Fruits & Veggies

Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
my cham Camo has recently lost his tounge and i have found that he really enjoys kiwi. my question is: are all fruits and vegtables safe for chams? should some be givin less or avoided all together?

thx hoj
 

mardithepanther

New Member
Green apples are good. Whatever you are using to gutload. (would not be the case ifyou are using cricket food, dog food, etc.)
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
This is excellent site of fruits and veggies nutritional content. You want to aim for higher calcium to phosphorus ratio and avoid those high in oxalates and goitrogens because they interfere with calcium metabolism and can contribute to gout. The site was made for iguanas but the same concepts apply!
 

Alexl

Established Member
I would not give any chameleon fruits. The fruit sugar may cause problems with yeast fungus in their gastro-intestinal system. So be careful...
 

Alexl

Established Member
The fungus found in the animals grows best on sugar and there was nothing else fed (but lots of fruits) which could lead to such problems typically. Perhaps those patients do have other problems too, but you can avoid digestive problems in feeding no fruits, which are even not necessary to chameleons as every day food at all (or did you ever see a chameleon looking for and eating whole fruits in natural surroundings?).

If it's only to give them more water: Vegetables (cucumber, some sorts of salads) may be a solution.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Were any papers published on this?

I could see how large quantities of fruit may contribute to a problem, but the occasional piece really shouldn't cause catastrophic problems otherwise in healthy animals. Veileds especially have been seen eating flowers and blossoms in addition to vegetable matter out in the wild. I would be surprised if those flowers did not have high sugar content as well.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
did you ever see a chameleon looking for and eating whole fruits in natural surroundings?
There is not much published in journals on this matter (as is the usual with chameleon issues) but I did find one article in particular documenting the natural consumption of fruits in particular by wild oustalets in Madagascar. The paper was "Fruit Feeding Behavior of a Chameleon Furcifer oustaleti: Comparison with Insect Foraging Tactics" by Hiroo Takahashi in 2008. Wild oustalets were seen eating red and black fruits, plant matter was found in stomach contents and seeds were found in feces repeatedly.

I can look for more documentation if you'd like some more info on it. Can't promise I'll find anything though...

In reference to the yeast that only grows on fruits, without knowing any of the specifics, I would wonder if the fruit was fresh or had it been sitting out long enough to grow crap or maybe not been in the best condition to begin with? Fruit can grow bacteria and fungi quickly so it's important to make sure it's clean and fresh. The high sugar content would be a concern if given in large quantities I'm sure but small amounts should be fine if the fruit is fresh and not allowed to sit out before being eaten, especially in a warm, moist environment that chams are usually kept in. It's true that veggies would be healthier for your cham, especially if it's not eating as many bugs. You can dust veggies too like you would feeder bugs.
 
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Alexl

Established Member
I can look for more documentation if you'd like some more info on it. Can't promise I'll find anything though...
Would be interesting to have more informations especially about smaller chameleons.

The high sugar content would be a concern if given in large quantities
That's exactly the point. But what's large? A little piece of apple (for us) may fill a complete pantherchameleon's stomach just by his size.

and fruit is very easy for him to eat
Although it may be easier, I would try to feed him with insects by hand mainly.
 

Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
That's exactly the point. But what's large? A little piece of apple (for us) may fill a complete pantherchameleon's stomach just by his size.
portion size is chosen by giving pieces no bigger than a typical cricket one at a time and only 2 or 3 pcs at a time useually once every other day
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Would be interesting to have more informations especially about smaller chameleons.
I'll see what I can dig up, unfortunately there's not a whole lot that published on these guys because so few people are involved with them and there's not a big push by a large pet population.

That's exactly the point. But what's large? A little piece of apple (for us) may fill a complete pantherchameleon's stomach just by his size.
Don't disagree with you there, but then again we don't know how quickly it's digested or how it's metabolized. May be that a big piece of squishy fruit is digested faster than insects with their chitin. We just don't know enough about them to really say one way or another.

I think HoJ is taking the smart approach of small bits not too often. Is he eating bugs also or only the fruit? If it were me I'd substitute veggies more often just because they have so much more nutrition in them. You could even rub them in some fruit's juice if he doesn't eat veggies well.
 

Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
I think HoJ is taking the smart approach of small bits not too often. Is he eating bugs also or only the fruit? If it were me I'd substitute veggies more often just because they have so much more nutrition in them. You could even rub them in some fruit's juice if he doesn't eat veggies well.
he does still eat insects but it is harder for him so i try to give him as many options as possible. the friut seems to be good due to its soft nature it seems easy for him to eat. i think i will be trying to make a mash up of a few veggies as well as alittle fruit to intise him.
 

Scott85

New Member
If you are going to mash up fruit and veggies for him, why not insects too? I'm sure that would make things easier on him to swallow. Its probably hard for him to get the food to the his stomach with no tounge. The fruits being so moist proabably easily slides down. Try a little kiwi with some mashed crickets. Remove the back legs and wings if they have them, they will just be more apt to getting stuck. Cut the crickets up and add a little kiwi, try and keep it more on the solid side, not like baby food. Use the kiwi to get him interested and aid the food in sliding down to his stomach. Get a large dosing syringe or maybe a small turkey baster to offer it to him.

Be very careful though not having a tounge will make it very easy for him to aspirate any liquids at all. Including water or fruit bug mash. If you hold him vertically and can get the food toward the back of his mouth it would be best. Getting food in the lungs is definately going to lead to a URI. If he opens up for you, there is a tube on the floor at the back of their mouth, it will have muscular rings around it its pretty easy to spot. That is the entry point to their repiratory tract. That is what you what to avoid.
 
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