be no higher than 40%. At night when it’s cooler it can be much higher. Hoping the little guy makes it thru. :(
Oddly enough I worked a lot to get it to there and find the right ways of keeping it high and I see so many different levels I’m not sure which is right anymore. I’m taking him in the morning to be checked. He pulls at least they the night for me to take him in.
 
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