Dull Color / Large Stomach / Looks Tired


New Member
Hey Guys,

Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - Veield, Female(lack of tarsal spurs), not sure age (got from petco), have had her for about 5 days.
* Handling - I've handled her twice in the 5 Days; both times checking on her to make sure she isn't gravid.
* Feeding - 4-5 Crickets a day with some occasional reptivite w/ d3 every now and then.
* Supplements - reptivite w/ d3; dusting about once a week
* Watering - drip system and misting twice a day for about 10 mins
* Fecal Description - poop color is a dark almost log looking color and the urate is white/off white.
* History - I have had the chameleon from petco for a couple of days, they didnt have her in a proper cage (of course) and didnt have a dripper installed (of course), this is my first chameleon and I dont want her to pass because of my inexperience / lack of knowledge.

Cage Info:

* Cage Type -mesh cage on 3 sides and on the back I have a plexiglass back to prevent wetting the wall when misting. 16x16x20 (upgrading to a 16x16x30)
* Lighting - i have 3 lights, reptisun 5.0 uvb, day light 60w basking, and 60w night time heat bulb.
* Temperature - temperature is 80-90f day time and night time is 60-65f.
* Humidity - humidity level is about 40-45% humidity; keeping it with live plants and misting.
* Plants - yes, pothos potted inside the enclosure
* Placement - cage is located in a spare computer room where only I go in. the cage is about 3.5 feet from the floor (built a new stand and its going to stand taller)
* Location - Northern California; Fairfield, Ca (hotter then San Francisco bay area and 45mins away)

Current Problem -

Hey guys, first off I wanna say that this is probably the most helpful forum I have seen or frequented in a while. Not specific to herps but IN GENERAL lol.

So the problem is, she has a dull color but she has almost but finished her molting. A couple bits of skin here and there left to molt off. But she is a green/ light green most of the time with very little coloration difference.

She has a little pudge on her stomach (IM A DADDY?!? stomach isnt shown in the image as this image is a day older) but she isnt displaying the gravid colors I read about here on the forums and across the net. I tried putting her in a container with dirt and she freaked out and walked right off of the side of my hand onto the floor and was running for ANYWHERE. I then put her back in her cage. Her colors turned a stripped with polka dots.

she also stays more so near the back of the cage and looks like she is trying to distance herself from me.

She also looks tired and I'm not sure if its because I use that red nocturnal bulb to provide a bit of heat at night so it doesnt dip below 60f. (our house has bad insulation which makes it cold at night fast)

I dont know, maybe I'm just being an overly protective father or something, I just dont want the chameleon to pass because I did something wrong...

any inputs ?

here is a picture of her (taken from a cell phone)
welcome to the forums i really cant tell if shes preggo or not but 90 is way too hot for a female veiled mre like 80 anr youll need more supplements calcium without d3 4-5 times a week and use the other twice a month. good luck with your lady
As long as you let your cage dry out prior to lights out. Then a night time drop is preferred. Just try not to let it get below about 60 deg. My house drops down into the mid 60's at night and I have no issues. I just make sure I mist at least 2 hrs prior to lights out in order to give the cage time to dry.
Hello & welcome to the forum. Your girl looks ok to me. She most likely needs time to settle into her new home plus may be a tad grumpy from shedding.Just leave her alone as much a possible.

She may look tired as the heat light you have on at night is disrupting her sleep patterns. You might want a heat emitter, also called a ceramic heat bulb. If you get one be careful of the placement as they get very hot. We don't want her to get burned. You can also use a space heater in the room but that will cost lots more, so I would only do that until you can get the ceramic bulb. I agree you should consider dropping the temp a bit as that is pretty hot for her. Also get some calcium without d3. You should use that for most feeding, dust very lightly, you don't need ghost crickets.

There are lots of other things you can learn and most likely someone will post those. This is just the things I feel you need to change as soon as you are able to do so.
cool ! thanks for the replies guys, i was just freaking out like a hypochondriac lol...im redoing the enclosure to get that heat emitter tommorow as soon as her new cage is here !

im glad to know she looks fine, reading the horror stories about petco i was scared that something was wrong with her.
Welcome to the world of chameleons!

Please read the part about the supplements below...I recommend some changes.

You don't need a heat source at night unless the temps. drop into the low 60'sF....and they definitely don't need light at night.

Here's some information about females that you might like to read....

You said..."she also stays more so near the back of the cage and looks like she is trying to distance herself from me"...I would say that's why.

Do you have an opaque container (at least 12" deep x 12" x 8") full of washed playsand in her cage in case she needs to lay eggs?

Here's some information that might help.......Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
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