Hello

mued2001

New Member
I just joined the community this evening. Last week I started working at a Boys and Girls Club and they have a pet chameleon that was donated. No one has any clue how to take care of it and so I have been researching. From what I gather, it looks to be in pretty rough shape. The problem I am having is determining what genus and species it is. It is the smallest chameleon I have ever seen and most of us believe it is a baby. I will try to post a pic tomorrow when I go into work, but what would be the first thing I should do to try to save this amazing creature? It is in a wood-framed, screened, reptarium. There is a bulb which definitely provides heat at above the top, but I don't know if it is a UV bulb or not. It does not look like the UV bulbs I use for my turtles. There are several sprays of silk and plastic plants and newspaper covers the bottom. I believe the only thing it has eaten is crickets so far and they are kept in a plastic bug keeper with paper shreds. I set up a drip system for water two days ago but I don't think it has drunk any of it. Maybe it did while I wasn't there.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums! You have come to the right place to learn. Would like to see pics of your cham so we can determine what kind it is. The most commonly kept are the panthers, veilds and Jacksons, so I am assuming you have one of those and it is either young as you said or could just be small from improper care. Chameleons must have UVB to survive. The best UVB light to use is the Reptisun 5.0 linear tube. If you cannot find one then you can order one online at LLL reptiles, but do not wait on this. You chameleon's cage should be misted atleast three times a day in addition to the dripper. Not all chameleons will drink from a dripper. When you mist, (just buy an ordinary plastic spray bottle) and fill with hot water. It will spray out warm, but just check on your hand and test first. Mist for about 3 minutes or so. This will bring up the humidity in the cage which should hover around 50% or so and then will spike with the mistings which is good. Also, will give your chameleon more opportunities to drink. You will also need to get supplements to dust your crickets with. A calcium without d3 to be used at most feedings, a multivitamin a few times amonth and also calcium WITH d3 to be used a couple of times a month also. "gutloading" of your crickets is also important. This means feeding your feeders and feeding them well. A variety of fresh fruits and veggies is best such as kale, mustard greens, dandelion, collard greens, orange, apples, carrots. etc. There are many other feeder options to feed your chameleon such as silkworms, hornworms, dubias roaches, waxworms, superworms just to name some of the more common ones. Before we get into temps your cage should be at, we need to estimate how old your cham is and what species it is along with if it is a male or female. Females do not have to be bred to lay eggs and that is whole nother ball game if you have gotten a female!!!! So pics ASAP please!!! Also of your enclosure!! Thanks!!
 

flash134

New Member
I to am new also but i do have experience with Chameleons, its not your fault but a lot of people buy these delicate creatures and basically tire of them and throw them away without any compassion for these beautiful animals, I am by no means an expert but it sounds like you are on the right track. Things to consider 1) Is there any way you can afford to take it to a vet preferably one with experience in Reptiles? 2) Get a bottle of purified H2O, not household water from the sink and pour it into a spray bottle and gently spray the Chameleon on the sides of his mouth, not too much or too fast he may start sipping the water but remember to not over do it 3) Take a picture tomorrow and post it on this site so other members can chime in and give you more advise as to heating concerns and so forth. 4) For now do not be to concerned about the bulb above the enclosure for now but take a thermometer tomorrow and place it in the basking spot to get a semi accurate reading so we are sure it is not to hot or cold. Since we do not know the Species i would recommend it be around 78 to 82 degrees in the basking spot. Is the light tuned off at night or is it left on? Also check the ambient room temp. Most chameleons need a night temp drop to live a normal happy life. Other members may agree or disagree considering he sound very stressed and dehydrated, but it may be better to put a timer on
the light so the chameleon has a more natural day/night cycle, this may help in the long run. 5) The cage sound alright for now but hygiene is of utmost importance to chameleons. If he does not eat take the cricket out as he may bite the chameleon at night when he is sleeping, also take all of the items out of the cage and clean them with soap and water. Do not use commercial cleaners they are toxic to chameleons. 6) Maybe there is a Forum member in your city who could come by and take a look to assess the condition of the animal and make better suggestions as to the long term care that may be required for a sick animal.

I commend you for working at The Boys and Girls club and wish you luck with your job and new friend! Standby and other members will give you more suggestions on what you can do! :)
 

mued2001

New Member
Thanks for the encouragement. I have been keeping an endangered ornate box turtle for a few years now and that sparked my love for reptiles and reptile rescue. I have been limited to turtles in my research but am now expanding it to chameleons. I have the Club's blessings to take it out of here and home with me, but I want to make sure it isn't going to die soon because I have 4 small children who get very attached to animals and have been traumatized by pets dying before (our puppy was killed by a hawk). I will post pics in the general forum so if you want to see this little guy over there and offer more advice, I'd appreciate it.
 
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