Is my Cham gagging?

Zaraa26

New Member
I have a female Jackson who is about a year old now she has correct lighting. I have running water 24/7 and I also spray her leaves throughout the day for her to drink.
The problem is today I was spraying her leaves and she went straight to the water and drank normally. I do watch her for a while in case she needs more water than shes getting and today she opened her mouth and gagged? I don't know what it was but I heard a noise as if she was gagging and her body was moving as if she was going to throw up. I changed the water (even if it was new water) and she seemed to do the same but kept going back and drinking water and doing her gagging again. It's been about 20 minutes of this cycle. What's going on? Do I need to bring her to the vet?
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
What exactly does "correct lighting" mean to you? Every week people come here insisting their lights/cage/etc are all set up perfectly without offering any specific details. When pressed for details, we often learn that their setups were not, in fact, ideal. It's important we make sure, though.

Please tell us exactly what your are using for the basking bulb and for the UVB bulb.

Also, what do you mean by running water? A dripper? A waterfall? Drippers are good. Waterfalls are very dangerous for chameleons.

The gagging phenomenon is an interesting one... Could you possibly get a video of it? That would help give us a better idea. Is it possible she could have been choking on an insect and pursued the water to clear her throat? (No idea if chameleons would have that instinct haha)
 

Zaraa26

New Member
I use a UVB 100 13w. and I forgot what kind of heat lamp is in there because I got it a while ago but it was a reptile one from Petco.

She has a dripper

I can try and get a video, the timing between her doing that and drinking water has become less. She should not be choking on an insect because I fed her dinner awhile ago (it's almost bedtime).

I'm wondering if its a respiratory infection or I might just be paranoid because I know I need to look out for that especially in Jacksons.
 

Zaraa26

New Member
I now know about my bulb being incorrect so please do not comment about it more. I want to know if my cham is ok.
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
I now know about my bulb being incorrect so please do not comment about it more. I want to know if my cham is ok.
As was asked earlier, if it's still happening, please post a vid. Other folk may have an answer.

Personally I've never seen or heard of it and if I was in your shoes and worried, I would get an appointment with your vet who actually knows about chams.

No doubt you already have a vet in mind, having looked into this before bringing her home.

I do hope she's OK.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
A video would be great but your complete husbandry is just as important.

Please fill out the “how to ask for help” form and post your answers back here. Quality pictures will help us help you.

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.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I'm wondering if what you saw was a sign of a respiratory infection. when she did that was there a popping or crackling noise and did she have any ropy saliva in her mouth or bubbles? Respiratory infections tend to be related to husbandry ie. improper temperatures and humidity. Answers to the questions above might we can get to the root of the problem.
 

Zaraa26

New Member
As was asked earlier, if it's still happening, please post a vid. Other folk may have an answer.

Personally I've never seen or heard of it and if I was in your shoes and worried, I would get an appointment with your vet who actually knows about chams.

No doubt you already have a vet in mind, having looked into this before bringing her home.

I do hope she's OK.
I could not get a video because it stopped. if it happens again i will try to record it.
 

Zaraa26

New Member
A video would be great but your complete husbandry is just as important.

Please fill out the “how to ask for help” form and post your answers back here. Quality pictures will help us help you.

Chameleon Info:

◦ Your Chameleon - Jackson, female, about a year old. She has been in my care for 8 months.

◦ Handling - I do not handle her as if she's a social animal. I only handle her when I am cleaning the cage or transporting. She does not mind it at all but I know she does not like being out of her cage so I try to avoid making her uncomfortable.

◦ Feeding - she eats hornworms and crickets. Her normal amount is six crickets in the morning. at dinner time i will usually give her a hornworm and a couple more crickets, dinner time is kind of a feel out how she is feeling because I am currently on the lookout of her possibly being pregnant. I gut-load my feeders by putting the crickets in another pen with veggies for about 20-30 minutes before feeding them to her.

◦ Supplements - Because there's not a lot of studies on Jacksons my schedule is different than others. I use Repti Calcium without D3 every other feeding, and with D3 once a month.

◦ Watering - I use a dripper that drips onto her leaves throughout the day. I mist every morning, afternoon, and night and when I do I mist her leaves and watch her drink and I keep misting until she is done drinking. I do see her drinking

◦ Fecal Description - It is brown and looks like a healthy poop, a little moist as usual. she has not been tested for parasites.

◦ History - I do not have any history on her.


Cage Info:

◦ Cage Type - Screen cage, 3ft high by 2 ft wide.

◦ Lighting - the light bulb is a heat lamp from Petco. I use a reptile UVB 13w (I know my lighting is not correct at the moment)

◦ Temperature - her basking spot gets to around 75-80 degrees, over the months this is where she feels most comfortable it is not too hot that she has her mouth open and not too cold that she is going close to the bulb. between 50-60 degrees is the lowest overnight temp. I measure with a temperature system that goes throughout her cage.

◦ Humidity - her humidity levels stick between 70-80. I keep these levels with a mister and I use a humidity gauge to check the levels.

◦ Plants - she has a devils ivy (pothos). the rest are plastic. I do add safe live plants for her year around as they come in season but she always has pothos with her.

◦ Placement - the cage is located in my front room it is not in a high traffic area or near fans. At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor- about 5 feet.

◦ Location - Washington State near Seattle.


Current Problem - She was recently drinking her nighttime mist and turned and opened her mouth (really wide) and made a weird noise as if gagging. she then kept drinking. this cycle went on for about 20 minutes with more time in between the gagging (she probably only did it about 3 times). then just stopped drinking and she went to her sleeping spot and slept.
A video would be great but your complete husbandry is just as important.

Please fill out the “how to ask for help” form and post your answers back here. Quality pictures will help us help you.

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.

Chameleon Info:

◦ Your Chameleon - Jackson, female, about a year old. She has been in my care for 8 months.

◦ Handling - I do not handle her as if she's a social animal. I only handle her when I am cleaning the cage or transporting. She does not mind it at all but I know she does not like being out of her cage so I try to avoid making her uncomfortable.

◦ Feeding - she eats hornworms and crickets. Her normal amount is six crickets in the morning. at dinner time i will usually give her a hornworm and a couple more crickets, dinner time is kind of a feel out how she is feeling because I am currently on the lookout of her possibly being pregnant. I gut-load my feeders by putting the crickets in another pen with veggies for about 20-30 minutes before feeding them to her.

◦ Supplements - Because there's not a lot of studies on Jacksons my schedule is different than others. I use Repti Calcium without D3 every other feeding, and with D3 once a month.

◦ Watering - I use a dripper that drips onto her leaves throughout the day. I mist every morning, afternoon, and night and when I do I mist her leaves and watch her drink and I keep misting until she is done drinking. I do see her drinking

◦ Fecal Description - It is brown and looks like a healthy poop, a little moist as usual. she has not been tested for parasites.

◦ History - I do not have any history on her.


Cage Info:

◦ Cage Type - Screen cage, 3ft high by 2 ft wide.

◦ Lighting - the light bulb is a heat lamp from Petco. I use a reptile UVB 13w (I know my lighting is not correct at the moment)

◦ Temperature - her basking spot gets to around 75-80 degrees, over the months this is where she feels most comfortable it is not too hot that she has her mouth open and not too cold that she is going close to the bulb. between 50-60 degrees is the lowest overnight temp. I measure with a temperature system that goes throughout her cage.

◦ Humidity - her humidity levels stick between 70-80. I keep these levels with a mister and I use a humidity gauge to check the levels.

◦ Plants - she has a devils ivy (pothos). the rest are plastic. I do add safe live plants for her year around as they come in season but she always has pothos with her.

◦ Placement - the cage is located in my front room it is not in a high traffic area or near fans. At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor- about 5 feet.

◦ Location - Washington State near Seattle.


Current Problem - She was recently drinking her nighttime mist and turned and opened her mouth (really wide) and made a weird noise as if gagging. she then kept drinking. this cycle went on for about 20 minutes with more time in between the gagging (she probably only did it about 3 times). then just stopped drinking and she went to her sleeping spot and slept.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:

◦ Your Chameleon - Jackson, female, about a year old. She has been in my care for 8 months.

◦ Handling - I do not handle her as if she's a social animal. I only handle her when I am cleaning the cage or transporting. She does not mind it at all but I know she does not like being out of her cage so I try to avoid making her uncomfortable.

◦ Feeding - she eats hornworms and crickets. Her normal amount is six crickets in the morning. at dinner time i will usually give her a hornworm and a couple more crickets, dinner time is kind of a feel out how she is feeling because I am currently on the lookout of her possibly being pregnant. I gut-load my feeders by putting the crickets in another pen with veggies for about 20-30 minutes before feeding them to her.

◦ Supplements - Because there's not a lot of studies on Jacksons my schedule is different than others. I use Repti Calcium without D3 every other feeding, and with D3 once a month.

◦ Watering - I use a dripper that drips onto her leaves throughout the day. I mist every morning, afternoon, and night and when I do I mist her leaves and watch her drink and I keep misting until she is done drinking. I do see her drinking

◦ Fecal Description - It is brown and looks like a healthy poop, a little moist as usual. she has not been tested for parasites.

◦ History - I do not have any history on her.


Cage Info:

◦ Cage Type - Screen cage, 3ft high by 2 ft wide.

◦ Lighting - the light bulb is a heat lamp from Petco. I use a reptile UVB 13w (I know my lighting is not correct at the moment)

◦ Temperature - her basking spot gets to around 75-80 degrees, over the months this is where she feels most comfortable it is not too hot that she has her mouth open and not too cold that she is going close to the bulb. between 50-60 degrees is the lowest overnight temp. I measure with a temperature system that goes throughout her cage.

◦ Humidity - her humidity levels stick between 70-80. I keep these levels with a mister and I use a humidity gauge to check the levels.

◦ Plants - she has a devils ivy (pothos). the rest are plastic. I do add safe live plants for her year around as they come in season but she always has pothos with her.

◦ Placement - the cage is located in my front room it is not in a high traffic area or near fans. At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor- about 5 feet.

◦ Location - Washington State near Seattle.


Current Problem - She was recently drinking her nighttime mist and turned and opened her mouth (really wide) and made a weird noise as if gagging. she then kept drinking. this cycle went on for about 20 minutes with more time in between the gagging (she probably only did it about 3 times). then just stopped drinking and she went to her sleeping spot and slept.

Two comments:
(1) chameleons should not be fed in the evening. They should only be fed early on in the day so they can bask and digest their food properly. Letting them eat closer to lights off poses a risk of undigested food spoiling in their digestive tract. Definitely want to avoid that.

(2) What do you mean by "there's not a lot of studies on jackson's"? People have been keeping jackson's for decades. We have several Jackson's experts here on these forums. I'm not one of them, but I even know your supplement schedule is off. There is plenty of information on this, and it ought to be followed to the tee. Chameleons are rarely the subject of metabolic/biochemical research, so that's not a good excuse to go rogue on supplementing. You are using too much calcium without D3 and you are not offering the third supplement she needs at all.

Jackson's supplementation is as follows:
- calcium without D3 twice a week
- calcium with D3 once a month
- multivitamin once a month (this is the one you are missing entirely)
 

Zaraa26

New Member
Two comments:
(1) chameleons should not be fed in the evening. They should only be fed early on in the day so they can bask and digest their food properly. Letting them eat closer to lights off poses a risk of undigested food spoiling in their digestive tract. Definitely want to avoid that.

(2) What do you mean by "there's not a lot of studies on jackson's"? People have been keeping jackson's for decades. We have several Jackson's experts here on these forums. I'm not one of them, but I even know your supplement schedule is off. There is plenty of information on this, and it ought to be followed to the tee. Chameleons are rarely the subject of metabolic/biochemical research, so that's not a good excuse to go rogue on supplementing. You are using too much calcium without D3 and you are not offering the third supplement she needs at all.

Jackson's supplementation is as follows:
- calcium without D3 twice a week
- calcium with D3 once a month
- multivitamin once a month (this is the one you are missing entirely)
I did not “go rogue” on her calcium and I am not using this as an excuse. I did research and I even talked with people with Jackson’s on here and people who breed Jackson’s and I followed a common schedule everyone with Jackson’s follows. If I am missing something then let me know but do not assume things.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
You could improve your supplement schedule with the addition of a multi vitamin once a month that includes vitamin A as retinol not just beta carotene. Otherwise your husbandry is mostly on track. Some observations made in the wild are now indicating that Jackson's naturally have lower daytime humidity than was previously thought. They can go as low as 35% during the day but do need 80% or higher at night. I keep mine in the 40-50% range during the day (no reason to go over board). The thinking is that the higher heat and humidity combo we are giving them is creating a situation where bacterial growth can flourish leading to respiratory and temporal gland infections.
Hopefully whatever she was doing was just random and never happens again.
If you think she is pregnant or soon to pass slugs then don't get to carried away with feeding her as this will only produce a larger clutch/litter that she will have a harder time delivering. Just keep optimizing her nutrition, gut load etc. and give her a branch with a good 35-45 degree angle for her to give birth.
Hope some of that helps and she is ok.
 
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