Husbandry Review

skittlesmama

New Member
Hi all,
I have had Skittles, my male panther chameleon for about 3 months now, and wanted to get a review and feedback on my husbandry and how he is looking health wise. I also was wondering if anyone knows how old he may be, my guess is about 7-8 months. I would like to know so I can taper off his food intake accordingly. Also, after his last shed- he lost a few of his spines. I believe this is due to him rubbing himself against the screen at an attempt to remove the shedding but in case it was the start of a thermal burn I have lowered his basking branch so that it’s 8-9 inches from the heat bulb. Let me know if you think I should do anything regarding his spines or keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get infected.
Thank you!!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Panther Chameleon, Male, about 7-8 months. He has been in my care since August 27,2021
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? He comes out some mornings, 4-6 times per week. While i prepare his bugs he usually just walks around my arms and often will poop when he’s on my hand. He’s like poddy trained lol.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I feed him 4-6 medium-large crickets, 1-3 small-medium dubia roaches, 5-10 black soldier fly larvae (and the flys) and 1-2 superworm or wax worm a day. He will usually eat more crickets than dubias. I place each feeder into their own cup to gut load with mustard and collard greens, sweet potato, mandarins, apples, carrots, bee pollen. I also place collard or mustard greens along with sweet potato to feed the bugs in their enclosures. I feed him in the morning and leave whatever he doesn’t eat by hand in a cup.
    • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I use repticalcium without d3 dusted over bugs at every feeding and zoo med’s reptivite reptile vitamins with d3 2-3 times/month
    • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I use a mistking that goes off for 3 minutes 30 minutes before lights turn on and 3 mins 30 minutes after lights go off, with a 30 second mist in the middle of the night. There is also a second misting in the morning for 1 minute, 1 hour after lights turn on. I also use a humidifier that produces a light fog outside of the enclosure at night, to keep up the humidity. I also use a little dripper during the day. I sometimes see him drink water when the mister goes off during the second morning session. I haven’t seen him use the dripper.
    • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? His poop always looks healthy, not too hard not too soft and a good color. His urate is solid white sometimes with an orange end. He has not been tested for parasites.
    • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. I took him to the vet 1 month after bringing him home to get him looked at as a general wellness check and because he was making this weird gruff noise. Turned out the noise was just him hissing because he has a little bit of an attitude. Vet said he looks very healthy and lungs sound clear.



    Cage Info:
    • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Xl reptibreeze screen cage 2x2x4 foot, with shower curtains i’ve put on the sides to help retain humidity and protect the walls from water.
    • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? t5 HO linear uvb bulb 5% and a 75 W heat bulb on for 12 hours off for 12 hours- at 6:30 am-6:30 pm
    • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I use a temp gun. His basking is 83-85. top of cage is 70-75 middle of cage is 68, below is 65 . Lowest overnight temps have been 63-65
    • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? 50-60% during the day and 70% or greater at night, usually 80% and i use 2 diff digital hygrometers.
    • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? 6 different live pothos plants, 1 big dragon tree, 1 little on the bottom, a ficus in front right. Two fake vines are in the back corners bc i was trying to encourage him to stop screen walking, which he rarely does anymore. His two sleep spots are him grabbing onto the pothos vines and in the pothos plant pot. I have seen him sleep on the vines most nights
    • 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? cage is lifted 2-3 feet off the floor and he is placed in one of the corners of my room, and isn’t near any vents.
    • Location - Where are you geographically located? Northern California, United States

    • Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Mentioned above, but just his general health look and his spine and advice on my care.
I want the best and long life for Skittles so any advice or feedback is greatly appreciated. He really is a sweet chameleon and I love taking care of him and watching him grow!
 

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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum.

I've read a lot of these, and while nobody's perfect, this is one of the most exemplary I can recall.
Congrats & Kudos! (y)

IIRC (subject to correction) the spines are specialized scales, and may grow back.

I think you've got some time before cutting back on food (around 1 yrs.). My male panther cut himself back (self-regulated) at that age. They don't all do that, but if yours does, it's a good thing. ;)

Do your digital hygrometers have probes, and are they also thermometers (combo units)?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Y6CYVT9/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I ask because while temp guns are ok for surfaces, they're not as good at getting the microclimate air temps.

Screen climbing isn't necessarily a bad thing, but he should stop pretty much on his own as his claws grow big enough that they don't fit in the holes as well. I would still lose the fake vines on principle.
Some live vines that grow quickly are pothos, philodendron, inchplant, and Madagascar jasmine (grows more slowly, but it's endemic to their origin ;)).

Since he sleeps there, do you have a layer of river pebbles (too large to swallow) on top of the plant pots to prevent soil ingestion?

These are all very minor tweaks—I think you're doing great, and you're lucky to have each other! (y)
 
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