Female veiled eating problem??

ashleyroxyou

New Member
This is my lovely veiled chameleon. I purchased her from petsmart *sigh* back in March. She has been extremely active and healthy since I got her. She is very pleasant when it comes to interaction and is never temperamental. I don't get her out a lot and like to giver her space most of the time unless she quickly makes her way to me when I am misting and acts like she wants out.


Anyways, I have always fed her gutloaded crickets and never had any issues. I have noticed however that she isn't eating the crickets anymore. I had been buying the large crickets(and I do mean LARGE) but never had a problem with them until recently. It seems like here recently she isn't eating any at all. The only times I have gotten her to eat is by hand feeding her meal worms or sitting them on a leaf near her.

I don't know what the issue is. She used to eat at least 6-8, if not more, in a day. I moved here recently but it has been a few weeks. Other than that, nothing has really changed in her environment. She isn't gravid and isn't spending time in the substrate. She just stopped eating the crickets. Her poop has become less solid and more runny as well. Other than that I don't think she is really stressed but may be a little sick.(slightly more lethargic and closing her eyes a little more than usual) I gave her a shower for about 15 minutes the other day and I think she really enjoyed that. It really hydrated her skin and afterwards she slept for almost 12 hours straight!! I mist her at least 6-10 times a day depending on if im working or not and towards the top of her cage the temp is showing about 90 degrees. I haven't changed anything in normal routine. Humidity is around 70 (%?). (She has a water bowl for drinking with a bubbler as well)

Sorry for the long post, I am just worried about her!! Any ideas would be great. Also, does anyone know about how old she would be? (BTW, the third & fourth pic are the most recent)
 

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Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
A few thoughts, but I'm far from an expert, so hopefully someone experienced with veileds can jump in.

1. Has she been checked for parasites? That could affect appetite.

2. How is your supplementing schedule? I have read that too much D3 or a vitamin imbalance can affect appetite.

3. Could she be bored? Have you tried offering a new food or a special treat? Maybe she just needs something new to peak her interest.

Just a few ideas.
 

SaintJimmy

Avid Member
I think maybe the two best case scenarios here are

1. She is bored of crickets. Chameleons usually go on "hunger strikes" because yes, reptiles do get bored. How would you feel if you had to eat oatmeal every day? Try offering her different bugs like dubia roaches and hornworms small enough for her to eat. Maybe try superworms or even silkworms.

2. She is scared of the bigger food? My chameleon was reluctant to eat big crickets at first and I think it just took him time to get used to them.
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
A few other thoughts that are more care related.

1. Water bowls and bubblers tend to be breeding grounds for bacterial/fungal growth, even when cleaned out regularly. Have you considered using a dripper instead of the bowl? She could be fighting some stomach issues.

2. How close can she get to her basking lamp? She should have a resting spot that sits about the mid 80sF for basking with the rest of the cage being cooler. If she's not warm enough to properly digest, she may be off her food for that reason.

3. Substrate, the the cocohusk or fiber at the bottom also tends to grow bacteria. Have you considered using just a bare cage bottom? It's a lot easier to keep clean, too.

4. IMO, I think she would like more vines and sticks to climb and maybe a bit more foliage. Do you use real plants? If not, consider something easy to care for and cham safe like a pothos or umbrella plant. My cham loves the pothos best. Different sized things to use provide enrichment too to help keep her from getting bored.

4. I don't have a veiled or a female, but she seems to be getting toward the age where she might need a laying bin soon. Something to start planning for.

Keep us updated.
 

CLP

New Member
Anyways, I have always fed her gutloaded crickets and never had any issues. I have noticed however that she isn't eating the crickets anymore. I had been buying the large crickets(and I do mean LARGE) but never had a problem with them until recently. It seems like here recently she isn't eating any at all. The only times I have gotten her to eat is by hand feeding her meal worms or sitting them on a leaf near her.

I don't know what the issue is. She used to eat at least 6-8, if not more, in a day. I moved here recently but it has been a few weeks. Other than that, nothing has really changed in her environment. She isn't gravid and isn't spending time in the substrate. She just stopped eating the crickets. Her poop has become less solid and more runny as well. Other than that I don't think she is really stressed but may be a little sick.(slightly more lethargic and closing her eyes a little more than usual) I gave her a shower for about 15 minutes the other day and I think she really enjoyed that. It really hydrated her skin and afterwards she slept for almost 12 hours straight!! I mist her at least 6-10 times a day depending on if im working or not and towards the top of her cage the temp is showing about 90 degrees. I haven't changed anything in normal routine. Humidity is around 70 (%?). (She has a water bowl for drinking with a bubbler as well)

Sorry for the long post, I am just worried about her!! Any ideas would be great. Also, does anyone know about how old she would be? (BTW, the third & fourth pic are the most recent)

A couple of things. Are these recent photos of your cham? She looks small for having being purchased in March and assuming she was at least 2 months old when you got her. If the photos are recent, I think large crickets are too big. The crickets should not be any larger than the distance between her eyes. You also should be providing much more variety in her diet. Superworms, silkworms, hormworms, phoenix worms, roaches, etc.

Assuming she is 6-7 months old or older, she is quite possibly gravid, although if those are photos of her now, she doesn't look like she has eggs. Keep in mind that many new owners have a difficult time telling gravid from not. Regardless, at her age, you should have a laying bin in there for her.

Also, substrate is not generally recommended. First concern is they can get impacted from eating it along with the feeders. Second, I can't imaging the cage is drying out properly with the number of mistings you're doing with that substrate in there. That is a recipe for bacteria growth. You need to remove the substrate.

You should also be careful of the heat and amount of food you're feeding her. Because female veileds will lay eggs without being mated, and it takes a HUGE toll on them, thus shortening their life expectancy, most members attempt to keep the food amounts down as well as lower temps. Try to keep the warmest part of the enclosure (i.e. basking spot) no warmer than 85F. Even low 80s is good. I would also recommend not feeding so much. Also, what is your supplementatation schedule?

Try offering some different feeders and smaller crickets if she is the size she appears in your photos. Get rid of the substrate and put a laying bin in. If she doesn't come around, I would seriously consider a visit to the vet. Good luck.
 
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ashleyroxyou

New Member
Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

I went to the pet store on Saturday and got her some medium sized crickets and I have noticed her watching them( like she was hunting.) Which is good because she wasn't even paying the larges any mind at all recently. I also removed the water bowl and bubbler this morning and am using it as a dry food bowl to feed her worms. I set up a dripper this morning as well and as soon as i did she was underneath it drinking.

As far as the substrate, I am going to slowly work on removing it I suppose. I haven't had any issues with her eating it but I have heard of other issues that can come with it as well. I churn it every so often to keep it from getting too moist and always clean out any dead insects/feces from her cage immediately.

I have tried feeding her waxworms but she just isn't interested. The pet stores around me have a pretty scarce selection but I will try and liven up her diet a bit. Maybe I can order some things online for her. (Any trusted sites with good products?)

All in all she seems to be improving. She is eating more and is becoming more active.

I feel that maybe it was the stress of moving and maybe the monotony of her cricket diet lol.
I will keep an eye on her and if need be, will call the local reptile vet though.

I agree that she seems a little small. I have wondered if she will get any bigger than this. When she puffs up she is much bigger than in those pics obviously. But that rarely happens. Maybe 1-2 times since I got her. The first pics were done right after I got her. The last 2 pics were done yesterday.
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
I set up a dripper this morning as well and as soon as i did she was underneath it drinking.

Great! For my little guy, even misting doesn't spark the drinking reflex like big drops of water falling. His favorite thing, I think.

As for substrate, if you don't have an issue with her eating it (there are some animals of all species that just can't seem to not eat something they shouldn't), then that is less of a concern in my opinion. I don't think that substrate is necessarily bad, but it does make keeping things clean more difficult. Especially with a dripper, you might find that the coco fiber holds far too much water, so keep an eye on it.

I order a lot of feeders from Coastal Silkworms. There are a site sponsor here and have always sent me good products. I would get small sized silkworms or hornworms. The silkworms will keep longer maybe even a few weeks, so you should order extra silkworm chow. The hornworms are great feeders, but they grow really fast.

I also order blue bottle fly pupae from Mantis Place. The website can be a little difficult to navigate but their prices are good. With her being so small, you might also consider phoenix worms, too.

Shipping on live bugs is very high, but worth it to have a variety of feeders to supplement crickets. You might even be able to get small dubia roaches at a local pet store - more likely a small mom-n-pop shop, you'll have to check around.
 

Schwomzer

New Member
Maybe Gravid

I had this same problem with my female veiled when she was around 7 months old and she ended up being gravid. I put a bucket in her cage 14 inches high by 12 diameter and filled it with kids play sand. Once I covered the cage and left her for a while she dug and layer her eggs. About 2 days after she was back to normal. You could always try the bucket and see what happens.
 

ashleyroxyou

New Member
Awesomeness.

Well good news update. After setting up the dripper this morning before work, I came home to a happy, hungry, and hunting chameleon.

She finally ate some of the crickets. These are the mediums I just got Saturday. Guess she just wasn't liking the larges and also may have been a little dehydrated?

She has been under the dripper a lotttt. She really likes it. :)
It is causing a bit of a mess in the substrate though. So I may need to remove it or it's gonna get pretty yucky in there.

Not sure if I have the best dripper system though. I've got a plastic water bottle with a tiny hole in the bottom filled with water and the cap on top which I am using to adjust the speed of the dripper. It's just that it was all dripped out by the time I got home. Is that normal???
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
Drippers can be hard to regulate. I have a Little Dripper and on the slowest setting, it only lasts about 6 hours. So long as she has access to water for most of the day, you can mist her when you get home.

It will make a mess tho, so start thinking about a drainage system :)

Glad she's feeling better!
 

kj9

New Member
Drippers can be hard to regulate. I have a Little Dripper and on the slowest setting, it only lasts about 6 hours. So long as she has access to water for most of the day, you can mist her when you get home.

It will make a mess tho, so start thinking about a drainage system :)

Glad she's feeling better!

What do you use as a drainage system? I'm planning on purchasing a Little Dripper but don't want to end up flooding the bottom of my cage - it's just bare & the water would leak out & get everywhere.
 

ashleyroxyou

New Member
I have a deep terrarium for mine so I assumed it would just evaporate??

Guess I will be wiping it down everyday or set a little bowl in there and empty it if it doesn't.

I will give it a couple days and see what happens!!
 

ashleyroxyou

New Member
Drippers can be hard to regulate. I have a Little Dripper and on the slowest setting, it only lasts about 6 hours. So long as she has access to water for most of the day, you can mist her when you get home.

It will make a mess tho, so start thinking about a drainage system :)

Glad she's feeling better!


Okay cool. :]
And yeah I know. Me too!
 
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