Help sleepy chameleon


New Member
Hi, I just got a panther chameleon two days ago at an exotic animal show. I do not know how old he is, but he's small-baby i would think. He was active until i got him home, it seems he is always sleeping and i watch him and see that he is still breathing. He doesn't open his eyes even if i am a little noisy around his cage. He's a pale color at the moment with some large spots. The temperature is around 80 with the thermometer on top of the cage. Will increasing the temperature help him come around? He still changes color i.e. when i mist. Considering he was at the exotic animal show all day, i worry that he is still dehydrated from that.
do you have a basking bulb on him?...he needs a higher temp to bask in to get warmed up for the day. If you can take a pic of his setup and post it
He has a ceramic heat emitter on one side of his cage and i just put another on the other side. Now the temperature is around 81. I have two lights: a uvb/uva light for during the day and a red night time light. I just don't understand what is wrong. If I mist, he turns a darker color and breathes hard.
ok your cage setup is all red ceramic heaters. You should have a reptisun 5.0 bulb for UV light and a 50-60 watt basking bulb. Both these bulbs should be mounted on top pointing down.
the reason the heating lamps are on the side is bc the fixture for the light takes over half the top. Perhaps I could take the night-time light out and replace with a basking blub? Will the basking bulb provide sufficient heat?
Yes, you will need a flourescent bulb with a 5% uvB or better rating. This light will give off both uvA and uvb. The uvB helps them to metabolise certain chemicals in their bodies. The uvA which you do not have helps them to reconize the difference between night and day. This will also directly effect their activity levels and eating habits. A ceramic bulb does emit heat but the chameleons usually do not reconize them as that. An incandescent light bulb in a dome reflector will not only provide them with a place to bask but saturate the cage with uvA. Chameleons cannot see in the infared spectrum so the red light is of no use.

When setting up the basking bulb make a vine that runs near it but not directly under it. Use a thermometer to check the temperature at that point of the cage. I believe 90 degrees is what Panthers like but someone will correct me if I am wrong. I keep Veileds. The rest of the cage should be some where in the neibhorhood of 70-80 degrees. This will give your chameleon a chance to thermoregulate the way that it wants to. When they use this bulb and bask they accomplish a couple of things. It will heat their skin and muscles this gives them heat to lose as they travel around the cage. This also helps them to digest food properly as the heat penatrates and warms their organs. Try to position the basking bulb and flourescent light as near as possible. In the wild they would get both types of uv from one source (the sun) so try to do the same as best as you can by positioning. red heat ceramic heater. Ceramic heaters are for desert lizards not chameleons. Put your UV light on doesnt matter if it hangs over the sides. Basking bulb should be set on top too.
i agree your set up is all wrong. you dont need the light at night cuz chams like it cool at night. your panther needs a 90 degree basking spot. just let the lamp hang over the side.sleeping is a sign that something i wrong a vet visit myte be needed increase your misting, change your lights , get rid of the ceramic heater and the red night light and take a look at some set ups for chams in the cage forums and do a little more research and you will be good to go
I took him to the emergency vet. I have only had him 2 days and they think it might have been a husbandry problem where he gave from. He also might have mbd :(. He has been shaking and apparently his jaw is swollen. Anyone ever done business with LLLreptile at show?
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I would change the lights and take it from there. Assuming he is very small no vet would probably prescribe him any medication and would probably be scared to even take any blood. MBD is something that takes time to develop and can be reversed (assuming he has not suffered bent bones). Just keep picking through these old post and links. You can find alot of usefull information about chameleons and reptiles in general. For right now changing the lighting is the best thing you can do for him. Dusting his food with a calcium (and D3) supplement will help recover even if he has had a little bout with MBD. Gut loading his food with something high in calcium is a must to.

I have not ordered from lllreptile but have heard good things from multiple members. Brad has did an excellent job of providing links to places that are well informed, moderatly priced and very glad to help you.
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The vet suggested i change the light bulb. I used to have a Senegal and he suffered an unfortunate accident at the beach resulting in his death. Ergo I have had the light since May.My feeding routine with him was dusted crickets with repti-cal and every few days a multi-vitamin. I've only had this chameleon two days. He ate the calcium dusted crickets yesterday. My crickets eat Flukers calcium cricket feed and that gelatinous water substitute. He didn't eat today until he got back from the vet. You're right that they couldn't take blood. They did give me an oral calcium supplement every 12 hrs for 7 days. Tomorrow I am going to the pet store and buy the recommended repti-sun 5.0. I could prolly used my old aquarium light top.
Thanks everybody, i really appreciate your help!
It breaks my heart that he shakes while he walks bc he's so little. Emergency vet offices are very depressing, i don't recommend them as a hangout spot.
If you just got him from LLLreptile and he has MBD i would take him back. This could potentially be very serious and they have a guarentee.
I am hesitant about ditching him. Even though I have only had him a few days, it breaks my heart to see him shaking while he walks. If he does have mbd, can i ask them to also reimburse me for some of his medical expenses?
Is it a shaking or a studder step. Chams will studder back and forth as they walk to mimic a leaf moving in the wind. They are usually only on two legs when they do this, a front leg and a back leg. If he is doing this it is not necessarily MBD it is a natural thing. If he is shaking like a seizure type thing there is bigger problems.


What makes your veterinarian think the chameleon has MBD? Shaking while they walk does not necessarily mean a chameleon has MBD.

Anyone ever done business with LLLreptile at show?
LLL has a good reputation. Since you brought up their name and are curious about their guarantee, I think you should contact them directly. lllReptile website link.

The temperature is around 80 with the thermometer on top of the cage.
This is not good. Do you have a good panther care sheet? Panther chameleons need temps higher than what you are providing. Without the proper temps, the body does not work right. However, you mention your chameleon is pale. This is something I would expect from a chameleon that is too hot. Can you please post the details of your setup? Photos of your setup and chameleon can help as well.

[THREAD=66]suggested details[/THREAD].
Brad said:

What makes your veterinarian think the chameleon has MBD? Shaking while they walk does not necessarily mean a chameleon has MBD

Part of his jaw is swollen says the vet which can indicate mbd.

He was very active today but i just got back from petsmart with the a 5.0 light and put it in there (on top of the cage i mean). Still trying to figure out how to mount a basking lamp bc my cage is 20x18x12. Anyway, he is now gray with black spots and laying on his side on a leaf. His eyes are open and he is looking around. I think I may move his vet appt up to tomorrow instead of friday. I am very distraught over this. Even though, I have only had him a few days, he's made an impression.

Also, by shaking, i mean it looks like his feet have tremors when he is climbing.
The batteries in my camera are dead :( I just got back from buying a personal humidifier and he's moving around. Everytime I go somewhere my heart drops when i get to my house bc i worry that he's dead. I hope he ate some of the calcium fortified crickets. Also, in regards to basking at night? I bought a 75 W bulb.
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