Health

Lori

New Member
Hi Brad thanks for your help posting a message. I have a female Cham 5 months old, I got her about 3 months ago, she was very active the first 2 months, then gradually I noticed that she would close her eyes and fall asleep when I would pick her up, which she never did before. Its been 4 days, she stoped drinking water, I hold her under the tap and let the water drip but still she will not drink, so I mist her and she doesn't like it and moves away. She is a bit shaky and can't hold herself up. I have a uvb light, but no heater, her enclosure is by the window, she gets direct sunlight the temperature of her enclosure is 80 degrees always, I have live plants in there along with jungle vine. Today she stopped eating as well, she eyes the mealworms and moves her tongue but then she doesn't come close to the bowl. She seems disinterested. Please advise....Lori :(
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
What kind of chameleon do you have? There are most likely some husbandry issues that need to be improved.

I noticed that she would close her eyes and fall asleep when I would pick her up ... She is a bit shaky and can't hold herself up.
These symptoms are serious and you should seek the help of a qualified veterinarian as soon as possible. Improvements to your husbandry methods will probably not be enough at this point; additional help from a vet is needed.
[THREAD=67]link to veterinarian resources[/THREAD].
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
...I have a female Cham 5 months old, I got her about 3 months ago...

She is a bit shaky and can't hold herself up.

I have a uvb light, but no heater...

her enclosure is by the window, she gets direct sunlight the temperature of her enclosure is 80 degrees...

moves her tongue but then she doesn't come close to the bowl....
Howdy Lori,

Take a peek at the "Sticky" at the top of the Health Clinic:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66 and answer as much as you can.

Things that I'm wondering about based on your post:

Have you been dusting her food with Calcium/D3? How often?

Is there anything between the surface of the UVB tube itself and the chameleon? How close can she get to the tube? Mfgr and model?

The window as a source of heat may be more of a problem than an advantage. You need a basking lamp to create a basking spot around 90F and then temperature gradients down to the 70's towards the bottom of the enclosure. Then let nighttime temps drop from there down to the high 60's overall.

Warm misting usually gets them to eventually settle down and not run away. Try 10 minutes 2-3 times a day. Get a handheld pump-up mist bottle not the trigger pump type.

Can you post some photos of your critter and her enclosure? If no photos then a detailed description will help.

As was mentioned, get to a vet. What part of the world are you located?
 

Fate X

New Member
about the calcium d3 is calcium with vitamin d just as good? i have repical calcium with vitamin D will this work?
 

Lori

New Member
I have a Veiled Cham. I was at the Vet yesterday. The diagnosis was low Calcium. She was given Calphosan Injection and Fluids Subcutaneous. I have to give her Baytril suspension orally once every 24 hours and Neo Calglucon once every 12 hours. She gets real stressed when I try to give her the meds. At one point she turned so dark I thought she was going to die
 

Lori

New Member
I didnt see you mention a basking bulb.
I have a floresent uvb light, the pet shop owner said I don't need a basking light since the thermometr in her enclosure reads 80 degrees. Do you think I need a basking light as well? If so what type?
 

Lori

New Member
Nice sticky shot! There is nothing between the uvb tube escept for the screen. Her enclosure is screen not glass. All the accessories are mfgd by ZooMed. I also have the pump mist, which I use in the morning and evening ( since I am at work during the day) The uvb tube is on for 12 hours. I did not dust the insects with calcium poweder, since I usually feed the crickets, corn flakes, honey and carrots, before I feed them to my Cham. The window is the only place ideal enough for her, when I'm at home I let her climb out of her enclosure to the window screen, she likes her spot.
 
80 is only decent as an ambient temperature. Veileds are common basking chameleons. They need a hot spot that reaches into the 100's F and then a temperature gradient back to room temperature, which many prefer to be high 70's. They DO benifit from a drop in temperature at night, and this may be attributing to your problem, because the room should not a a constant 80- just as the temperatures in the wild where they live can vary up and down 50 degrees.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Lori said..."she gets direct sunlight the temperature of her enclosure is 80 degrees always"...the sunlight shouldn't pass through glass or plastic....or its not direct.

You said..."I did not dust the insects with calcium poweder, since I usually feed the crickets, corn flakes, honey and carrots, before I feed them to my Cham"...insects have a poor calcium to phosphorous ratio so its important to dust them with calcium at most feedings. You need to feed you crickets a better gutload IMHO. I feed mine a wide variety of greens, veggies, etc. I dust the insects with a phosphorous-free calcium powder at most feedings and with a vitamin/mineral powder twice a month. The vitamin A in the vitamin powder I make sure is from a beta carotene source. Vitamin A from a beta carotene source doesn't build up in the system, but from a preformed source it does. Because my chameleons get no direct sun and artificial lights provide their UVB, I dust lightly twice a month with a calcium/D3 powder. D3 from supplements can build up in the system so its important not to overdo it. D3 produced from exposure to the sun won't build up.

Vitamins D3 and A and calcium and phosphorous are all important in bone health. There were two good articles on this on the internet, but they are not available at the moment.

Proper temperature are important too to allow the chameleon to digest its food.

You said..."when I'm at home I let her climb out of her enclosure to the window screen"..is the window open?

I hope your chameleon will make a complete recovery!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Fate X asked..."about the calcium d3 is calcium with vitamin d just as good? i have repical calcium with vitamin D will this work?" A chameleon needs sunlight or UVB to produce vitamin D3 so that it can use its calcium. If your chameleon gets direct sunlight it doesn't need vitamin D3 supplements usually. Vitamin D3 produced from the sunlight/UVB can't cause an overdose, but from supplements it can, so you don't want to use a D3/calcium powder very often IMHO.

Insects have a poor calcium/phosphorous ratio, so we dust with calcium powder to try to correct the ratio.

Vitamin A also plays a part in bone health....preformed vitamin A can build up in the system but beta carotene sources can't.

Correct temperatures are important for digestion/absorption of nutrients.

Hope this helps.
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
...There is nothing between the uvb tube except for the screen. Her enclosure is screen not glass.

...I also have the pump mist

...I did not dust the insects with calcium powder.
Howdy,

Glad to hear that there isn't a plastic cover on the UVB fixture.

If you are able to mist for many minutes (10-20 minutes) the better-off your critter will be.

By now, the vet told you to begin dusting your feeders with calcium/D3 on a regular schedule. Did he mention when to start using the Ca/D3 dust in conjunction to his existing prescribed liquid calcium?

Oh, in the long run, your Veiled will benefit from crickets that are gutloaded with a product like:
http://www.wildeyereptiles.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=24&products_id=37
http://www.cricketfood.com/product_info.php/cPath/21/products_id/38

Post photos!
 
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Lori

New Member
My Cham is too week to feed. The Vet gave me powdered food to mix with water and feed twice a week. By the way the UVB tube does have a plastic cover, its screwed on. I'm confused as to why the pet shop owner did not tell me all these things. I will go back tomorrow and and see him...
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
My Cham is too week to feed. The Vet gave me powdered food to mix with water and feed twice a week. By the way the UVB tube does have a plastic cover, its screwed on. I'm confused as to why the pet shop owner did not tell me all these things. I will go back tomorrow and see him...
Howdy Lori,

Ah, that's what I was afraid of! That plastic cover COMPLETELY filters out ALL of the UVB produced by that tube. If it is the ESU fixture, the manufacturer has been made aware of all of the health problems caused by their fixture and said that they were looking into making some other type of cover (screen?) Unscrew that plastic "filter" and throw it away!

Are you sure that the vet said twice a week on the liquid food? I would have thought it would have been more often. What is the food? If you don't know, find out for us.

Exposure to DIRECT sunlight would be very helpful, even if it is only an hour a week. 4-8 hours+++ is even better Make sure that your Veiled can also find shade when outside.

Like Kinyoga said, no UVB gets through std. household window glass so don't rely on it for anything other than lighting and some heat.

Don't forget those photos;).
 
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Jordan

New Member
A new light fixture will have to be purchased or the plastic removed. The real culperate in these barriers is the carbon that becomes trapped in them in the melting and forming process. This carbon will absorb and reflect the uv light. It can reduce the uv radiation all the way up to 99.9%.

As the skin of your chameleon is exposed to uvB radiation the body will begin to synthesis 7-dehydrocholestrol. This creates cholecalciferol (D3) which is bounded to a serum protein and then transported to the liver. It turns into 25-hydroxycholecalciferol and finally into 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol. 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol assist in the absorbtion of calcium through the membranes of the duodenum. Without this active form of D3 the body can still absorb calcium through the small intestine but it would not be adaquite to meet the demands of the body. This would lead to a calcium deficiency.

Even with recommended lighting it is hard for chameleons to get enough uvB exposure for them to complete this metabolic process. That is why proper supplementation is needed. I would recommend a phosporus free calcium supplement. These will usually supplement Vitamin D3 some may refer to it as cholecalcifer. Look for these type supplements. You may want to consult your vet first to see if they think it is safe to continue supplementation will still administering the medicine. The amount of medicine and supplements that could be in his body could be very hard on the liver. I would make sure that your chameleon is getting plenty of water. This should help flush any excess out of the liver.

When small it is doubtful that your chameleon should have a basking bulb. The ambient temperature of your cage is correct but at five months I think a basking bulb is in order. Veileds like to bask in the range of 90-110 degrees. I would keep it a little lower then the high side as at 110-120 they may start experience problems with hyperthermia. The bulb will not only provide them with a place to preform natural behaviors such as basking but will also bring them up closer to the uvB light source. Placing these two lights as close as they get will ensure that a couple hours of day that your veiled is inside the range of penetration that these flourescent lights can produce. The screen will diminish the uvB and so will the plants. A chameleon basking above the plants and close to the screen will get the best uvb exposure. The brightness will also add to the pshycological side of your chameleons health. Veileds come form climates similiar to deserts. It is very bright there. The amount of uvA has been show to directly effect a reptiles eating habits. A bright, hot, humid place is one that a veiled will love.

Lori at lot of pet stores are very ignorant to the details of these animals. A place like this forum can provide you with informative threads, links and insights that some one with no real experience could. Pet stores commonly give out inacurrate information regarding the animals care which leads to problems down the lines like you are experiencing now. I heard a sales person at my local pet store telling a perspective customer that a nurse shark would stay the size of it's aquarium. A 75 gallon aquarium is not a good place to have a 15' shark. I saw the same scenario with someone looking at a camian. An alligator that is only 18" long looks cute but when it becomes 4'-10' it is no longer appealing. Even with good information a pet store is not specializing in long term care of these animals and may not know the associated dangers with their improper husbandry techniques.

I hope that your chameleon gets better. Feel free to post more threads if you need to. Proper husbandry and diet are imparitive with these animals.
 
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Lori

New Member
Thanks Jordan for all the info. I have to say its been quite a learning experience. I'm so fortunate that I stumbled upon this forum and found help, otherwise my cham would be dead by now. I'm happy to say that she is recovering slowly. The vet did not have very high hopes, but I refuse to give up, I try to read as many posted messages in this forum as possible and I use the info to better my cham's health. She is eating on her own now, I got the calcium with VIT.D3, phosphorus-free, I dusted 3 wax worms and she ate it. She still won't drink water, and when I spray the enclosure she gets away from the water. I found her today sitting in a container which I put for her just in case she wants to lay eggs, its a plastic container which is filled with 1" high vermicculite, I don't want to use sand, I'm afraid it might get in her eyes. How will I know if she wants to lay eggs?
 

Lori

New Member
Its because of all of you that my cham is alive today. Thanks

Howdy Lori,

Ah, that's what I was afraid of! That plastic cover COMPLETELY filters out ALL of the UVB produced by that tube. If it is the ESU fixture, the manufacturer has been made aware of all of the health problems caused by their fixture and said that they were looking into making some other type of cover (screen?) Unscrew that plastic "filter" and throw it away! Thanks for the tip. I uncrewed the plastic filter, it was not easily assessible, but I did it.

Are you sure that the vet said twice a week on the liquid food? I would have thought it would have been more often. What is the food? If you don't know, find out for us. Yes, I'm positive, twice a week is what the vet said. The Vet gave me the powder in a sandwich bag. Its like baby food, its powered insects and vitamins combined to be mixed with water, she said it was not available in pet stores. She did not give me the name. Its only available in animal hospitals.

By the way my cham is eating on her own so I'm not forcing the liquid food on her. But she still refuses water. Why is it? Do you know?

Exposure to DIRECT sunlight would be very helpful, even if it is only an hour a week. 4-8 hours+++ is even better Make sure that your Veiled can also find shade when outside. I will try to take her outside on weekends when I'm home.

Like Kinyoga said, no UVB gets through std. household window glass so don't rely on it for anything other than lighting and some heat. I realize that now, thanks to you guys.

Don't forget those photos;).
I will not forget, its just that right now I'm putting all my time in obtaining info for my cham's full recovery.
 

Jordan

New Member
Veileds are not big drinkers. Just make sure it is offered frequently. Through mistings and dripper.

I personally use a flower pot for the egg laying chamber. It is 12" tall and 10" round. I fill the container 3/4 of the way full. The last 1/4 was left empty so if she was digging and I came in the room I would not instantly disturb her. I filled it with a half and half mix of peat moss/sand. I found that this is light, stays moist, and holds a tunnel good. Also I provide a branch that goes into the container for an easy in and out.

The signs that it is about to take place include pacing (mainly on the ground or low in the enclosure), some will refuse to eat, and some will dig test holes. The pacing for me was the most obvious. She is very active but I have never seen a chameleon move around like that before. It was frantic.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have never used vermiculite for a chameleon to lay eggs in...I worry about impaction if they accidentally ingest some. Its used for egg incubation. 1" is not nearly deep enough. It needs to be at least 8"...more is better.

I have used a washed playsand that I have used for years. This kind has even been ingested by the chameleons and passes right through them. Its produced by Kings, comes in a white bag with blue, yellow, red sand box toys on it.

Be careful with supplementing the D3...D3 from supplements can build up in the system to toxic levels. If it comes from the sunlight/UVB it can't. Twice a month lightly is all I use the calcium/D3. Calcium (alone) is a different story...it can be used on almost every feeding.

Vitamin A can also build up in the system if its from a preformed source...beta carotene sources don't build up...as I said before.

My veileds drink every day and they drink quite a bit. Sometimes it takes them a couple of minutes to start. Its almost like they have to wake up to the water being there.

Keeping my veileds the way I do, the females generally live to be over 6 years old and the males live even longer. I haven't had one with a case of MBD for years and I haven't had a veiled chameleon to the vets in years.
 
I found her today sitting in a container which I put for her just in case she wants to lay eggs, its a plastic container which is filled with 1" high vermicculite, I don't want to use sand, I'm afraid it might get in her eyes. How will I know if she wants to lay eggs?
You don't want to use sand, because it would get in her eyes? Sounds silly when Chameleons have been laying in sand in the wild for since they evolved. All you have to do is provide a long shower afterwards- which is needed regarless if you don't use sand to rehydrate the females.

Vermiculite/perlite can kill chameleons if eaten. Actually, it can kill a lot of living things if eaten. Hell not 20 years ago Vermiculite could kill you if you even breathed funes- although glad thats gone, because it works great for incubating eggs!

Secondly, I don't think you realise how they lay eggs. They don't dig a whole like turtles, poop the eggs out and then cover... They tunnel. I have had chameleon tunnel nearly 2 feet long. They can be underground for more than 24 hours without you knowing if they are even alive.

I suggest you thuroughly read through all the posts here:

Veiled Chameleon Wont Lay Eggs
 
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