Male Veiled consistently dark + other symptoms

jl41919

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - veiled, male, just under 2 years, been with me 1.5 years.
  • Handling - 2-3 times per week depending on his interest to come out.
  • Feeding - crickets. Dubia, horn worms, super worms, silk worms. Mostly silks and crickets- as he’s picky, but occasionally will eat supers and Dubias. Every other day feeding.
  • Supplements - repti-cal w/o d3 every-other feeding. Herptivite 2x per month, Calc with d3 2x per month
  • Watering - mist system on timer to be humid overnight and early morning. Hand spray mid-day.
  • Fecal Description - he’s not eating much as of late, so right now small, hard, and black. He did try to eat a silkworm earlier this week, but it passed right through so you could see the worm fully in his feces. Unrates are mostly white with some yellow/orange coloration, and small.
  • History - When I got him he was approximately 3 to 6 months old, he stayed overnight in a box a little bit longer than anticipated because FedEx messed up. He’s been in my care ever cents, he has never had issues eating or using the bathroom and he’s always been kind of grouchy.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen 2’x2’x4’
  • Lighting - 22" daylight bulb, 60, recently upped to 100, watt incandescent for heat on timer 7am-8pm
  • Temperature - basking 90°, bottom 68°, 68° over night
  • Humidity - 40-60%
  • Plants - 2xpothos, ficus tree, umbrella plant
  • Placement - spare bedroom, next to widnow, door closed always no traffic. Placed on the floor
  • Location - PA state
Current Problem: Cosmo has not been eating his bugs as of late. His favorite are silk worms and they hold zero interest. He is still drinking water regularly, but bugs don’t seem to hold his interest. He has chewed on my pothos, but not often. Cosmo is also extremely dark in color all of the time and will not leave his basking branch, which prompted me to go from a 60 to 100 watt bulb. He also seems extremely weak and won’t puff up to “defend” or “fight” me when I reach in to take him out. Hems been extremely inactive- according to my husband, who is home all day. Earlier this week when he did eat a silk worm, it passed straight through. He also has a slight twitch- especially when I was “inspecting” his body- running my fingers near his hind legs/tail base. When I did that, he almost vibrated/creaked, and twitched his head.

I’m not sure what to do- we live in a rural area without quick access to an exotics vet. I also don’t want to drive to take him, as the last time I took a rep. to the vet it cost me an arm and a leg and she passed away 4 days later. Any advice you could provide would be helpful.

First photo is current situation. Second and third are what he usually looks like.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said...
"Lighting - 22" daylight bulb, 60, recently upped to 100, watt incandescent for heat on timer 7am-8pm
Temperature - basking 90°, bottom 68°, 68° over night"...
IMHO 90 is too warm for a veiled's basking temperature.
Since he was already darker, from what you said, before you changed the light, the light change wouldn't be the reason for the change.
Is your 22" bulb a UVB bulb?

You said..."repti-cal w/o d3 every-other feeding. Herptivite 2x per month, Calc with d3 2x per month"...the calcium without D3 should be used on every feeding, lightly.

You said..."He also has a slight twitch- especially when I was “inspecting” his body- running my fingers near his hind legs/tail base. When I did that, he almost vibrated/creaked, and twitched his head"...this behaviour is likely him reacting to you handling him and saying leave me alone....although if twitching/shakiness occurs while he's just moving about his cage it could be that he's developing MBD from lack of proper supplementing.

Personally, I would not have the cage near the window if I lived in a cold climate. It can cause a draft and result in a RI.
 
Last edited:

jl41919

New Member
You said...
"Lighting - 22" daylight bulb, 60, recently upped to 100, watt incandescent for heat on timer 7am-8pm
Temperature - basking 90°, bottom 68°, 68° over night"...
IMHO 90 is too warm for a veiled's basking temperature.
Since he was already darker, from what you said, before you changed the light, the light change wouldn't be the reason for the change.
Is your 22" bulb a UVB bulb?

You said..."repti-cal w/o d3 every-other feeding. Herptivite 2x per month, Calc with d3 2x per month"...the calcium without D3 should be used on every feeding, lightly.

You said..."He also has a slight twitch- especially when I was “inspecting” his body- running my fingers near his hind legs/tail base. When I did that, he almost vibrated/creaked, and twitched his head"...this behaviour is likely him reacting to you handling him and saying leave me alone....although if twitching/shakiness occurs while he's just moving about his cage it could be that he's developing MBD from lack of proper supplementing.

Personally, I would not have the cage near the window if I lived in a cold climate. It can cause a draft and result in a RI.
Yes- the bulb is a UVB- I changed that out about a month ago (every 4 is typically when I do this). I just switched it back to the 60 watt to see if there are any changes. I took him outside today as it hit 65 and he seemed to be doing much better chilling on his plant in the sun.

I can adjust to dusting the feeders every day, but that doesn’t change that he isn’t truly eating anything and pooping full bugs when he does. Any idea on this?

We are moving soon from a temporary spot to a more permanent and for now, the window area was the only solution. I will keep that in mind in our new spot.
 

jl41919

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - veiled, male, just under 2 years, been with me 1.5 years.
  • Handling - 2-3 times per week depending on his interest to come out.
  • Feeding - crickets. Dubia, horn worms, super worms, silk worms. Mostly silks and crickets- as he’s picky, but occasionally will eat supers and Dubias. Every other day feeding.
  • Supplements - repti-cal w/o d3 every-other feeding. Herptivite 2x per month, Calc with d3 2x per month
  • Watering - mist system on timer to be humid overnight and early morning. Hand spray mid-day.
  • Fecal Description - he’s not eating much as of late, so right now small, hard, and black. He did try to eat a silkworm earlier this week, but it passed right through so you could see the worm fully in his feces. Unrates are mostly white with some yellow/orange coloration, and small.
  • History - When I got him he was approximately 3 to 6 months old, he stayed overnight in a box a little bit longer than anticipated because FedEx messed up. He’s been in my care ever cents, he has never had issues eating or using the bathroom and he’s always been kind of grouchy.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen 2’x2’x4’
  • Lighting - 22" daylight bulb, 60, recently upped to 100, watt incandescent for heat on timer 7am-8pm
  • Temperature - basking 90°, bottom 68°, 68° over night
  • Humidity - 40-60%
  • Plants - 2xpothos, ficus tree, umbrella plant
  • Placement - spare bedroom, next to widnow, door closed always no traffic. Placed on the floor
  • Location - PA state
Current Problem: Cosmo has not been eating his bugs as of late. His favorite are silk worms and they hold zero interest. He is still drinking water regularly, but bugs don’t seem to hold his interest. He has chewed on my pothos, but not often. Cosmo is also extremely dark in color all of the time and will not leave his basking branch, which prompted me to go from a 60 to 100 watt bulb. He also seems extremely weak and won’t puff up to “defend” or “fight” me when I reach in to take him out. Hems been extremely inactive- according to my husband, who is home all day. Earlier this week when he did eat a silk worm, it passed straight through. He also has a slight twitch- especially when I was “inspecting” his body- running my fingers near his hind legs/tail base. When I did that, he almost vibrated/creaked, and twitched his head.

I’m not sure what to do- we live in a rural area without quick access to an exotics vet. I also don’t want to drive to take him, as the last time I took a rep. to the vet it cost me an arm and a leg and she passed away 4 days later. Any advice you could provide would be helpful.

First photo is current situation. Second and third are what he usually looks like.
Update: he is still not eating- it’s been over a week since I’ve seen him eat something. He is also not responding very well to anything, like water and my hand being in his cage. He seems so weak and I’m at a loss of what to do.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Where do you live? I might be able to recommend a good chameleon vet. He looks bad in that first picture. He needs to see one right always. Chameleons go down fast. I noticed on your help form is says Penn State. Here’s a vet that’s seen many chameleons over the years. Dr. Achtel at Exeter Veterinary Hospital
http://www.exetervethospital.com/
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Can you take a picture of the entire cage please?

Also what exactly are you using for UVB? You said a 22 inch daylight bulb... What we refer to as daylight bulbs are for plant growth not UVB bulbs for chameleons. Do you know what you bought?

90 is too hot at basking should be reduced to 85 at max end. Your looking at 80 for basking temp.

Have you ever gotten a fecal done?
 

jl41919

New Member
Where do you live? I might be able to recommend a good chameleon vet. He looks bad in that first picture. He needs to see one right always. Chameleons go down fast. I noticed on your help form is says Penn State. Here’s a vet that’s seen many chameleons over the years. Dr. Achtel at Exeter Veterinary Hospital
http://www.exetervethospital.com/
I actually live in South Central PA- 50+ minutes south of Harrisburg.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know an excellent chameleon rescue you can turn him over to that has an excellent chameleon vet and they will give him the help he deserves.
 

Edmar1023

Established Member
When the temp drop my Cham stopped eating. Now that it’s starting to warm up he’s eating regularly again. Maybe having him near the window is dropping his temp and slowing his metabolism. Try moving the cage to a warmer place.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."We are moving soon from a temporary spot to a more permanent and for now, the window area was the only solution. I will keep that in mind in our new spot"...so you're going to risk his health rather than move him when he's already showing signs that he's not well?


You said..."Update: he is still not eating- it’s been over a week since I’ve seen him eat something. He is also not responding very well to anything, like water and my hand being in his cage. He seems so weak and I’m at a loss of what to do"...take him to a good chameleon vet ASAP...like yesterday...he's likely suffering and going to die from whatever is wrong with him.
 

jl41919

New Member
Can you take a picture of the entire cage please?

Also what exactly are you using for UVB? You said a 22 inch daylight bulb... What we refer to as daylight bulbs are for plant growth not UVB bulbs for chameleons. Do you know what you bought?

90 is too hot at basking should be reduced to 85 at max end. Your looking at 80 for basking temp.

Have you ever gotten a fecal done?
It’s a UVB from reptisun (bought at petsmart). I switched the 100 watt back to the 60.
Where do you live? I might be able to recommend a good chameleon vet. He looks bad in that first picture. He needs to see one right always. Chameleons go down fast. I noticed on your help form is says Penn State. Here’s a vet that’s seen many chameleons over the years. Dr. Achtel at Exeter Veterinary Hospital
http://www.exetervethospital.com/
I live in south central PA, 50+ minutes south of Harrisburg
 

jl41919

New Member
You said..."We are moving soon from a temporary spot to a more permanent and for now, the window area was the only solution. I will keep that in mind in our new spot"...so you're going to risk his health rather than move him when he's already showing signs that he's not well?


You said..."Update: he is still not eating- it’s been over a week since I’ve seen him eat something. He is also not responding very well to anything, like water and my hand being in his cage. He seems so weak and I’m at a loss of what to do"...take him to a good chameleon vet ASAP...like yesterday...he's likely suffering and going to die from whatever is wrong with him.
I don’t mean to be rude, but he’s been in that spot for over 8 months without any issues. Our space in our apartment is LIMITED and he has to be where he is due to lack of space and needing to keep his separated from my cats. I don’t want him to die, but to be even more honest, my last Cham had parasites and I took her to a vet as soon as I saw signs of it and I spent a huge amount of money I didn’t have and she died 4 days later. I don’t have that kind of cash this time around either.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
It’s a UVB from reptisun (bought at petsmart). I switched the 100 watt back to the 60.

I live in south central PA, 50+ minutes south of Harrisburg

The vet I gave you is only an hour from Harrisburg. Normally, you ah e to drive a ways for a chameleon vet. There’s just not that many of them. I do have a friend with a rescue that will take him.
 

jl41919

New Member
The vet I gave you is only an hour from Harrisburg. Normally, you ah e to drive a ways for a chameleon vet. There’s just not that many of them. I do have a friend with a rescue that will take him.
Understand- thanks for the recommendation. I’ll need to look into it.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don’t mean to be rude, but he’s been in that spot for over 8 months without any issues. Our space in our apartment is LIMITED and he has to be where he is due to lack of space and needing to keep his separated from my cats. I don’t want him to die, but to be even more honest, my last Cham had parasites and I took her to a vet as soon as I saw signs of it and I spent a huge amount of money I didn’t have and she died 4 days later. I don’t have that kind of cash this time around either.
Everything your saying says to us that he is declining and rapidly. Keeping them in an area that is not good for their health is not beneficial for them. @kinyonga is one of our most experienced keepers and she was pointing out that it was a potential issue being in front of a window.

You said your prior cham had parasites... Hopefully the cage and what is used in the cage was cleaned correctly before he went into it. Otherwise most parasites are contagious. If you did not get him tested he could have come with them as well. Some parasites are worse then others.

As I said before 90 is just too hot and a 100 watt bulb is high risk for a thermal burn. If he is already dehydrated then adding more heat will progress his decline.

It would really help to see the entire cage. This is how we ID potential issues and risks.

Chameleons are sensitive and if the environment is not correct or husbandry this can lead to health issues and death.

I would consider turning him over to the rescue if taking him to a vet is not possible at this time.
 
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