Friend’s Improper Husbandry

noahrofsky7

Established Member
Hello,

I have a buddy with a male Jackson Xantholophus. He’s owned him for about a year now and was told he is 3ish years old, and he has been shedding for a very long time (talking weeks here). He has also recently started to close his eyes during the day. No sunken eyes. He does eat during the day, but my friend doesn’t really gutload his insects well, so that is another huge issue.

As for the long shed, what could be causing this?

I do not have any photographs currently. He doesn’t visually look unhealthy other than closed eyes during day and still shedding. He changes colors fine. He darkens up to try and soak in any sun that comes through the window, and goes into his pj’s at night. But this is why chameleons are known as masters of disguise in this context.

My friends husbandry is very poor. I try my very best to point him in the right directions, but he is very irresponsible and lazy (Not the typa person that should own a chameleon IMO). He does use t5 HO linear uvb lighting, but I recently found out the bulb is old and is probably not doing anything (I have yet to check it with my solarmeter). Who knows how long that uvb lamp has been out for. He does fog and use a mistking, and has the correct basking lamp. He used to not supplement AT ALL, but I have introduced him a proper supplement schedule of D3-free calcium twice a week and repashy lo-d once a month

I have never seen the cham’s poop/urates EVER, so who knows how bad they look. Also has never had a fecal exam.

My biggest guess here is lack of vitamins and not being able to synthesize the d3 without any uvb for who knows how long.

He also has started to free range his chameleon with zero uvb again.

What’s the best thing to do here? Tell him to go to the Vet? Push my friend to get on track with his supplements and uvb? I feel like it may be too far gone to try that, and the vet is in the near future.

Again, this is my friends chameleon so I can not monitor it when I want, but I am currently cham-sitting for a week and am feeding mainly silkworms with a dusting of D3-free calcium twice a week, and have given him some repashy lo-d to actually have some vitamins in his system. Is there any options that could possibly give him a small, health boost other than supplementing and given properly gutloaded insects until a vet is seen?

I’m assuming the vet is going to be the answer to this.

Thanks as always. :)
 

Snuits

Chameleon Enthusiast
Helllo, it's nice of you too look out for him & try to find answers. I say if he's not gonna take the time & love to do things properly so that his animal is living the best life he can provide. Then he should probably look for another home for him or give to you. They are not supposed to just sit there w.the improper care.. I understand some people are told wrong information so sometimes people have no choice. But if you have someone as informative as you trying to help him out. He really has no excuse on why he's not taking proper care of his pet. 🤷‍♀️ All you can do is try to remind him of the best care unfortunately
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
Some people continue down the wrong path because they do not see (or refuse to see) the harm they are causing. Make sure they understand that chameleons should not be closing their eyes during the day.

UVB helps synthesize D3 naturally through the body without the use of supplements. We use supplements as a safety net to ensure our chameleons receive all the D3 they need. If it has been a while without replacing the bulb, you could up the D3 supplement intake. No uvb and low D3 supplement intake is going to lead to MBD.

I agree with @Snuits. Your friend should not own a chameleon (or any other pet for that matter) if he is not going to put in the work to keep the animal properly. Give your friend a good reason to allow him to pass on his chameleon to you. I'm sure he cares for the animal, so let him know how good of a life you are going to give his jackson's chameleon. You have given him all the advice he needs, but he won't listen. There is not much more you can do except care for the chameleon yourself at your place of residence.

Tell him that he can visit anytime he wants to see the cham.

If you want, fill out the form below and we can critique everything. Then you can give the form to your friend. Tell him that it includes everything he needs to fix. And if he doesn't want to fix it, then make him an offer to take the cham yourself (maybe offer him money for the cham?). And just remember that being friendly is the best approach no matter the outcome. Even if he says "no" right away. He'll probably consider the offer days later and possibly change his mind.

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.
 

noahrofsky7

Established Member
Some people continue down the wrong path because they do not see (or refuse to see) the harm they are causing. Make sure they understand that chameleons should not be closing their eyes during the day.

UVB helps synthesize D3 naturally through the body without the use of supplements. We use supplements as a safety net to ensure our chameleons receive all the D3 they need. If it has been a while without replacing the bulb, you could up the D3 supplement intake. No uvb and low D3 supplement intake is going to lead to MBD.

I agree with @Snuits. Your friend should not own a chameleon (or any other pet for that matter) if he is not going to put in the work to keep the animal properly. Give your friend a good reason to allow him to pass on his chameleon to you. I'm sure he cares for the animal, so let him know how good of a life you are going to give his jackson's chameleon. You have given him all the advice he needs, but he won't listen. There is not much more you can do except care for the chameleon yourself at your place of residence.

Tell him that he can visit anytime he wants to see the cham.

If you want, fill out the form below and we can critique everything. Then you can give the form to your friend. Tell him that it includes everything he needs to fix. And if he doesn't want to fix it, then make him an offer to take the cham yourself (maybe offer him money for the cham?). And just remember that being friendly is the best approach no matter the outcome. Even if he says "no" right away. He'll probably consider the offer days later and possibly change his mind.

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.
Thanks so much for the response. I will have to have a serious talk with my friend about taking the chameleon in.

It hurts to watch the chameleon like that, and have contemplated making this post on multiple occasions. Once I saw eyes closed I said enough is enough.
 

noahrofsky7

Established Member
Helllo, it's nice of you too look out for him & try to find answers. I say if he's not gonna take the time & love to do things properly so that his animal is living the best life he can provide. Then he should probably look for another home for him or give to you. They are not supposed to just sit there w.the improper care.. I understand some people are told wrong information so sometimes people have no choice. But if you have someone as informative as you trying to help him out. He really has no excuse on why he's not taking proper care of his pet. 🤷‍♀️ All you can do is try to remind him of the best care unfortunately
I agree with you 100%. I bug him about husbandry all the time. Sometimes he’ll go through with it, other times he does not. I’m going to have to speak with him about fostering the chameleon.
Thank you!
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello,

I have a buddy with a male Jackson Xantholophus. He’s owned him for about a year now and was told he is 3ish years old, and he has been shedding for a very long time (talking weeks here). He has also recently started to close his eyes during the day. No sunken eyes. He does eat during the day, but my friend doesn’t really gutload his insects well, so that is another huge issue.

As for the long shed, what could be causing this?

I do not have any photographs currently. He doesn’t visually look unhealthy other than closed eyes during day and still shedding. He changes colors fine. He darkens up to try and soak in any sun that comes through the window, and goes into his pj’s at night. But this is why chameleons are known as masters of disguise in this context.

My friends husbandry is very poor. I try my very best to point him in the right directions, but he is very irresponsible and lazy (Not the typa person that should own a chameleon IMO). He does use t5 HO linear uvb lighting, but I recently found out the bulb is old and is probably not doing anything (I have yet to check it with my solarmeter). Who knows how long that uvb lamp has been out for. He does fog and use a mistking, and has the correct basking lamp. He used to not supplement AT ALL, but I have introduced him a proper supplement schedule of D3-free calcium twice a week and repashy lo-d once a month

I have never seen the cham’s poop/urates EVER, so who knows how bad they look. Also has never had a fecal exam.

My biggest guess here is lack of vitamins and not being able to synthesize the d3 without any uvb for who knows how long.

He also has started to free range his chameleon with zero uvb again.

What’s the best thing to do here? Tell him to go to the Vet? Push my friend to get on track with his supplements and uvb? I feel like it may be too far gone to try that, and the vet is in the near future.

Again, this is my friends chameleon so I can not monitor it when I want, but I am currently cham-sitting for a week and am feeding mainly silkworms with a dusting of D3-free calcium twice a week, and have given him some repashy lo-d to actually have some vitamins in his system. Is there any options that could possibly give him a small, health boost other than supplementing and given properly gutloaded insects until a vet is seen?

I’m assuming the vet is going to be the answer to this.

Thanks as always. :)
Ugh! I’m sorry that you’re in this position, and your friend would likely benefit from some husbandry advice regarding enclosure, supplements, hydration and lighting. Unfortunately, convincing someone else to take better care of their pets is like convincing someone else to stop smoking. For what it’s worth, here are a couple care sheets to help. Since you’re here and your friend is not, it seems like offering to take care of the chameleon might be worth a try. Anyways:

https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/jacksons/

https://chameleonacademy.com/the-jacksons-chameleon-trioceros-jacksonii/
 

noahrofsky7

Established Member
Hello everyone,

I managed to snap some photos of him in his enclosure. I just fed him some silkworms, and he seemed to need water pretty badly even though I gave him some yesterday. He is moving around right now which is good.

44C58F34-36D1-4F4D-A976-015297FE72AD.jpeg

251F6649-3CB7-4FEC-ABBD-2380C1E1D16C.jpeg


I have no clue what bulb/fixture he has for uvb, but my solarmeter read zilch, zip, zero :(
He comes home today and needs to either replace it or give him to me. I gave him an ultimatum yesterday: take better care of it, or give him to me. Since he most likely won’t give him to me, looks like I’m going to have to babysit him until his husbandry, and the chameleon improves.

Wish me and the chameleon luck!

Thanks :)
 

dinomom

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ugh! I’m sorry that you’re in this position, and your friend would likely benefit from some husbandry advice regarding enclosure, supplements, hydration and lighting. Unfortunately, convincing someone else to take better care of their pets is like convincing someone else to stop smoking. For what it’s worth, here are a couple care sheets to help. Since you’re here and your friend is not, it seems like offering to take care of the chameleon might be worth a try. Anyways:

https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/jacksons/

https://chameleonacademy.com/the-jacksons-chameleon-trioceros-jacksonii/
I like to use props in this type of situation. Maybe take the care sheet and highlight the areas you think could be lacking (such as lack of UVB, and not in an accusatory way) Offer to bring things up to par if he will cover the cost of the items, so he does not have to "do" anything.

He needs to know that the symptom of closing eyes means the little guy is going downhill and will die slowly if changes are not made, and you "know how much he loves his cham and does not want to see that happen".

Sometimes being faced with all the issues people will then just ask if you would like to have the pet.
 

noahrofsky7

Established Member
Hello,

I bothered my friend to get new uvb bulbs and he followed through with it. I measured with the solarmeter and it read 12 UV index right at the bulb, and 3 at the basking branches (about 6-7 inches away).
I’d say the next thing here after uvb is proper nutrition. Properly gutloaded insects, and a supplement schedule.
Still don’t see any urates to judge how hydrated the chameleon is, but I know he sprays down the enclosure.

Thanks
 

Snuits

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yay. That's great news. Good job! Glad the cham has you to look out for him. & I'm glad your friend is taking your advice.
Good luck! ♡
 

Tarzanfam

Established Member
Haven't read all the replies here but in my research about vit A, the lo d is needed more frequently than once a month and low A could be the reason for the eye issues. Maybe think about increasing the vitamin suppliment.
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haven't read all the replies here but in my research about vit A, the lo d is needed more frequently than once a month and low A could be the reason for the eye issues. Maybe think about increasing the vitamin suppliment.
Actually, utilizing D3 once a month can work for a jackson's chameleon. It also depends on the number of feeders dusted and the potency of the specific supplement. Reptivite w/D3 has worked well for me on a once a month basis--dusting only two feeders. With that said, reptivite contains more D3 than repashy LoD--however, I know of people who use LoD once a month as well.

Just recently, I decided to split up my once a month D3 regimen into twice a month, but only dusting half of the feeders in D3 and dusting the remainder in plain calcium. I figure splitting up the D3 into two smaller batches would be healthier for the body.

As for the statement that Vit A should be used more frequently than vitamin D--that isn't really true. But I guess it also depends on what type of Vit A we are talking about. Proformed Vit A (beta carotenoids) can be given more frequently than Preformed Vit A (retinol) simply because most chameleons either have natural safeguards for Proformed A or simply do not utilize it (still debated). Preformed A should be given in moderation as it can cause edema as well.

From my research, Vit A is an incomplete antagonist to Vit D3. While I don't really understand the science (yet), you should really be giving D3 about the same frequency as giving preformed A.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Actually, utilizing D3 once a month can work for a jackson's chameleon. It also depends on the number of feeders dusted and the potency of the specific supplement. Reptivite w/D3 has worked well for me on a once a month basis--dusting only two feeders. With that said, reptivite contains more D3 than repashy LoD--however, I know of people who use LoD once a month as well.

Just recently, I decided to split up my once a month D3 regimen into twice a month, but only dusting half of the feeders in D3 and dusting the remainder in plain calcium. I figure splitting up the D3 into two smaller batches would be healthier for the body.

As for the statement that Vit A should be used more frequently than vitamin D--that isn't really true. But I guess it also depends on what type of Vit A we are talking about. Proformed Vit A (beta carotenoids) can be given more frequently than Preformed Vit A (retinol) simply because most chameleons either have natural safeguards for Proformed A or simply do not utilize it (still debated). Preformed A should be given in moderation as it can cause edema as well.

From my research, Vit A is an incomplete antagonist to Vit D3. While I don't really understand the science (yet), you should really be giving D3 about the same frequency as giving preformed A.
Very interesting.
 
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