Grunt sound with breaths, lethargic......thoughts?

Akisas mom

New Member
Current Problem - Akisa has been sleeping off and on during the day for the last 2 weeks. Do chameleons have lazy days like people? My Cham is a rare boy, he tolerates daily attention and never puffs up or hisses. Yesterday and today when I went to get him he puffed up at me which in my opinion means "I don't feel good leave me alone.". I took him out anyways today to check him out and he quickly curled up in my warm hands and closed his eyes. He loves to do this from 6:30-7pm while he falls asleep before but NEVER during the day. Luckily by doing so I could feel a thump or grunt in his chest I believe when he exhales, it's not every time he breathes, its inconsistent, every 3-7 breathes. It doesn't sound like a click like I've read on this site but more like a grunt. He has no other symptoms, eats well, looks well. Could I be catching an early infection since I am so in tuned with slight behavioral changes? Can they get colds? I don't want to stress him out by an uneccessary and invasive vet visit.
Obviously if he is the same or worse by Monday I will need to find an exotic animal vet in my area which may be down in L.A. , but today is Friday and July 4th weekend so I would appreciate any ideas or something I should be doing or watching for, obviously I love my little man. Thanks for your time!


Chameleon Info:
MEET AKISA (handsome in Malagasy) - He is an Ambanja Panther from Kammerflauge Kreations, hes about 12 months old.
HANDLING - He tolerates daily handling but he tells me when he's done and more so when he's not he throws a fit. Average of 15minutes at a time with sunning time on weekends.
FEEDING- He likes to eat in the morning or afternoon, as he doesn't over eat I let him decide how hungry he is. He is very spoiled and gets just about anything he wants from Mulberry Farms. Silk worms, butterworms, meal worms, wax worms, Phoenix worms and crickets. I DO feed about 70/30 ratio of worms to crickets. I know some don't agree w this but mommy and baby both prefer this and he gets a wide variety.
SUPPLIMENTS - all food is dusted with reptical Calcium w' vitamin D and a couple times a month with herpavite.
WATERING - He is very water picky which is why he has such a ridiculous array do options in his cage. He prefers after all my expensive stuff to lick droplets off the ceilings so I have the mister aimed so there are always droplets for him.
FECES - Normal brown w white urate, if anything less plump and a little dry.
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - He has the XL reptarium, all mesh.
Lighting - His lights go on on 8am when I wake up and he falls asleep usually around 7pm.
Temperature - he has two basking spots by zoo med, one at 85-90 and one at 80, he also has uv strip of course. Lowest overnight temp? Heat set at 70
Humidity - He has a King Mister, a dropper and I spray 3-10 times a day depending on the weather here.
Plants - He has all live plants off this sites wonderful toxic free list.
Location - Ventura, California


Avid Member
How much D3 is in the supplement? It should be on the back presented something like this: 12,345 IU per kg.

He may have an upper respritory infection. I would suggest getting him to a vet ASAP since he is closing his eyes and curling up. Waiting is a bad idea.

The worm/cricket ratio is fine as long as he gets some "hard shelled" insects like crickets and superworms. As long as they are gutloaded and you aren't using the "treat" insects primarily it should be fine.


Chameleon Enthusiast
what kind of lights, UVB and UVA are you using? Have you ever changed out your uvb bulb since your owned him? You could have your chameleon on d3 overdose depending on how much d3 is in your Reptical. If you chameleon is sleeping during the day, he is most likely ill. They only sleep at night.

Akisas mom

New Member

The repti-cal supplement says "Phosphorous Free Calcium eith Vit D3 ultra fine powder. The amount says 400,000 IU/kg but they're serving size says 1 tablespoon per feeding and there's no way that much powder sticks to his food.

I found a vet 40 minutes away that claims he does reptiles but he can't see me until Monday. So I can take him to an ER that knows nothing or wait till Monday. I think I'll watch him today and decide tomorrow morning.
Thanks a lot :0)


Avid Member
Use that supplement twice a month or so and use a plain calcium without D3 at most feeding. There is too much D3 to use that often.

Akisas mom

New Member

I have a Repti-Glow 5.0 UVB bulb and I use just regular light bulbs for the basking spots. I have not changed the UVB bulb in about 8 months. I also have regular repti cal Calcium with no vitamin D which I give to my geckos. Too much Vit d3??.?

Ok I just checked on him and I can still feel the grunt when he breathes not very audible though.... Off to E.R. Thanks guys


Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok let us know how it goes. Your UVB bulb is due for a change now. Housebulb is ok to use. Like Pssh said read the concentration of d3 and see how much it is. I know Repcal is very high and should not be used on a regular basis, meaning not every day. I don't know about Reptical, the one you are using. Most members use cal with d3 twice monthly. You can get away with using it more, but it has to be a brand that does not have a high concentration of it. If you take your chameleon outside everyday for natural sunlight for atleast a couple of hours you do not want to be using d3 too often.
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Dr O

good luck! I think this is a perfect example of seeing something out of the ordinary in the life of your cham and responding quickly to it. a respiratory grunt or click is certainly unusual, particularly if it's never been noticed before. And of course the increased sleeping behavior. Let us know how the vet visit went.

Akisas mom

New Member
back from vet

Akisa is back from the vet. He thinks I caught a very early respiratory infection. We decided to go ahead with oral antibiotics 0.04cc for 10 days of baytril suspension and if he's not better by Monday he has to go back. He also wanted a basking spot warmer than usual to dry things out.

For those of you like me that like to learn from others experiences....his symptoms were naps during the day for 2 weeks, then 5 days of what I call "sleepy eyes", also sunning more often than usuall (which vet says they do when they are trying to fight something) then yesterday he had a grunt noise when he exhailed on every 5-7th breath then this morning every breath.

Thanks for all the feedback, its great to have others to throw things off!

Akisas mom

New Member
Still sick-can he catch something from geckos??.

The vet said he should look better quickly but he's still sleeping, grumpy and not eating as much as usual. He did eat 1butterworm yesterday although he can down 6 in a row usually. Does anyone know if he could have caught something from my geckos???? They don't have direct contact but have been within feet of eachother. Thnx
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