My chameleon has become lathargic in the last 2 days

PandoraCham

New Member
Hello,

I've only owned Pandora for about a month now. She's an adult Chameleon probably 3-4 years old. When I first got her home she was very active. I'm trying to do my best to take care of her, but she has gotten lathargic in the last couple of days. I have a vet appointment, but not until next week and we all know how seeing our chams in pain is heartbreaking. I'm really hoping for help here. I've put the details in the best that I can and will post a pic of her accommodations shortly.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? She's a veiled chameleon, female, approx 3-4 years old. I have owned her now for just over 1 month. She has a previously healed burn on her spine from previous owners setup presumably. I'm also aware that she is ummm 'portly' and I'd like to manage that better.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I've had her out 2-3 times per week, always on her own terms, but she has no interest in coming out these last couple of days.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? She has an assortment of med sized crickets, super worms, silk worms and occasionally hornworms as a treat. She generally gets 2 worms and eats 5-7 crickets every other day. They are gut loaded with Flukers cricket food, and flukes cricket quencher
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Reptical w/o D3 every feeding, reptivite w/ D3 1x per week. It's now noted that I had previously been doing this too often and have reduced the supplementing to that above.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? We have a monsoon 1 that goes off every 2 hours for 16 seconds. I also mist 2x per day. Hygrometer generally shows between 40-50
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Based on other descriptions on this page, my sense is that her fecal matter is normal both for urite and feces
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. Only that I've had her for a month, that she's large, seems to fall regularly right now. Not active. Eats fine (ate today)

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Glass 36x18x18. She grew up in a 24x18x18 so I have her in one that is larger. I realize that cage is better, but I believe glass is controlled better. I'm in Canada (Ontario)
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? UVB bulb is new when I got her 5.0. T5, + Flukers Sun Dome w 100w bulb
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? 80 during the day, lowest is 60-65 at night.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Hygrometer shows 40-50
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? No, all fake, but realize that having live will be helpful.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? It's in my office on the main level of the house.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Ontario Canada.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Recent lathargy, as well as falling. Sleeping at points during the day, not active Over supplementation?
 

PandoraCham

New Member
Here’s Pandora’s setup
 

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PandoraCham

New Member
Here’s where she’s been for the last 2 days but has fallen from this perch
 

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PandoraCham

New Member
I will be removing the substrate (I bought reptile carpet instead), water bowls, and attaching more of the flora to provide protection in the coming days
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Please post several more photos of her so I can see all of her from the side.

I wouldn't use reptile carpet...it's hard to keep clean.
I'm concerned about her legs.

Looks like she had a burn on her back and maybe her one knee as well...but it's old.

I would get the lay bin in there ASAP as well.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll be putting my feedback in red.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? She's a veiled chameleon, female, approx 3-4 years old. I have owned her now for just over 1 month. She has a previously healed burn on her spine from previous owners setup presumably. I'm also aware that she is ummm 'portly' and I'd like to manage that better. Do you know if she’s lauded eggs before?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I've had her out 2-3 times per week, always on her own terms, but she has no interest in coming out these last couple of days.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? She has an assortment of med sized crickets, super worms, silk worms and occasionally hornworms as a treat. Great variety! She generally gets 2 worms and eats 5-7 crickets every other day. This is too much. It’s not just for weight control, but also to try and reduce egg production that you need to feed her less. I give my girls 3-4 feeders 3 days a week (plus treats). They are gut loaded with Flukers cricket food, and flukes cricket quencher These products will keep your feeders alive, but not healthy. The healthier your feeders are, the more nutritious they are for your chameleon. Attaching ‘gutloading’ graphic below. I don’t specifically ‘gutload’, but I do keep my feeders well fed and with access to healthy foods all the time.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Reptical w/o D3 every feeding, reptivite w/ D3 1x per week. It's now noted that I had previously been doing this too often and have reduced the supplementing to that above. Yes for the ReptiCal without D3 for every feeding. No for the ReptiVite with D3 once a week - it should be used one feeding every other week. How often were you giving the D3 before?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? We have a monsoon 1 that goes off every 2 hours for 16 seconds. This is too frequent and not long enough. Ideal is to mist for at least 2 minutes early as or before lights go on and then again right before the lights go off. For mid day you could either add an additional misting or use a dripper for about 20 minutes. I also mist 2x per day. Hygrometer generally shows between 40-50 Just make sure it doesn’t get any higher than 50% during the day. At night if your temps are below 70f, you can use a fogger and boost your humidity up to 80-100%. This is a naturalistic way to simulate hydration thru fog, as in the wild.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Based on other descriptions on this page, my sense is that her fecal matter is normal both for urite and feces It is always a good idea for a veterinary wellness visit and have a fecal check for parasites.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. Only that I've had her for a month, that she's large, seems to fall regularly right now. Not active. Eats fine (ate today) The falling and lethargy are concerning.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Glass 36x18x18. She grew up in a 24x18x18 so I have her in one that is larger. I realize that cage is better, but I believe glass is controlled better. I'm in Canada (Ontario) If you could get her in a larger enclosure, that would be even better. A 2x2x4’ is really the minimum size for an adult chameleon.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? UVB bulb is new when I got her 5.0. T5, + Flukers Sun Dome w 100w bulb What is the distance between lights and her basking spot? It should be about 8-9” so that she’ll get the correct uvb levels.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? 80 during the day, Perfect! You don’t want to exceed 80, as it goes along with the reduced feeding to limit egg production. lowest is 60-65 at night. Great!
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Hygrometer shows 40-50
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? No, all fake, but realize that having live will be helpful. Veileds tend to nibble their plants…especially the ladies. All it takes is one nibble of a fake plant and she could get a life threatening impaction. Live plants also help maintain humidity and provide a more natural environment. You also need to add many more branches and vines of varied diameters…more little roads for her to travel and good exercise for her foot muscles.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? It's in my office on the main level of the house. The higher you can get your chameleon, the safer she’ll feel.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Ontario Canada.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Recent lathargy, as well as falling. Sleeping at points during the day, not active Over supplementation? These are not good and a vet appointment is definitely the best action. @kinyonga knows so very much more than I do and is perhaps the best person here to help you. I will add another post about laying and the bin and then leave you to @kinyonga and her wisdom. :)
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Does she hang her legs over the branches and Reston her stomach. Her legs look swollen and I'm wondering if she has gout.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
As you’ve already been told, you need a lay bin. It’s best to use at least a 12” long x12” wide container. Depth is less important - you just need to be able to fill it with 6” of washed play sand. You’ll also want to provide at least a couple of stable ways for her to get in/out. You may also want to drill some tiny drainage holes in the bottom of the bin so it doesn’t become a muddy mess. You’ll want to moisten the sand enough so that it can form a tunnel without collapsing. They don’t just dig down, but across a bit as well. As it’s not easy to determine when she’ll be needing the box, it’s best to keep it as a permanent part of her enclosure.
When the time comes, she’ll find her bin and get to work digging. It is a process and can take 1-2 days. She’ll need absolute privacy. If she is disturbed or sees anyone watching, she may stop and could become eggbound. I cover just the visible areas with a light sheet that I’ve made peek holes in so I can monitor discretely. She may dig a few holes until she likes one. She may sleep in her tunnel at night. Once she’s happy with her tunnel, she’ll turn around and lay her eggs. Then she’ll carefully cover her holes and when she’s satisfied, she’ll return to a branch and bask. You’ll want to hydrate her well and feed her well for a couple of days after. I like giving hornworms and silkworms as they help rehydrate. Then you’ll resume her usual diet. You’ll want to remove and count the eggs. Usually we aim for less than 30. Very large clutches can increase the risks for complications with laying. Also, laying takes a great deal out of our ladies and significantly shortens their lives, which is why we try to reduce egg production.
 

PandoraCham

New Member
As you’ve already been told, you need a lay bin. It’s best to use at least a 12” long x12” wide container. Depth is less important - you just need to be able to fill it with 6” of washed play sand. You’ll also want to provide at least a couple of stable ways for her to get in/out. You may also want to drill some tiny drainage holes in the bottom of the bin so it doesn’t become a muddy mess. You’ll want to moisten the sand enough so that it can form a tunnel without collapsing. They don’t just dig down, but across a bit as well. As it’s not easy to determine when she’ll be needing the box, it’s best to keep it as a permanent part of her enclosure.
When the time comes, she’ll find her bin and get to work digging. It is a process and can take 1-2 days. She’ll need absolute privacy. If she is disturbed or sees anyone watching, she may stop and could become eggbound. I cover just the visible areas with a light sheet that I’ve made peek holes in so I can monitor discretely. She may dig a few holes until she likes one. She may sleep in her tunnel at night. Once she’s happy with her tunnel, she’ll turn around and lay her eggs. Then she’ll carefully cover her holes and when she’s satisfied, she’ll return to a branch and bask. You’ll want to hydrate her well and feed her well for a couple of days after. I like giving hornworms and silkworms as they help rehydrate. Then you’ll resume her usual diet. You’ll want to remove and count the eggs. Usually we aim for less than 30. Very large clutches can increase the risks for complications with laying. Also, laying takes a great deal out of our ladies and significantly shortens their lives, which is why we try to reduce egg production.
Are you suggesting she’s preggers?
 

PandoraCham

New Member
Here are some pictures today
 

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PandoraCham

New Member
lay bin.... They lay infertile eggs like chickens. They do not have to be mated to lay eggs....


Start reading through this husbandry program. She could use some changes to her enclosure. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/

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Wow. The chameleon academy link is so informative. I’m very fortunate I found this group. I’m getting her lay bin in there as we speak and I hope it’s not too late. I’ve only been a chameleon owner for a month so this is like drinking from a firehose. Thank you for the support.
 
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