How to get an angry chameleon to the vet


Hey guys, I have a 5 month old male panther cham and I need to take him to the vet tomorrow for a checkup/fecal examination. I havent handled him and only had him for about 2 weeks. I had to move him from one cage to another and he bit me about 2 weeks ago. Whenever I try to put my hand slightly near him he puffs up all huge and opens his mouth. I watched videos on how to handle chameleons and he wont let me put my hand under him without looking like he will bite it off. How do I get him safely into a kritter keeper so we can go to the vet tomorrow? Also what happens if the vet needs to take him out. I am panicking over here.


My veiled Rebel does the same thing. He rarely bites tho. Try wearing a glove. Rebel seems to react better to my hand when I have a blue glove on. Weird I know..These guys love to keep us on our toes..:D


New Member
do you hand feed at all?
if so, try distracting him with a foods in one hand and slide the other under...;)


Avid Member
If you HAVE to get him out, get a box ready with a vine in it!

Also I suggest finding a green/blue whatever color glove that won't startle him, and then just distract him with a bug or another hand.

See if you can get him to climb on your hand to GET the bug from you.


Chameleon Enthusiast
The vet will be able to handle it from his end - they deal with animals all the time. If he is used to reptiles, he will know what to do.

Remember that your little guy is scared and not really angry. I would be scared too if some big pink-faced demon stuck his paws right into my home and tried to eat me.

You might try a few things:

1. Lure him onto a removable stick with a treat like his favorite feeder
2. Shoo him onto a removable stick with your other hand
3. Wear neutral colored gloves and use brute force

By "brute force", I mean be firm but very gentle. Don't tug or pull him as you might hurt his toes. If you hold him by the body by wrapping your hand over his back, sliding your fingers under his belly, and gently lifting, the pressure should cause him to let go of the branch and grab your hand one foot at a time. Watch out for the prehensile tail to make sure it comes loose too. The gloves should help with any biting.

My preference is to give my little guy plenty of time and let him make the decision to move onto a stick or into my hand (which may necessitate me standing with my hand out for several minutes while he makes up his mind), but depending on the temperament of your cham, this may not be a workable option.

Have your transport vessel ready to go before you get him out. I use a clean bucket with a few vines in it. Other people have used boxes or small screen cages with success. For me, the bucket is easy because of the wide opening and the handle, plus the slick sides mean that my little escape artist cannot get out. A towel over the top makes it dark and safe.

Your droppings should be fresh and moist (from that morning would be best). Keep them in a plastic baggie in the fridge until you are ready to go.

Best of luck to the both of you! My little guy pouts after a vet visit, so don't be surprised if he hates you for a few days afterward. :D

The Chamousine:


New Member
My daughter laughs at me because I'm scared of getting bit too. I started the glove thing for me. lol :D

lol I am not too fond of being bitten either. Luckly I have never been bitten by my cham. Just by my bearded and he has a hell of a bite!


New Member
im rehabing a male veiled..i named him MAKO. he gives no warning lol hr flares up sometimes..and will even let you get your hand under him them...CHOMP out of nowhere..very unpredictable lol


UPDATE: I brought him to the vet and they gave medicine to give him by syringe. This is going to be incredibly challenging as my guy will lunge at me when I get too close. He needs to have his head straight when I give him the medicine they said. What it the best way to go about doing that? I don't want to have to hold him down and stress him out.


Established Member
Unfortunately if he needs medicine then he will have to be given it. What medicine have you got and what's it for? Is he still eating? If so can you inject a feeder with the medicine?


He is eating normally. I believe it was called Flagyl. It is supposed to stop his runny fecal problems. They gave me a syringe and told me to give it to him by mouth. How would one go about injecting feeders?


Avid Member
Unless you can get the med in a form where you can inject a silkworm with it, then feed it to your cham w/o having him spit it out!! :eek:

Then u have no other choice then to stress him out.

Get a towel, where glove, and have someone help you.
It may take 2 ppl, one to hold him in the towel, and the other to give the shot.

Did the vet tell you how to give the shot?


Yes, I held him down while the vet gave him the first dose. What I don't understand is how she managed to open his mouth by pressing the sides so easily. Also will be difficult as I am still new to chams and hes a bit grumpy


New Member
when i had to give my cham meds last month the dr. showed me that you gently hold him in one hand keeping the head straight and with your other hand use your finger nail to gently pry open his mouth or using a credit card to gently open it...

Rodion Gulakov

New Member
Don't press sides of his mouth too hard. They open it to bite if you put thumb and index finger under eyes on the sides of mouth and restrict the head movement. Remember.. Bite is unpleasant but not fatal..


poor little guy, I have good nails so I should be able to open his mouth just gotta make sure the head is straight.


New Member
ive got a 1 yr old male veiled that is a real ****, but I've found that if I spray him in the face with distilled water, it blinds him, he'll then let me pick him up with no problem. of course I don't just pop open the cage and start shooting him in the face. when I open the door, I hold out the bottle so he can see it, then mist around the cage a few times so he knows what it is. then I gently mist him a few times in the face, he usually hisses once or twice but crawls to the front of the cage with his mouth open so I can squirt some water in. this makes an excellent oppourtunity to pick him up and take him out of his cage.


Established Member
I have one that will not let me pick him up out of his cage. What I do is open his door and place a plant in front of the cage so it is intertwined with the plants that are in his cage. Then he will immediately get curious and come out on the on the plant outside his cage. Once he is out he is a big baby and will let me do anything with him... a real snuggle bug. Might try that as it has helped us to bond by doing this every day.
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