Is it normal?

annabelle

New Member
hi, i'm new tothe forum have only had my cham for a month, he seems to be doing well, eating sleeping etc. but over the past few days he is sitting with his mouth open a lot. Is this normal? he dosen't appear distressed, but i am worried in case it's a sign of something being wrong. I'd appreciate any advice on this.
thanks
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Where is he sitting with his mouth open?

If he is sitting gaping in his basking spot, then this is possibly quite normal behaviour. Most chameleons will gape when they are getting hot. Veileds seem to like getting very hot, and whilst doing so will gape, possibly to let their internal organs cool down whilst they allow heat from basking to distribute fully across their surface area.

To be on the safe side though you should check the temperatures in the cage. Make sure it's not too hot in the basking area, and make sure there are cooler areas for the cham to escape to when it wants to cool down.

Also, if the gaping is occurring very frequently, or is occuring outside the basking area, then it might be caused by some other ailment, as Pohchunyee mentioned.
Go ahead and post the details of your setup to make sure that there is nothing obvious that may cause problems for your cham.
 

annabelle

New Member
re-set-up

hi again,
the cage is 45x45x30.the is a het mat which is on 24 hours a day, uva lighting 5.0 on for 12hrs/day, temp-30c basking area 37c. humidity is 40 i'm misting 3/day there is also a waterfall which he drinks from. there are no live plants and its situated in the living room in front of the patio doors.
he is 8 months old and is a veiled cham. ifeed him on crickets meal and wax worms, which i gut load ont-rex calcium plus food for crickets, fruit and vegetables, i dust the food with 2:0 calcium/no phosphorus powder every dayand reptivite 3 times a week i usually feed him twice a day. faecal matter is geenish in colour and consistency is thick. he is sometimes in the basking area when his mouth is gaping and sometimes not.
 

annabelle

New Member
info asked for

hi again,
the cage is 45x45x30.the is a het mat which is on 24 hours a day, uva lighting 5.0 on for 12hrs/day, temp-30c basking area 37c. humidity is 40 i'm misting 3/day there is also a waterfall which he drinks from. there are no live plants and its situated in the living room in front of the patio doors.
he is 8 months old and is a veiled cham. ifeed him on crickets meal and wax worms, which i gut load ont-rex calcium plus food for crickets, fruit and vegetables, i dust the food with 2:0 calcium/no phosphorus powder every dayand reptivite 3 times a week i usually feed him twice a day. faecal matter is geenish in colour and consistency is thick. he is sometimes in the basking area when his mouth is gaping and sometimes not.
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Julirs

New Member
I would get rid of the heat mat and the waterfall. Waterfalls are bacteria nightmares. I would add some live plants to help with humidity. Reptivite 3X weekly is far too much most people would say, for 8 months old maybe 1-2X monthly. You need UVB, not UVA. If he is gaping in the basking area it may be too hot for him.
 

chrisandpugs

New Member
Suggestions

Hi Anabelle,
Usually, a gaping mouth means that the temps are too high for him or he's thirsty. Try squirting warm water from a water bottle in his mouth for hydration and/or reduce the wattage on your basking lamp.

Another concern that I have is that you have no live plants in your cage for him to chomp on. I know that you gutload your insects but in addition, you should hang Collard Green leaves in his cage. (Collard Greens or in other leafy veggie provides extremely valuable Vitamin A. It couldn't be a better souce than the real thing!!)

Christine
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Ok. It's definitely quite a warm cage, so that would explain the gaping.

You certainly want to get that heat mat out of there right away. Heat mats don't work well for chams, since chams perceive light sources as sources of heat, and won't benefit much from underfloor heating. What are you using as a basking light?
Also, and this is important, inasmuch as they need a warm spot to bask, they also need a cooler spot to escape that heat. An ambient temp of 30C in the cage is a bit too warm.
You would probably be better off with ambient temps ranging from a cool side (usually at the bottom of the cage) of about 22C up to about 28C at the top end, and then have a basking spot that is between 30C and 35C.
Then at night you would want the ambient temps to drop to about 20-22C in summer - in winter you could let it drop to as low as about 15C.
It's important that you allow chameleons a period to cool down. A heat pad that is on 24hrs a day isn't going to do that.

Live plants are provide a major boost to the humidity levels in the cage, and also help stabilise the humidity levels in the cage. Also Veileds can be voracious eaters of foliage, and they could easily do harm to themselves by eating fake plastic plants. Study the list of safe plants on this site and try to get some of them into your cage.

You're going to have a flood of posts telling you that a waterfall is not a good idea in a chameleon cage.
Have you seen him drinking from it? In this case, you will have to ensure that you keep it spotlessly clean. Chameleons have been known to use standing pools of water as a good place for their droppings, and also feeder insects drown in the water quite often. All this just contributes to massive bacterial growth, and you don't want your chameleon drinking from that...

Greenish fecal matter is a bit odd: you should be seeing two brownish/blackish pellets, followed by one bright white pellet that is the urates. Discoloured (usually yellow) urates are an indication of dehydration.

You need to consider the role of Vitamin D3 and Vitamin A in your supplementing and gutloading. I'm sure Kinyonga will make a post to this thread to clarify it all (if not, do a search through her posts to see what she has said before on this topic).
In the meantime, read everything you can at these two sites to learn more about chameleon keeping:
http://www.chameleonnews.com
http://www.chameleonsdish.com
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Your veiled is too hot!
I think one of the most common mistake someone new to chameleons makes is with temperatures.
It is assumed that these are animals who need a tropical heat wave environment 24 hours a day, and this is just not the case.
Veiled chameleons do very well with a basking spot of about 85 to 90 degrees (this is the hottest spot) and temp gradients down to 65 to 70 degrees in the coolest parts of the enclosure (this is for daytime.
At night the temp should drop to around 65 degrees (very important for them)
with no kind of supplemental heat at all.
What kind of enclosure is he in?
When they are young it is advisable to keep them in smaller spaces and is harder to get the broad daytime gradient....but the night time drop must happen.
Please post the list with your husbandry details and please, PLEASE, remove the nasty waterfall.
Good luck with him ...they are such amazing animals!

-Brad
 

annabelle

New Member
thanks

thanyou all,
i bought my cham from a large garden retailers here in ireland who also sell pets, they sell a lot of reptiles etc. and are apparently expanding their reptile section,this worries me now as the advice you have all kindly given contradicts everything they told me when i bought my cham they also told me all the equipment i bought was essential to the wellbeing of my cham, this apparrently is not so! I will follow your advice immediately and am grateful to you all.
 

annabelle

New Member
thanks

thanyou all,
i bought my cham from a large garden retailers here in ireland who also sell pets, they sell a lot of reptiles etc. and are apparently expanding their reptile section,this worries me now as the advice you have all kindly given contradicts everything they told me when i bought my cham they also told me all the equipment i bought was essential to the wellbeing of my cham, this apparrently is not so! I will follow your advice immediately and am grateful to you all.
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Tygerr

Avid Member
Please try keep all your comments/responses about a single topic in one thread Annabelle. It makes it a bit difficult to follow your conversation if each one is in a new thread. :)
Read those websites that I linked to on my reply in your original thread. I'm sure you will find tons of useful advice on there that will continue to help improve your husbandry and help your chameleon thrive.
You might even be able to give those pet stores a tip or two.

I see Brad cleaned up all the posts in new threads. So this post of mine is a bit redundant now...
 
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