erm....... lets see, i feed my veiled with gutloaded cricket, mealworms, hornworms, silkworms, wax worms, roaches and phoenix worms. I would say, since your veiled have a good appetite, give him some time to feed and try to feed him with a variety of feeder insect as this will stimulate his appetite. Mealworms and waxworms contain higher fat than cricket, so don't over feed.
i feed him everything he likes which are superworms, crickets,silkworms and phoenix worms.i also give mine a small pinky once a month. i tried hornworms and he didn't like them. and waxworms never work. trying to keep them
I would think that increasing the feeder amount by like two would help his weight get back up. I never had a problem with parasites though. I do this for two weeks after my female lays eggs and she puts back on some weight.
Worms like most chameleon keepers use are high in fat. They have to have this fat so that they can cocoon and transform later on.
While it sounds like a bit of good advie, do not compare your chameleon's weight to others. It's a bad road to go down.
First of all, most "pet" chameleons are very much overfed and overweight, so it's not a great way to start!
You MUST go by the animal's condition, not their weight. Are they thin, bony and dehydrated? Are they fatty, rounded, and swollen? OR can you see the outline of their muscles, and the subtle hint of some pelvic bones and ribs?
You should be able to see their muscles, and their ribs and hips - but they shouldn't be pronounced. Look at the tail base - is it rounded, or can you see the muscle on the sides?
If it's a veiled, look at the meaty part behind the casque - is it swollen, and bulging out, or is it pretty well in the animal's head? Do the sides of his casque curve inward SLIGHTLY, or do they bulge out, convex?
Here's some references: My male veiled, ~7 years old, is 17" long, and weighs 150 grams.
MY 2 year old CB melleri, is 19 inches long, and weighs no more than half a pound - about 230 grams. And he's a big sucker.
They are in excellent health, and have good, but not huge, amounts of fat deposits.
Here are their pictures. Note they are not skinny.
Fat reptiles die sooner. Reptiles cannot deal with fat the way mammals do.
Can't tell too much from this angle (about his weight), but he's had his share of problems, hasn't he?
Seems to have had MBD when he was young, and a few burns as well.
The lights in his cage, what are they and how close are they?
From the looks of him, I'd bet you have a 100W + bulb, and it's close to his basking spot. Even a 75W bulb can burn if too close. It's the skin on his elbows, looks burned. and the skin on his side, can't tell if it's discolored, or burned.
A good way to tell is to feel the base of his spin, along the back, where the dorsal spines meet the vertebrae (not the scaly spines, the bones). If they are noticeably protruding, he might be a bit skinny.
he is outside so i don't have any lights on him the florida temp keep the cage right. during the winter time i have a 75w bulb on the cage for additional heat. i notice those mark and don't know how they happened. the tree is about a foot from the light when it is on. 2 yrs ago i bought it for someone and ended up getting it back with mbd that was last summer. he got mad at me when i took the photo because i distracted him from eating. he is also one that would drink out of a water bowl if available. i'll take some more photos later
It's possible the burns are an old injury, or that he climbed on top of the cage, directly under the lights (they do that when we're not looking).
I've been breeding veileds longer than almost anyone out there (~15 years), and I have had some burns recently. They are very prone to burns, and changes in lighting are a big cause. This winter, the room was cold, so I switched to lower wattage halogen bulbs kept further away... manged to slightly burn the tops of BOTH my melleri.
I'd try to see his tail base. Check this pic out below. It's my male. He's got good weight in the pic, though people have thought he was emaciated from this pic. His muscles are defined, and he's got some fat on him. However, he's "one of those veileds" that shows his hip bones and tail muscles even when he's slightly overweight.
You can't go by one factor: tail, legs, head, back, weight (especially weight). You have to look at them all, and figure it out for yourself.
Reptiles live longer lives when they're on the skinny side. Look at some snakes you see. They're round, or even wide, in cross section. A healthy snake (generalization) is usually pyramidal in cross section, kinda triangular.
You'll almost NEVER see one for sale like that - People want PLUMP animals!
yeah, he's pretty thin. Up his intake of crickets, but throw in a superworm or waxworm every day. Do not give him many waxworms at once, they're not too easy to digest, and they'll pukle them up if the chameleon is sick.
For fattening up chameleons, I like to feed them silkworms or newly molted superworms (gotta uy in bulk to have a lot of the white ones at any point).
If you've got a vet that'll run a fecal ($25) (or access to a microscope) don't think twice, just get one done to cross it off the list. Like Eric said, CB veileds are more likely to be parasite free but since you can't be sure of contamination occuring somewhere in his life, now is a good time to eliminate that possibility. I battled 3 kinds of parasites in one of my adopted adult male veileds. Fortunately, I have my own microscope so I could track the progress of the parasite drugs prescribed by my vet. It took a lot longer than a single course of drugs. Anyone treating for parasites should have a re-check done after a course of drugs is complete in order to determine if another course is needed to eliminate the parasite(s). Some of the common parasites (pinworms, coccidia etc.) damage the gut lining limiting nutritional food uptake. This, combined with the parasites themselves consuming nutrients can reduce the chameleon's food absorption by something like 40% (or was it 70%). So your critter may be eating lots of crickets but still getting little nutritional value from them .
You said he had been treated for parasites before....how long ago was this and did you have subsequent fecal exams to make sure the parasites were eliminated?
I wouldn't rule out a parasite of some type....especially since he is living outside.
He's really skinny and if he is eating that much and looking like that..the nutrients are going somewhere they shouldn't be.
WOW...you got started with veileds almost as soon as they were introduced to the U.S.
I agree with you about weight and reptiles. Not too skinny....not too fat.
My 9 month old male veiled is close to 14" now and weighs in at 109 grams.
i did a fecal exam myself last november when i found out my female had parasites from a friend who breeds chameleons. i need to move him to a smaller cage so i can get another fecal. my male came from my friend so it was captive breed. he weigh 110g right now. i'll have to get another good fecal exam. its just last treatment made him look worst then that
Yeah - I was 14 or 15, and I had been wanting a chameleon for about a year. I had been keeping iguanas for ~5 years, and chameleons were the only thign that grabbed me.
So, on my birthday, I got a male fishers chameleon from the local exotic pet store. I had him in a free-roam setup, with a 30 gallon long as backup.
The NEXT day, I used all my birthday money to build a 6' tall, 3' wide cage. I went downstairs, to get the drill, and my sister comes down and says the chameleon's dead. It was. 23 hours. Discouraging, especially considering what I had been told by people (chameleons cannot live in captivity/chameleons live only 6-12 months).
I was wrecked. I did as much research as I could, looked at all the books (TFH, hah).
My father was heartbroken. He called all the exotic pet stores in the area, and found ONE with chameleons. NY reptilia, in Queens, I think. They had a pair of the only chameleons that lived well (so they said).
We went out to "look", and came home with a pair of WC calyptratus - never even heard the word "Veiled". And they were $600.00 for the pair.
The guy that actually taught me how to care for them, Pete Mackevich in PA, was just a little late...(well,this is the story he told me!)
His friend told him about these hardy chameleons from Yemen that were coming in a shipment. When he got there, there was only a few left - Ron Tremper got almost all of them. The female I bred with my male was actually an F1 from Adults in the first shipment into the US.
My male was not from the first shipment, but he was apparently an old breeder when I got him, so who knows.
Unfortunatly, I got distracted in college (women and their curves have that tendancy), and I lost interest in them for a while, and did not continue the bloodline. I was only chameleon-free for less than an year, but I regret not keeping that initial line intact.
I always keep my animals fed just enough to keep them in good condition, but not fat. Thing is, you have to experiment to see what's "just enough", and what's too much. When you take the stress of life in the wild out of the picture, and remove the parasite burden, it is utterly amazing how little food is required to keep a chameleon in good condition. My Big melleri eats about 2-3 insects a day on average during the summer, half that in the winter. And he's been consistently gaining weight, albeit slowly.
My last several clutches of veileds (and last deremensis) have been low - less than 25 in all of them. It's closer to their natural numbers, and seems to leave the female in better condition (you actually don't notice the eggs when they're gravid, and you can't tell much of a difference after they're laid!)
I was expecting the babies from this last clutch (21 I think) would be huge.
They were. Some of my bigger hatchings were eating 1/4" crickets for their first meal.