My Chameleon is brown/tan all the time

jabrown6

New Member
Interesting situation; my friend has a female veiled chameleon and they are out of town and asked if I could take care of it. I have never own a chameleon before so I wanted to make sure I was taking good care of their chameleon while they were gone.
They said she has been brown for a while now. I did a lot of research to educate myself on what kind of habitat that I needed to set up for her while she was at my house. With all this research, I quickly saw that the temp, humidity levels and the feeding was not what it should have been and also the cage setup itself.
So I changed all of that and now the day temps are 70-75F with 40-50% humidity and basking temp 80-85F with a uvb (compact not linear, I want to get a linear for her) and the night temp is 60-65F with 80-100% humidity and no lights. I have a dripper with a live plant. She drinks off the leaves, she eats crickets and meal worms that have calcium powder and I don't handle her at all so I don't stress her out. She loves to eat off of my hands and seems quite hungry but I don't want to overfeed her. I am setting up a laying bin for her tonight just in case she is gravid. I have hiding spots for her with lots of horizontal twigs and branches to crawl around and be hidden from. She is off of the ground, eye level or higher and away from the window and when i leave, no one else is in the room so she doesn't get stressed. I have done about all I can to get her habitat to be just right and yet she is completely tan and brown with no green at all. Maybe just getting used to the house and stressed becuase of that, which stinks cuz she will be leaving in two days and that will stress her out even more.
Can anyone tell me why my female veiled chameleon might be tan/brown all the time? She is even tan/brown while sleeping.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 
Hi there welcome to the forum. So one of the major issues is the compact UVB bulb. These do not produce what the chameleon needs. You will see duller colors because of this but also she would be high risk for MBD. May already be having internal issues with bone strength if she is not showing it in her limbs yet. A female should be at a basking temp of 78-80 max.

Can you post a few pics of her and a few pics of her cage?

Maybe post the labels of the supplements you are using as well for me please. I want to double check that these are correct.
 
Can you provide a link to the bulb they should get?

The supplement bottles are at their house, I was given a portion of them not in the original container. Could you provide links to what she should be eating and what supplements she should be getting in her feedings.

I can get a pic of the enclosure shortly.
 
Can you provide a link to the bulb they should get?

The supplement bottles are at their house, I was given a portion of them not in the original container. Could you provide links to what she should be eating and what supplements she should be getting in her feedings.

I can get a pic of the enclosure shortly.
Ok take pics of the chameleon too for me please.
 
This is the calcium without D3 that she should be getting at almost all feedings https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N3BKCGA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is the multivitamin with D3 and A that she should be getting 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N3BKCGA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is one fixture type with the 5.0 UVB bulb. https://www.amazon.com/DBDPet-Repti...d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9zZWFyY2hfdGhlbWF0aWM&psc=1

Or this fixture with the 6% bulb which is my preferred brand. https://www.lightyourreptiles.com/arcadia-pro-t5-fixture-6-bulb-22-5-sale-now-only-69-99/.
 
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Yeah she is pretty thin in her limbs... Not seeing any direct signs of MBD but I do see other risk factors with her set up. With the compact bulb being so close to her branches she is roughly in over exposure levels as well as the correct levels. This would be a really good resource for your friend to learn from https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/ along with Neptune the chameleon on Youtube.
 
Would you suggest feeding more regularly? If so, what kind of regiment? (other than calcium with every feeding and multi vitamin on the 1st and 15th)
With the linear bulb and being further away from the heat lamp, how long do you think til she shows her color again?

Thanks for the help!
 
Would you suggest feeding more regularly? If so, what kind of regiment? (other than calcium with every feeding and multi vitamin on the 1st and 15th)
With the linear bulb and being further away from the heat lamp, how long do you think til she shows her color again?

Thanks for the help!
How much and how often are you feeding her now? Do you know how old they think she is?
 
I think they were feeding her three crickets every other day.
I bumped that up to one big feeding of five crickets every other day but then I gave her one mealworm in between those days.
 
They said about a year old.
Did they tell you if she laid a clutch of eggs yet?

My concern would be how thin she is and that she could have a parasite load which is why she has little muscle tone to her body. Females you can not overfeed because it will add to them having larger clutches of eggs. for a small female like this one the risk would be egg binding and death with a clutch that is just too large for her.

So a mature 1 year old healthy female would be put on a diet of 3-4 feeders 3 days a week and then basking temps would need to be reduced to 78-80 max to help control her appetite. But this would be for a healthy female. If this girl is carrying a parasite load she is not getting what she needs from her food to support things like simple health much less egg production. A fecal test would need to be run by a vet to determine if there is a parasite load.
 
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