Is she gravid?

Discussion in 'Chameleon Breeding' started by apple_or_a_gun, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. apple_or_a_gun

    apple_or_a_gun New Member

    Regarding my female veiled chameleon of unknown age (she is a rescue):

    For the past few days, she has been restless in her enclosure, digging at the walls and floor, displaying vivid colors, acting extra aggressive, and looks huge to me. She hasn’t been bred, so if she is gravid, it is an infertile clutch. Her appetite hasn’t slowed down at all, I couldn’t feel any lumps when I palpated her, and she has actually dropped 2g since the beginning of last month. She has had regular daily bowel movements and healthy urates.

    I set up a laying bin for her today, but she hasn’t been interested at all.

    I’ve attached a few pictures taken yesterday.

    What do you guys think? Possibly gravid?

    Attached Files:

  2. ERKleRose

    ERKleRose Chameleon Enthusiast

  3. apple_or_a_gun

    apple_or_a_gun New Member

    12”deep, 12”long, 10”wide. Filled with washed, packable play sand, with several vines and branches leading down to it. I also put up some DIY privacy screens so she doesn’t feel like she is being watched.
    ERKleRose likes this.
  4. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    She’s about the right shape and colors are close.
    Let’s look at everything...

    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.
  5. apple_or_a_gun

    apple_or_a_gun New Member


    Chameleon Info:

    ◦ Your Chameleon -
    Female Veiled chameleon, guessed to be 6-12 months old. I adopted her from a reptile rescue in early June 2018.

    ◦ Handling -
    She is handled about twice a week. Once when it’s time to do the “deep clean” of her cage, and occasionally brought out a second time to have outdoor time when weather permits, or explore my bedroom.

    ◦ Feeding -
    I vary her staple feeders—crickets, superworms, hornworms, black soldier fly larvae. Crickets are the “main” feeder. Wax worms given as an occasional treat (1-2 worms every other week.) Crickets and supers are gutloaded daily with vegetables and fruit (usually includes turnip greens, kale, collard greens, sweet potatos, some kind of squash, carrots, strawberries, cauliflower, zucchini, and orange slices.) Hornworms are given tomatoes and commercial “hornworm food.” As for my schedule, I’ll give my cricket stats as the example: when I first brought her home in June, she was being fed 5-10 crickets every day. Since August, she gets 6 crickets every other day. (If it’s a superworm day, she gets 3-5 worms. If it is a hornworm day, she gets 1 large worm. If it’s a soldier fly larvae day, she gets 5-10 worms.)

    ◦ Supplements - ReptiCalcium without D3 every feeding; Reptivite with D3 on the 15th and 30th of every month. I very lightly dust 1-3 bugs per feeding (depending on which feeder I am giving.)

    ◦ Watering - I manually hand mist the enclosure, focusing on her plants. I mist 4-5 times a day for 5-10 minutes each time. She drinks from her leaves after I walk away (when she doesn’t think I am looking at her.)

    ◦ Fecal - Medium brown, solid but not dry/desiccated bowel movements. Moist but not loose or shapeless. She has a bowel movement every day to every other day. She tested negative for parasites before being adopted, and I believe was proactively given two doses of Panacur anyway.

    ◦ History - She is a rescue that was surrendered to a herp facility in June 2018. Nothing about her life prior to that was given at the time of surrender.

    She was last examined by a herp vet in mid-September 2018; I was told she was very healthy.

    Her eating habits have not faltered, nor has she changed her water intake. She has lost 2 grams since the beginning of last month, but since I have had her, she tends to fluctuate 1-3 grams from week to week. (Might be my scale, but might also be related to her most recent bowel movement activities at any given time.) The only changes I have noted are that her colors are much brighter almost all the time, she is extra aggressive when I have to be in her cage, and she paces up and down the cage, digging at the walls and floor.

    Today I gave her a 12”x12”x10” laying bin filled with washed, moist/malleable play sand. I made the beginning of a small “tunnel”, but so far, she hasn’t paid any attention to it that I can see. I have made a curtain/privacy screen that starts an inch up from the floor and goes to about 5” below the top of the cage.

    I have tried to palpate her belly for the last couple days, but she just feels normal. I sometimes feel like I can see some lumps just in front of her hips (see picture attached), but when I feel that area, the visible “lumps” seem to disappear and I don’t feel anything unusual.

    Cage Info:

    ◦ Cage Type - Aluminum frame, mesh screen sides/top 18”x18”x36”.

    ◦ Lighting - Fixture is a ZooMed deep double dome that covers almost the entire top of the cage; the basking bulb is 75watts (I don’t remember for sure which brand it is, but I have a feeling it is also ZooMed), and the UVB bulb is Reptisun 10.0. Both bulbs last replaced in early September. Her lights are on a timer to come on at 8am and turn off at 9pm.

    ◦ Temperature - Ambient is around 75-81, basking is 85-90, and floor is around 70-75. I have a thermometer 12” under the light, right at her basking spot, and a second halfway down the enclosure. Lowest overnight temp is 65.
    I had borrowed a temp gun when I last put new bulbs in, and it reflected similar temps to the thermometers kept inside the enclosure.

    ◦ Humidity - Average humidity is around 40-45%. After a misting, it starts at 75-80% for about 10-15 mins and levels back down to the 40-45% range within an hour. I mist five times a day for 5-10 mins at a time. I have a hygrometer Velcro-d to the upper middle rear screen on the enclosure, but have moved it around to different places to check humidity percentage when I’ve been curious. She mostly hangs out in the upper middle quadrant during the day, which is why I put the hygrometer there. I have two sides of the outside of her cage wrapped in cellophane to hold the humidity in longer (before doing this, the humidity levels would drop into the low 30’s within a half hour of misting.) The cellophane “panels” are 5” down from the top and about 6” up from the bottom, to allow additional airflow.

    ◦ Plants - She had an incident about a month ago where she took a nice bite out of a plastic leaf, so since the second week of September 2018, she has had two medium golden Pothos plants and two small Jade succulents.

    ◦ Placement - Her enclosure is at the far end of my livingroom. It’s just me and my boyfriend living here, and we are rarely walking around or making any commotion in that room. I would classify it as low-to-medium traffic levels. Her cage is on a table that is 3 feet off the ground.

    ◦ Location - I am in northeastern Ohio, USA.

    Current problem - I can’t tell if my female Veiled is going to lay eggs.

    Attached Files:

  6. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Still need a pic of the entire viv, you sound like you know what your talking about but I’d still like to see it.
  7. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Remove tomatoes from hornworm diet.

    What multivitamin do you use, how often?

    Chams tend to get darker when gravid, not brighter.

    It’s not surprising you couldn’t feel the eggs, very difficult to until late in the pregnancy.

    I’m not too sure if the cage aggression is the result of having eggs or is just because it’s taken this long for her to view her viv as her territory now and is just protecting it. I’ve never had an aggressive Cham in any situation.

    The restlessness is one of two things:
    1- there is something wrong with her viv driving her to try to escape. From your answers I don’t think this is the case but is why we need a pic of your viv.
    2- she is entering the final stages of her reproductive cycle. Restlessness is usually one of the first signs.

    Don’t panic because she diddnt jump straight into her lay bin, it’s a recent addition to her territory so she likely isn’t very comfortable with it yet. This is why we reccomend having the lay bin be a permanent part of her viv.

    You have two paths forward-
    1- Take her to a vet and request an X-ray. (Maybe the rescue center will give you one for free?)
    2- give her time to settle down and let nature take her course. She will likely do this on her own, just keep an eye out for weakness or lethargic behavior.

    Welcome to the forum! Keep us updated and we will gladly walk you through this!
    Jesspete and ERKleRose like this.
  8. apple_or_a_gun

    apple_or_a_gun New Member

    Sorry! It was late (for me) when I made my last post yesterday, didn’t realize I didn’t include the enclosure pics!

    The current plan is to get more live plants in there, especially something vine-like for that left wall above the laying bin, I just haven’t decided on what to get yet. I have read and bookmarked so many “chameleon safe” lists, but it’s so hard to find anything appropriate in my area other than golden Pothos and jade succulents...I will have to order from online for pretty much anything else. I had originally brought home an umbrella plant as well, but it was not the arbicola variety, so we got rid of it. What are your favorite plants to use?

    (I have some old pictures from when I was using the fake foliage; it was definitely a prettier, more lush set-up. )

    I have been using Reptivite with D3 two days out of each month—is that not a multivitamin? Before I brought her home, I was picking out the supplements online and ended up with ReptiCalcium with D3, ReptiCalcium without D3, and Reptivite with D3. (The ReptiCalcium w/D3 has just been sitting in my supply drawer.) I read more recently that Reptivite has phosphorous in it, so I was looking to switch it anyway. What are your suggestions? I have to order online for almost everything I need because my local pet stores are crap.

    And Brodybreaux25–You were actually one of the first responders and the biggest helpers to me last month when this same chameleon ate some of her fake foliage and I was losing my mind over impaction worries. This forum has been super helpful because no one I have personal contact with has ever kept chameleons themselves, and the exotics vets I volunteer with haven’t treated very many. More often than not, I find answers to my questions here first.

    *edited at 11:40am:

    Since I put the bin in there yesterday, she hasn’t been doing any of the restless traveling up and down, or scratching. She’s been pretty content to sit in her basking spot, and traveled to her usual lower branch to sleep last night. I’ll keep an eye on her today to see if she goes back to the up-and-down routine.

    Also forgot to say that other than adding the laying bin yesterday, nothing has changed inside her enclosure in a month (when I switched from fake to live plants.) Could it take that long for her decide she didn’t like something?

    Attached Files:

    #8 apple_or_a_gun, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018

  9. Hi there! I saw your comment and I was wondering if there’s any post on how to set up a permanent lating bin?
    I’m getting a bigger screen cage for my panther and it’s maybe a good time to set up a lating bin with it, but I don’t really understand how would it work with a live plant in it with the sand, etc. I did read about having a hole at the bottom so water does not get accumulated.
    Thank you!
  10. ERKleRose

    ERKleRose Chameleon Enthusiast

    Mount the plants to the screen walls
  11. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Quick answer is to go read @jannb blog on it, then start your own thread and you’ll get more help than you could ever imagine
  12. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Plants- pathos, spider plant, palms, bromeliads.
    Looks like Repitive is a vitamin, it’s good. Pic of what I use below.
    She needs ALOT more foliage/branches, I know your working on that.
    She looks a lot more gravid in those pics, both shape and color.

    You said she had a privacy curtain, I dont see it...
  13. apple_or_a_gun

    apple_or_a_gun New Member

    I’m using white copier paper taped in panels on the sides and front door of the enclosure so I can still get in to feed her without having to adjust a makeshift curtain or something. I un-taped them to take pics of the enclosure, but they’re back up now. (See picture.)

    She did have a few extra branches before I put the laying bin in there; but it still probably wasn’t enough. I wasn’t sure how to fit them back in as they were, so I will just cut them to size today and rearrange since I will be leaving the laying bin in there permanently.

    I have one more large Pothos that can be re-potted and put in there. Do you recommend hanging it from one of the upper corners, or maybe make it fill in some of the space above the laying bin? I will be sure to add more live plants ASAP.

    Attached Files:

  14. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

  15. Decadancin

    Decadancin Moderatoris Americanus
    Staff Member

    Make sure to do a "starter hole" so she may get the idea to either continue on or create her own.
    apple_or_a_gun likes this.
  16. apple_or_a_gun

    apple_or_a_gun New Member

    Thank you for clarifying that! I did make a small “starter hole” when I put the bin in, but wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to do.
    Decadancin likes this.
  17. Decadancin

    Decadancin Moderatoris Americanus
    Staff Member

    Absolutely! There is nothing wrong with doing this. Especially for a chameleon that is dealing with her first clutch.
    apple_or_a_gun likes this.

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