I hate seeing my chameleon this way...help!

wreckinball

New Member
My 4 month old veiled chameleon has become so lethargic he can't even climb. He sits at the bottom of the enclosure and looks like he's suffering from some kind of paralysis; his limbs sort of flail about and he sort of scoots along. I've continued to feed him and mist his enclosure, and I haven't changed his lighting. He got like this about a month ago (but not so severe) and he eventually rebounded. He was shedding at the time, and I thought it might have had something to do with that, but he's not shedding now. It's really heart-breaking to watch him. Any advice?
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
* Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
* Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
* Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
* Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
* Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
* History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.


Cage Info:

* Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
* Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
* Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
* Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
* Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
* 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?
* Location - Where are you geographically located?
 

cbeal1

Member
has he been pooping? i read that if they are impacted that it can cause similar symptoms. i would suggest a vet visit pronto.hope he gets better.
 

wreckinball

New Member
Thanks for reply!

1. 6 month old veiled chameleon; I've had him for 4 months. I don't know his sex, but I think it's a male.
2. I don't handle him at all, just watch him
3. He eats crickets exclusively, about 5-10 mediums a day, which I put in in the morning; no gut-loading
4. I mist every few days for about a minute, never directly on him; I have seen him drinking off the leaves and he sort of basks in little water pools.
5. yellow and whitish, somewhat runny; never been checked for parasites

1. screen cage, 19" high, 15" wide
2. I use a Zoo Med 100 Watt Daylight Blue Bulb; I turn it off at night (about 11;00 or 12;00 am)then back on in the morning (about 7:00-8:00 am)
3. I don't measure temperatures nor do I measure humidity; I simply create humidity by misting
4. I have some "live" branches, but I have artificial plants, not real
5. Enclosure is in my office, no vents, high traffic, etc. He sits up on a piece of furniture, approximately 60" from top of enclosure to floor
6. I live in Auburn, CA

Thanks for replying! I hope to hear from you.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh my gosh,Do you not have a UVB bulb? Have you not used any supplements to dust your crickets with since you had him? Temperature and humidity are critical and something you should have been monitoring from day one. you are not misting near enough. You should be misting about 3 times a day for about 3-5 minutes each. Your crickets should be gutloaded, very important also! Sorry to say but your husbandry leaves alot to be desired here, especially if your chameleon has been deprived of a uvb light. You cage is WAY too small also for a 6 month old. You are leaving your cage lights on WAY too long also. 10-12 on and off a day.
 
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Dawniegirl

New Member
1. 6 month old veiled chameleon; I've had him for 4 months. I don't know his sex, but I think it's a male.
2. I don't handle him at all, just watch him
3. He eats crickets exclusively, about 5-10 mediums a day, which I put in in the morning; no gut-loading
4. I mist every few days for about a minute, never directly on him; I have seen him drinking off the leaves and he sort of basks in little water pools.
5. yellow and whitish, somewhat runny; never been checked for parasites

1. screen cage, 19" high, 15" wide
2. I use a Zoo Med 100 Watt Daylight Blue Bulb; I turn it off at night (about 11;00 or 12;00 am)then back on in the morning (about 7:00-8:00 am)
3. I don't measure temperatures nor do I measure humidity; I simply create humidity by misting
4. I have some "live" branches, but I have artificial plants, not real
5. Enclosure is in my office, no vents, high traffic, etc. He sits up on a piece of furniture, approximately 60" from top of enclosure to floor
6. I live in Auburn, CA

Thanks for replying! I hope to hear from you.
I was wondering if you meant to say you mist every few hours or did you mean days??? You need to mist several times a day & maybe for longer then a minute if you can. You might want to add pictures to if you can, of him & the enclosure. It can really help as well. Your enclosure is too small. Watts too high for a small enclosure & he needs 12 hours w/ lights off! You need to measure temp & humidity... a must! He might be roasting w/ 100 watt & small enclosure. Why don't you gut load the crickets (are you getting them in one of those crickets to go container?) & are you dusting them with supplements? 5 crickets also seems on the low side to fed a 6 month old. I feed my 6 month panter cham about 12 daily.
I'm sure you will get lots of fed back & advised. I'm pretty new as a chameleon owner & don't own a veiled, I have a 6 month panter chameleon but from what I read and learned here they are similar.
 
1. 6 month old veiled chameleon; I've had him for 4 months. I don't know his sex, but I think it's a male.
2. I don't handle him at all, just watch him
3. He eats crickets exclusively, about 5-10 mediums a day, which I put in in the morning; no gut-loading
4. I mist every few days for about a minute, never directly on him; I have seen him drinking off the leaves and he sort of basks in little water pools.
5. yellow and whitish, somewhat runny; never been checked for parasites

1. screen cage, 19" high, 15" wide
2. I use a Zoo Med 100 Watt Daylight Blue Bulb; I turn it off at night (about 11;00 or 12;00 am)then back on in the morning (about 7:00-8:00 am)
3. I don't measure temperatures nor do I measure humidity; I simply create humidity by misting
4. I have some "live" branches, but I have artificial plants, not real
5. Enclosure is in my office, no vents, high traffic, etc. He sits up on a piece of furniture, approximately 60" from top of enclosure to floor
6. I live in Auburn, CA

Thanks for replying! I hope to hear from you.
Going by exactly the info you have given: no supplements, no UVB, no gutloading; I would say your cham is suffering from MBD.

EDIT: Here are a few links to get you started, please read them.
Most Used Links
Basic Husbandry
New Keepers Info
Gutloading
Lighting for Chameleons
You need to have a UVB lamp and calcium supplements. One with vitamin D3 and one without. Proper gutloading is essential to a healthy animal. I recommened a vet visit as soon as possible.
 
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wreckinball

New Member
Thanks everyone!

I feel terrible. I've been caring for my cham based on the advice of a friend and now I feel like I've been doing many things wrong. I have to say, though, that he is usually very active and alert and has been for the 4 months I've had him. He never showed signs of distress and I would characterize him as a happy pet. I feel lousy, and thanks for all the advice that isn't condescending or rude; I certainly didn't set out to make this little guy suffer. I really love him as a pet.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
My 4 month old veiled chameleon has become so lethargic he can't even climb. He sits at the bottom of the enclosure and looks like he's suffering from some kind of paralysis; his limbs sort of flail about and he sort of scoots along. It's really heart-breaking to watch him. Any advice?
Basically he's suffering from severe nutritional deficiencies because he has no exposure to correct UV lighting, you haven't been dusting his food with any mineral or vitamin supplement dusts, and you haven't been gutloading his feeders with anything. They are just empty crunchies in terms of nutrients.

First, read the sticky threads at the top of this forum for basic cham care information and then ask more questions if you can't find something you want to know.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I feel terrible. I've been caring for my cham based on the advice of a friend and now I feel like I've been doing many things wrong. I have to say, though, that he is usually very active and alert and has been for the 4 months I've had him. He never showed signs of distress and I would characterize him as a happy pet. I feel lousy, and thanks for all the advice that isn't condescending or rude; I certainly didn't set out to make this little guy suffer. I really love him as a pet.
No one is here to judge you or come down on you. Often times you are given the wrong advice and you are just following the advice you are given. Could you post some pictures of your chameleon? You need to get him a UVB light right away. Get a Reptisun 5.0 linear tube UVB light. There is a great possibility that your cham has metabolic bone disease from lack of supplements and lighting. If your cham has MBD a vet may be able to give him calcium injections which can help with the damage the MBD has caused(if infact he does have it) Also, you can tell if he is a male by checking the back of the back feet and they kind of have little spikes (tarsal spurs) that stick out. i noticed you live in California! Get your cham into the natural sunlight asap. It is better for him than any UVB light. But you still need to get the light, this is just something you can do until then.
 

Dawniegirl

New Member
No one is here to judge you or come down on you. Often times you are given the wrong advice and you are just following the advice you are given. Could you post some pictures of your chameleon? You need to get him a UVB light right away. Get a Reptisun 5.0 linear tube UVB light. There is a great possibility that your cham has metabolic bone disease from lack of supplements and lighting. If your cham has MBD a vet may be able to give him calcium injections which can help with the damage the MBD has caused(if infact he does have it) Also, you can tell if he is a male by checking the back of the back feet and they kind of have little spikes (tarsal spurs) that stick out. i noticed you live in California! Get your cham into the natural sunlight asap. It is better for him than any UVB light. But you still need to get the light, this is just something you can do until then.
I agree w/ carol. You are doing the right thing asking for help & came to a great place for advise. I bought from a breeder, asked a million questions, bought the proper set up from them... still had to get advise & had issues that I needed help with for him. I am constantly learning stuff on here. Everyone on here is here to help & or get help. I wish you the best w/ your lil guys. BTW Welcome to the forum!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Assuming that the chameleon has MBD (most likely option from your information)...it would be in the chameleon's best interest to be taken to a vet so that the nutritional imbalances can be corrected as quickly as possible. Not only will the imbalance cause physical issues it also will affect the organs. The vet could give it injections of calcium followed by a shot of calcitonin when its blood calcium levels are high enough to allow the calcium to be drawn back into the bones. This would be its quickest hope of recovery.

In the meantime, you need to correct your husbandry so that once the chameleon is brought back to good health, it has the best chance of staying healthy.

You can tell the sex by looking at the back of the foot. If there is a tarsal spur there its a male...
http://web.archive.org/web/20060819051951/www.adcham.com/html/husbandry/glossary/tarsalspur.html

You should be gutloading/feeding the insects properly if you want a healthy chameleon.

Feces should be brown and sausage-like and the urates white.

Your chameleon needs a UVB light and a basking light (unless you have been keeping/taking it outside every day). The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. For basking you can use a regular incandescent household bulb in a dome hood. Its wattage will be whatever it takes to put the basking temperature in the mid 80's for that age chameleon.

Its important to know that the temperature is in the right range because the chameleon needs appropriate heat to aid in digestion.

For a veiled, I recommend real non-toxic plants that have been well-washed (both sides of the leaves) since they will often nibble on the plants.

Now for the husbandry...
Exposure to the UVB allows the chameleon to produce D3 which allows the calcium in the system to be used.

Appropriate temperatures aid in digestion (as I mentioned) so it plays an indirect part in nutrient absorption.

Since most feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus, dusting the insects at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder (like Rep-cal) helps to make up for this.

I also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder. D from supplements can build up in the system so don't overdo it. D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't build up as long as the chameleon can move in and out of the UVB.

I dust twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A. Beta carotene won't build up in the system like prEformed sources of vitamin A will. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert it so some people give a little prEformed once in a while. Excess prEformed vitamin A may prevent the D3 doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD.

I gutload/feed crickets, superworms, roaches, etc. with a wide assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet red pepper, sweet potato, zucchini, etc.).

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are all important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon and need to be in balance. When trying to balance them you need to look at the supplements, what you feed to the chameleon and what you feed to the insects

Here are some sites that might help you also....
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200604210...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
 
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Elizadolots

New Member
You've gotten lots of great advice.

I just wanted to say that from my limited experience, chameleons are remarkably resilient. They can rebound from very bad situations if given the proper care, so please, keep a positive outlook and take the suggestions that have been made. Hopefully you'll get to see your chameleon looking healthy and strong very soon.
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
1. 6 month old veiled chameleon; I've had him for 4 months. I don't know his sex, but I think it's a male.
2. I don't handle him at all, just watch him GREAT!
3. He eats crickets exclusively, about 5-10 mediums a day, which I put in in the morning; no gut-loading Start gut loading fresh veggies and fruits. sticky tongue vit all is another option. calcium w/o d3 dust every feeding. vitamin/calcium w/d3 twice a month.
4. I mist every few days for about a minute, never directly on him; I have seen him drinking off the leaves and he sort of basks in little water pools.He needs water everyday. basic hydration should be misting for atleast 2-5 minutes, twice a day. If your schedule allows it three times.
5. yellow and whitish, somewhat runny; never been checked for parasitesdoes he have any brown firm stool or is that runny?

1. screen cage, 19" high, 15" wide needs a bigger cage 2x2x4 feet for an adult
2. I use a Zoo Med 100 Watt Daylight Blue Bulb; I turn it off at night (about 11;00 or 12;00 am)then back on in the morning (about 7:00-8:00 am)Needs uva/uvb bulb. i personally use powersun 160s and 100 watts. most on here use reptisun 5.0 tubes with a reg household bulb. lighting needs to on for 12 hours a day.
3. I don't measure temperatures nor do I measure humidity; I simply create humidity by misting get a digitaltemp guage. his basking spot should be high 80's no more than 90. lower part of his cage should rest at about 72-74 (normal room ambient temps)
4. I have some "live" branches, but I have artificial plants, not real
5. Enclosure is in my office, no vents, high traffic, etc. He sits up on a piece of furniture, approximately 60" from top of enclosure to floorthats great he is high. if you have a camera please post pics of the set up.
6. I live in Auburn, CA


***dusting, lights and temps all play a huge roll in the success of chameleon keeping. correct temps perk appetite and aid in digestions. feeders w/dusting gives the cham the nutrients. the lights put out uvb. then the skin absorbs this and turns it into d3 that aids in breaking down calcium.

also with your current cage i would not consider a powersun.
 
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