Haven't seen my chameleon eat yet...

neekowo

New Member
I bought my female jackson's chameleon at the Sacramento Reptile Show and the last time I saw her eat was 5 days ago. She ate a single hornworm and I've offered her black soldier fly larvae, crickets, hornworms, waxworms, and mealworms, but she doesn't want to eat. I see her actively drink everyday but that's it. She habitually closes her eyes during the day and seems to start sleeping every day around 4:30pm even though the sun is still out. She will close her eyes in the cage but doesn't seem to have an issue when she is free roaming in my room. What can I do to help her eat?


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Her set up a few days ago

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New set up with more places for her to hide.

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Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? - 3.5/4 months old female Jackson's Chameleon - in my care for 1.5 weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? - I've been trying to leave her alone the last 3 days, but before I would take her out for 10 min and let her free roam the window sill that had a vine set up.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I've offered her black soldier fly larvae, crickets, hornworms, waxworms, and mealworms. 6 worms in a small shot glass in her cage for a few hours and I put 3-5 small crickets in her cage with her since she wouldnt eat any of the crickets from the tongs.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I try to feed her every day and I lightly dust my crickets with Calcium w/out D3
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I use a drip system and leave it for 10-20 minutes, with the excess water dripping off a leaf and into a cup.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Her poop and urate are all within normal color and range. Solid black poops and white urates. Nevr tested for parasites
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. She was slightly aggravated by a male jacksons chameleon 5 days ago.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Screen L size cage
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? UVB light 7am-4pm (when she sleeps lights)
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? 70-80 and measured with a digital thermometer
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? 30-50% during the day and 50-70% during the night - using a cool mist humidifier with the ceiling fan and a floor fan blowing from a far distance. Using a digital thermometer.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? Monstera deliciosa, money tree, and golden pothos
  • 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? Her cage is in my room where it's mostly just me. Located on my desk behind a monitor. It is across from the ceiling fan which is always on to circulate air. The top of the cage is taller than me.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Bay Area
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
The going to the sleeping stick several hours before sunset is perfectly normal.

As for feeding, most will not hand/tong feed at first. Most however will eat from a cup, or even a cup on a stick (ladle?).
What i do for new extended family members is put a large opaque dish at the bottom of the cage, and fill it with feeders, along with sticks across the top, that are low enough for said member to climb out of the bowl if they fall in trying to nab a feeders. The only thing in the bowl should be feeders and a food source (no water crystals).

Once they are feeding you can decide to switch to tongs or a feeder or yolo a free roaming bug army.
 

JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
I don't have time to go over everything right now but your first step needs to be to give her more places to hide. She needs more plant cover in that cage asap. I will be back later. Sleeping with eyes closed in the day time is a big problem.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Can you put something in the photo that will show how big she is please.

You said..."She was slightly aggravated by a male jacksons chameleon 5 days ago"...how did she react? How did she come to see a male?
 

neekowo

New Member
@kinyonga
She's slightly smaller than a pair of kid scissors.

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My boyfriend was staying over and brought his rainbow jacksons chameleon (housedin his own enclosure). When they were free roaming or I would take her outside for some sun, he would catch sight of her and start doing the mating dance at her. She puffed up angrily and rocked back and forth, but she seemed to be fine. He left about 3 days ago but she's still refusing to eat.
 

JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? UVB light 7am-4pm (when she sleeps lights)
She should have 12 solid hours of light from a good UVB source. Are you giving her a basking light at all. I use a 40-50 watt incandescent bulb that goes on and off for several hours a day. She should have a basking spot that gets to 78-80 F. She would like it too be cooler at night as low as 60 F but anything into the 60's would help. She needs some daytime heat to stimulate her appetite and help her digest her food.
There are options for her supplement schedule but she will only need calcium every other day too much will slow her digestion also. My Jackson's Supplement Schedule

Good job filling in her cage she will have less stress with so many options for cover. You can get a clip on light at any diy store the bulbs are getting to be harder to find but pet stores carry incandescent reptile bulbs for a premium price if you can't get them somewhere else.
 

JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
If her age is correct I would doubt it but she does look larger than the few months she is said to be. Where did you get her?
 

neekowo

New Member
She should have 12 solid hours of light from a good UVB source. Are you giving her a basking light at all. I use a 40-50 watt incandescent bulb that goes on and off for several hours a day. She should have a basking spot that gets to 78-80 F. She would like it too be cooler at night as low as 60 F but anything into the 60's would help. She needs some daytime heat to stimulate her appetite and help her digest her food.
There are options for her supplement schedule but she will only need calcium every other day too much will slow her digestion also. My Jackson's Supplement Schedule

Good job filling in her cage she will have less stress with so many options for cover. You can get a clip on light at any diy store the bulbs are getting to be harder to find but pet stores carry incandescent reptile bulbs for a premium price if you can't get them somewhere else.
Thanks for all the advice.

When I woke up this morning, two of the soldier fly larvae were gone! I think she ate it... I'm still not sure if she's eating crickets, but there's a few small ones in her cage. I keep adding small different variations of bugs in a container for her.

I've added a basking lamp that will hopefully help too!
 

neekowo

New Member
If her age is correct I would doubt it but she does look larger than the few months she is said to be. Where did you get her?
I got her from the Sacramento Reptile Show. I was told she was 3.5 or 4 months. She was kept in the cage with other jackson's chameleons that supposedly came from the same litter.

When she felt threatened by the male Jackson's chameleon, these were her warning colors:

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JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
The more I look at her the more I doubt she is young or even captive bred. The spines on her back show a lot of wear like I have seen on wild caught adults.
 

JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
Has she eaten anything yet. You may have to consider getting her to the vet and force feeding her.
You will want to minimize the amount of handling you do. I try to only handle mine if they need medical care or a major cage overhaul.
 

neekowo

New Member
Sad update on Neeko

Two days ago, Neeko stopped drinking water completely.
I took her to the vet for an emergency ER visit and they hospitalized her overnight with injections of antibiotics, fluids, and force fed her food.

Below: Neeko alive but in terrible condition

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There was blood in Neeko's stool and the vet said there was most likely pre-existing internal issues going on.

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The breeder is going to give me store credit for the full amount, but it was a sad ordeal.

I went to Exotic Pets Hospital in Scotts Valley and they did a great job with her while she was still alive. They gave me a box with a flower to take her back.

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Euthanized her today bc her condition was worsening and buried her in my backyard.

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Thanks for the support to everyone who helped respond to this thread.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
So sorry for your loss. You did the best you could with her and now she's at peace. Keep her in your heart. Hugs.
 
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