Impaction

Chammy007

Established Member
Hello, what are the signs of impaction and how would one prevent it? For a Jackson’s Cham?thanks
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
@kinyonga might know the signs of impaction. In the meantime, if your cham is looking poorly, you need to go to a vet.

As for prevention, you can put stones bigger than your cham's head to cover the dirt (so not gravel that can be eaten). But this really isn't necessary. Just make sure feeders don't go onto the dirt (in other words, keep your feeders in a controlled area e.g. a feeder cup or feeder run). Or if you do release insects into the cage, release them slowly on top branches near the cham so your cham will target them right out of the gate.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think the main cause for impaction is illness, dehydration, and poor husbandry. Short of eating something so large it causes a blockage(like a little stone that can't be passed) there's no reason dirt, or even perlite in soil should cause a blockage. Chameleons eat all sorts of insects, beetles are a common meal in the wild, and all of these have shells/chitin of some sort. They pass this just fine, so no reason some dirt should cause a blockage. IMHO it is all about the health of the animal.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Dehydration, improper temperatures, possibly a mineral imbalance, a tumour or parasites or a foreign object blocking the system, or even enlarged kidneys blocking the intestines can. Be reasons for an impaction. Some types of soils and sands can clump and cause an impaction too...and I've likely missed a thing or two.

Proper husbandry can go a long way to prevent an impaction. Tests for parasites can help too and caution with substrates.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Dehydration, improper temperatures, possibly a mineral imbalance, a tumour or parasites or a foreign object blocking the system, or even enlarged kidneys blocking the intestines can. Be reasons for an impaction. Some types of soils and sands can clump and cause an impaction too...and I've likely missed a thing or two.

Proper husbandry can go a long way to prevent an impaction. Tests for parasites can help too and caution with substrates.

So pretty much what I said. 😆

Seriously though... impaction should be a thing we're aware of, but just like parasites, people wayyyyyyyyyyy overfocus on it in many cases. IDK anyone that had a chameleon die from impaction that was otherwise healthy(not that it has never* happened, many random freak accidents happen, but it doesn't mean they're likely to). Yet it's one of those things that haunts every new keeper, myself included. I'm not saying ignore the possibility, but the fear it gets seems out of balance with more reasonable worries.

Impaction is *usually* a symptom of something else wrong.
 
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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
One obvious sign of impaction is no poop. Others would be little or no appetite and lethargy. These last symptoms could be from a number of things.
If they aren't eating at all then there will be very little pooping.
Seems some species poop less often. My guy goes once a week during a shower, even much longer in the winter. I've heard many Parsons are like this, guess it makes sense with the way their metabolism is, but it's stressful wondering if something's wrong when they go so long between pooping.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, you really need to know what is normal for the species in question and the age. Juveniles seem to be more regular than older adults (chameleons too). Excessive D3 and/or calcium slows digestion as well. I would call that constipation rather than obstipation or impaction.
 

Chammy007

Established Member
Seems some species poop less often. My guy goes once a week during a shower, even much longer in the winter. I've heard many Parsons are like this, guess it makes sense with the way their metabolism is, but it's stressful wondering if something's wrong when they go so long between pooping.
hello, now that you mention it my Kylo has been pooping less. He’s been pooping like evey two or three where he’s was pooping almost every day. Probably no cause for concern I’m just guessing. Any opinions?
 
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