How long can an adult go without food?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jakama, Sep 16, 2018 at 9:30 AM.

  1. Jakama

    Jakama Member

    I have an adult Furcifer verrucosus, Gus, a year and two months old. Up until recently, his diet had been four superworms every other day (or an equivalent amount of black soldier fly larvae or dubias). But about a month and a half ago, his appetite nearly disappeared, and he left all or nearly all his food in his bowl. Over the last month and a half he has eaten between 2 and 4 prey items. My running hypothesis is that I overfed him - his diet was very superworm-heavy, he was pretty fat, and his casque had become swollen. He's dropped some weight since he nearly stopped eating, but he still looks healthy - his eyes aren't sunken, his ribs aren't super prominent, and he is still very active. In fact, it seems to me that his hunger strike coincided with him reaching sexual maturity: he's been prowling around his cage actively, dropping sperm plugs regularly. He's also been pooping (though less frequently), which suggests to me that he's just been living off of fat reserves in his head or in his body. There's nothing wrong with his eating abilities as far as I can tell, he ate a katydid I put in there two weeks ago. But he doesn't respond to any normal prey items, including crickets, dubias, BSFs, superworms. I'm worried about 2 things:
    1. When will he start eating again? Have any of you had chams that went on hunger strikes like this?
    2. How can I get him calcium and vitamins in the meantime? Should I resort to injecting him? I've never given a pet injections, so I'm nervous about that option.
    Thanks for your advice!
     
  2. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    All chams start eating less as they reach sexual maturity, totally normal. He can go weeks without food, but I wouldn’t want to see him going more than 2weeks. He will eat when he is hungry. Don’t worry about his calcium/vitamins, defanitly no injections. Just make sure the feeders he does eat have a healthy coat of supplements on them...
     
  3. Mawtyplant

    Mawtyplant Avid Member

    Furcifer verrucosus, sound really WC too me, have you try a fecal exam?, i suggest you to fed the help form too, maybe something wrong with your husbandry, usually when a chameleon stop eating this is for a good reason. For my part, i got one of my melleri stop eating for months (about 8 months) and he was alive.. but he lost lot of weight and i was scared for his life.. so my experience told me they can live without food for a long period of time when they are adult
     
  4. Jakama

    Jakama Member

    Not WC, CB no doubt. For about a month before his hunger strike started he was on a diet of almost exclusively superworms - couldn't get anything else at the time and obviously not an ideal diet in the long run. But I don't think his problem was superworm addiction, since now he won't even eat superworms. Husbandrywise nothing changed around the time his hunger strike started. I've even made some upgrades to his husbandry since the strike started - bigger cage, better UVB bulb.
    Do you have any idea why your melleri stopped eating? Any idea why he started eating again? Thanks!
     
  5. A friend of mine is a vet and he says this is a very common thing chameleon owners come to him for. His advice is to try using new or less common feeders to stimulated their appetite. Adult green banana roaches are supposedly great because of their bright color and the fact that they fly, but they're sort of hard to buy at reasonable prices. Usually only small cultures are available.
     
  6. Mawtyplant

    Mawtyplant Avid Member

    YEp he had parasites, i clean it out but it took time.. previous owner didn't want too get rid of parasite because he found this unnatural :/ got pinworm, protozoaires and coccidia.. dehydrated and stressed so I was really soft with the medication.. this was a long road ! Keep you hydrated and YEp, sometime they enter too a strike, have you try hornworm? Or fly?
     
  7. Jakama

    Jakama Member

    Interesting. I guess I can't rule out parasites, but his digestive system seems to be working alright. I still see him pooping (tiny amounts), and the fact that he ate 2 katydids during his hunger strike makes me think that he is just going through an extremely picky phase. He totally ignored the adult black soldier flies I had buzzing around in his cage a few weeks ago, but I will try hornworms too, and maybe green banana roaches at Prolific Farms's suggestion.

    Err, wait, you cleaned out parasites yourself? Is that as gross as it sounds?
     
  8. Mawtyplant

    Mawtyplant Avid Member

    haha not so gross.. poop wasnt that bad.. in fact it look normal.. some parasites are just hard on the kidney, body. I get rid of with 3 different medication (and one with a veterinary help because i can't found the drug by myself). is your chameleon is a captive breeded?
     
  9. Jakama

    Jakama Member

    My cham is CB, his mom is CB too although his pop is WC.
     

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