Lethargic chameleon


New Member
Hello, I am new to this site so please be nice. :(
I have a male Panther chameleon, I call him Fallbou, he is about 6 months and been doing quite well until today. In the morning he seemed quite different. His eyes appeared a bit sunken and he was literally laying under the basking spot. He seemed like he was taking a nap and it wasn’t normal basking if you know what I mean. I have noticed that he was eating less than usual in past few days but I thought that he don’t like his feeding cup, so I started to put crickets again in his enclosure as before. But today he was just weird. I have found strange half digested cricket, what I considered to be a vomit. Definitelly not a poop. I am worried that something is going on with him. I know that going to vet is the best but I just wanted to know if there is something I can do now and if he is really acting as a sick chameleon and it’s not just me being overreactive. Thank you for your help. Here is the form.

  • Your Chameleon - Panther chameleon, male, approx 6 months old. I have purchased him when he was 3m and half cca, so I’m taking care of him for 2 and half months.
  • Handling - Normally few times a week but it depends. Maybe 2 or 3 times per week.
  • Feeding - Every day few crickets. Last two weeks he had some meal worms but I know they’re not healthy so I put them away. 2 or 3 dubias in past few days but he didn’t like them, didn’t want to eat them so I stick with crickets. I give my crickets variety of food. I am giving them gel with vitamins mixed with water for drinking and cricket food for eating. They also have dry mixture on the floor. I always give them fresh food as: apple, orange, mandarine, carrot, potatoe, salad, cucumber, banana or other fruit or vegetable I have at home. Always looking whether they can eat it on the internet.
  • Supplements - Every other day I dust feeders with calcium, I use Plastin and supplements which I have purchased on reptile expo, not completely sure whether they are good so I returned to Plastin. Once a week I dust with Reptivite. Not sure about amount, I just dust the crickets.
  • Watering - I mist my chameleon with hand mister until the cage is wet. Sometimes less because I am afraid of having too much water inside - I spray the leaves to create drops. In past days I have seen him drinking.
  • Fecal Description - Today his poop was solid - brown part but the white part seemed quite runny. Yesterday his poop seemed okay, solid parts, white part was white but between two parts there was a bit of orangey mini dots. He was never tested on parasites.
  • History - Yesterday I accidentally woke him up at night a few times, I was feeding the crickets and turn off the lights, he woke up. Then I saw a poop in his cage and wanted to clean it, so I woke him again.
  • I have recently rebuilded his cage. He had a lot of small branches there. I added plastic exo terra moss vine and live Bromelia plant.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Glass cage with screen top and screen stripe under the door. 120x50x70 (h x d x w)
  • Lighting - Regular bulb for basking 40W, UVB ReptiEye 26W and Biovital narva 18W. It turns of at 7 in the morning and goes off in 7 at the evening. If I am not able to mist it in time, I will let the lights shine one more hour.
  • Temperature - Around 30 at basking spot, elsewhere on top 27,7, in the middle 24.
  • Humidity - By misting. Normally 50-60%, sometimes 80%. I use exo terra hygrometer.
  • Plants - Ficus elastica, 2 Pothoses, Bromelia, Orchid.
  • Placement - It’s in my room next to door. The side of the cage is covered with beige paper, I think he was sometimes scared of movement. Another side is partially covered (it is next to my table), he is walking around the cage and watching me sometimes when I work there. No fans or wents, only door to hallway. The top is 170 cm from the floor, cage is on the table.
  • Location - In the middle of Europe, Czech Republic.

Current problem: Chameleon seems lethargic, he is sleeping/taking nap during the day, not eating. I think he had vomited in the morning. I tried to mist him in my bath room because he seemed dehydrated, he was drinking. Also i put a few drops of water in his mouth in late afternoon. I have covered mostly his enclosure so he can relax without being stressed.
When I think about it I gave him a roach at friday night. I was cleaning them and find out one who was white, freshly shed and Fallbou was interested. He ate him. I put the lights on for an hour (thought it could help him digest the roach). I know I shouldn’t feed him at night, never done it before. Can it be the problem since he is pooping now?

His cage.

Fallbou yesterday.

Fallbou today.

The vomit.

Thank you again for your help. Sorry for any mistake in my grammar or in editing this post.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi, and welcome to the forums! Sorry to hear about your troubles. Couple things: First of all, when was the last time Fallbou shed? It may be possible that his behavioral changes (lethargy, lack of appetite) are due to a shed coming on soon.

From your pictures, he looks pretty healthy! Legs look good, eyes don't look too sunken to me, and he doesn't appear malnourished. When he was laying down under the basking spot, were his eyes open or closed? If they were closed, then that is reason for concern, but if they were open it is possible he was acting strangely as a one-off sort of thing. Sometimes my panther chameleon (who is about the same age/size as yours) will position his body so it is parallel to the ground so he can soak up heat most efficiently, which looks a bit odd. Your care looks good overall and you are clearly a diligent and caring cham owner. I wish you guys all the best!


New Member
Hello, thank you for your answer. The last time he shed was 3 weeks ago.

Unfortunately I can't remember whether his eyes were closed or not but he had them closed today few times, when laying on the branch. He generally looked like in a kind of sleeping position today. I don't know what happened. I hope he will feel better tomorrow.

Thank you for your positive comment, I appreciate it. :)


Chameleon Enthusiast
Overall, I think he looks quite healthy. It could be that he ended up with a full stomach all night as he couldn't digest the large meal before his metabolism dropped. It might have upset his stomach and he just got rid of whatever was there the next morning. I think I'd do nothing for now. Sometimes if a cham overfills its stomach with too much liquid in addition to food they end up vomiting it up. They have fairly small stomachs for their size and they can overeat. If he happened to be climbing around head down, there's nothing to keep stomach contents from flowing back into the throat. If he vomits again or he seems off over the next day or so, then a vet visit might be a good idea.


New Member
Hi, to keep you updated:

Yesterday I have visited vet. Not so sure about his experience with chameleons. I couldn’t find anyone better. The best vet is currently in Kenya and I wasn’t able to get in contact with his co-worker. Another ones werent available. Like if all luck was gone for us. Anyway I went to this vet and he couldn’t find any signs of inflamation or anything so he gave him vitamin injection with an advice to try to make him eat.

Today morning he was ten times worse. He wasn’t able to hold on a branch so he was just hanging by tail. I took him out and thought he is gone, but was still living. I went to another vets immediately. Onewasn’t available again. Another one was touching him and said he thought his kidneys are a bit bigger. Then he took him blood and find out about too much vitamin D and phosphor. He told me he could hospotalize him and try to hydrate him and give him some medicine so his kidneys will get better but that it is very unsure whether he would survive since he looked almost dead and that he would consider euthanasia.

It was very hard for me to decide but trust me that I made this choice out of my best thinking. He looked really weak and sick. I let him go...
I didn’t want him to suffer even more. By the look of him he probably wouldn’t make it till the evening and that is what the vet thought also.

Can’t even describe how sad and upset am I. I was crying all the way home and even now. I think it is my fault because I was giving him some vitamins from reptile expo and they were more like multivitamins than better calcium...
Hopefully he’s on a better place now. Somewhere in chameleon heaven, climbing trees and eating flies.

Here are some pictures of him from his last days.

Unable to hold on a branch.

Today’s morning.

Hopefully he will forgive me. I will meet him once in his full strength...





Chameleon Enthusiast
I am so, so very sorry for your loss. You cared a lot for him and I think you did the right thing. Rest in peace, little guy.
Top Bottom