I have to get it right this time. Suggestions please.

I’ll try to make this as short as possible…
I bought a chamelon from petsmart (first mistake) in July 5th. Being a first timer I didn’t know anything but what I had read on the internet and the opinions are vast. I got a glass with screen top because the people at the store suggested it. I bought the lights, the vines, background, recommended supplements the whole shabang. I did everything everyone was telling me to do. I went to a local store for bugs one day and they informed me I needed a Repti zoo mesh cage (size L) . Bought it, no questions asked. This was the third day we had “Bugs” Let me also add the veiled that I purchased was 5 grams. After about a week went by I noticed he kept closing his eyes during the day. I took to the internet once again and found out this was not a great sign. I found out the vet I used to use for my Husky’s was certified for exotics so I made an appointment we went the next day. He told me Bugs had a URI, treated him w/ Flagyl, panacur, ofloxacin and gave me a a few rx including calcium gluconate because he said his jaw was soft and it may be early signs of MBD, I followed the instructions right and he started eating, drinking and seemed to be doing much better. All of a sudden a few days ago he started having the same symptoms all over but they were intensified. He was gasping for air, I knew he wouldn’t make it if I didn’t do something. One more trip to see Dr Rossi here in Jacksonville FL where he repeated the antibiotics and explained if he was larger it would be easier to treat because he could give shots. I took him home and hoped for the best… Bugs passed two days ago and my 10 year old is devastated.

My son wanted a new one right away and I was determined to steer clear of petsmart or Petco so I ordered off of FL Chams after reading their reviews.

My cage is full of Cham safe plants, I have a Repti zoo rainfall, Arcadia d3 6% and Arcadia flood 75w for heat.
I use Arcadia calcium with and without d3 along w herpitive multi. I gutload crickets w sweet potatoe and turnip greens because of the vitamin A in them being very rich.
Is there anything else that I can do to prevent a Cham from getting sick? I tried so hard and I feel terrible for my son. If there’s anything I need to change please feel free to comment.
Attached is a picture of bugs :(
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. I’m so sorry that you had such a sad experience with little Bugs. It is very hard when they are so young. Sometimes you can do everything perfectly and the little ones can get sick and pass. Because of this, a good breeder will wait until the chameleon is at least 3 months old before sending them off to their new home.
I wouldn’t have suggested getting a chameleon from FL Chams, but if you’ve already ordered and a chameleon has already been sent, there’s nothing to change that. So now, regardless of where the chameleon comes from, let’s help you to have everything set up perfectly.
The first thing is have you thoroughly cleaned and sanitized everything? Did you ever have a fecal check done for Bugs? Just in case he did have something transmissible, everything needs a good cleaning and you should really replace porous items and plants.
You have the correct uvb and sounds like correct basking light. Since little chams like to act like little monkeys and walk along the top of their enclosure, it’s a good idea to elevate the lights at least an inch or two. I use small wire baskets from the dollar store to achieve that. Then you’ll want basking area to be about 8-9” below the lights. Having lights on/off on a 12 hour schedule is best and no lights or heat at night. Unless your night temps drop below 50F, your cham will be fine. I had to look up your misting system…I was unaware of it. You’ll want to set it so that there is a 2 minute misting session right before lights go on and off. You could either add another session for mid day, or use a dripper for about 15-20 minutes. If you have a consistent night time temp drop below 68-70, you can use a cool mist fogger for naturalistic hydration, such as how it is in the wild. Then you wouldn’t need anything at mid day. However, high heat and high humidity = high risk for respiratory infection. Ideal daytime humidity is between 30-50%. Ideal daytime basking temps for babies and females is no higher than 80F. Adult males can have slightly warmer temps up to 85F.
The supplements - you’ll lightly dust at every feeding with the calcium without D3. Then one feeding every week you’ll alternate between using the calcium with D3 and the multivitamin.
Feeding a variety of well fed insects is ideal. I like to rotate between 3 different staple feeders, depending on what I’ve been able to get. Although we can’t legally have dubia roaches here, we can have discoid which are super similar. I would suggest ordering your feeders from somewhere like Josh’s Frogs or http://www.lindasgonebuggie.com/ so that you can get a variety in one shipment. Making sure feeders are correct size - no bigger than the space between the eyes- is essential. Rather than me blathering on, let me send you to https://chameleonacademy.com/ Do check out the husbandry program, which will cover all of the most current correct standards. The podcasts are a wealth of info on so many varied topics. Of course, we here love helping people have positive experiences with their chameleons so feel free to ask as many questions as you like. I’m very glad that you’ve found your way here and look forward to hearing more from you. :)
 
Hi and welcome. I’m so sorry that you had such a sad experience with little Bugs. It is very hard when they are so young. Sometimes you can do everything perfectly and the little ones can get sick and pass. Because of this, a good breeder will wait until the chameleon is at least 3 months old before sending them off to their new home.
I wouldn’t have suggested getting a chameleon from FL Chams, but if you’ve already ordered and a chameleon has already been sent, there’s nothing to change that. So now, regardless of where the chameleon comes from, let’s help you to have everything set up perfectly.
The first thing is have you thoroughly cleaned and sanitized everything? Did you ever have a fecal check done for Bugs? Just in case he did have something transmissible, everything needs a good cleaning and you should really replace porous items and plants.
You have the correct uvb and sounds like correct basking light. Since little chams like to act like little monkeys and walk along the top of their enclosure, it’s a good idea to elevate the lights at least an inch or two. I use small wire baskets from the dollar store to achieve that. Then you’ll want basking area to be about 8-9” below the lights. Having lights on/off on a 12 hour schedule is best and no lights or heat at night. Unless your night temps drop below 50F, your cham will be fine. I had to look up your misting system…I was unaware of it. You’ll want to set it so that there is a 2 minute misting session right before lights go on and off. You could either add another session for mid day, or use a dripper for about 15-20 minutes. If you have a consistent night time temp drop below 68-70, you can use a cool mist fogger for naturalistic hydration, such as how it is in the wild. Then you wouldn’t need anything at mid day. However, high heat and high humidity = high risk for respiratory infection. Ideal daytime humidity is between 30-50%. Ideal daytime basking temps for babies and females is no higher than 80F. Adult males can have slightly warmer temps up to 85F.
The supplements - you’ll lightly dust at every feeding with the calcium without D3. Then one feeding every week you’ll alternate between using the calcium with D3 and the multivitamin.
Feeding a variety of well fed insects is ideal. I like to rotate between 3 different staple feeders, depending on what I’ve been able to get. Although we can’t legally have dubia roaches here, we can have discoid which are super similar. I would suggest ordering your feeders from somewhere like Josh’s Frogs or http://www.lindasgonebuggie.com/ so that you can get a variety in one shipment. Making sure feeders are correct size - no bigger than the space between the eyes- is essential. Rather than me blathering on, let me send you to https://chameleonacademy.com/ Do check out the husbandry program, which will cover all of the most current correct standards. The podcasts are a wealth of info on so many varied topics. Of course, we here love helping people have positive experiences with their chameleons so feel free to ask as many questions as you like. I’m very glad that you’ve found your way here and look forward to hearing more from you. :)
You’re amazing thank you! So the cage has been cleaned and disinfected. I didn’t even think about replacing the plants but I know that they were all cleaned including every single leave yesterday. I’m at work right now and will try able to get a hold of my son before Ameer is delivered today approx around 12pm. We still have 1 plastic plant that I’m assuming would be ok since it’s been cleaned for him to hang out with until i get home around 3. I’ll send pics of everything once I get home and we Weill go get some new plants. Crickets are already there and waiting to be eaten. I hope all goes well. I did read some negative things about FL CHAMS however I made the decision to go with after consideration. Wish me luck!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
You’re amazing thank you! So the cage has been cleaned and disinfected. I didn’t even think about replacing the plants but I know that they were all cleaned including every single leave yesterday. I’m at work right now and will try able to get a hold of my son before Ameer is delivered today approx around 12pm. We still have 1 plastic plant that I’m assuming would be ok since it’s been cleaned for him to hang out with until i get home around 3. I’ll send pics of everything once I get home and we Weill go get some new plants. Crickets are already there and waiting to be eaten. I hope all goes well. I did read some negative things about FL CHAMS however I made the decision to go with after consideration. Wish me luck!
Perfect! :) I do hope you’ll be posting some pics of your sweet little Ameer once he’s had time to settle in. He may not want to eat after all of the stress of everything, but do make sure to provide opportunity for drinking. Some chams (like ALL of mine:rolleyes:) are secret drinkers, so give a good long misting and then leave him to indulge.
As with all businesses and services, not everyone is going to have the same experience. I do hope that yours is a positive one.
 
Perfect! :) I do hope you’ll be posting some pics of your sweet little Ameer once he’s had time to settle in. He may not want to eat after all of the stress of everything, but do make sure to provide opportunity for drinking. Some chams (like ALL of mine:rolleyes:) are secret drinkers, so give a good long misting and then leave him to indulge.
As with all businesses and services, not everyone is going to have the same experience. I do hope that yours is a positive one.
Exactly and people will always speak out when it is a negative experience but rarely complement the good ones. So bugs was a secret drinker until he got very sick and then one day I saw him drink consistently for at least 10 minutes which I thought was pretty cool. They are amazing little creatures unlike anything on the planet.
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
So sorry for your loss :( You're already off to a better start by coming here and asking for help -- you're in great hands. It would be helpful to post pictures of your enclosure to be able to provide even more feedback and suggestions. I know my YouTube channel was mentioned above, but I'll also drop a link. Lots of parents tell me they watch the videos with their kids to help bring them along in chameleon keeping :) https://www.youtube.com/c/NeptunetheChameleon
 
So sorry for your loss :( You're already off to a better start by coming here and asking for help -- you're in great hands. It would be helpful to post pictures of your enclosure to be able to provide even more feedback and suggestions. I know my YouTube channel was mentioned above, but I'll also drop a link. Lots of parents tell me they watch the videos with their kids to help bring them along in chameleon keeping :) https://www.youtube.com/c/NeptunetheChameleon
Waitttt?! Is this Neptune’s mom? You’re all my son watches on YouTube! We love your channel! Thanks so much for the reply, appreciate it! Your Neptune is GORG!
 
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AMEER IS HERE! I’m about to set up the misting system now. We went and got new plants and some crickets. He went for them as soon as I put them in, a little guy must be hungry from his adventure.
 

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Tkrd69

Chameleon Enthusiast
So cute. He will grow into that enclosure pretty fast. It's a wonderful bonding experience to raise them from tiny to huge. Keep us updated 😍
 
So cute. He will grow into that enclosure pretty fast. It's a wonderful bonding experience to raise them from tiny to huge. Keep us updated 😍
Sure will! I would like to order him a dragon strand when he gets bigger. What do you think of the hybrid cages? I’m paranoid about humidity because we usually keep the fans on throughout the house.
 

Tkrd69

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a screen mesh enclosure my day time humidity 30-40% night time humidity 70-80%. I live in Florida by Lake Okeechobee you just have to monitor humidity levels. Hybrid enclosure helps maintain humidity if your levels are to low😀
 
I have a screen mesh enclosure my day time humidity 30-40% night time humidity 70-80%. I live in Florida by Lake Okeechobee you just have to monitor humidity levels. Hybrid enclosure helps maintain humidity if your levels are to low😀
Is 47% and 76 degrees ok during the day?
 

Tkrd69

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes that's fine, basking branch would still need to be at 80 temp for digesting purposes. Chams will regulate their body temp by changing temp zones. Babies can dehydrate cause their so small and like to screen climb you would have to raise lights up to avoid thermal burns and over exposure to uvb. Dripper system for water
 
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Yes that's fine, basking branch would still need to be at 80 temp for digesting purposes. Chams will regulate their body temp by changing temp zones. Babies can dehydrate cause their so small and like to screen climb you would have to raise lights up to avoid thermal burns and over exposure to uvb. Dripper system for water
So i have the Repti zoo rainfall 10L and it goes off before lights turn on and afterward. It’s 78 and 48% now. All his branches go in a spiral so some are low and some are high. I noticed last night he was screen climbing too!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Exactly and people will always speak out when it is a negative experience but rarely complement the good ones. So bugs was a secret drinker until he got very sick and then one day I saw him drink consistently for at least 10 minutes which I thought was pretty cool. They are amazing little creatures unlike anything on the planet.
Just an obvious pattern of coccidia from a breeder during a certain time frame speaks a lot. Even if most reviews are positive, coccidia is not a headache that most people want or have the time to go through. I hope you don’t have to deal with it. I’m not trying to rude at all, but at this point I think I’d suggest petco/pet smart over flchams. Not criticizing you for your purchase either, normally I think the same way about bad reviews(people usually only post the negative). In this case it’s more like Russian roulette.

So with that said, definitely keep an eye on him and get fecal exams(sometimes one won’t show and you have to wait a few weeks after). If you’re good with/have a microscope you can do it yourself and save some money over long run. Look for the little circles like the name implies, probably plenty of slides on google.

Chances are you’ll be fine, not saying it’s guaranteed. Just a heads up.
 
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