Help with Veiled Cham

Hello! Sorry this is my first post, but I had no idea there was a cham forum out there until my little guy started having health problems.

My Chameleon started acting weird 2-3 days ago, by keeping one eye closed all the time. Now he's keeping them both closed, and being pretty inactive. Last night I used a dropper, and got him to drink some water, but this morning hes just doing the same thing, just sitting on the branch, sleeping.

This morning I tried giving him more drink, and he's just sitting there, until I touched him as to pick him up, but then he started crawling around with His eyes closed! I put my hand out because I thought he was going to fall, and he crawled all over me just like as if he is trying to go up some where. Finally I got him settled under his light, but I'm really worried about him!

I feed him 4-8 Crickets a day, and dust them with d3/calcium powder daily. I have a mister machine, and was using it 24/7 but I read recently that it needs to only be 2x a day, so now i am running it for a little bit, and then shutting it off.

He has a bunch of plants, and vines and what not, to crawl around on... inside his Exterra Terrarium, which has a screen top, and glass sides, with glass doors in the front. I have a water fall in the terrarium, and several plants which I got from Petco, which said they are safe for reptiles.

Any other info, I would be glad to answer, hopefully you guys have a solution for me!




Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello and sorry your little one is not feeling well. First of all how old is your chameleon? Yes, closing of the eyes is not a good sign and there could be a number of things causing it from illness to incorrect set up. Tell us what kind of lighting you are using. Also, need to know your temps at the basking area, ambient temp in the cage and also the humidity level. Also you should not be using the calcium with d3 so often. A couple times a month and then regular calcium daily, multi vitamin twice monthly also.
I did not realize until last night while reading that measuring temps and humidity levels are so important. I will buy a thermometer today to find out what the basking temp and ambient temp is.

I did purchase a really expensive bulb, which incorporates both the heating and the UV in one. It was literally $70! I don't remember what its called, but I was told it was the best.

I will purchase the calcium today, without the d3, and then I will only feed him d3 twice per month.

I'm not sure how old he is, the guy at the herp store never really told me. I'm gonna take a shot in the dark and say 6 months. He's not that big, but he's definitely not a baby.

Thanks again


Chameleon Enthusiast
Sounds like his eyes could be irritated. I would take back that bulb and purchase a Reptisun or Reptiglo tube style 5.0 uvb bulb. Then use your dome and get a white housebulb and use that for basking. About a 40 watt or maybe 60 so you have one basking area of about 85 degrees. Also how big is your cage? If it is too small, you are not going to be able to regulate heat very well being glass and having it shine down in the cage. The smaller dome fixture the better if you have a cage that is small so it only heats up one corner and not the whole cage.


New Member
Hey there, sorry that your little fellow is not doing do well.

First of all, I would advise you to fill in the form. It is always easier to answer, when all information about your setup and care is gathered in one place. Just copy/paste it and fill your anwsers next to the questions :)

Closed eyes, if he seems fine otherwise, like eating and at least trying to crawl around my be pointing to some kind of eye irritation. Improper lighting can cause it. What kind of bulb exactly is it? - it is very important! What is the wattage? You write it has UV - is it only UVA or does it also have UVB spectrum? UVB lighting is vital for chameleons - they need it to produce D3, which is necessary for proper calcium uptake. In nature they get their UVB from the sun. Unfortunately it is not enough only supplementing with D3.

Temperature - too high as well as too low - can also be a problem. Too high temps will stress him out and dehydrate him faster, too low will make him lethargic, because they need external energy to digest their food and get nutrients from it.

You say you have been running the mister 24/7 - that means humidity was very high, which together with lower temps might lead to respiratory infections. Does he sit with his mouth open? How is his breathing - any whistling or other sounds?

Also, I would strongly advise to remove the waterfall. Chameleons don't recognize standing water, so he won't drink from it, and otherwise it is just a source for bacteria and a possibility that your cham might drown in it, especially if he is still small.

I might have missed smth, but you are very welcome to ask questions. Also, maybe you could post pictures of your cham and your setup - often it helps to gt a better idea of what might be wrong.



New Member
Forgot two more things:

It is good that you have switched to misting a few times a day instead of running the mister continuously. It is important that there are cycles in humidity - enclosure should dry out completely between mistings, otherwise you also risk mold and bacteria growth. The best for you would be to get a humidity gauge to be able to monitor it.

In regards to eye bulging and rubbing - it is normal behavior, that's how chameleons clean their eyes. However, considering that he keeps his eyes closed, that might be a sign that his eyes are irritated by the light or smth else in the setup.
Thank you for the replies!

So as of right now, he seems a little better (since I have been changing a few things) and actually has been crawling around on us outside his cage. Thank God! One of his eyes are mostly open, and the other one is kind of squinty. Hopefully these few changes were positive enough to make him survive.

A little update:

As of this morning, I turned Smeagol's light on, and he is pretty unresponsive, and doesn't want to wake up. I moved the light over him so he can warm up... I tried using a water dropper... he will not open his mouth to drink...

Idk what to do... I'll wait a couple of hours, and see if he wakes up, he woke up yesterday, but it was a few hours before he did. He ate, drank, walked around, hung from the ceiling... all kinds of stuff...

Eyes still messed up me thinks...
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