Help needed! Vitamin A deficiency

ashie

New Member
Hey everyone,

i’m really worried about my veiled chameleon, he’s about 4 months and i’ve been having lots of issues with him lately and took him into the best reptile vet in la and they said he was fine but potentially suffering from a vitamin a deficiency. I do believe that is the issue as he’s very weak, not eating, sleeping all the time or at least having his eyes closed and not moving around much throughout the day, and is having scary eye issues with his eyes bulging out, they told me to get the heat in his terrarium up and gutload his insects which I have been doing but I wanted to know if anyone else has experienced this, specifically the eye situation (as shown in photos below you’ll see that the bulging switches eyes) as well any ideas of how to get the heat up, he has a 75 watt uvb bulb right now but it’s only about 80 F in his enclosure. I will attach photos of his eye which I showed the vet, as well as a picture of his terrarium for reference. (he has also been rubbing his eyes on me and on branches i’ve noticed)

Thank you!
 

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Haley Hendrix

Avid Member
Fill this out so we can help you please!

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
 

ashie

New Member
Chameleon Info:



  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, sex unknown (been told male mostly), About 5 months. Has been in my care for 4 months.
  • Handling - At least once a day, he climbs around me for a few mins and then goes back in.
  • Feeding - He was eating mealworms and a few crickets but now he’s on gutloaded dubia roaches, lately he hasn’t been eating, if anything he’ll have one a day.
  • Supplements - I sprinkle Repti Calcium without D3 on every meal.
  • Watering - He has a dripper, I usually see him drinking from it once a day, and I pour water on the branches and on the moss to keep humidity about once a day.
  • Fecal Description - I haven’t seen any feces in a while, but they look normal when I do see them. He went to the vet a few days ago for an examination but not sure if they tested for parasites.
  • History - He has had eye bulging appear before, but it went away, it’s currently in both eyes and he’s sleeping constantly. He’s likely due for a shed soon it’s been about 3 month since he last shed, he’s also not been very active in the past few days.
Cage Info:



  • Cage Type - Glass cage 18"L X 18"W X 24"H
  • Lighting - 75 Watt Basking light and 10.0 UVB florescent bulb, 12 hour cycles, they go on at 9:00am and off about 9:00pm.
  • Temperature - I recently got a temp gun, temperature ranges from 70-85 F during the day, and about 60 F in the night. I’m trying to get it hotter without using a harmful light because It’s been far too cold in there which I think is the reason for his eye problem and vitamin a deficiency.
  • Humidity - I haven’t been able to maintain the humidity but i’d say on average is about 60.
  • Plants - All fake plants for climbing but real moss around bottom of terrarium.
  • Placement - Cage is near my bedroom door which is not far from AC and my roommate keeps it cold. I recently shut it off in my room so it won’t affect him anymore so I think it’ll start getting warmer in his enclosure.
  • Location - Downtown Los Angeles


Current Problem - I need some insight on the eye bulging in both eyes, how to give him Vitamin A, and equipment or ways to get his terrarium warmer!



Thank you all so much
 

Haley Hendrix

Avid Member
Feedback will be in bold

Chameleon Info:



  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, sex unknown (been told male mostly), About 5 months. Has been in my care for 4 months.
Males will have tarsal spurs on the back of their feet. Attach a picture of the back feet and we will be able to tell you.
  • Handling - At least once a day, he climbs around me for a few mins and then goes back in.
  • Feeding - He was eating mealworms and a few crickets but now he’s on gutloaded dubia roaches, lately he hasn’t been eating, if anything he’ll have one a day.
Mealworms are not a good choice for chameleons. They are hard for them to digest. What are you gutloading with? Where do you get your feeders?
  • Supplements - I sprinkle Repti Calcium without D3 on every meal.
Youre missing the calcium with D3 and a Multivitamin. You will need these. The correct schedule is Calcium without D3 every meal except once a week and on that day alternate between with D3 and Multivitamin. So Multivitamin twice a month and same for D3
  • Watering - He has a dripper, I usually see him drinking from it once a day, and I pour water on the branches and on the moss to keep humidity about once a day.
Pour? Moss is a carrier for bacteria so I would also remove that.
  • Fecal Description - I haven’t seen any feces in a while, but they look normal when I do see them. He went to the vet a few days ago for an examination but not sure if they tested for parasites.
Only way to test for parasites is through fecal.
  • History - He has had eye bulging appear before, but it went away, it’s currently in both eyes and he’s sleeping constantly. He’s likely due for a shed soon it’s been about 3 month since he last shed, he’s also not been very active in the past few days
Sometimes shedding makes them not eat but ive never seen it where it makes them sleep during the day. Hes missing some vitamins which can be one of the reasons hes having eye problems. Vitamin A is included in the Multivitamin.
Cage Info:



  • Cage Type - Glass cage 18"L X 18"W X 24"H
Min size 2x2x4. Are you planning on upgrading?
  • Lighting - 75 Watt Basking light and 10.0 UVB florescent bulb, 12 hour cycles, they go on at 9:00am and off about 9:00pm.
Im seeing that its a compact bulb. You need a t5ho 5.0 UVB, these are crucial for their well being. Without one he will get MBD.

Temperature - I recently got a temp gun, temperature ranges from 70-85 F during the day, and about 60 F in the night. I’m trying to get it hotter without using a harmful light because It’s been far too cold in there which I think is the reason for his eye problem and vitamin a deficiency.
At 5 months his temp shouldn't be as high as 85, more around 80. How far down is your highest branch from the lights? A night time drop is okay for them.
  • Humidity - I haven’t been able to maintain the humidity but i’d say on average is about 60.
You need to get something to measure humidity. Also high humidity at night is good for them and helps with hydration.
  • Plants - All fake plants for climbing but real moss around bottom of terrarium.
You need some real plants. Veild chameleons are known to eat fake plants and can become impacted. A really easy plant to keep is golden pathos.
  • Placement - Cage is near my bedroom door which is not far from AC and my roommate keeps it cold. I recently shut it off in my room so it won’t affect him anymore so I think it’ll start getting warmer in his enclosure.
  • Location - Downtown Los Angeles


Current Problem - I need some insight on the eye bulging in both eyes, how to give him Vitamin A, and equipment or ways to get his terrarium warmer!


Im not seeing many places for him to climb either. More horizontal branches are needed. I also recommend getting a screen cage, you will need to get a bigger cage in the future and i think you should go with screen. Chameleons dont like when they see their reflection it causes stress. Especially for a new keeper screen is easier to maintain a low humidity which is what this type of chameleon needs. His vitamin A deficiency is from the lack of the Multivitamin. I dont think that you temps are accurate. Youre going to need something to measure the humidity and a temperature gauge with a probe. Some live plants are needed and remove the moss and substrate on the bottom unless you plan to go bio-active, which is a whole other thing.

Thank you all so much
 
Last edited:

ashie

New Member
Feedback will be in bold

Chameleon Info:



  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, sex unknown (been told male mostly), About 5 months. Has been in my care for 4 months.
Males will have tarsal spurs on the back of their feet. Attach a picture of the back feet and we will be able to tell you.
  • Handling - At least once a day, he climbs around me for a few mins and then goes back in.
  • Feeding - He was eating mealworms and a few crickets but now he’s on gutloaded dubia roaches, lately he hasn’t been eating, if anything he’ll have one a day.
Mealworms are not a good choice for chameleons. They are hard for them to digest. What are you gutloading with? Where do you get your feeders?
  • Supplements - I sprinkle Repti Calcium without D3 on every meal.
Youre missing the calcium with D3 and a Multivitamin. You will need these. The correct schedule is Calcium without D3 every meal except once a week and on that day alternate between with D3 and Multivitamin. So Multivitamin twice a month and same for D3
  • Watering - He has a dripper, I usually see him drinking from it once a day, and I pour water on the branches and on the moss to keep humidity about once a day.
Pour? Moss is a carrier for bacteria so I would also remove that.
  • Fecal Description - I haven’t seen any feces in a while, but they look normal when I do see them. He went to the vet a few days ago for an examination but not sure if they tested for parasites.
Only way to test for parasites is through fecal.
  • History - He has had eye bulging appear before, but it went away, it’s currently in both eyes and he’s sleeping constantly. He’s likely due for a shed soon it’s been about 3 month since he last shed, he’s also not been very active in the past few days
Sometimes shedding makes them not eat but ive never seen it where it makes them sleep during the day. Hes missing some vitamins which can be one of the reasons hes having eye problems. Vitamin A is included in the Multivitamin.
Cage Info:



  • Cage Type - Glass cage 18"L X 18"W X 24"H
Min size 2x2x4. Are you planning on upgrading?
  • Lighting - 75 Watt Basking light and 10.0 UVB florescent bulb, 12 hour cycles, they go on at 9:00am and off about 9:00pm.
Im seeing that its a compact bulb. You need a t5ho 5.0 UVB, these are crucial for their well being. Without one he will get MBD.

Temperature - I recently got a temp gun, temperature ranges from 70-85 F during the day, and about 60 F in the night. I’m trying to get it hotter without using a harmful light because It’s been far too cold in there which I think is the reason for his eye problem and vitamin a deficiency.
At 5 months his temp shouldn't be as high as 85, more around 80. How far down is your highest branch from the lights? A night time drop is okay for them.
  • Humidity - I haven’t been able to maintain the humidity but i’d say on average is about 60.
You need to get something to measure humidity. Also high humidity at night is good for them and helps with hydration.
  • Plants - All fake plants for climbing but real moss around bottom of terrarium.
You need some real plants. Veild chameleons are known to eat fake plants and can become impacted. A really easy plant to keep is golden pathos.
  • Placement - Cage is near my bedroom door which is not far from AC and my roommate keeps it cold. I recently shut it off in my room so it won’t affect him anymore so I think it’ll start getting warmer in his enclosure.
  • Location - Downtown Los Angeles


Current Problem - I need some insight on the eye bulging in both eyes, how to give him Vitamin A, and equipment or ways to get his terrarium warmer!


Im not seeing many places for him to climb either. More horizontal branches are needed. I also recommend getting a screen cage, you will need to get a bigger cage in the future and i think you should go with screen. Chameleons dont like when they see their reflection it causes stress. Especially for a new keeper screen is easier to maintain a low humidity which is what this type of chameleon needs. His vitamin A deficiency is from the lack of the Multivitamin. I dont think that you temps are accurate. Youre going to need something to measure the humidity and a temperature gauge with a probe. Some live plants are needed and remove the moss and substrate on the bottom unless you plan to go bio-active, which is a whole other thing.

Thank you all so much
Thank you so much!! I have the moss in there to keep humidity but what do you mean by bio active? Also do you have any suggestions for getting it warmer in there? And do you think the eye bubbling will go away with changes made to his husbandry or is it something to be more concerned about? I just visited vet and they said it was fine but everytime it happens I get really worried!
 

PoseidonTheChameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you so much!! I have the moss in there to keep humidity but what do you mean by bio active? Also do you have any suggestions for getting it warmer in there? And do you think the eye bubbling will go away with changes made to his husbandry or is it something to be more concerned about? I just visited vet and they said it was fine but everytime it happens I get really worried!
I'm really confused on why the vet is telling hes fine. Its not normal for them to have a huge bubble in their eye
 

Haley Hendrix

Avid Member
Thank you so much!! I have the moss in there to keep humidity but what do you mean by bio active? Also do you have any suggestions for getting it warmer in there? And do you think the eye bubbling will go away with changes made to his husbandry or is it something to be more concerned about? I just visited vet and they said it was fine but everytime it happens I get really worried!
Bio- active is bascially a little ecosystem. I wouldn’t go just because he’ll need an upgrade soon and you’ll have to do it again. I personally don’t know a lot about it. But if you decide to go bio-active their are lots of keepers who can point you in the right direction.

As for your temps, 80° is fine for him right now. He’s a baby and you don’t want to burn him.

The eye bubbling is caused by incorrect UVB and lack lf multivitiam. He’s missing his Vitamin A which contributes to the eye function.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You need to change your UVB and Supplementation immediately. Your enclosure is also set up incorrectly. It is not a true bioactive set up so having anything on the ground becomes an impaction risk.

Go buy reptivite with D3. You will give this 2 times a month only every other week at one feeding. This is your multivitamin with vitamin A and your calcium with D3. ONLY 2 times a month or you can cause a toxicity issue. Then at all the other feedings you will use the calcium without D3.

Your lighting must be corrected... Or this baby will develop MBD. You can not use the compact screw in bulbs with chameleons because they do not work. So you need a T5HO fixture and a 5.0 Uvb bulb for it. Distance would be 8-9 inches to the closest branch below this fixture with the fixture sitting on the screen. Might as well get the 24 inch fixture so you can use it on the upgraded cage size. You will need to upgrade to a 2x2x4 this baby will not be able to stay in this cage much longer.

Female chameleons lay infertile eggs... So their husbandry has to be perfect you need to be able to get the gender confirmed. As Haley said add a picture of the back of the hind feet.

Start reading everything here.... https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/

chameleon-gutload.jpg
chameleon-food(1).jpg
 
Last edited:

ashie

New Member
Did the vet have chameleon experience? I would personally find a new vet.
Apparently, I heard it was the best exotic vet around but i’m happy to take him somewhere else for extra examination. In the meantime do you think it’s okay to feed him carrot baby food? I picked some up it has no added sugars or preservatives.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Apparently, I heard it was the best exotic vet around but i’m happy to take him somewhere else for extra examination. In the meantime do you think it’s okay to feed him carrot baby food? I picked some up it has no added sugars or preservatives.
No, You should not be feeding this. They are insectivores. I already posted above for what you need to buy and the proper usage. Make sure you are scrolling up through your thread or you will not see all the feedback given to you.
 

ashie

New Member
You need to change your UVB and Supplementation immediately. Your enclosure is also set up incorrectly. It is not a true bioactive set up so having anything on the ground becomes an impaction risk.

Go buy reptivite with D3. You will give this 2 times a month only every other week at one feeding. This is your multivitamin with vitamin A and your calcium with D3. ONLY 2 times a month or you can cause a toxicity issue. Then at all the other feedings you will use the calcium without D3.

Your lighting must be corrected... Or this baby will develop MBD. You can not use the compact screw in bulbs with chameleons because they do not work. So you need a T5HO fixture and a 5.0 Uvb bulb for it. Distance would be 8-9 inches to the closest branch below this fixture with the fixture sitting on the screen. Might as well get the 24 inch fixture so you can use it on the upgraded cage size. You will need to upgrade to a 2x2x4 this baby will not be able to stay in this cage much longer.

Female chameleons lay infertile eggs... So their husbandry has to be perfect you need to be able to get the gender confirmed. As Haley said add a picture of the back of the hind feet.

Start reading everything here.... https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/

View attachment 293012View attachment 293013
thank you SO much, i’m putting a petco order in right now for new light fixtures, and multivitamin. I currently have Calcium with d3 but I didn’t use it anymore. And when you say two times a month do you mean two days out of the month? if so what days.
 

ashie

New Member
thank you SO much, i’m putting a petco order in right now for new light fixtures, and multivitamin. I currently have Calcium with d3 but I didn’t use it anymore. And when you say two times a month do you mean two days out of the month? if so what days.
I’m not trying to have a bio active set up since all of my plants in there are fake. What exactly do I need to get for a standard set up?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
thank you SO much, i’m putting a petco order in right now for new light fixtures, and multivitamin. I currently have Calcium with d3 but I didn’t use it anymore. And when you say two times a month do you mean two days out of the month? if so what days.
Wait have you been giving calcium with D3 at every feeding?

What I recommended is a multivitamin with vitamin A and D3. I would get the reptivite with D3 and use this two days a month say the 1st and the 15th then at all other feedings you have to use a calcium WITHOUT D3. So you will need to buy that as well if you do not have it.

Make sure the light fixture is a T5HO fixture not a T8. And you need the 5.0 T5 bulb for it.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m not trying to have a bio active set up since all of my plants in there are fake. What exactly do I need to get for a standard set up?
Start reading everything here this will give you the ins and outs of setting up a cage and how it needs to be. There is too much for us to explain it to you for you to understand all the details. But these links do. Go through every module of the husbandry program and read all the sections... https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/
 
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