Husbandry Review (opinions please)

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • - Male Veiled Chameleon I got him April 12th this year from Petco & they couldn’t give me a DOB but said they get them usually at 2-3 months of age, so I go off that. Been in my care going on 3 months.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • - Maybe twice a week but I am trying to get him used to hands somewhat, but I watch a lot of credited videos online showing how to properly do that.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • - 10-15 a day sometimes twice if he will eat them (I seen advice saying when they’re young they can eat however much) and they’re Crickets from petco/petsmart gut loaded with Fluker’s Orange Cubes and dusted with ZooMed Reti-Calcium with D3 (the vet told me today I do not need to dust since I’m using the cubes already to avoid over-supplementation) so I’m gonna stop dusting.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • - Reti-Calcium and ZooMed & Flukers, used daily. (No more calcium tho per the vet)
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • - I have the ExoTerra Monsoon solo misting system setup to spray all leaves hanging and in his setup every hour for 8 seconds and I always occasionally mist him and his screen cage because it collects perfect on the screen wall for him to drink off of and I always see him drinking anytime it goes off or I spray him or the leaves directly.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • - Always white at the end with darker brown on the other side, nothing out of the ordinary and never checked for parasites but I’d hope petco did before putting them out for display.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
  • - Besides that I got him from Petco and he was pretty small when I first got him, nothing else I can think of.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • - Sorry I don’t know exactly but I got him with the ZooMed ReptiBreeze Chameleon Kit. Screen cage.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • - The dual light that came with the setup as well as a 3rd 150W ZooMed ReptiHalogen light on the top of the cage following the schedule outside. So I turn off the 3rd one around sunset then the uvb side of the dual when the suns gone, leaving the heating side of the dual on which I replaced with a 100W nighttime bulb.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • - His cage floor usually around 70-75 and his basking spot reaching between 80-90 that are measured by a thermometer that is in there.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • - I don’t have something to measure humidity only because I can’t decide which one is best, but I assume the misting every hour and my extra hand misting would keep it good.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • - I don’t use live plants but have been wanting to get one because I read a lot that they’re very beneficial, I just don’t know which is perfect for him!
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • - I live in a apartment but I have it under my window in my room and it does happen to be where the air vent hits but not making it cold or anything, and I do have a fan on the ceiling.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
  • - I live in College Station, Texas!

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
- Just to make sure I have a decent setup! Because I do plan on getting a Panther Chameleon in the future.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums! To be honest, you have a lot more research to do before thinking about a second chameleon. There is a lot that you need change quickly or your chameleon will suffer. And you have been given some very bad advice from the vet, unfortunately!! They must not be well versed in specifically chameleons. Chams are so specific, that only certain vets know how to deal with them properly. Please be patient and stick with us and we can help make sure your chameleon will live a healthy life. But also buckle up... lots to come I'm going to go in order:

Handling: Honestly, I would recommend less handling. It is a stressful experience to most chameleons and shouldn't be done unless necessary or the chameleon comes to you for a treat or whatnot.

Feeding: The amount you're feeding sounds good. Just make sure only to feed in the earlier part of the day so he has time to bask and digest.

Gutload: Here's where things get to be a problem. Fluker's orange cubes are a very bad gutload to use with chameleons. This is a very common beginner's mistake that we see a lot. It has almost no nutritional value for them. It keeps crickets alive, but will deprive your chameleon of many essential nutrients. If you need to use a pre-made gutload, then purchase Cricket Crack. It is an excellent choice, but nothing is better than fresh produce. Collard greens, turnip greens, sweet potato, for example.

Supplements: I'm putting this in red because it is especially important. Your current supplementing regimen is not correct, but stopping supplementation is also not an option. You cannot provide calcium to chameleons with the products you are using. Instead, what you should do is purchase "Repashy calcium plus loD." Use this by dusting all feeders lightly with it daily. The calcium you have that has vitamin D3 in it cannot be used daily and will lead to vitamin D3 overdose.

Misting: Your misting duration of 8 seconds is significantly too short. Those monsoon systems are unfortunately notoriously bad. In a screen cage like your, it is important for each misting session to be at least 2 minutes long to properly hydrate the chameleon and initiate its drinking response.

Cage type: You will need to upgrade to a 2x2x4-foot cage in a handful of months, so be prepared for that.


Lighting: This is a big one that needs correcting ASAP, too. That lighting situation is almost all wrong unfortunately. You will soon learn that the "chameleon kit" is well known to be mostly useless in the chameleon keeping world. It's unfortunate how widely available it is. But anyway. You should only be using two types of light (not including plant lights, which are optional): (1) a heat bulb, that should simply be an incandescent light bulb of appropriate wattage for the basking spot temperature, and (2) a linear model of UVB light, like an arcadia or rpetisun. But most importantly NOT the small screw-in CFLs that come with the kit. Those bulbs will kill your chameleon over time. And also, no lights or heat on at night at all. It prevents your chameleon from sleeping, and night time temperature drops are actually very good for them.

Temperature: Try not to go above 85F for a young chameleon.

Plants: We like to recommend ficus, schefflera, and pothos. Them more plants the better!

I would also encourage you to post a picture of the chameleon and his enclosure so we can get an idea for its setup.
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
Follow the advice and recommendations above and your cham will thank you.

I would look into a different vet while you're at it. Any vet that says to stop supplementation because of a commercial gel based gutload that have next to no nutrients is not a vet I would want to bring a fragile reptile too...
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree with everything Sryeptyon has told you. Please follow the advice. Please make sure you replace the night time bulb especially if if is a red bulb. These are not good for them.
The only additional thing I would like to recommend since it is a petco baby is to take a fecal in to be checked. Petco does not get them checked and this is a good thing to be cautious with since some parasites are worse then others to get rid of.

Here is some additional info on feeders and proper gutload..

chameleon-food(1).jpg
chameleon-gutload.jpg
 
Welcome to the forums! To be honest, you have a lot more research to do before thinking about a second chameleon. There is a lot that you need change quickly or your chameleon will suffer. And you have been given some very bad advice from the vet, unfortunately!! They must not be well versed in specifically chameleons. Chams are so specific, that only certain vets know how to deal with them properly. Please be patient and stick with us and we can help make sure your chameleon will live a healthy life. But also buckle up... lots to come I'm going to go in order:

Handling: Honestly, I would recommend less handling. It is a stressful experience to most chameleons and shouldn't be done unless necessary or the chameleon comes to you for a treat or whatnot.

Feeding: The amount you're feeding sounds good. Just make sure only to feed in the earlier part of the day so he has time to bask and digest.

Gutload: Here's where things get to be a problem. Fluker's orange cubes are a very bad gutload to use with chameleons. This is a very common beginner's mistake that we see a lot. It has almost no nutritional value for them. It keeps crickets alive, but will deprive your chameleon of many essential nutrients. If you need to use a pre-made gutload, then purchase Cricket Crack. It is an excellent choice, but nothing is better than fresh produce. Collard greens, turnip greens, sweet potato, for example.

Supplements: I'm putting this in red because it is especially important. Your current supplementing regimen is not correct, but stopping supplementation is also not an option. You cannot provide calcium to chameleons with the products you are using. Instead, what you should do is purchase "Repashy calcium plus loD." Use this by dusting all feeders lightly with it daily. The calcium you have that has vitamin D3 in it cannot be used daily and will lead to vitamin D3 overdose.

Misting: Your misting duration of 8 seconds is significantly too short. Those monsoon systems are unfortunately notoriously bad. In a screen cage like your, it is important for each misting session to be at least 2 minutes long to properly hydrate the chameleon and initiate its drinking response.

Cage type: You will need to upgrade to a 2x2x4-foot cage in a handful of months, so be prepared for that.


Lighting: This is a big one that needs correcting ASAP, too. That lighting situation is almost all wrong unfortunately. You will soon learn that the "chameleon kit" is well known to be mostly useless in the chameleon keeping world. It's unfortunate how widely available it is. But anyway. You should only be using two types of light (not including plant lights, which are optional): (1) a heat bulb, that should simply be an incandescent light bulb of appropriate wattage for the basking spot temperature, and (2) a linear model of UVB light, like an arcadia or rpetisun. But most importantly NOT the small screw-in CFLs that come with the kit. Those bulbs will kill your chameleon over time. And also, no lights or heat on at night at all. It prevents your chameleon from sleeping, and night time temperature drops are actually very good for them.

Temperature: Try not to go above 85F for a young chameleon.

Plants: We like to recommend ficus, schefflera, and pothos. Them more plants the better!

I would also encourage you to post a picture of the chameleon and his enclosure so we can get an idea for its setup.
I’ve purchased and fixed the other issues, including buying a live plant. The only question I have is about lighting. The vet receptionist (not the actual vet) recommended 160W Powersun UV by ZooMed, as a 3rd light adding to the dual one I have already. & you said a temperature drop is fine, but I was told too cold is a no no, and I keep my room or apartment 70-75 range so I thought that would be too cold, so I bought a heat nightlight that is not red, it’s purple and is 100W that I keep on overnight and he sleeps with no issues almost right under it all the time. I was going to purchase the 160W Powersun UV, but want opinions first!
 

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Sorry to say the vet told me this advice! It was the Vet’s receptionist or helper, she was the one saying these things! I spoke with the vet about the chameleon and it’s issues and how to medicate him properly only! Forgot to ask questions due to being so caught up in learning!
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know Dallas is a bit of a drive, but if you're in need of a STELLAR exotic vet checkout Texas Avian & Exotic Hospital. It's run by Dr. Lauren Thielen from the TV show Dr. K's Exotic Animal ER on NatGeo WILD. I checked out their facility during their open house, and was highly impressed.
 
I know Dallas is a bit of a drive, but if you're in need of a STELLAR exotic vet checkout Texas Avian & Exotic Hospital. It's run by Dr. Lauren Thielen from the TV show Dr. K's Exotic Animal ER on NatGeo WILD. I checked out their facility during their open house, and was highly impressed.
Oh wow, thank you for that! I go to Dallas every other weekend actually and did not know about this! Thank you again! I’ll definitely be stopping by next time! :D
 
No nightlight. 70-75 is actually on the warm side for nights.... mine go down to the 50s in the winter.
And it’s okay?! I’m only worried cause I’ve turned off everything and he got lower in the cage and was sleeping but was extremely cold and did not wake when I grabbed him or opened the cage like he normally would so I thought he was freezing and never did it again! LOL, is that normal?!
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums @Pascalthecham979 and thanks for taking the time to fill out the help sheet
everyone here has your back and wants nothing but the best for your Chameleon. Many people get into this and receive this massive amount of of information to correct the sad chameleon kits provisions and take it all wrong.
I was lurking on these forums and tried to learn the ins and outs before I bought my Chameleon. I still had a lot to learn even after that. The search function kept me busy for weeks reading through threads.
I know @Beman shared the pictures of feeders and gutloads explore the options for staple feeders sadly crickets are the most affordable but one of the least nutritious option. Bsfl have been a blessing for me many love dubia (no noise no smell) offer different foods often and see what your little one will eat and keep gutloading the bugs are vessils that we need to fill with nutritional value before being fed. It's almost like our pets food is also a pet.

Also if you have time for podcasts check out the Chameleon breeder podcast it's got 3 seasons and a wealth of information available !
 
Welcome to the forums @Pascalthecham979 and thanks for taking the time to fill out the help sheet
everyone here has your back and wants nothing but the best for your Chameleon. Many people get into this and receive this massive amount of of information to correct the sad chameleon kits provisions and take it all wrong.
I was lurking on these forums and tried to learn the ins and outs before I bought my Chameleon. I still had a lot to learn even after that. The search function kept me busy for weeks reading through threads.
I know @Beman shared the pictures of feeders and gutloads explore the options for staple feeders sadly crickets are the most affordable but one of the least nutritious option. Bsfl have been a blessing for me many love dubia (no noise no smell) offer different foods often and see what your little one will eat and keep gutloading the bugs are vessils that we need to fill with nutritional value before being fed. It's almost like our pets food is also a pet.

Also if you have time for podcasts check out the Chameleon breeder podcast it's got 3 seasons and a wealth of information available !
Thank you so much for you kind words and advice! It is so much appreciated!! I’m definitely looking into this tonight! I’ve seen the name Dubia many times as I’ve read online and might start off with those! Thank you again @Multivitamins
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
And it’s okay?! I’m only worried cause I’ve turned off everything and he got lower in the cage and was sleeping but was extremely cold and did not wake when I grabbed him or opened the cage like he normally would so I thought he was freezing and never did it again! LOL, is that normal?!

Yup trust me it's fine. It's a longstanding myth that reptiles just need heat heat heat. Warm days, cool, dark, humid nights (y)
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
The chams need a temperature drop at night just like they would in the wild! Its possible that he didnt respond to you grabbing him because he was actually asleep, whereas you're used to him being in more of a half sleep because of the lighting being used :)

Follow the advice given and your cham will live a long and healthy life!
 
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