Miss Fire

emersonc

New Member
My chameleon has been missing her food a lot lately, like for the past three months. I feed her out of a cup and she will miss about three out of four times. She is eating well, it just takes for a lot more effort to eat. I am worried about her injuring her tongue because she misses so much. She will even sometimes miss if a cricket is only about two inches away. Is there any suggestions????

1.5 year old Female Nosy Be panther Chameleon
Large cage (5' x 2.5' x 2.5')
Four-five crickets a day
Dusted with calcium twice a week and vitamins once every week
Humidity about 80%
temp about 75F at bottom and 100f at top
stool normal black and white
Eyes appear to look normal
tongue usually dips down and right when she fires
Gave birth to 24 unfertalized eggs on september 13th 2006
Has a UVB light
Fed from a suspended orange juice jug

Please help me, it is rather sad to watch her try so hard but get so little.
 
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wow

New Member
can she see through the cup if so she might have problem with depth if the cricket looks like it is floting in mid air to her.
 

AncientCritters

Established Member
Not to take away from the original post but what does it mean when they do not shoot their tounge out all the way. I took in a huge male panther that is a non shooter and needs to be hand fed.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Usually its caused by dehydration or nutrition issues although sometimes injury or mouth/tongue infection can cause it too.

Nutritional issues usually involve incorrect light (no UVB) or incorrect supplementation/imbalance concerning D3, calcium/phosphorous levels, and/or vitamin A.
 

emersonc

New Member
i was talking to Jim from chamco. about vitamins and chameleons, what vitamin supplement do you use?

I use "Reptivite: reptile vitamins" from zoo meds once every week
I also use "2:0 calcium/no phosphorus powdered supplement with vitamins twicw a week.


Is it a case of her tongue not shooting out far enough, or is she just aiming poorly?
She is aiming very poorly. And the container that she is fed from is a solid color.

Most of the time that i watch her she will get very close to the crickets, sometimes within two inches, and i know that her tongue goes a lot further then that!!! I watch her and it looks like she is just not seeing things right, she will get really close then stop...think about shooting for tongue...then back-up....realign...and she will repeat this process over and over and over...and when she finally does try she misses by about the length of the cricket!, it is rather imbarrising for her. sorry for the spelling errors
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
it is rather imbarrising for her
I wonder if chameleons did get embarrassed, would their cheeks change colour to red?

But on a more serious note, your cham's misses do sound worrying. I'm no expert on cham health, so I'd probably take her to a vet if the misses are that bad.

If the reason is any of the things Kinyonga listed, a vet would probably be best to identify and treat it.

Could it be an eye problem? Even if just one eye was infected or injured, it could affect her ability to aim and perceive depth.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."Most of the time that i watch her she will get very close to the crickets, sometimes within two inches, and i know that her tongue goes a lot further then that!!! I watch her and it looks like she is just not seeing things right, she will get really close then stop...think about shooting for tongue...then back-up....realign...and she will repeat this process over and over and over...and when she finally does try she misses by about the length of the cricket!, it is rather imbarrising for her. sorry for the spelling errors"...It sounds like she is having difficulty shooting it out (like the tongue won't "fire")...I don't think it sounds like a visual problem. Remember, I'm not a vet...so I can just give you possibilities based on what I have learned. I would recommend taking it to a vet so you can get some answers.

Tygerr said..."Could it be an eye problem? Even if just one eye was infected or injured, it could affect her ability to aim and perceive depth"...one eye injured or infected could affect depth perception IMHO. I had a panther chameleon and his eye was removed due to cancer. He couldn't hit the target/insect after the eye was removed and had to be hand fed. With my help/teaching, he soon learned to "triangulate" to figure out where the insect was and was soon happily eating on his own again.
 

emersonc

New Member
I have taken her to the vet, this was when her eye was looking a little "fuzzy/not clear" at that time she was having the shooting problem. The vet thought that it was not her eye that was the problem and that it might be a problem with a nerve coming from the tongue to the brain or vise-versa. He gave her a shot of vit. E,A and someother vit. A few weeks later her eye cleareed up on its own, but she was still missing. Im thinking that i will have to take her to the vet again, im just trying to figure it out my self so i dont have to pay a lot of money, im in college and money is hard to come by these days...

Kinyonga
you said "With my help/teaching, he soon learned to "triangulate" to figure out where the insect was and was soon happily eating on his own again."

How wasy this done? maybe i could try your technique and see if it helps her???
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't know if this will help your chameleon or not. It depends on why the tongue is giving her problems. To teach Crink to triangulate I would hold the bug a couple of inches away from him (so that the bug couldn't change positions) and he would shoot at it. Because it was closer than what he would normally shoot at, he had less chance of missing. I gradually moved the bug back further over the period of a few days and he would shoot at it...but it was still straight out in front of him, so he had less chance of missing. Whenever I moved it a little further it was hit and miss....but he gradually learned to move his head from side to side to figure out where the bug was. Then I placed waxworms (because the don't move quickly) on the floor in front of him and let him try hitting a moving target. Over a period of a couple of weeks, he figured it out and I didn't have to hold any more insects for him.

He lived for quite a while after the eye was removed....and he was about 5 when I took him in for the surgery. He was an amazing creature!

I understand how tight money can be when you are in school....but the chameleon can only wait so long if something is wrong with it before things will get worse.

You said her crickets are..."Dusted with calcium twice a week and vitamins once every week"...what brands of vitamins and calcium? Is there phosphorous in the calcium powder? Is the vitamin A in the vitamin powder from a preformed or beta carotene source? Do you ever use a D3 powder? Does the UVB pass through glass or plastic? Do you give her extra calcium when she is producing eggs? What do you gutload your crickets with?

You said..."tongue usually dips down and right when she fires"...I have no idea if the vet that you took her to is right about the nerves or not....but I know that calcium affects muscles and bones and I wonder if the bone that the tongue sits on was weak, would it bend as the tongue was contracting?
 

emersonc

New Member
the calcium powder i use has calcium and now phosphorus. it also has vit a (acetate), D3, and C

the vitamins that i gave her have a lot of stuff in it.

she gets UVB straight through her metal cage

and i gutload my crickets with veggies

thanks for the advice i will try that with muy cham in the coming weeks and see have it works.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."the calcium powder i use has calcium and now phosphorus. it also has vit a (acetate), D3, and C".....I don't know if all acetate forms of it are preformed.

You said..."the vitamins that i gave her have a lot of stuff in it"...Because of the tongue problem in your chameleon, I was only concerned with the vitamin A, vitamin D3, calcium and phosphorous in the supplements (and in anything that you use to gutload too)....because they play a big part in bone health (and the calcium in muscle contractions as well).

Vitamin A can build up in the system if from a preformed source but not from a beta carotene source...so I make sure that my vitamin A sources are beta carotene.

D3 can build up in the system when from supplements too...so I dust only lightly with it twice a month.

An article that I read on the net (that is not available at the moment to direct you to) explains that vitamin D3 and vitamin A need to be in balance.

Insects have a poor calcium/phosphorous ratio....so the calcium dusting is supposed to help balance it. If we use a powder that has phos. in it too, then we aren't helping balance it as much, obviously.
 
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