Little guy not doing well...


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Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - He's a veiled chameleon, I'm not sure of the age-- I believe he's a male-- but he's very small, about 3.5" long excluding tail. I have had him for about 2 weeks.
Handling - Twice a week, for cage cleaning, and handfeeding mealworms at that time.
Feeding - Mealworms, Crickets, the occasional fly. I provide plenty but he eats only about 3 mealworms a day. I add about a dozen crickets every three days, but he doesn't eat them. I put spinach, mango, cabbage, and carrot into the crickets jar for about a day before putting them in his cage.
Supplements - I dust mealworms and crickets with Zoo Med's Reptivite.
Watering - There is a bowl of still water that I keep full, though I know he won't drink from it as it is still, but I mist 3-4 times a day. I never see him drink.
Fecal Description - Like a bird-poop. Slightly wet, white, and black. He has not been to the vet while in my care.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - 20 Gal glass aquarium. Mesh top.
Lighting - 60 watt red bulb from the petstore (I think it is also Zoo-Med) and one of those $30 UV lightbulbs. In ceramic Flukers fixtures.
Temperature - 60-80-- the temp gauge is in the center of the cage though, not the basking spot.
Humidity - Anywhere from 20% - 90%. I mist often, but don't want the bedding soaked. It is a combo temp/humidity gauge that sticks to the back of the cage.
Plants - One small Ficus.
Placement - He's in a corner between two windows. The top of the cage comes to about 4.5 ft.
Location - Plano, TX

Current Problem -

I bought my veiled chameleon about two weeks ago from a girl on Craigslist (for better or for worse). I named him Matcha. He hasn't had much of an appetite and I would like for him to be energetic, happy, and healthy. When I first got him, I noticed a little bump on one of his eyes, like a little swollen area, and another one on the bridge of his nose. After joining here and reading online a lot, I wondered if this had something to do with his shedding. I have not made it to the vet yet.

His appetite is pretty bad but I'm able to get him to eat meal-worms if I hold them in my palm and he perches on my finger. I am dusting the meal-worms with Reptivite because he will not eat crickets. I have bought the small crickets and keep them dusted and have tried both letting them roam the cage and using a feeding cup, but he won't eat them.

He's in a glass aquarium with a mesh top, and a UV light and heat-lamp (to one side) on top. He has two trees, a fake one (warm side) and a real one (small Ficus, cool side) but he seems to get stuck (??) sometimes in the ficus.

I keep his cage misted 3-4 times a day, dripping down the plants like rain and just lightly misting the glass, but I have never actually seen him drink. His eyes are not sunken but his little arms are quite thin and I am beginning to see his ribs. The first chance I will have to go out to the vet is Tuesday evening.. I'm really worried about him...

Do you SEE your chameleon drink? Do you know what would stimulate his appetite? I want him to be eating more healthful things than meal-worms!
First of all, sorry to hear your little one is not doing well. You must get him out of the aquarium asap! Those types of tanks do not have proper ventilation and you very well may be overheating your chameleon. Does your Reptivite contain d3? If so, do not use that at every feeding. Use that acouple of times a month and get a plain calcium. As far as the bump, you need to get your chameleon to a vet(you can post some pics) but it sounds as if your chameleon has an abcess that will need to be cleaned out, and cultured and then he will need the proper antibiotic. Veilds for some reason are very prone to these in the sinus area. It will not go away on its own, and will get worse if untreated.
First of all, thank you SO MUCH for the prompt, informative, and non-inflammatory post. Greatly appreciated. I'll get him out of the tank & to the vet ASAP. I am attaching a picture.

Also, I was wondering, if Veilds become so stressed out by handling, how can the vet take care of their eyes and such?


PS - Uhh sorry about the Instagramyness. It is late and I didn't want to turn his light on so he's just in the red basking light and I made it black-and-white for clarity's sake.
PSS - His foot looks a little freaky there. I don't know what he's doing. Its actually quite normal looking with good grip-strength.
PSSS - dust does contain D3. I'll pick up another one after work tomorrow.
So glad you are going to get him(I think it is a her) out of the tank. So hard to regulate temps in those things. What size is the tank anyways? Most of us use screen cages but they can successfully be kept in terrariums which have bottom ventilation. I do not see the bump on the top of his nose, but from what you are describing, it sounds like one of those absesses. Male Veild chameleons have a thing called a tarsal spur which is on the back of the back heel. It is kinda like a little spike that resembles a pimple. The females do not have this and that is how their gender is determined at an early age as most of their coloring is the same when they are young. There is not much you can do about your chameleon getting stressed at the vets. Unfortunately, the stress does not outweigh if they need treatment so they just have to be upset for a little while while they are being tended to. oh and get a white housebulb for basking, not a red one. No lights on at night either.
No lights. That is correct. Chameleons sleep can be disrupted by the slightest bit of light and if you have a light on in the cage at night you are certain to effect their sleeping patterns. How cold is your house? Unless your house is getting down into the low 50 degree mark or below, you do not need heat. If you do need heat, the you get a ceramic heat emitter and use that in place of your basking bulb. A white basking bulb, is far more natural than a red one as it replicates the sun more. Also, a temperature drop at night is just like how they live in nature.
New cham huh?

Hi, Im just adding my 3 cents...Sometimes chams can get picky and bothered when they get moved around from cage to cage, etc. I have seen a cham go two days without eating until he got comfortable with his surroundings. The best thing would be to let him chillax for a day or two without handling him or rushing his enclosure. I think the pic shows *her looking pretty normal, ie. healthy. Lights at night are a no go unless temps drop below 50 as was mentioned. If you have temps hitting below 50. I have used a small heat pad on one end of the enclosure so that if the cham gets too hot, it could just walk off to the cooler end of the pool. I see no bump on the chams eyes, but the pic isnt too detailed. I would advise taking out the ficus, I am not a fan of ficus plants. The sap that is in the leaves is slightly toxic and can cause irritations near chams eyes and mouth. Lastly, Depending on size, glass is alright as long as you keep it clean. Some cham-masters dont believe in glass, but across the pond and in many countries out of the states glass is still the standard with no problems. I use both glass and screen cages. Good luck dude, its all just advice.
One last note, as far as drinking goes, chams drink from the precipitation that accumulates on leaves, ie. droplets on the leaves. Most dont drink from standing water. Yes, you can see them drink, they will go and lap up the drops on the glass or the leaves. They will essentially lick the leaves. Regarding the food stimulation, the only thing I know is that its not a good idea to jam them up with a ton of bugs in their enclosure, some chams get confused and cant decide what to gobble up. Leave one or two crickets in there, if the crickets are too big then take them out at night so that they dont take payback on your cham and chew up her tail while she sleeps.
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