Generally stressed/unwell


New Member
Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon - Oustalets, male, estimated age 1 year, owned for 7 months
Handling - Only when necessary. He is shy & dislikes handling
Feeding - His eating has decreased in the past month. At first he was eating 30 feeders per day, then 20, then 15, but in the past month that has decreased to the point where it's a struggle to get him to eat anything. I most frequently offer him locusts and dubias. He did eat silks but I haven't got any at the moment. He was also eating morios, but I won't have any more until tomorrow. He will not cup-feed, but I still try to offer crickets and wax worms in a bowl. I've also tried butter worms & a Chinese oak silkmoth (on the off-chance he might it it). All feeders are dusted with plain calcium & I use reptivite with D3 once or twice per month. Feeders are gutloaded with a dry mix (ie. bug grub) & butternut squash, sweet potato, carrot, courgette, sugar snap peas. Locusts and crickets are occasionally also fed Repashy superload
Supplements - plain calcium. reptivite with D3, replaced this week with komodo chameleon powder, as the reptivite was quite old.
Watering - I've never seen him drink, he is misted for 90 seconds, 4 times per day. He doesn't seem to drink from a dripper or if I shower him.
Fecal Description - His droppings were very large until recently, the size of dropping has decreased with loss of apeptite. Urates are bright white, no yellowing seen. He last one was last week, it was firm, normal in colour but smaller.
History - I have very little background info. I purchased him from a reptile shop that had him imported from Germany. He was 150g when I got him and peaked at 575g a few weeks ago. He sustained a burn in the winter, due his thermostat slipping out of position. this affected his casque and back. The burned area on his back has healed very nicely but the healing has only just began on his casque. He often needs soaking to help him shed.

Cage Info:

Cage Type - 2 extra large reptibreeze vivs that have been joined together. Roughly 4ftx4ftx2ft. The only substate in his cage is the pots his plants are in.
Lighting - Arcardia T5, 10%uvb, the bulb is 5 months old. Lighting schedule roughly matches daylight hours, currently 7am to 8.30pm
Temperature - Basking temp ranges between 85-90F. I try to keep it on the cooler side to protect his burn. Night temps are no lower than 65F. Thermostat & digital thermometer are used.
Humidity - I don't know his current humidity. He is misted for 90 seconds 4 times per day.
Plants - 1 large ficus, a small ficus and a citrus tree.
Placement - Cage located in living room, 3 ft above ground. Myself and my OH are frequently present in the room & we recently got a pet skunk.
Location - UK

I was concerned that Riker appears stressed and his lack of appetite is highly unusual. I took him to see a general vet who has put him on a course of 4 antibiotic injections (I think taking him for the injections is stressing him too.) in case he has a low level infection. He has had 3 of the injections and has lost 20g in 6 days, making him around 540g. He has only eaten 4 dubias voluntarily in this time and, on vet advice, I force-fed him today but only got him to take 1 locust. His last injection is on Thursday but I have already booked him in to see the specialist on Friday- he will have bloods done & I will discuss running a fecal. It terms of other information, the poor guy is leaving sperm deposits left, right & centre. I don't know if that might mean anything, but I guess the fact his is depositing them means he isn't impacted with sperm. I'm also wondering if he may have parasites as a result of being in the garden.

Any suggestions will be much appreciated. He's been doing so well, it's horrible to see him stressed
Hi, losing 20 grams in 6 days could mostly be from waste. I wouldnt say it all is but a good chunk. If his waste has been really small then i would say you may have a parasite issue.

You know your animal best but id say he is naturally toning his diet down as oustaleti peak out at 1 1/2 - 2 years old. Hes right at the age. Being on the antibiotic isnt going to help his appetite either.

What is he displaying to show you he is stressed?
I thought the same thing about his diet & I've been through it with my yemen and my male panther.... it's just such a shock to have an animal reduce it's appetite so dramatically. I really hope you're right though :)

It terms of stress, he's been looking dull and wrinkly. He's also been twitching at me, I understand this is probably 'head-bobbing' but it looks involuntary (I've never witnessed head-bobbing before)

He's asleep now & his colours are lovely. I just feel something is upsetting him, probably the skunk, who seems to upset my other animals, so I may cover his viv with a blanket.

Also, I was worried about parasites because I put one of his plants in the garden to recover it's growth & when I moved it back into his viv I found a slug a few days later. I know slugs are intermediate hosts, so if he ate one he could be infected.

Running bloods is going to be very expensive, but me & the OH will feel better for having him looked at at. The vet he will see on Friday has a very good reputation with exotics
Could be the environment he is in, thats a good observation. Adding a new member like a skunk, he may feel threatened.

I forgot to mention/ask this earlier. You say 30-15 feeders a day. What are those feeders? I read multiple feeders which are great but i cant help but to focus on the super worms. The bulk of his feeders arent super worms right?
Not at all. I have enough problems with Neelix & super worms. Part of me feels I shouldn't offer Riker supers at all but I'm worried about him. The majority of his diet has been 1/3 locusts, 1/3 dubias & 1/3 silks
Lol I believe it's you who feels supers are the devil's food? Cos I'm inclined to agree with u now! They were wiped out by a virus in the UK for ages & Neelix refused to eat for months! I'm getting a delivery tomorrow but this thread has made me decide Riker won't be getting any of them.
Also, u mention the weight loss being partly waste, I wouldn't be surprised, it's like cleaning up after a dog!
I'll get the tests done anyway & cross my fingers he's just done growing.
540gs would be the biggest oustie ive ever heard of. you must post pics.:cool:
like john said he should be starting to tone down on eating now. Rex my male is at 320 now growing a g a day but he went frm up to 30 cricket and supers a day to 15.
They are indeed little devils. Some have to learn the hard way. Im one of those too but i still put it out there for those that want to read my nonsense. :rolleyes:
Riker went back to the vets today as he still refuses to eat. I've tried opening his mouth and putting feeders in but he just spits them out. The vet said his general condition is good but decided to take bloods.

He tested some while we were there, as he wanted check his electrolyte levels to see if Riker might need to be admitted. All electrolytes were within normal parameters, but his glucose was high. This is puzzling as he hasn't been eating & I haven't been giving him anything that would raise his glucose.

A more detailed analysis will be carried out next week. In the meantime, the vet's asked me to keep him warm and hydrated. I hope we get some answers!
I hope things go well. Maybe it will be something easy. I would be concerned if a vet wanted to put one of my chams on antibiotics because it "might" have something.
A super worm strike can cause a mental illness to those of us that dont have much patience. I dont know what patience is lol. I have had chameleons hold out for literally months. Drove me crazy, seriously. I have a bearded dragon that didnt have much of an appetite for almost a full year. He lost a lot of weight but would just eat enough to keep alive. His appetite is finally back to beast mode.

Keep strong (DONT GIVE INTO THE SUPERS). Get some liquid calcium and force feed or if he is eating just a few feeder inject it into them. If your able to give him outside time. Allow as much as you are able to.

Good luck.
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