End of chameleon tail is weird


New Member
My male chameleon is about 9 months old and has not curled his tail up for about 2 weeks now and does not use it to get around but still walks fine and gets around where he needs to but also has discoloration and looks crooked. A week before I noticed this he shed his feet only so I dont know if its an infection, broken / crooked tail , or dead skin .

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum!

Pictures please? Also of the entire enclosure from lights on down to floor.substrate.

So folks here can best help you, please copy/paste this form filled out for your chameleon & enclosure. Thanks.


Staff member
I'm curious about your supplement schedule in particular but all the info will help. How often are you giving calcium with D3? I only ask because excessive amounts of D3 can damage the tail but there are other possible causes.
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New Member
This is how it looks like


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New Member
I spray and fog him


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New Member
Lighting : The light on the left is the heat lamp and the one on the right is uv.


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New Member


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Staff member
This is likely your problem if you are using both of these more than once a week. Both of these products contain D3. D3 should only be given twice a month in these dosages. Plain phosphorus free calcium should be used daily in veiled and panthers.
Can you tell me the schedule you have been using?
From the care sheet "Feeder insects should be lightly dusted with powdered supplement before being fed to your chameleon. Many keepers successfully use calcium (without D3 or phosphorus) at nearly every feeding, multivitamin once every 2 weeks, and calcium with D3 once every 2 weeks."

D3 poisoning can cause tail damage. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/d3-poisoning.2401/

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
That type of UVB (compact fluorescent)—whether coil or U-shaped—was designed & intended to be mounted in a horizontal orientation.

A vertical orientation such as in that dome greatly reduces both the amount of usable UVB and its range.

That said, even mounted correctly, they do not provide enough UVB unless they're directly over—and about 3" from—the lizard. Not really suitable for active arboreal chameleons.

A better choice (used by many/most keepers) is a linear T5 HO UVB; either Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% in a fixture with reflector that spans the entire width of the enclosure, such as:
These fixtures are sold under many brand names, most made by Shenzen Sunlight Lighting Co. (OEM)

The best bulbs for basking lights are (in order of preference):
  1. Old-style household incandescent light bulb​
  2. Incandescent flood lamp (not spot)​
  3. Halogen flood lamp (not spot)​
In addition, an LED plant light might be in order.


In the first picture, it appears the chameleon's tail may have a break/fracture, but I'm not seeing it in the other pictures, and I'm not seeing any discoloration typical of necrosis. It could also be Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), which is why we've asked about supplements & lighting.

Again, folks will be better able to help you if you'll please copy/paste the following into a post in this thread, and fill in your answers/data in bold or a different color (for clarity). Thanks. :)

Pics of the whole lizard would be helpful too.

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.


Staff member
I don't believe it is metabolic bone disease exactly but too much D3 vitamin. MBD bad enough to damage the tail would leave him with bent legs which he doesn't have. You need to stop giving supplements with D3 for at least a month and start giving plain calcium without D3 in a week or so. Getting him to a good reptile or chameleon vet would help. Will your parents do that with you?
If the tail was broken there is no way to splint it or repair it. It looks like it is necrotic (or the tail is dying). It may fall off on it's own or a veterinarian can remove the damaged part and if you set up your cage with extra branches closer together he can have a normal life.


Avid Member
Im only 13 but what is metabolic bone disease and what do I do if the tail os fractured?
The tail will most likely remain that way, you need an experienced chameleon vet. MBD is what it sounds like, you can research more on it here.
We don’t know if it is MDB so you need a vet to properly diagnose. You must change your supplements and lights plus more if we see more issues. Fill out the form they provided before so that we can help you more.
If you could also read through ALL of this as well. Read through the husbandry programs as well (three line bar).
(YouTube Chanel from a chameleon enthusiast, you can go through her videos as well)

Since you’re are young I’m assuming your parents are paying for everything. Talk with them about getting/paying so your cham has everything he needs. It can get quite pricey, chameleons are very expensive animals to take care of and provide everything they need.
I recommend a vet visit with and experienced chameleon vet.

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Im only 13 but what is metabolic bone disease and what do I do if the tail os fractured?
IDT I could have expressed it any better than cruz.m just did. 🤓

Metabolic bone disease

But let's not put the cart before the horse. I am not a veterinarian (nor do I play one on TV), but I do think it would be prudent to have this chameleon evaluated by a good herp veterinarian (this link will help you find one near you) for a number of reasons, if for nothing else than peace of mind.

In the meantime, I would keep a close watch on the tail for any signs of necrosis.

Chameleon Medical: Tail Damage
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