I need help


New Member
I have two Jacksons chameleons. My first one was a male and I got him seven months ago. Up until recently he was active, liveley, healthy looking, and growing pretty rapidly. Then I got a female jacksons two months ago. I tried introducing the two and he liked her but she obviously didn't so I put her in a seperate enclosure with a tall cardbord so that they wouldn't see each other and get stressed. Eventually I noticed there was a small narrowing in the cardboard through which he would sit and stare at her for hours. I corrected the problem and then everything went back to normal.

Then a little over two weeks since i got the female I noticed he was scratching his right eye on logs in his enclosure. He would start twitching it and doing these things that made it look like he was sucking it in and out of the socket. I thought maybe he was going to shed again but there still hasn't been any shedding and he's gotten pretty lazy. He eats when i put the food within his range of vision and drink when i give him light showers but otherwise he wont drink or eat he just sits around with his right eye closed. ( apparently it's by choice because when something is interesting enough he opens it.

I'm pretty worried cause I've never had any problems with him and he's my first chameleon. Does anyone think it might have something to do with having the female around. I finally saved up enough money to take him to the vet and I made an appointment for the weekend but if anyone can give me any other suggestions I would greatly aprreciate it.
I don't know to much about it but it sounds like he has something in his eye and he's rotating his eye to expell it. if you look around on this forum you can find a lot of other chams with the same problem. brad and the other guys have a lot of good advice. You can also buy reptile eye drops/wash.
I doubt it has anything to do with you pretty lady
Hello aeris,

Give us a description of your setup, especially temp and humidity ranges. Also, a picture might help.

Eye problems like what you have described can be caused by many things. How long has the problem existed? You mentioned you thought it might be from an upcoming shed. I usually notice something like that after or during a shed. Another cause can be some kind of small particle or something getting stuck in their eye. More severe causes could be an infection or growth underneath the eye. Any other noticable problems?

Keeping your humidity at the proper levels can help your cham clean their eyes. Also, a good shower can really help as well. Are you keeping the cage clean enough to keep bacteria away? Bacteria can cause infections. I would recomend a shower frequently until the problem is gone, as well as making sure your humidity is correct. I would have to agree with Lady cham that the introduction to your female was probably not the cause of any eye problems.
Well I keep him in a 65 gallon enclosure with a few tall logs and alot of plants. The temperature ranges from 90 degrees in the basking spot to about 80 on the opposite end. I mist him about three times a day. I've tried taking a picture of his eye but he turns away or opens his eye when I get a decent angle on him ( hence the interesting enough comment.) I clean his enclosure about every two weeks and I've been showering him once a week because I didn't want to overdo it.
Do you know your humidity levels? It is good that you are giving him a shower as often as you are. You could probably give a shower more frequently until the problem is resolved, especially if he is not stressing too bad because of it. Also, when you mist let the water (fine mist) drop onto his head and eyes. Make sure your humidity levels are correct. This is very important for chams. There are different ways to raise your humidity if you need to. I would also suggest cleaning the cage weekly instead of every other week.

Keep your vet appointment. If the problem started today I would recomend showers for a few days before calling your vet. However, you mentioned it had been a couple weeks. Hopefully he/she has worked with chameleons before. Two weeks of having the same eye problem can add a lot of stress and may be more serious than a simple particle in his eye. It worries me that he is now closing his eye unless threatened or hunting.

Keep us updated :)
I wanted to ask if you have him in a tank or a mesh type of cage. I couldn't tell from your description. Thanks
65 gallon enclosure? Is this a reptarium or a tank?
If it is glass - get something else immediately.
Glass tanks are only good for tiny babies - and only for short periods of time.

How hot is your basking area? Jacksonii like it cooler than other chameleons, we average 80F at the hottest - usually 75F ambient.

It sounds like he got something in his eye, and it lodged under the eye lid. Warm showers will help - you can place the chameleon on a leafy plant and sit it in the shower - bounce the spray off the side and down to the plant. Be sure there is an area he can get out of the spray. Use warm water - not hot, but comfortable on the inside of your wrist. Like rain on a sunny day.

If he continues to show signs of problems with the eye, he should be seen by the vet. Usually they will give eye drops or a tube of ointment to help lubrication. If a foreign object is lodged in there - they may need to flush the eye with saline.

Hope he gets better...
When he is, ask me about breeding your pair. ;)

Reptayls, Ltd.
I want to thank every one that gave me replies I really appreciate it. I took my little one to the vet today and after a thorugh checkup they told me that he has mild cunjuctivitis and gave me some antibiotic eye drops and told me to keep giving him showers.

Other than that he said that he's in perfect health. Woo hoo!
Very good to hear aeris. I would look into modifying your setup a little in order to provide the temps that reptayls recommended above. Probably just a matter of moving your basking light back a little.
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