Help with restlessness and black spots

elizaann2

New Member
Hello! I am a new chameleon keeper looking for advise on what I could be doing better for my chameleon. She is recently grown very restless and is climbing the walls often and as soon as I open her enclosure she scrambles to me to get out of her enclosure. My second concern is that she has been developing black spots on her face and body. I am seeing an exotic vet with chameleon care experience but am also wondering if this may be a husbandry problem, and what I need to change/adjust so she can thrive and live the longest life possible. I also would appreciate if someone could give me advice on if I am providing the best UVB lighting for her or if I need to get a second bulb due to the size of her enclosure.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, not sure on age, my vet put Feb as her estimated DOB. I purchased her from a pet store May 20th (I now know to purchase from a reputable breeder)
  • Handling - Upon getting her we would handle her a few times a week, however now that she is restless every time I open her enclosure she is climbing on my hand trying to get out. I know to handle them as little as possible and would like to get her to the point where whatever is bothering her is fixed so handling is what is recommended.
  • Feeding - crickets, Dubai roaches, mealworms, wax worms, horned worms and I have super worms coming in the mail. I currently feed her 5 small bugs in the morning and evening. I am open to hearing feedback on if this is too much. I know when she is older the amount and frequency will decrease. All bugs are gutloaded for at least 48 hours before feeding, they are given a wide range of vegetables and occasionally dusted with calcium and a multi vitamin
  • Supplements - Repti-Calcuim without vitamin D3 daily light dusting in the morning daily, Reptivite Reptile vitamins without D3 two times a week, Rep-Cal phosphorus-free calcium with vitamin D3 two times a month.
  • Watering - Before I knew what was recommended for watering, I used a green fountain type thing that had water dropping over plastic leaves, I am now adjusting to a diy drip bottle over leaves several times a day to hopefully adjust how she drinis water. I would eventually like to get rid of the fountain knowing it is not recommended. The water used is R.O. filtered water for both.
  • Fecal Description - She tested positive for pinworms and she took medication to get rid of those, her last dose was this last Friday. I will take her back in a few weeks to test again to ensure she is still parasite free. Her most recent fecal seemed normal.
  • History - She does not seem to have a fear of humans. I believe she is getting ready to lay her first eggs, her little belly has recently gotten a little round and I believe she is about at that age.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen cage with a plastic shower curtain wrapped around 3 sides to help maintain humidity (I live in a dry area). Exo-Terra 36” x 18” x 36” on top of a walmart cube shelf that is currently laying horizontally
  • Lighting - HO t5 uvb lighting combo kit, 575x58x42 Mm, the heat lamp is a small circle one that was given to me, the lightbulb is a GE crystal clear energy efficient incandescent general purpose halogen bulb that uses 72 w (the box says it replaces the 100w bulb). Schedule, UVB on from 7 am to 7 pm, heat light on from 7 am to 12 pm, and if I notice her hanging out in her basking area I turn it on again for a little.
  • Temperature - Average temp in the enclosure during the day is mid 70’s to high 70’s, basking spot temp is usually in The mid 80s, lowest temp at night is around 70-72. Temps are measured by two thermometers in the enclosure, one by the basing spot and another at the bottom of the enclosure.
  • Humidity - Daytime humidity I am currently working on lowering, today it was 70%, at night it is around 80%. My goal is to adjust the wrap around the screen enclosure to help the humidity levels lower during the day to what I understand is recommended at 40%. Humidity is measured by a humidity/temp gage in the enclosure.
  • Plants - I learned recently that fake plants are not recommended and am working on changing out fake plants with live plants, current live plants are a money tree, two pothos plants, a fern and an elephant tree (?)
  • Placement - Enclosure is located in my daughters room, recently moved away from an air vent, however their is a ceiling fan that will be visible no matter where the enclosure is placed in the room. Low traffic area, her room is usually only used for getting ready for the day, sleeping at night and grabbing an item she wants in her room, play room is downstairs and friends are all aware of the space the chameleon requires so it does not get stressed. The height of the cage from the floor is about 5 ft 6 inches.
  • Location - Utah

Current Problem - Black spots, restlessness
 

Attachments

  • 0D7BEA16-19B2-4D61-A696-73503ECD8C91.jpeg
    0D7BEA16-19B2-4D61-A696-73503ECD8C91.jpeg
    214.4 KB · Views: 23
  • 727BEFAD-7BAA-41EA-8F58-229FDA1E044B.jpeg
    727BEFAD-7BAA-41EA-8F58-229FDA1E044B.jpeg
    285.3 KB · Views: 24
  • 9A132FBE-029A-4E0A-9189-F78173CD8D1A.jpeg
    9A132FBE-029A-4E0A-9189-F78173CD8D1A.jpeg
    173.9 KB · Views: 24
  • E00AA912-73E7-4A4C-85A5-2C1F54450385.jpeg
    E00AA912-73E7-4A4C-85A5-2C1F54450385.jpeg
    201.4 KB · Views: 25
  • E90CCFF7-2DFC-427F-8321-9616E2DA4106.jpeg
    E90CCFF7-2DFC-427F-8321-9616E2DA4106.jpeg
    262.9 KB · Views: 24
  • EC0D93D5-9AE4-4ED0-A642-D85B88882E8A.jpeg
    EC0D93D5-9AE4-4ED0-A642-D85B88882E8A.jpeg
    240.4 KB · Views: 24
  • C5F3A47D-656D-4603-936F-5D98A64800C7.jpeg
    C5F3A47D-656D-4603-936F-5D98A64800C7.jpeg
    322.4 KB · Views: 27
  • 6033242C-CEC0-4543-9AA5-A3869CF1FF97.jpeg
    6033242C-CEC0-4543-9AA5-A3869CF1FF97.jpeg
    271 KB · Views: 23

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I tend to talk way too much, so am splitting this into 2 parts.
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, not sure on age, my vet put Feb as her estimated DOB. I purchased her from a pet store May 20th (I now know to purchase from a reputable breeder)
  • Handling - Upon getting her we would handle her a few times a week, however now that she is restless every time I open her enclosure she is climbing on my hand trying to get out. I know to handle them as little as possible and would like to get her to the point where whatever is bothering her is fixed so handling is what is recommended. Here’s a great blog on building trust. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/
  • Feeding - crickets, Dubai roaches, mealworms, wax worms, horned worms and I have super worms coming in the mail. I currently feed her 5 small bugs in the morning and evening. I am open to hearing feedback on if this is too much. Good variety (except mealworms) and yes, you are overfeeding her. Only babies should be fed twice daily. Your girl is at a ‘funny’ age where we don’t want to deprive her of needed nutrients for growth, but we don’t want to overfeed her. So, I would say to definitely reduce her to let’s say 5 feeders daily (plus occasional treats). After she lays her first clutch of eggs you’ll want to start her on a regimen of 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week which will help reduce egg production. Attaching feeder graphic just so you know which bugs are staples vs treats. know when she is older the amount and frequency will decrease. All bugs are gutloaded for at least 48 hours before feeding, they are given a wide range of vegetables and occasionally dusted with calcium and a multi vitamin This is good. Many of us don’t gutload by the book, but instead just keep our feeders well fed all the time.
  • Supplements - Repti-Calcuim without vitamin D3 daily light dusting in the morning daily, Yes Reptivite Reptile vitamins without D3 two times a week No - this is too frequent. You’ll only use this for one feeding every other week. , Rep-Cal phosphorus-free calcium with vitamin D3 two times a month Yes - perfect. You’ll want to alternate this with the ReptiVite so that they aren’t given the same week..
  • Watering - Before I knew what was recommended for watering, I used a green fountain type thing that had water dropping over plastic leaves, I am now adjusting to a diy drip bottle over leaves several times a day to hopefully adjust how she drinis water. I would eventually like to get rid of the fountain knowing it is not recommended. The water used is R.O. filtered water for both. Yeah…no on fountains. Drippers are fine to use, but it shouldn’t be your chams only drinking water. You should be spraying/misting for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times daily…right before lights go on and off and at mid day you can either spray or use a dripper for 15-20 minutes.
  • Fecal Description - She tested positive for pinworms and she took medication to get rid of those, her last dose was this last Friday. I will take her back in a few weeks to test again to ensure she is still parasite free. Her most recent fecal seemed normal. Wow! You are truly awesome! Absolutely! Perfect! 💗 (Usually I have to suggest veterinary wellness visits)
  • History - She does not seem to have a fear of humans. I believe she is getting ready to lay her first eggs, her little belly has recently gotten a little round and I believe she is about at that age. You are correct, but is this her first time being so restless? Did she just recently show her color changes or has she had her teals and oranges/yellows for a little while? If she just started showing her colors and being restless, then she’s receptive and not yet gravid. Does she have a lay bin?
    To be continued…
AAE88370-5D5D-4007-83E5-157A6C009F37.jpeg
9D39511F-87B2-49D4-BAFA-E28A178512ED.jpeg
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen cage with a plastic shower curtain wrapped around 3 sides to help maintain humidity (I live in a dry area). Exo-Terra 36” x 18” x 36” on top of a walmart cube shelf that is currently laying horizontally :unsure: Usually we recommend a minimum enclosure of 2x2x4’ or equivalent. However, that extra foot of width pretty much makes up for the height, so you can squeak by imo.
  • Lighting - HO t5 uvb lighting combo kit, 575x58x42 Mm, Can you elaborate on this please? How is it a combo? What is it a combo with? What is the strength of your uvb bulb? My initial thought is that you really should have the uvb long enough to span the width of the enclosure, so 36” long. the heat lamp is a small circle one that was given to me, the lightbulb is a GE crystal clear energy efficient incandescent general purpose halogen bulb that uses 72 w Is it halogen or LED? Halogen is ok, LED isn’t as they put out almost no heat. (the box says it replaces the 100w bulb). Schedule, UVB on from 7 am to 7 pm, heat light on from 7 am to 12 pm, and if I notice her hanging out in her basking area I turn it on again for a little. Perfect! What is the distance between basking area and lights? For ideal uv index of 3.0, with a T5 using either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb, the distance should be 8-9”.
  • Temperature - Average temp in the enclosure during the day is mid 70’s to high 70’s, basking spot temp is usually in The mid 80s, You’ll want basking temp not to get any higher than around 80. This helps reduce metabolism and works with the diet to reduce egg production.lowest temp at night is around 70-72. Ok. That’s not much of a temp drop at night and she can handle temps as low as the 60’s…just fyi. Temps are measured by two thermometers in the enclosure, one by the basing spot and another at the bottom of the enclosure.
  • Humidity - Daytime humidity I am currently working on lowering, today it was 70%, at night it is around 80%. My goal is to adjust the wrap around the screen enclosure to help the humidity levels lower during the day to what I understand is recommended at 40%. Yes, ideal range is between 30-50% during the day. If you adjust your watering schedule as I suggested above, that may bring your humidity down to a good level. The enclosure needs time to dry out in between mistings. Humidity is measured by a humidity/temp gage in the enclosure.
  • Plants - I learned recently that fake plants are not recommended and am working on changing out fake plants with live plants, current live plants are a money tree, two pothos plants, a fern and an elephant tree (?) Yes, fake plants pose an impaction/obstruction risk and it only takes one bite. Our veiled ladies are especially into leaf nibbling so the plants need to be cleaned before use and safe. Many of the more tropical plants will need a special grow light. Pothos and philodendron are great and super easy. To give my chams extra privacy I have attached their fake plants to the outside of their enclosures.
  • Placement - Enclosure is located in my daughters room, recently moved away from an air vent, however their is a ceiling fan that will be visible no matter where the enclosure is placed in the room. Low traffic area, her room is usually only used for getting ready for the day, sleeping at night and grabbing an item she wants in her room, play room is downstairs and friends are all aware of the space the chameleon requires so it does not get stressed. The height of the cage from the floor is about 5 ft 6 inches. Very good. Height = safety for chameleons.
  • Location - Utah

Current Problem - Black spots, restlessness Her reproductive cycle explains the restlessness. I’m really not sure about the black dots. Do you mean the random tiny isolated ones near her back and on her face? Those look like tiny bruises or some sort of trauma. Is there anything in her enclosure that could poke her? Keep in mind that as she has been very restless, she can get into just about any and every spot. Many plastic plants do have some pointy spots on them. Do you ever leave crickets in her enclosure? Any uneaten crickets will be looking for something to eat and can bite your chameleon at night. If feeding crickets it’s usually wise to leave a small piece of carrot or something for any uneaten strays to eat.
266EE4EC-D84D-40F1-8C47-B001A1817EE8.jpeg
 

elizaann2

New Member
Hello @MissSkittles I gave you the wrong supplement information! I use the Calcium with vitamin D3 rotating 2x a month and the multi vitamin 2x a month (rotating Saturdays).

Restlessness - Since we got her in May she would come out on her own occassionally when we would get close to her enclosure but this was only a maybe 4 times a week this would happen. Now the last I would say two weeks she has been climbing all over the walls, and every time I come to her enclosure or open it she hurries to me and climbs on me or reaches out to me to get out. I noticed her colors change as early as August 12th, maybe a little before that but thats what I have documented. How long does it take to look for a boyfriend, be gravid and lay eggs? I have tried to find a timeframe but cannot find anything online.

She does have a laying bin, it is a washed playsand/organic soil mixture that is moist enough that she could dig a hole and it will not collapse on her. The sand/soil mixture is 6 inches deep and the laying bin is a plastic white bin i purchased at Target, its larger than a shoe box…not sure on the dimensions. There are sticks going to the laying bin for her to access easily as well as a potted plant to lay eggs against.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I didn’t go over egg laying and I’m not sure what you know or don’t know. You are aware that your pretty girl will lay (infertile) eggs. Generally they can lay them every 4 months I believe. However, by following the diet and basking temps I’ve laid out, not only can this decrease the amount of eggs produced, but it could prevent all egg production/laying. One of my girls hasn’t laid since Feb 2020. The other has been laying once a year, but I think it’s because she sneaks peeks at my male, her forbidden love.
The receptive period can last a few weeks. She’ll keep her colors and patterns and as she becomes gravid, they will usually darken up. It can be very subtle though. Anywhere from a few weeks after the receptive period ends, she can be ready to lay her eggs. She’ll start getting plump and maybe look lumpy. As she’s getting larger, her appetite may start to decrease a little, as will her activity level. One day you’ll find she’s digging (hopefully in her bin). Slowly walk away, tack up the light sheet that you have already prepared and let her have total privacy to do her thing. She may dig a few holes until she likes one. When she’s happy with her tunnel, she’ll turn around and deposit her precious cargo. She may sleep in her hole. When done, she’ll meticulously cover all of her holes and return to her basking spot. From start to end, it usually takes a couple of days. I poke some peek holes in my cover sheet so I can monitor progress. Feed and water her very well for a couple of days. Silkworms and hornworms are great at this time. Then start her diet. You’ll want to at some point remove and count the eggs. We aim for less than 30. It may take a couple of cycles to see good effects from the diet regimen.
 

elizaann2

New Member
Lighting - I apologize, I don‘t think I gave the right information for the lighting, I have the boxes attached below for clarification. The UVB is 24 inches long with a UV index of 6? The heat light is a halogen, I have also attached a photo of her enclosure with the UVB light, it does not reach the length of the enclosure due to the enclosure being so big…should I buy a second UVB light to reach the length of her enclosure? Knowing this isnt the right length for her enclosure I am worried about MBD. The closest branch to the UVB light is 6 inches and another one at about 5 inches, most however, are further away. The distance from the basking branch and light is also about 5 to 6 inches depending on the spot she sits at. I can hold my hand under the basking bulb at both places for several minutes and it is a comfortable temp for the back of my hand.

Temp - Any suggestions on how to cool her enclosure down at night? That is the general temp of our house at night but am open to making it colder or if you have further suggestions on how to cool her enclosure at night I’d love to hear them!

Thank you for the insight on the fake plants! Upon closer inspection I have found several fake plants that have metal poking out of them!!! I will make a trip tomorrow to the store to purchase safe plans to cover the inside of her enclosure and decorate the outside with the fake ones (or throw them away if I dont end up using them). Will the black spots go away over time or are they permanent?

I do have a question about gutloading, I have been putting the cut veggies/fruits straight in the bins for all my bugs, but should I be blending them up?

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I really appreciate all the time you have given me to help me with my questions!!!
 

Attachments

  • 5D328C6A-E314-461F-9E65-C1E532AE7983.jpeg
    5D328C6A-E314-461F-9E65-C1E532AE7983.jpeg
    327.2 KB · Views: 20
  • 1965FD65-3CC4-416C-B8E5-62D30EA7581B.jpeg
    1965FD65-3CC4-416C-B8E5-62D30EA7581B.jpeg
    280 KB · Views: 20
  • 6FB1A86D-CF48-4EDF-BE1C-C46A368D7DD5.jpeg
    6FB1A86D-CF48-4EDF-BE1C-C46A368D7DD5.jpeg
    266.1 KB · Views: 18

elizaann2

New Member
I didn’t go over egg laying and I’m not sure what you know or don’t know. You are aware that your pretty girl will lay (infertile) eggs. Generally they can lay them every 4 months I believe. However, by following the diet and basking temps I’ve laid out, not only can this decrease the amount of eggs produced, but it could prevent all egg production/laying. One of my girls hasn’t laid since Feb 2020. The other has been laying once a year, but I think it’s because she sneaks peeks at my male, her forbidden love.
The receptive period can last a few weeks. She’ll keep her colors and patterns and as she becomes gravid, they will usually darken up. It can be very subtle though. Anywhere from a few weeks after the receptive period ends, she can be ready to lay her eggs. She’ll start getting plump and maybe look lumpy. As she’s getting larger, her appetite may start to decrease a little, as will her activity level. One day you’ll find she’s digging (hopefully in her bin). Slowly walk away, tack up the light sheet that you have already prepared and let her have total privacy to do her thing. She may dig a few holes until she likes one. When she’s happy with her tunnel, she’ll turn around and deposit her precious cargo. She may sleep in her hole. When done, she’ll meticulously cover all of her holes and return to her basking spot. From start to end, it usually takes a couple of days. I poke some peek holes in my cover sheet so I can monitor progress. Feed and water her very well for a couple of days. Silkworms and hornworms are great at this time. Then start her diet. You’ll want to at some point remove and count the eggs. We aim for less than 30. It may take a couple of cycles to see good effects from the diet regimen.
Thank you so much for this information! I felt so confused on what to do and how long this will take! This is very helpful!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Lighting - I apologize, I don‘t think I gave the right information for the lighting, I have the boxes attached below for clarification. The UVB is 24 inches long with a UV index of 6? The heat light is a halogen, I have also attached a photo of her enclosure with the UVB light, it does not reach the length of the enclosure due to the enclosure being so big…should I buy a second UVB light to reach the length of her enclosure? Knowing this isnt the right length for her enclosure I am worried about MBD. The closest branch to the UVB light is 6 inches and another one at about 5 inches, most however, are further away. The distance from the basking branch and light is also about 5 to 6 inches depending on the spot she sits at. I can hold my hand under the basking bulb at both places for several minutes and it is a comfortable temp for the back of my hand.

Temp - Any suggestions on how to cool her enclosure down at night? That is the general temp of our house at night but am open to making it colder or if you have further suggestions on how to cool her enclosure at night I’d love to hear them!

Thank you for the insight on the fake plants! Upon closer inspection I have found several fake plants that have metal poking out of them!!! I will make a trip tomorrow to the store to purchase safe plans to cover the inside of her enclosure and decorate the outside with the fake ones (or throw them away if I dont end up using them). Will the black spots go away over time or are they permanent?

I do have a question about gutloading, I have been putting the cut veggies/fruits straight in the bins for all my bugs, but should I be blending them up?

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I really appreciate all the time you have given me to help me with my questions!!!
You could just buy another T5 in the length needed to span the width. Arcadia’s shortest unit is 24” but ReptiSun makes a 14” T5. The basking branch should be about 8-9” away from the uvb. I do have branches at varying distances so that my chams can pretty much choose how much uvb they get. You really should have no worry about mbd. Your supplements are spot on and you’re using a linear T5 with the appropriate uvb bulb (I’m assuming you mean your strength is 6%).
It can be hard to get a good cool down at night. I can only get mine down to around 73 and that’s with central ac and an additional room ac…but I’m in Fla.
The black spots, if they are little bruises, should go away in time. I really can’t imagine that they could be anything but little bruises or extremely superficial pokes. Your sweetie looks quite healthy, so they should be gone before you know it.
Some like to blend up their gutload and freeze it into cubes. That’s fine. Some just give the produce fresh, cut up or sliced. I tried the blend/freeze method and it just made a mess for me. I had even tried thickening it with gelatin. We all have our own ways of doing things…whatever works for you. :)
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ohh…you have a ReptiZoo uvb. I wasn’t aware those were available here yet.
***googling***
Ok. Looks like they’ve started a base in Miami. ReptiZoo is an Asian company that actually makes what I’ve found to be pretty decent enclosures and I’m inclined to believe, decent quality products. That is the only product that I knew they were selling in US until now. From their site, your uvb is a ”combo” in that it included the T5 fixture and a 10.0 uvb bulb. That’s a bit strong so you’ll actually want the distance from uvb to basking area to be around 10-11”. I would suggest finding a way to elevate the light rather than lower the branches. On Etsy there are ReptiRisers to raise lights. I use wire baskets from Dollar Tree to raise mine.
 

elizaann2

New Member
Hello MissSkittles!

Thank you so much for all of your help! With my bulb being that strong, should I purchase a second one for the length of the enclosure still?

I'll work on all of my adjustments to her enclosure today and purchase the appropriate needed items!

Thank you again!
 

CalamityCrow

Established Member
Hello MissSkittles!

Thank you so much for all of your help! With my bulb being that strong, should I purchase a second one for the length of the enclosure still?

I'll work on all of my adjustments to her enclosure today and purchase the appropriate needed items!

Thank you again!
I would purchase a second one because that'll expand the area which is getting the UVB rays. Since the cham is going to wander, it's best that there's opportunity for UVB in as much of the cage as possible. :)
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello MissSkittles!

Thank you so much for all of your help! With my bulb being that strong, should I purchase a second one for the length of the enclosure still?

I'll work on all of my adjustments to her enclosure today and purchase the appropriate needed items!

Thank you again!
Yes, still purchase another light to cover that foot or so of space. That way wherever your cham is, she’ll still be getting some uvb. Of course, having some plant cover will provide shaded areas for when she wants out of the ‘sun’ for a bit.
 

elizaann2

New Member
I would purchase a second one because that'll expand the area which is getting the UVB rays. Since the cham is going to wander, it's best that there's opportunity for UVB in as much of the cage as possible. :)
Thank you so much! I plan on purchasing another one today.
 

MangoTango

Established Member
Ohh…you have a ReptiZoo uvb. I wasn’t aware those were available here yet.
***googling***
Ok. Looks like they’ve started a base in Miami. ReptiZoo is an Asian company that actually makes what I’ve found to be pretty decent enclosures and I’m inclined to believe, decent quality products. That is the only product that I knew they were selling in US until now. From their site, your uvb is a ”combo” in that it included the T5 fixture and a 10.0 uvb bulb. That’s a bit strong so you’ll actually want the distance from uvb to basking area to be around 10-11”. I would suggest finding a way to elevate the light rather than lower the branches. On Etsy there are ReptiRisers to raise lights. I use wire baskets from Dollar Tree to raise mine.
do you think these bulbs are okay or should we stick to ReptiSun and Arcadia?
 
Top Bottom