Continued nail injury problems...


New Member
My male cham has a strong grip, and at times while he's been climbing on the screened in his cage he's hung a nail or two & then pulled it/them out/injuring it/them to the point they wouldn't grow back. He's missing all three nails on one side of one back-foot and just now lost another nail on a front-foot so that front-foot is now missing all three nails on one side as well. :(
On his back foot with missing toe-nails the injury (was an accident that's my fault) initially happened when I had him in a smaller cage that was blown over in a wind storm (while I was in the process of moving him inside the house), so two nails were yanked out/injured at once during that incident and the third nail kept getting hung-up & over-used on the screen so it soon feel-off too. I don't know how the front-foot nails became injured.
I seems like if there is only one nail left it will eventually fall off too (due to the over use and getting hung on screen). I've had to add many vines and other things for him to crawl on because he's not able to crawl on the screen (screen is his preference). It's taken him a lot of time to use the vines & plants because he has difficulty realizing the nails are missing. I feel bad for him because he tries and tries to crawl up the screen but can only do it a little due to the missing nails... Anyone else have this problem?
I don't know if I should just keep them trimmed (which is scary because I could injure him) so he can not longer use them & injure his nails/toes. Should I just cut the hooks-off the tips so they won't hang-up on the screen? I have had to take him to the vet once regarding this issue due to swelling and fear of infection after the first two nails were injured. The foot healed but nails never grew back. I'm unnerved by the whole situation... What should I do? Any suggestions?:confused:


Chameleon Enthusiast
Some chams just insist on climbing the screen of their cages. Often because the cage is too small or too low to the ground and they are trying to get out. You could stretch panels of knotted fish net (you can get it really cheap on ebay or even buy some netting used for garden climbing vegetables or fishing dip nets) on the inside of the screens that he can climb on instead. You could replace the cage screening with hardware cloth large enough so he can put his toes through the mesh. Don't clip his won't really help at all.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Wish I had a good answer for you...but the missing nails will not likely ever grow back. I don't know what you can do short of something like Carlton suggested, to stop him from climbing the screen. Trimming the tips would make it difficult for him to grip branches so you exchange on problem for another.
Top Bottom