I think I have a sick female veiled


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Thanks in advance for any help! Let me start by saying that I just recently purchased a female veiled chameleon, she is about 6 inches in length. I already have a cameroon chameleon adn have had other species in the past, but this is the first time having a veiled. I did make the big no-no of buying this chameleon at a local pet store, but saw this chameleon and fell in love with her. Anyway onto the problem, I brought her home Friday evening and obviously she was pretty scared and stressed. I put her in her enclosure, which is a screened enclosure about 3 ft x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 ft. I have a pothos in there and some sticks for her to climb on. The first couple of days she was green and seemed to be doing ok, really timid, but I figure that she is still unsure of where she is at. Today I came home from work and went in to mist her and noticed that she looked as if she was sleeping. Her color was green with her stomach being a kinda of black. When she woke up, while I was misting her, she was frightened, but did not move. I misted her cage and then thought I would leave her alone for a bit and see how she acted from there. I went back in the room about 15 minutes later to put some crickets in her cage and her left eye was closed. As I opened the cage she opened that eye and was frightened once again, like I said she has been more timid than any other chameleon I have owned, but figure that she is still new and unsure of her surroundings yet. Anyhow, I put some crickets in her cage to see how she would react and she started hunting after I put them in, I am not sure if she ate any crickets yet, she will just freeze if I stay in the room. I went back in there a few minutes ago and she was back on by the top of her cage on a perch. Her eyes are now open but I am not sure if she ate or not. The temp in her cage is about 90 degrees at the top and about 80 near the bottom with the humidity around 50-55 %. I wonder if she just got something in her eye, or if she is getting sick. I usually feed her between 6-10 crickets a day and she has been eating them, am I under feeding her? she is a little bit larger than my cameroon and he eats about 5-6 a day so i thought putting in a few more than him a day would be enough? maybe she needs more? My concern is with her stomach being kind of a black color and her eye being closed, is it time for a vet check up? Also I do have sand at the bottome of the enclosure in case she needs to lay eggs, as I have read the veils will lay eggs even if not mating. Any help here would be appreciated. I am sorry this is so long, but I wanted to make sure I was getting everything down taht I could to help everyone else out. Thanks again for the help!
thats a true shame. i think your best bet is to arrange a vet visit, and maybe put the bill to the pet shop since you just got it, maybe theyll pay it but im sure they wouldnt do the right thing anyways. but get her to a vet as soon as possible. good luck
Hello mcghee26. Sorry to hear you are having possible problems with your veiled. My first advice would be to remove the sand from the bottom of the cage and leave no substrate at all. Chameleons in general (except Rhampholeon, Brookesia and some Bradypodion species) do not need substrate in their enclosures to thrive. If you see your female exhibitting signs of being gravid and/or ready to lay eggs, then put an appropriate laying substrate but I wouldn't recommend having it all the time as it could potentially lead to impactions.
You mentioned you have not seen her eat, but then said she was eating 6-10crickets a day? Can you elaborate more on this to make sure I don't misunderstand anything?

If you can post pics of the dark abdomen, it could help as I can't think of a common condition that could cause dark belly color. Your temperatures appear ok although Veileds can take it a bit hotter if needed (they are sun worshippers). Do you have a UVB light? If so, what kind? Are you providing hydration by misitng only or do you have a drip system for her?

Any and all info you can provide will help us in trying to see if we can guide you to a possible problem and solution. However, a Vet visit is always the best bet when in doubt as chameleons are not only masters of disguise in terms of camouflage but also masters of disguising disease. By the time we know for sure something is wrong, it could be too late.

Although I agree with removing the substrate, if you don't have any place in the cage for her to dig to show you that she is ready to lay eggs (and you miss the often subtle indications that she needs to lay eggs) your chameleon could head towards eggbinding.

Is she pooping?

Are you/was the pet store) dusting the crickets/insects with a phosphorous-free calcium powder? Does/did she get exposure to UVB or sunlight?

Does she show any signs of MBD? (Crooked or flexible casque or jaw, inability to hold herself up off the branches, tongue doesn't work properly, crooked legs or arms, the appearance of an "extra elbow" above the real elbow?

Can you post a picture please?
Tahnks for the advice so far, I am going to try to post some pics here, new to this so not sure if they will come out or not, anyway, I do not have a drip system but do mist her 3-4 times a day for about 5-10 minutes each time. When i said that I have not seen her eat I meant just last night when I put the crickets in there. This morning there are still crickets in the cage and I don't think she ate last night, I will check again later on this morning.
As far as the lighting goes I am using a ge neodymium 60 watt bulb for her basking in conjuction with a exoterra moonlight bulb during the day. At night I shut off all the lights, as my house only goes down to about 70 at night and don't think that she needs the moonlight bulb on all night. Is this ok or am I doing something wrong? Shortly after I posted my thread I decided to mist her directly last night just to see if maybe there was something in her eye. She didn't like that at all, but thought that it might help. Not much of a change, but she did seem like after it she wanted to sleep. I turned the ge light off a little after that just to see what would happen, it was about 7 pm when I did that. I checked back on her about a half hour later and she was a green with yellow color after that, and sleeping. Maybe my lighting is wrong? or too hot at the basking? Today I am putting a florescent tube on here cage along with the moonlight buld to see how she will do. In the pictures, if they come out, you can see that she was really stressed and did not like the pics, I think the flash was freaking her out. In one of the pics you can see her mouth open and she was hissing, so the color will not do it justice, but before that she was a green and yellow color, maybe I just have the lighting wrong? I am not sure.
I will remove the sand from the enclosure, but how am able to tell if she is ready to lay eggs or not, I read on another site that it is ok to leave the sand in all the time, but if it is not nessecary then I will remove it, I just don't want her to not be able to lay her eggs and do not want to miss the signs either.
right now my pics are too large to put on here, I will have to try to size them down and then post them later on. I hope this info can help.
I don't know what any of your lights are.
You need a 5.0 UVB light....preferrably from Zoomed and a basking light that creates a temp (just in the basking area) of 85-90 degrees.
Please do not leave crickets free roaming in her enclosure at night...they will bother and possibly harm her.
None of this fixes your immediate problem and I do think she needs to go to the vet, but along the way you can perfect and correct some of the husbandry.
I happen to believe that a dripper is essential (btw) my veiled would never get enough water from mistings alone.
Good Luck! Keep us posted.

Leaving a container full of sand in the bottom of the cage is okay, otherwise you will not be able to tell if she is ready to lay or not. Don't just put a layer of sand in the bottom of the cage though. Get a container that is big enough so that she has room on all sides of her and is 8 or 10 inches deep and fill it up to 2 inches within the top and leave it in the enclosure. Be sure that there are branches or plants close enough to it that she can get in and out of it easily.
Thanks to everyone who replied, Let me give you an update. What I think was wrong was that my cham got too hot. I left just a flourescent light on her today and both times I came home, at lunch and now when I came home from work, she has been looking good. I did get the response about the bulbs and I am going to go out here in a few minutes and pick up the correct bulb, also as far as the sand is concerned, I do have it in a container that takes up most of the bottom of the enclosure and it is about 5 inches deep. there are branches that lead down to the sand so she can get down there easily. I think I will leave it in there for now at least until I can learn whether she is going to lay eggs. A few other sites that I have been reading on have claimed that they lost chameleons due to no where to lay eggs and I think right now I will leave it in there rather than take the chance of losing her. I am enclosing pics that I tried to put up this morning, the first is her on Sunday and the others are of her this morning when she was really upset with me taking pics. I do have one other question, she is very shy and scared and every time I come into the room she will run down to the bottom of the enclosure and hide. Is this normal for a veiled, as any of my other chameleons that I have or had did not do this, they always seemed very friendly and seemed to like it when I came in the room. If this is not normal is there a way to break her of this habit. I have only had her for 4 days and maybe she is still adjusting, but I don't remember any of my other chameleons being this scared after a couple of days. I do not want to stress her out, but I would like to be able to see her out in the open rather than hiding in the branches and vines of her enclosure. Thanks again to everyone who has helped, it is very much appreciated.


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