help. Jackson too skinny????

KawaiiMunchkin

New Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Jackson, Male, not sure on age but is young, I've had him about two months
Handling - I dont handle him that much at first i did until I read often is not ok, plus my 10 yr old brother gets too excited and he gets stressed.
Feeding - crickets both large and small. I give him 5-6 he usually eats 4 ? everyday at 430. gutloading with apples and banana
Supplements -
Watering - I mist and made a dripper out of a plastic cup that drips onto the vines and leaves of the pothos inside the tank. I mist until everything is wet and dripping and everytime I mist he opens his mouth and lets me drip water near his mouth.
Fecal Description - the first 2 days i got him he did not poop. now he poops almost every other day. its usually dark with a white tip. yesterday for the first time all i saw was a clear liquid. no never tested.
History - I don't know any history on him except he was kept in a very small tank.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - glass. 18x18x24 terrarium.
Lighting - Flukers lamp, uvb, I turn the lights off at night and in the morning I turn them back on
Temperature - at the highest its close to 80. one night when it was snowing over here it was almost 50 i got worried that it was too cold so i turned it on for awhile. the lowest temp at the bottom now is 60. I have a thermometer near the basking lamp, a hygrometer and another thermometer at the bottom of the tank.
Humidity - it varies sometimes, between 50-60 I mist in the mornings, afternoons and in the evenings I give a light mist to the plants. hygrometer to measure the humidity
Plants - live plants, pothos, two of them are in here.
Placement - its in my basement apartment. it is not near any fans or vents, and there is rarely any traffic down there just me. the highest part of the tank is at my eye level. I'm 4'11
Location - New Jersey, winter time and we just had some snow this week so its been a little colder and darker.

Current Problem - I just recently posted a pic of my Jackson and someone said he looks skinnier.. I am worried. I don't know what else I should be doing...
Attached are the two most recent photos of him
 

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ataraxia

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Jackson, Male, not sure on age but is young, I've had him about two months
Handling - I dont handle him that much at first i did until I read often is not ok, plus my 10 yr old brother gets too excited and he gets stressed.
Feeding - crickets both large and small. I give him 5-6 he usually eats 4 ? everyday at 430. gutloading with apples and banana personally i dont gutload with banana. try fresh greens and other veggies along with some fruit (apples, melons, strawberries, blueberries,).
Supplements -No calcium or vitamins dusting? if your answer is no. this might be where his health has started going down hill.
Watering - I mist and made a dripper out of a plastic cup that drips onto the vines and leaves of the pothos inside the tank. I mist until everything is wet and dripping and everytime I mist he opens his mouth and lets me drip water near his mouth.
Fecal Description - the first 2 days i got him he did not poop. now he poops almost every other day. its usually dark with a white tip. yesterday for the first time all i saw was a clear liquid. no never tested.
History - I don't know any history on him except he was kept in a very small tank.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - glass. 18x18x24 terrarium. Needs screen cage 24"x24"x36" is recommended but 24"x24"x48" is more preferable.
Lighting - Flukers lamp, uvb, I turn the lights off at night and in the morning I turn them back onis this the flukers reptasun? if not some suggestions reptisun or reptiglo 5.0 linear tube and a normal house hold bulb for heat. 12 hours of light
Temperature - at the highest its close to 80. one night when it was snowing over here it was almost 50 i got worried that it was too cold so i turned it on for awhile. the lowest temp at the bottom now is 60. I have a thermometer near the basking lamp, a hygrometer and another thermometer at the bottom of the tank.you say it is getting colder at night like 50's? if it is you need to get a ceramic heat bulb for the night. i personally wouldnt go much lower than 60.
Humidity - it varies sometimes, between 50-60 I mist in the mornings, afternoons and in the evenings I give a light mist to the plants. hygrometer to measure the humidity
Plants - live plants, pothos, two of them are in here.
Placement - its in my basement apartment. it is not near any fans or vents, and there is rarely any traffic down there just me. the highest part of the tank is at my eye level. I'm 4'11
Location - New Jersey, winter time and we just had some snow this week so its been a little colder and darker.

honestly your guy looks dehydrated and skinny. most jacksons sold are w/c. so if you have never taken him to a vet he needs to see one asap. parasites along with no calcium, vitamins, correct lighting..........
 

Elizadolots

New Member
I think you should take that animal to a vet if at all possible.

He's definitely dehydrated and thin. I suspect parasites.

When you say glass terrarium, what are you saying? Is there ventilation top to bottom? Or is it only open on the top?

When you say "close to 80" for the basking temp, do you mean high 70s or low 80s or are you unsure? (I ask that because I find it difficult with the temp gun to really know...you have to bounce it off something and it's hard for me).

The little mountain species like it cooler rather than warmer and I'd say 80 was the hottest you could want. 50 at night it well within the acceptable range.
 

KawaiiMunchkin

New Member
@ataraxia- ok I'll be giving the crickets carrots, greens and apple cores. Yes to the supplements. Calcium and D3 as well. And I will be going to get the ceramic heat bulb as suggested.

@elizadolots- It has the mesh on the top and it has a vent near the bottom as well. when the basking lamp is on during the day it is near 80 (between 75-80 on most days) its dropped to 70 on really cold days during the day.


On another note, Today he didn't eat at all... I'm very worried. He hasn't drank any water either. when I went to check on him again there was a cricket sitting on top of him and the two other near the vines. I called two vets near me today and one wasn't there and the other doesn't see reptiles... (which was weird and I said it out loud to them) He ate yesterday and drank just fine but today he's totally just blah... lazy. didn't open his eyes but did move a little when i started misting.... I'm very upset. I don't want anything to happen and I'm starting to worry and think I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning to a dead chameleon...
 

JaxyGirl

Avid Member
@ataraxia- ok I'll be giving the crickets carrots, greens and apple cores. Yes to the supplements. Calcium and D3 as well. And I will be going to get the ceramic heat bulb as suggested.

@elizadolots- It has the mesh on the top and it has a vent near the bottom as well. when the basking lamp is on during the day it is near 80 (between 75-80 on most days) its dropped to 70 on really cold days during the day.


On another note, Today he didn't eat at all... I'm very worried. He hasn't drank any water either. when I went to check on him again there was a cricket sitting on top of him and the two other near the vines. I called two vets near me today and one wasn't there and the other doesn't see reptiles... (which was weird and I said it out loud to them) He ate yesterday and drank just fine but today he's totally just blah... lazy. didn't open his eyes but did move a little when i started misting.... I'm very upset. I don't want anything to happen and I'm starting to worry and think I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning to a dead chameleon...
Hi there, sorry to hear that your cham isn't feeling to good. He looks to be pretty dehydrated. A good thing to do is to put him on a plant in the shower with warm water and aim the shower head so it hits the wall of your shower and bounces on to the plant. Leave him on the plant in the shower for a good half hour or more so that he can drink and soak up the humidity. I would do this once a day until he starts to appear hydrated.

Jackson's need lots of water!!!! When you spray him you need to spray him one long misting at least 5-10min (all in one sitting) once a day and make sure he drinks his fill of water and you actually see him drink. Then spray him 2-3 smaller misting per day to keep up humidity and let him drink some more if he wants.

Also the enclosure you have now is way too small for a Juvenile Male Jackson's cham. He needs at least a 24"x24"x36" or 24"x24"x48" preferably screen cage. Although Jackson's are one of the smaller chams they are very active and need room to roam.

Your cham needs supplements. 1) Phosphorous free calcium without D3; to be used every day. 2) Calcium with D3 once a month. 3) Multivitamin to be used once a month.

Your "basking spot" needs to be 80-82 degrees for a Jackson's cham. You need to measure the basking temperature right on top of the branch that your cham will be sitting on in order to bask under the basking light. You to use a regular incandescent household light bulb with a wattage of 40-60 to achieve 80-82 degrees on the basking spot under the bulb.

Get a timer for your lights so that they are on a 12 hr cycle. 7am-7pm

You need a Zoomed Reptisun 5.0 UVB linear tube style florescent bulb in a hood fixture.

Crickets need to be gutloaded and fed with mixed greens such as kale, mustard, and fed vegies such as sweet potato carrots, fruits such as oranges, apples. Remember what the crickets eat go into your cham.

Meanwhile, find a good reptile vet in your area and get treated and tested for parasites and other ailments he might have.

I hope this helps. Feel free to pm me with any other questions you have :):)
 

Elizadolots

New Member
Thanks...the enclosure probably vents well.

One thing that's hard about the little ones is that the ambient temperature really affects the basking temp because, well...not so different at times! However, I always think you're better erring on the side of COOL rather than HOT. If you have a choice between 78 degrees and 87 degrees, take 78. Your temps don't seem that far off from what I know.

Check around for a vet that does reptiles. Many people here drive for an hour to see a vet.

If you really can't find someone who says "yes, I do reptiles" then find someone who does birds and ask them to give you a break. Birds and reptiles are pretty close on the evolutionary scale and their needs are very similar. A bird specialist would be better than someone who only does dogs and cats.

However, even a vet who only does dogs and cats should be able to test a fecal sample and that's really the thing you need done. Push them a bit if you have to.

While they aren't great feeders normally, at this point, I'd suggest you get some wax worms and see if he'll go for those. They pack a lot of fat and calories and can be a good jump start for a chameleon on the mend. Plus, they're pretty easy to catch.
 

Cainschams

New Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Jackson, Male, not sure on age but is young, I've had him about two months
Handling - I dont handle him that much at first i did until I read often is not ok, plus my 10 yr old brother gets too excited and he gets stressed.
Feeding - crickets both large and small. I give him 5-6 he usually eats 4 ? everyday at 430. gutloading with apples and banana

How big are the crickets? I would let him eat as much as he wants at the moment. Once he gains some weight back then cut the feedings down to around 6 appropriate sized bugs or equivalent to every other day. I am sure he would love blue bottle flies. You can get those at mantisplace.com and there are care sheets on how to keep them. Get the premade gut load for them. You can also feed the flies fruits or the juice from fresh fruits. They are fairly cheap too! You got other good info on gut loads for the crickets. A member makes what is called Cricket Crack and has tons of good nutritious ingredients.


Supplements -

I would VERY lightly dust his food with calcium without D3 every feeding. D3 once every month to month and a half. I dont use vitamin supplements for my montane chameleons. If you notice any swelling in his neck cut back on the supplements and water him well.

Watering - I mist and made a dripper out of a plastic cup that drips onto the vines and leaves of the pothos inside the tank. I mist until everything is wet and dripping and everytime I mist he opens his mouth and lets me drip water near his mouth.

Just be careful not to shoot water into his mouth. Dripping it on his nose or around the mouth is fine.

Fecal Description - the first 2 days i got him he did not poop. now he poops almost every other day. its usually dark with a white tip. yesterday for the first time all i saw was a clear liquid. no never tested.

Everything sounds fairly decent husbandry wise besides the few things mentioned. I would take a fecal sample to the vet. He could have a very high parasite load and this could be causing him not to gain any weight.

History - I don't know any history on him except he was kept in a very small tank.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - glass. 18x18x24 terrarium.
Lighting - Flukers lamp, uvb, I turn the lights off at night and in the morning I turn them back on
Temperature - at the highest its close to 80. one night when it was snowing over here it was almost 50 i got worried that it was too cold so i turned it on for awhile. the lowest temp at the bottom now is 60. I have a thermometer near the basking lamp, a hygrometer and another thermometer at the bottom of the tank.

A good day time gradient would be between 70 and 80 with a basking site of around 85. I cant agree with ataraxia on night time temps. If anything it should be getting 60 or below for him at night. Jacksons need a good night time drop every night.


Humidity - it varies sometimes, between 50-60 I mist in the mornings, afternoons and in the evenings

The humidity could be a little better for him. around 70% daytime and higher at night.

I give a light mist to the plants. hygrometer to measure the humidity
Plants - live plants, pothos, two of them are in here.
Placement - its in my basement apartment. it is not near any fans or vents, and there is rarely any traffic down there just me. the highest part of the tank is at my eye level. I'm 4'11
Location - New Jersey, winter time and we just had some snow this week so its been a little colder and darker.

Current Problem - I just recently posted a pic of my Jackson and someone said he looks skinnier.. I am worried. I don't know what else I should be doing...

I would be willing to bet on the high parasite load since your husbandry isnt terrible, although the things mentioned could be tweeked. Get a fecal sample to a reptile vet. If they have experience with chams the better but a reptile vet should be able to test for parasites and treat accordingly

Attached are the two most recent photos of him
Hope some of this helps and I hope he gets up to par rather quickly for you. He is not in the most terrible shape so I dont see why he shouldnt recover quickly.
 

eisentrauti

Avid Member
Well, a half death chameleon is normally a death chameleon a week later but maybe you have still a chance. What this guy needs now is water water and more water. Don't stress him with too many feeders. He needs much to drink, a dripper should be on for 24/7. If he gets a bit more active you can start to enlarge the meals per day, but be sure that there are never too many feeders inside the cage. Stress will kill a chameleon in this condition very fast
 
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