I think my Chameleon is unhappy :(

Amccurry

Member
Hello everyone so I’ve had my veiled Chameleon for about a month and I don’t think he likes it here. I have a ton of space for him to blend in and hide but every time I come in he always backs away from me and turns a really dark green color. Another thing that I noticed is that when I turn my blinds on he’ll try to dig almost as if he’s trying to dig out of his cage. Sometimes even when I look at him he’ll start to tremble and I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want him to hate his life and if he’s happier with a different owner I’d consider relocating him. What do you think I should do?
 

chamoflage

Member
I'm definitely still new to the chameleon world and I know chameleons aren't necessarily described as "friendly", goodness knows mine isn't, her name is Hyde for a reason (well double reason). But I'm sure if you're concerned you could fill out the help form and have your husbandry reviewed. I know that there is tons of information out there and even with doing lots of research before hand it is easy to get confused and get misinformation. That way if there is something that can be adjusted to make your chameleon happier it can be done :) There's so many kind, experienced keepers here that are a literal wealth of knowledge and a fantastic resource.

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?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

chamoflage

Member
Maybe you can get a picture or video of his behavior? Although I know my cham definitely is not thrilled when I take pictures of her. But maybe that could also help to get some more insight. I hope things work out for you and your chameleon. :)
 

Amccurry

Member
He’s sleeping right now but I think he started to dig because I had the blinds open. He’s been trembling since I got him from the store but someone on here told me he may just be nervous since I haven’t had him for too long. I’m still very confused on what to do. Should I take him to a vet?
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I really want to help you, but I am not a veterinarian, and I have no experience with veileds.
I can't see firsthand what you're describing, and as the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words," (and video is worth manyfold more).

Personal observations:

What one person sees as "trembling", another might see as "leaf walking".
Likewise, "digging" could range from scratching to burrowing.

Definitions of "a ton of research" can vary as well.
veiled chameleon trembling
male veiled chameleon digging

Also, going back over your husbandry questions, there could be issues with your UVB lighting, supplementing with too much D3, or both—IDK.

From the Resources section:
Signs of illness in chameleons often don't show themselves until conditions are serious, so it is crucial to watch for symptoms and not delay seeking help from a qualified veterinarian when your pet's health is in decline. The ability to detect signs of illness in your chameleon, and taking the proper steps to deal with them, can greatly improve the long-term health and longevity of your pet.
....

warning.png
Chameleon Forums is not an alternative to veterinary care!


This resource was designed to help members recognize potential problems, not to definitively diagnose or treat them. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who directly examines your chameleon can offer a true diagnosis of its health. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person on these forums can only guess at what the problem may be and could do more harm to your pet through improper advice.

In my personal opinion, when a chameleon is sick is not the time to re-home, which will only add more stress to an already stressed animal.

All that said, if this were my chameleon, and these symptoms had been going on for a month, I would take it to a herp veterinarian ASAP—if not sooner. If you don't yet have one, this may help:
https://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661
 
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Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hopefully that´s not too long for your little fella, he/she is soo cute. Seeing your enclosure, the trouble could be reflection. Due to the shape (hexagon) of the tank it´s for the chameleon, as walking through a house of mirrors and that stresses him/her. That in combination with no descent opportunity to hide in foliage, because that´s natural behaviour, not a bird house, will give more stress and fear for you and his/her enclosure. Probably when you open your blinds it will reflect even more light inside tank, causing this behaviour.

Also you see water drops on the glass, that in combination with the poor ventilation of the tank (and yes I noticed the fan) could cause health problems (increased bacterial growth), the moss and water dish will only accelerate this. During day time, the enclosure should peak max. 50% humidity.

Yesss.......moving him/her will cause stress, however staying in that tank will cause more stress over time, then a short move. I would strongly recommend going for an other enclosure (screen or DIY), maybe check the second hand market. Then behaviour will change, he or she will be happy living with you and you will be a happy chameleon owner.

Maybe this will enlighten things a bit https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/state-of-mind.2461/

You already doing a great job coming here for advise.
 
Last edited:

Amccurry

Member
I really want to help you, but I am not a veterinarian, and I have no experience with veileds.
I can't see firsthand what you're describing, and as the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words," (and video is worth manyfold more).

Personal observations:

What one person sees as "trembling", another might see as "leaf walking".
Likewise, "digging" could range from scratching to burrowing.

Definitions of "a ton of research" can vary as well.
veiled chameleon trembling
male veiled chameleon digging

Also, going back over your husbandry questions, there could be issues with your UVB lighting, supplementing with too much D3, or both—IDK.

From the Resources section:


In my personal opinion, when a chameleon is sick is not the time to re-home, which will only add more stress to an already stressed animal.

All that said, if this were my chameleon, and these symptoms had been going on for a month, I would take it to a herp veterinarian ASAP—if not sooner. If you don't yet have one, this may help:
https://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661
Yes I ordered new lighting. It is UBV but it’s compact. I also feed him calcium no d3 and d3 twice a month with vitamins twice a month. The only symptom is the trembling but someone told me it’s probably because he’s nervous but idk what he does when I’m not around lol he acts very different when I’m here.
 

Amccurry

Member
Hopefully that´s not too long for your little fella, he/she is soo cute. Seeing your enclosure, the trouble could be reflection. Due to the shape (hexagon) of the tank it´s for the chameleon, as walking through a house of mirrors and that stresses him/her. That in combination with no descent opportunity to hide in foliage, because that´s natural behaviour, not a bird house, will give more stress and fear for you and his/her enclosure. Probably when you open your blinds it will reflect even more light inside tank, causing this behaviour.

Also you see water drops on the glass, that in combination with the poor ventilation of the tank (and yes I noticed the fan) could cause health problems (increased bacterial growth), the moss and water dish will only accelerate this. During day time, the enclosure should peak max. 50% humidity.

Yesss.......moving him/her will cause stress, however staying in that tank will cause more stress over time, then a short move. I would strongly recommend going for an other enclosure (screen or DIY), maybe check the second hand market. Then behaviour will change, he or she will be happy living with you and you will be a happy chameleon owner.

Maybe this will enlighten things a bit https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/state-of-mind.2461/

You already doing a great job coming here for advise.
Hi! Yes I took the water tank out. I had him in an open cage but the humidity would not stay up at all. Never not once. I ordered a large cage with a mister. What should the humidity be then because I hear different answers.
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
See attached PDF that will give you all the basics.
 

Attachments

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PoseidonTheChameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello everyone so I’ve had my veiled Chameleon for about a month and I don’t think he likes it here. I have a ton of space for him to blend in and hide but every time I come in he always backs away from me and turns a really dark green color. Another thing that I noticed is that when I turn my blinds on he’ll try to dig almost as if he’s trying to dig out of his cage. Sometimes even when I look at him he’ll start to tremble and I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want him to hate his life and if he’s happier with a different owner I’d consider relocating him. What do you think I should do?
If hes in the glass enclosure you showed in your other thread then that could be why. He doesnt have very many places to climb or hide at all. The sooner you get a better enclosure the better he will be.
 

Amccurry

Member
See attached PDF that will give you all the basics.
Thank you so so so much! I do love my chameleon a lot so I would love to get started on his terrarium. I hope he can hold on for 2 more weeks (when the new terrarium comes in). I just feel so bad that he looks so sad. Do you recommend anything in a terrarium besides real plants? Also, when I get the mister what timer should I use? Just have it spray more at night?
 
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