Drinking too much water?

KhameleonMomz

Established Member
Hey guys! So I’ve said many times that Nolan struggles to drink on his own so I have to hand-syringe water to him everyday. Well the big guy FINALLY learned to drink in his own and drinks every single day by himself. My problem now is I’m worried he’s drinking too much. I see him drink for 5-10 mins a day but he’ll drink that whole time and never stop. I’ll see him gasp for air after he’s done drinking as if he’s aspirated it but then sometimes he just continues to drink again. It’s gotten to the point that now I have to physically pull him away from dripper and turn it off because I’m afraid he’s going to die from drinking so much. I know I’m not supposed to stop him from drinking but the gasping sounds look really violent and and he’ll start opening and closing his mouth a lot and push out his neck like if he were angry. Does anyone else’s charms do this? And if so how did you control it? Thanks!
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
  • 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
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree with Chameleonking. Likely your humidity is too low at night (or whenever you spike your humidity levels) that it isn't enough for him to become hydrated.

Also, it doesn't rain every day where our chameleons come from. It actually hardly rains at all. For veiled chameleons, most nights get up to 75%+ humidity every night (ranging closer to 100%). This is how they rehydrate in the wild. But when it does rain, they are hardwired to drink. They are programmed to take advantage of this scarce resource. So when you drip water on a chameleon's face for long enough, they will eventually drink, regardless of hydration. Rain isn't a steady drip of water directly on their face. Raindrops are spaced out and rarely land in the exact same spot, with many drops landing on plant leaves to be lapped up by the chameleon. If you have a dripper that drips too fast, it won't give your cham enough time to breathe. Additionally, it triggers your chameleon to continually drink.

The solution? Increase nighttime humidity and have a good misting first thing in the morning (as well as through the night) to make sure your cham gets sufficient hydration. Also makes sure you have lots of plants for the mist to collect and drip onto. If you want to keep the dripper, make sure there is a long "one Mississippi, two Mississippi," etc between each drip. Aim for 75%+ humidity every night.

I once held a dripper up to my cham's mouth. He kept drinking and drinking and drinking. The continual water drops created a loophole in his behavior. Eventually, he aspirated air. His eyes sunk in super deep and pointed his nose straight towards the ceiling. I swear I was going to lose him right then and there. For some reason, I felt the urge to flip him upside down (completely vertical with his nose down) in hopes of getting the water to pour back out of his lungs. Thankfully, this worked and the water came out! If I left him be and took him straight to the vet, I think he would have passed. The vet was also incredibly stressful for my little guy. It's not worth risking your cham aspirating water. Also, you are increasing your chances of a respiratory infection.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
I agree with Chameleonking. Likely your humidity is too low at night (or whenever you spike your humidity levels) that it isn't enough for him to become hydrated.

Also, it doesn't rain every day where our chameleons come from. It actually hardly rains at all. For veiled chameleons, most nights get up to 75%+ humidity every night (ranging closer to 100%). This is how they rehydrate in the wild. But when it does rain, they are hardwired to drink. They are programmed to take advantage of this scarce resource. So when you drip water on a chameleon's face for long enough, they will eventually drink, regardless of hydration. Rain isn't a steady drip of water directly on their face. Raindrops are spaced out and rarely land in the exact same spot, with many drops landing on plant leaves to be lapped up by the chameleon. If you have a dripper that drips too fast, it won't give your cham enough time to breathe. Additionally, it triggers your chameleon to continually drink.

The solution? Increase nighttime humidity and have a good misting first thing in the morning (as well as through the night) to make sure your cham gets sufficient hydration. Also makes sure you have lots of plants for the mist to collect and drip onto. If you want to keep the dripper, make sure there is a long "one Mississippi, two Mississippi," etc between each drip. Aim for 75%+ humidity every night.

I once held a dripper up to my cham's mouth. He kept drinking and drinking and drinking. The continual water drops created a loophole in his behavior. Eventually, he aspirated air. His eyes sunk in super deep and pointed his nose straight towards the ceiling. I swear I was going to lose him right then and there. For some reason, I felt the urge to flip him upside down (completely vertical with his nose down) in hopes of getting the water to pour back out of his lungs. Thankfully, this worked and the water came out! If I left him be and took him straight to the vet, I think he would have passed. The vet was also incredibly stressful for my little guy. It's not worth risking your cham aspirating water. Also, you are increasing your chances of a respiratory infection.
And that's how you do that. Lol. Well said Mendez
 

KhameleonMomz

Established Member
Something is making dehydrated. Is it too dry in his enclosure?
His temps at night are around 60-70 right now (depends on how cold I keep the room, I live in south texas it gets HOT) and his humidity is usually around 85-90%. His humidity in the morning is usually around 50-60% and then throughout the day it’s at 30-40% max. Day time temps are 73-75, and then 80 at his basking. He has a mister that runs every 2 hours during the day for 10 seconds and every hour at night for 15 seconds. His urates are completely white and the poop is normal so I wouldn’t say so no.
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
Where is the hygrometer placed? 10-15 second intervals of misting is not long enough at all for any means of hydration--unless you are keeping in a glass enclosure. The reason I ask about your hygrometer placement is that they are not designed to get wet. If they get wet, the results are worthless until the unit dries out again. Essentially, the readings will be higher than the actual humidity level. I can almost guarantee that the humidity levels are not reaching 85-90% humidity at night with 10-15 seconds of mist. But if you really are getting 85-90% humidity, it's likely to fall down shortly thereafter.

To be clear, I'm blaming the hygrometer and not you. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. Also, which hygrometer do you have? I bought mine from Lowes. It has a wireless "outdoor" probe that I place in the cage that reads both humidity and temperature. I cut a plastic cup to fit around it and act as a mist shield. Others have bought hygrometers from Amazon. I don't find the reptile brand hygrometers such as exoterra and zilla to be too accurate.

Also, be careful when selecting a hygrometer. Many hygrometers have an outdoor probe, but few probes can measure the humidity. Most probes simply read the temperature.

I think the probe is either bad or in a spot where it gets wet. Regardless, the readings are off IMO. He's not getting the hydration he needs which is why he drinks excessively during the day. But do keep in mind (from my post above) how constant water to the face can trigger a drinking response. Once we get this hygrometer issue fixed. Implement what I said in my previous post.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
His temps at night are around 60-70 right now (depends on how cold I keep the room, I live in south texas it gets HOT) and his humidity is usually around 85-90%. His humidity in the morning is usually around 50-60% and then throughout the day it’s at 30-40% max. Day time temps are 73-75, and then 80 at his basking. He has a mister that runs every 2 hours during the day for 10 seconds and every hour at night for 15 seconds. His urates are completely white and the poop is normal so I wouldn’t say so no.
Hmm. I would try running the mister for at least 3 minutes to even five minutes three to four times a day. Maybe drop the night temps a bit to 55 to 60. Try that for a week and see what results from it. As the mister should run no less than three minutes when on.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Where is the hygrometer placed? 10-15 second intervals of misting is not long enough at all for any means of hydration--unless you are keeping in a glass enclosure. The reason I ask about your hygrometer placement is that they are not designed to get wet. If they get wet, the results are worthless until the unit dries out again. Essentially, the readings will be higher than the actual humidity level. I can almost guarantee that the humidity levels are not reaching 85-90% humidity at night with 10-15 seconds of mist. But if you really are getting 85-90% humidity, it's likely to fall down shortly thereafter.

To be clear, I'm blaming the hygrometer and not you. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. Also, which hygrometer do you have? I bought mine from Lowes. It has a wireless "outdoor" probe that I place in the cage that reads both humidity and temperature. I cut a plastic cup to fit around it and act as a mist shield. Others have bought hygrometers from Amazon. I don't find the reptile brand hygrometers such as exoterra and zilla to be too accurate.

Also, be careful when selecting a hygrometer. Many hygrometers have an outdoor probe, but few probes can measure the humidity. Most probes simply read the temperature.

I think the probe is either bad or in a spot where it gets wet. Regardless, the readings are off IMO. He's not getting the hydration he needs which is why he drinks excessively during the day. But do keep in mind (from my post above) how constant water to the face can trigger a drinking response. Once we get this hygrometer issue fixed. Implement what I said in my previous post.
Posted at the same time :LOL:
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, make sure to have an adequate amount of plants in the enclosure that your cham can drink on. Again, I agree with chameleonking. Increase the misting to at least 1 minute every hour. Or mist three to five every couple of hours. Then make sure to mist at least three minutes in the morning to give your cham time to drink.

You don't need to mist during the day unless the humidity falls under 30% for a veiled chameleon. They don't need a high day humidity. Just make sure to mist throughout the night and you should be good.
 
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