Juvenile Veiled acting strange.

Camo101

New Member
I’ll be putting my feedback in red.
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    - Veiled Chameleon, N/A for sex of chameleon, vet said 13 weeks. We have had it for 2 months. Responsible breeders won’t rehome their chams until at least 3-4 months old as younger ones can be fragile and some just fail to thrive.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
    -Daily for a short period of time, doesn’t get upset at me if I put my hand in cage and climbs on my hand willingly.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    -Crickets, he doesn’t really want to eat the suggested amount but he eats about two a day on a good day. I feed the crickets fruit. This is way too little. He should be getting pretty much as much as he can eat in a 15 minute period, twice a day. The feeders need to be the correct size, which is anything smaller than the space between his eyes. There’s lots of different types of feeders, some may not be appropriate for his size right now. Attaching feeder sheet. Also attaching gutloading sheet. The better you feed your bugs, the healthier they are and more nutritious for your chameleon.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    - Zoo Med Repticalcium without D3 and Reptitve with D3. I dust every other cricket. You should be using the calcium without D3 at every feeding. The Reptivite with D3 is to be used for one feeding every other week. It is a multivitamin and D3 combo and some of the vitamins are fat soluble, meaning they can build up to toxic levels if given too often.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Drinks from automatic misting system and hand misting from bottle. The automatic mister goes off every hour for about 16 seconds which keeps the humidity up around 50-60%. I do see my chameleon drink. Your enclosure needs to dry out in between mistings. Ideal humidity during the day is between 30-50%, which is rather dry. Is better to mist for about 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day. If you wish, you can use a dripper mid day for about 20-30 minutes for additional drinking source.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? It’s pretty watery and poop comes out first then the white stuff comes a few minutes after. No has not been tested. It’s always a good idea to have a fecal check for parasites. Some are quite serious.
  • 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? Screen Cage, 36 x16x16 This is fine for your little one right now. However, before you know it he’ll be full grown and needing at least a 2x2x4’ enclosure.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? 12 hours of UVB and bask light, the uvb bulb is zoo med 5.0 reptisun uvb, reptibask 50 watts. The 12 hour schedule is perfect! As has already been said, colored bulbs are bad for sensitive chameleon eyes. The screw in or light bulb type uvb is essentially useless at any distance farther than 2-3”. At the distance that you have, your chameleon isn’t getting any uvb and this is most likely one of his problems. Without uvb, he can’t synthesize natural D3 which is needed to convert calcium into a usable form. The standard for uvb is a linear T5 ho fixture with either a ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. I prefer Arcadia as they last for a year vs only 6 months for ReptiSun. Then the uvb light needs to be about 8-9” above basking area. You absolutely have the right idea about raising your lights above the enclosure. You’ll need to do the same with the linear uvb. This is a great light that comes with the bulb. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html I believe they are currently sold out of the 24” 6% one, but you may be able to find it at another vendor. Local pet stores rarely carry the correct uvb, so is best to buy on line.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Basking spot is between 85-90, cage floor is between 70-75. Lowest overnight temp is 70. Digital temperature gauges and basking spot has a probe temperature gauge. For babies, it’s best to keep basking temps no higher than 80. Actually I keep all my chams around 80-82 as it’s been found it prolongs their lives.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity is between 50-60%, automatic misting system and hand misting. We use digital humidity gauges. I already touched on this. High humidity + high temps = respiratory infection risk. At night when temps drop, it is good to boost humidity to 80-100% if you can. This simulates the natural hydration they get in the wild through fog.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? We are growing pathos plants now soon to be in its cage. Perfect! Use only live plants as veileds eat their plants and have been known to eat fake leaves and get impacted. I hang my fake plants outside my enclosures. I’ll also attach the safe plant list.
  • 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? In my bedroom, no high traffic area and I do have a ceiling fan but the air flow never hits the cage. 5 1/2 feet off the floor. The higher they are above us, the safer they feel.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? New England northeast, America.
So I suspect the biggest problems your little one has is he’s malnourished and lacking adequate calcium. Due to this, it is possible that his body contortions are neurological as calcium fuels everything. Asap you need to get him the correct sized feeders and uvb light. As most pet stores only carry crickets that are likely to large, it would be best to order some on line. I use these guys and am very pleased. https://www.ghann.com/Live-Crickets...ABILITY-LIMITED-DUE-TO-HIGH-SALESspan-C2.aspx You could also for now get some bsfl (aka: calci worms, Phoenix worms) which are usually stocked by pet stores and see if those are small enough for him. Until you can get the correct uvb delivered, take him outside for some natural sun. Just be careful about having him in direct sunlight for more than a minute or two as he can quickly overheat. Dappled light is perfect. Hopefully, you’ve caught all of this quickly enough so that once you make the needed corrections, he can bounce right back.
If I’ve missed anything, I’m sure another member will catch it. Do make sure to check out chameleon academy as they are the leading source for proper care info and a whole lot more. Of course, we’re here to help you as we can, answering any questions and just offering support. :)

So what do you think about this new UVB Linear with the 5.0 Th50. It’s around 9 inches from his basking spot. ( He is sleeping right now cause it’s bedtime!) we still are going to hang the reptibask light. Any recommendations on how far or close or is that really depending on the temperature?
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
So what do you think about this new UVB Linear with the 5.0 Th50. It’s around 9 inches from his basking spot. ( He is sleeping right now cause it’s bedtime!) we still are going to hang the reptibask light. Any recommendations on how far or close or is that really depending on the temperature?
The uvb distance of 9” is perfect! You’ll have to experiment for the distance of your basking light to get the right temp of around 80. Even 78-80 is a perfect temp for a little one. If you are having trouble getting the right temp, you may need to try a different wattage of bulb.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
how come during the day high humidity and high temperature can cause upper respiratory infections but not at night?
Hot overly humid air can promote bacterial growth. If there’s poor air circulation, that really adds to the risk. At night there should be a good temp drop like down to the 60’s and then you can boost humidity. Although it’s a great thing to do, I can’t say that it’s absolutely necessary. I’m in Florida and have trouble getting my night temps below 70 so I don’t boost the humidity that much at night.
 

Camo101

New Member
Hot overly humid air can promote bacterial growth. If there’s poor air circulation, that really adds to the risk. At night there should be a good temp drop like down to the 60’s and then you can boost humidity. Although it’s a great thing to do, I can’t say that it’s absolutely necessary. I’m in Florida and have trouble getting my night temps below 70 so I don’t boost the humidity that much at night.
Thank you so much for all of your help! i really appreciate it!
 
i couldn’t help with the sickness part, but what i can help with is the set up of the enclosure. i haven’t read all the other responses, so if this has been said already i’m sorry. the first thing is lights. they aren’t touching the cage, so it might not be warm enough. you need a long UV light. not one that has the combined like you have. another thing is the plants. fake plants aren’t good because veileds have a tendency to eat them and they can’t digest the plastic, it doesn’t pass through them then it gets stuck and they die. live plants are the way to go. they can digest them better and they have more benefits. you need more coverage in there! chameleons like to hide. they can’t do that if they don’t have anywhere to hide. if those vines are foam, i recommend getting them
out of the cage. same thing happens with those as with the fake plants. im sure others will help with the rest- this is not meant to be mean or picky about your set up, i just want to help. i hope you get everything figured out and your cham is ok!
 

SpicyOrchid

New Member
@SpicyOrchid Quality-bred flies and other insects captive bred as feeders from reputable feeder companies are much better than wild-caught or poorly-bred ones. Don't recommend for people, especially newbies, to catch bugs outside without warning of parasites and diseases. Also, since you are new here, I'd recommend filling out the husbandry form yourself, as some of what you've been saying is incorrect. Then we can help you help out better, as well!
I’ve learned that the basking light was completely wrong over this past week.
Vet says at his age the uvb could be 10.0 until older juvenile stage. And the basking light should be 100w and at least 6” away for a warming temp of 84. She has chameleons of her own and shared her experiences. Both good and bad.

I had an appointment set up for parasite poop screening and general physical. Turned out I had to rush him to the reptile vet due to gasping and wheezing- he has a lower respiratory infection. I bought him from Petco and I’m told this is common. I asked 50 questions what did I do wrong - listed everything - she said you didn’t do anything wrong, he had this problem before you bought him. However after I detailed the husbandry methods, I saw mistakes that needed fixing.

😣 I have him doing daily saline nebulizer treatments as well as daily antibiotic injections. Swab his mouth for excess mucus. So far he’s receptive to treatment. It’s day 4 and his wheezing has subsided. I’m hopeful but realistic. I won’t give up. I know it seems crazy to most ppl. Especially since I just bought him recently (08/15/21) - but I’ve become attached and can’t turn my back on any animal.

The vet was straight up, no bs. Says he has a 50/50 chance based on my dedication. Vet says to keep him on baby crickets until he improves. I’m following everything she says.
I’m on and off of this forum as time permits. I will look into the worksheet, thank you.

@Camo101 sorry I was wrong about lighting. I hope your chameleon is doing better.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Vet says at his age the uvb could be 10.0 until older juvenile stage. And the basking light should be 100w and at least 6” away for a warming temp of 84.
So FYI.... UVI levels are the same for a species regardless of age. It is all based on the fixture type, bulb type, and distance to basking to get the correct UVI level. And if you put a 100 watt bulb 6 inches away from a chameleon your asking for a thermal burn.

I would be very careful what info your sharing with others. It does not take much to steer someone in the wrong direction and create health issues for their chameleon.

I think this site would be a good place for you to learn accurate husbandry. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 

SpicyOrchid

New Member
So FYI.... UVI levels are the same for a species regardless of age. It is all based on the fixture type, bulb type, and distance to basking to get the correct UVI level. And if you put a 100 watt bulb 6 inches away from a chameleon your asking for a thermal burn.

I would be very careful what info your sharing with others. It does not take much to steer someone in the wrong direction and create health issues for their chameleon.

I think this site would be a good place for you to learn accurate husbandry. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
I agree as I am learning. And in no way claim to be expert. I’m simply listening to a exotic reptile vet. I have watched chameleon academy videos and will continue to do so.

I am certainly not wanting to steer anyone in the wrong direction. I’ll take what you’ve said into consideration.
Thank you for your time.
 
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