Met my new friend Diego in an unusual place, looking for tips

NarcanNinja

New Member
Hey everyone,

I live in south FL and the other day I was going on my usual mountain bike trail, going pretty fast through and out of nowhere I spot an adult Veiled Cham crossing the path, I nearly hit him.

I’ve previously owned chameleons when I was younger and now currently own a bearded dragon in a nice custom tank so I’ve been accustomed with reptiles before.

Where I found Diego wasn’t too far from the Everglades but in some pretty dense bush that’s mostly dry. He seemed pretty underweight, with a big chunk of mouth rot on his right upper jawline, and yellow gums

Immediately I stopped and scooped him up to inspect him, which like most veiled’s especially a “wild” one, he wasn’t entirely happy but remained pretty passive.

Since he had his mouth injury I opted to take him home and give him some TLC. Initially I went to the pet store and bought the biggest screen cage they had which was one of those rip off package deals with the coil lights etc but it was the only screen cage they had, so I set that up inside and he remained pretty dark colored and stuff except for the one night he was bright while sleeping.

Quickly, I ordered the 2’x2’x4’ reptibreeze screen cage and started researching keeping chameleons outside in FL since a) they seem happier b) I don’t want to cross contaminate with my dragon although my house allows them to be pretty separate, and lastly c) I have a pretty big patio fortunately for him.

So I’ve got a pretty tall golden pothos plant in his cage as well as various fake pothos vines and stick vines arranged around his cage that he seems to enjoy exploring in. I’ve been misting his plants 2-3 times a day depending on the heat (working on a king mist system next) and he’s been getting a healthy supply of Dubia roaches that I feed to my dragon (unlimited supply!!!) which he quickly eats as they crawl up the cage.

His mouth already seems better, his appetite and energy are up, and he’s shedding a lot more than when we met and it’s only been a few days.

anytime my wife or myself are near the cage he turns dark and sits still but when I stare at his cage from far away I can see he’s bright colors wandering around or basking in the sun and drinking from the leaves.

any tips on other stuff I can do to help rehab this guy?
He gets sun from 9am to 3pm, with access to PLENTY of shade within his cage and the multiple daily mistings done manually. He hasn’t been gaping or showing signs of overheating but maybe I’ll move the cage to a better spot.

In the pothos plant I made sure to thoroughly clean it off, and use organic soil topped with stones.
My impression is someone raised him and released him into the forest to get rid of him, but he’s been living back there awhile as another mountain biker spotted him over a year ago and posted a picture as well but he wasn’t nearly as beat up.

so, I like to think I’m giving him a new life, less stress and full of bugs and foliage. Just looking for the next step to care for him best.

Here’s some pictures of when we met, and his enclosure and where it stands in the yard and of course him today.

please and thank you for any advice. Of course I’m dusting his roaches with calcium d3 etc and multivitamin as well. Looking to add a few more branches for him to crawl on.
 

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coastal_chameleon

Avid Member
try Reptaid for his mouth rot .... a lot of people in this forum prolly wont recommend this stuff but I have good success using it .. its all natural so it wont hurt to try .
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum and back to the world of chameleons!

There care in many ways is very similar to that of bearded dragons...I've kept both. I used the same lights on my chameleons and beardies...the same supplements, insects for feeding..same feeding/gutloading of insects and even much of the same "salad" can be given to the veiled as is used for the beardie. It's good that it's a male....no egg worries!

Glad to hear that you're being cautious about cross contamination!
 

NarcanNinja

New Member
Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your new find. I recommend calcium without D3. If he’s staying outside he want need and d3. A multi vitiman is recommend once every other week. I’d also recommend some horizontal branches in his enclosure. Here’s a link to the forums caresheet.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

Oh interesting point, I hope I haven’t hurt him with d3 so far. Any specific place for 2’ across sturdy branches? I’ve got another large EXO terra vine on the way, I was looking at some grapevine branches but they can get pricey was going to hold out until repticon for that but maybe some exoterra jungle vines horizontally until then?
Thank you
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh interesting point, I hope I haven’t hurt him with d3 so far. Any specific place for 2’ across sturdy branches? I’ve got another large EXO terra vine on the way, I was looking at some grapevine branches but they can get pricey was going to hold out until repticon for that but maybe some exoterra jungle vines horizontally until then?
Thank you

We just get our branches outside for free.
 

USMC1981

Member
He looks a little dehydrated. I bet his mouth injury has a good bar story to go with it. Might want vet to check over so your other pets arent at risk
 

NarcanNinja

New Member
He looks a little dehydrated. I bet his mouth injury has a good bar story to go with it. Might want vet to check over so your other pets arent at risk

hes in full shed now and has been actively drinking and eating, and his mouth looks improved already. He was in the woods for over a year so possibly just stress, or chomped on a big bug that fought back perhaps. His vet visit is scheduled for Monday, but so far he’s been overjoyed with his cage lol even ate from my hand this morning.
 

AmandaS

Moderator
Staff member
He would certainly like that more. I had my husband build me a 7x5x2.5 viv and my female veiled uses every single inch of it.
 
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