Gas & intestinal blockages


New Member
This is long, but I really need some insight from anyone who has raised veileds. Our little guy is so uncomfortable :(

I've posted this info before, but here is an update:
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Neil. Veiled, male, approx. 9 months old. We've had him about three months.
Handling - Daily, friendly and comes out on his own when we open the door.
Feeding - 6-10 gut loaded crickets daily - half AM/half PM. Feeders eat oranges and greens. Just started butterworms.
Supplements - Crickets dusted with a vitamin supplement (no D3), then ReptiCal w/D3 1-2x per month.
Watering - Dripper that falls onto his plants. He drinks from the leaves and also from a small, shallow angled lid that catches the drips, then falls to a drip bowl on the bottom of the cage. Both are cleaned daily. He drinks quite readily. Mist 3x daily with a spray bottle, and run a humidifier on occasion.
Fecal Description - Droppings were "normal" size, color and consistency. Daily pooper up until three weeks ago when he slowed to every other day, then just stopped.
History - Up until the past three weeks, he's been fairly active and friendly.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Reptibreeze screened enclosure, 18" x 18" x 30". Artificial limbs, vines, plants, newspaper in the bottom. We are upgrading to a larger viv soon.
Lighting - ReptiSun 5.0, 150W Zilla Day Blue bulb for basking. About 12 hours of light, 12 dark.
Temperature - Temp in the cage runs around 85 day/72 night - we have a small thermometer mounted at the back of the enclosure. Humidity is done via mist bottle. (We also have a portable humidifier in use some nights)
Plants - Plastic plants. Hope to upgrade to real soon.
Placement - Cage is on a desk across from the south and east windows, in the least drafty spot in the room. Sun comes in and moves across the cage during the day.
Location - Kansas City

Current Problem - Up until three weeks ago, Neil was a daily pooper. Three weeks ago he began to shed (the second since we've had him) and he stopped pooping. He has had one small clear excretion, but no formed poops for three weeks now. He does strain to go. He has passed one medium and one small sperm plug in the past three weeks.

I posted an inquiry about this previously and was alerted that we did not have the proper bulb - we had a UVA only. UGH. So, he's been under the correct ReptiSun 5.0 for about 2 weeks now. THANK YOU! Knowing what we know now, he had started showing signs of MBD (tremors, weakness, etc.), but we didn't consider it as we thought we had the correct lighting.

We took him to the vet on 3/17. X-ray (below, right) showed what looked like a blockage (something he ate??), but it was difficult to tell, so we began a calcium supplement, lactulose and a GI motility enhancer to help him move.

No progress, and he kept getting weaker and stopped drinking, so we went back on 3/21 and they gave him an enema. He passed a large, hard urate along with cricket remnants (POO PIC below). Little guy perked up immensely! They added an antibiotic to his meds (Baytril) due to a very small bit of mucous in his stool. Vet found no foreign substance in the stool sample that could have caused a blockage.

We added syringe-fed nutrition, which he takes quite well, but still no poop for four days, so back to the vet yesterday. Another x-ray and enema (with little result).

X-RAY: Right image is from 3/17. You can see the urate quite easily. I circled what the vet thought was a blockage.

Left image is from yesterday. What we thought was a blockage has enlarged. The vet thought maybe it was gas, but again, hard to tell. Our vet is knowledgeable in chams and came highly recommended.

Has anyone ever seen this type of thing with a male veiled?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!




Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm obviously not a vet so can't interpret that scan. But, I wonder if switching to softer bodied feeders would help? Choices like silkworms, hornworms, roach nymphs (less exoskeleton). That plus lots of hydration may ease the GI tract if there is some irritation or injury that's trying to heal. When someone describes their cham as "drinks readily" every day I start thinking about low level dehydration which can result in slower GI function and harder stools.


New Member
Thanks for the reply, Carlton. We gave him his first butterworm on Tuesday, and he ate it right away. But the next day he was so bloated and uncomfortable, we stopped. That's when we took him to the vet for the 3rd time. He hasn't eaten a cricket for over a week. Other than the one butterworm, it's just been the liquid diet since Saturday.

He used to drink from his drip every morning upon waking, and from his leaves after misting. The drip goes all morning, then we refill and it goes through the afternoon evening, so about 4-5 hours of dripping water a day. He knows where it is and goes right to it. He just hasn't seemed interested lately.

I've managed to get him to drink from the spray bottle a couple of times, and we are giving him warm baths (I know they don't soak up much from that, but any hydration is better than none.) Vet said he also retained much of the water from the enema, instead of expelling it, so he said he'll absorb that up, too.

Thanks again for the reply. We're just at a loss as to what the issue is. Vet said he could do exploratory surgery next, but he was unsure what they would find and it is risky and expensive.
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