My Cham died and I’m confused

Lex-bert

New Member
I bought my little Henry back in October. My boyfriend and I got him together and then he deployed shortly after. I read everything I could on the internet before I got him and had a friend with one so I thought I could handle it. I fed him insects and he was eating a lot of food everyday. It took him a week to get through 50 medium sized crickets and a container of large meal worms. I was coating his worms in calcium. He looked healthy and was drinking water off the sides of his tank everyday. I took him out once a week and let him crawl around my bed for a while and would give him water through a plastic syringe. Everything was going well.

I’m across the country visiting family for the holidays and I’ve been gone about 12 days. I’m going home tomorrow so it’s not like I’ve been away for a month. I had a friend of mine feed him and water him while I was gone but I got the sad call today that he died. My friend sent me a video of Henry and his eyes looked like they were eaten out. He was stiff in a weird position and his skin (which is normally bright green) was brown, yellow and tons of weird shades of light and dark green. He was skinny with a hole under his armpit that looked like he was eaten from the inside out. He had a chunky belly before I left and looked healthy so I’m confused why he looks so terrible a little over a week later. What could be the cause?
Did my friend simply neglect him or could it be something else?
 

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Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
can you fill out the how to ask for help form so we can possibly find out the cause of his death?
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
if it looks eaten from the inside out It could be parasites, mealworms are also bad, they have too hard a shell which is hard to digest and eventually can cause impaction
 

blue_cham

Established Member
So sorry for your loss. The form that Thehippie suggested will help the community get a bigger picture of your husbandry and hopefully give you some ideas.

As for the holes, it could also be the feeders. If crickets were left in with him, they may have chewed on him after his passing.
 

Lex-bert

New Member
can you fill out the how to ask for help form so we can possibly find out the cause of his death?

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - veiled chameleon , male, 6 moths when I got him. i had him about 3 months
  • Handling - once a week
  • Feeding - meal worms, crickets, fruit flys and some times random veggies but he never really ate those. He had up to 10 crickets a day and 2-5 large worms depending on the day. I fed him every morning before work and sometimes after work if me looked hungry. The crickets were eating cricket food and random veggies that I threw in.
  • Supplements - calcium and vitamin powder mix
  • Watering - mist sprayer 2 times a day. I’d empty the bottle both times. He’d drink off the mister and out of a plastic syringe. He drank off the sides
  • Fecal Description - his poop was usually brown or white. No testing done
  • History - Got him from a petco

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - glass screen combo. About 1 square foot base. Not sure how tall. Maybe 1 1/2’ x 2’ tall
  • Lighting - a red heating lamp 50W at night. A regular day heating light 50W
  • Temperature - I tried to keep it about 80 degrees because my room is pretty cold. I had a thermometer in there
  • Humidity - 90% humidity
  • Plants - plastic
  • Placement - about 3 ft off the ground on a stand in a low traffic area
  • Location - Colorado

As I said I’m across the country so this is just off the top of my head. Sorry
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
ok well for starters, your cage should be 2x2x4
supplementation should be calcium d3 and multivitamin twice a month, calcium no d3 every feeding
mist at least 3 times day 2 mins each time 5 mins once a day
he needs a uvb, that will activate the calcium
colored bulbs are no good, they can hurt chams eyes
humidity should be around 50 to 60 percent
he most likely died because of 1 over supplementation depending on what type of calcium and how often you fed it to him 2 cage size and stress 3 parasites (not likely but Petco tends to sell sick animals) or 4 impaction
 

Kathy S

Member
This is pretty hard to diagnose at this point, but the two things I notice is that he seemed to be eating more than usual, and I wonder if his metabolism was in overdrive. Most chameleons can take about a 10 degree drop in temp at night and then bask to get their temps up in the morning, so they get a break. Did he have a UV light for maintaining his bone metabolism? Did he have a drip, or just drink off the sides of the aquarium? You have not said if he was wild caught or captive bred. The sunken eyes often speak of either/or dehydration or parasites. Many pet stores sell wild caught animals. Maybe parasites made him hungry, but they eventually overtook him.
 

Chameleon Mike

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't want to come off the wrong way but you did not do your research like you said. Your set up was all wrong from your feeders, cage, lighting, heat and supplements. I'm sure others will find more.


Feeders: Never feed meal worms And you don't need to feed a 6 month old everyday especially as much as you were.

Supplements: you should be using calcium without d3

Cage: way to small. Should have been 2'x2'x4' screen

Lighting: no night time light at all. You should of had UVB lighting as well

Plants: should have at least some kind of live plant in there.

If you decide to get another one please check out the care sheets on this site. They will help out a lot.


Sorry for your loss.
 

Theveiled

Avid Member
See my signature for an explanation that is likely a good part of the problem you experienced.
I agree with this as well. My chameleon nearly died from parasites contracted from the petco chain and if I had not taken him to the vet for a fecal exam, death would have been inevitable. Im sorry for your loss
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
There is no way a chameleon gets that bad overnight... Doesnt sound like your friend was over everyday to mists the enclosure and with heat lamps going 24hr a day, I wouldnt be surprised if he dehydrated. Young chameleons dehydrate quickly.

Also, as mentioned above, your husbandry was not even close to correct. Either you didn't research at all about chameleon care or your research was conducted in the petco care sheet they gave you in the store...

If you decide to get another chameleon in the future, start here: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/
 

Char333p

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - veiled chameleon , male, 6 moths when I got him. i had him about 3 months
  • Handling - once a week
  • Feeding - meal worms, crickets, fruit flys and some times random veggies but he never really ate those. He had up to 10 crickets a day and 2-5 large worms depending on the day. I fed him every morning before work and sometimes after work if me looked hungry. The crickets were eating cricket food and random veggies that I threw in.
  • Supplements - calcium and vitamin powder mix
  • Watering - mist sprayer 2 times a day. I’d empty the bottle both times. He’d drink off the mister and out of a plastic syringe. He drank off the sides
  • Fecal Description - his poop was usually brown or white. No testing done
  • History - Got him from a petco

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - glass screen combo. About 1 square foot base. Not sure how tall. Maybe 1 1/2’ x 2’ tall
  • Lighting - a red heating lamp 50W at night. A regular day heating light 50W
  • Temperature - I tried to keep it about 80 degrees because my room is pretty cold. I had a thermometer in there
  • Humidity - 90% humidity
  • Plants - plastic
  • Placement - about 3 ft off the ground on a stand in a low traffic area
  • Location - Colorado

As I said I’m across the country so this is just off the top of my head. Sorry
Chameleons do not need a light on at night. If anything he probably never slept much. They need near to dark but prefer complete dark at night. An if your worried bout temp there are non lighted heaters. Meal worms also bad for em.
But wow thats quite an appitite to eat that much feeders. Sorry to hear bout your chamm though. Thats really sad
 

iMi

Established Member
So sorry for your loss. I would recommend you do more research and find someone who can be there daily and knows what to do if you decide to get another one. I travel a lot, but make sure our nanny and my wife know exactly what is needed several times a day each and every day. Don't give up. They are fascinating animals. Good luck!
 

Giantspleen

Member
Mainly Dehydration from lack of proper misting and constant hot temps in such a small enclosure. Probably already had signs of mbd. He was doomed from the start in my opinion, even if the Dehydration didn't get him the lack of proper husbandry would have in the end. Oh, And the feeders ate him after he was dead. Case closed.
Rip little dude.
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
It's hard to even look at the picture.

I'm not sure what research you did but unfortunately most of what you did was very wrong.

I'm sorry for loss though and feel really bad for the poor little guy.

Please, please, please, if you are thinking of replacing him, make sure you get the correct information and that you are in a position financially and with the time needed to provide the proper care.

On the whole, advice from large pet store chains is garbage. Deal with a reptile specialist or breeder and if you don't have the time or aren't prepared to spend a not insubstantial sum to provide what the animal needs, don't get the animal.

Sorry if you feel many of these replies are bashing you, especially when you just lost your little guy but rather hurt feelings than a suffering or dead cham.
 
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