My chameleon

PascalTheKam

New Member
Hey guys, I’m new to the forums though i have been roaming and looking through posts. I have been getting lots of helpful tips and ideas from everyone on here. It’s my first time with a chameleon and his name is Pascal. He’s been in my care for about a month now, and i saw that he was developing MBD, so i immediately took him to the emergency exotic vet near me. Turned out he was, thankfully he wasn’t far in. I got some calcium shots, better supplement, and i have to syringe feed him. Thankfully i can say hes on the road back to recovery.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome! :) So glad you’ve been learning and caught your little one’s mbd before it becomes severe. If you’d like, you can have all of your husbandry reviewed just to make sure all is correct.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

PascalTheKam

New Member
Welcome! :) So glad you’ve been learning and caught your little one’s mbd before it becomes severe. If you’d like, you can have all of your husbandry reviewed just to make sure all is correct.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
-He’s a veiled chameleon, male, I'm not sure how old he is but he seems to be around 2 months maybe 3, (He's only shed once). I've have him for about a month now.
-Before I realized he had MBD maybe 2 times a week, or when I had to clean or fix his cage. Now that he has MBD I tend to handle him around 4 times a week. Pascal doesnt seem to mind me handling him, though at times he does puff up and hiss at me. At first Pascal had to be fed with a syringe as a two man job, but as he regained his strength I don't have to open his mouth anymore, as I put the syringe close to his mouth and he eats.
-I fed my chameleon crickets and mealworms but i've seen that mealworms arent recommended so i will stop on that. He would usually eat around 4 or 5 crickets in a feeding, (Medium ones) and sometimes he would walk over to his food bowl and eat a couple mealworms. I usually feed him after I mist his cage in the morning. I gut load the crickets with bloc choy and kale, as well with apples, sweet potatoes and sometimes mango. I also feed the crickets Repashy Bug burger.
- I coat the crickets in Repcal calcium No phosphorus and no vitamin D3 for every feeding and Repashy Calcium Plus LoD every 2 weeks.
-I bought a little dripper that is quite useful, I tend to put it at the top of his cage where it drips down. I mist around 4 times a day maybe 5, depending on his humidity and temp for around 30 secs to 1 min. I see my chameleon drink water from his dripper, or I will give him water myself and see him drink.
-His feces we're always brown with the gooey coat and white tip. Last time I saw him poop was maybe about a week ago around after his vet visit. It was a the same texture, except it looked a little more unraveled, I'm not sure how to explain, and the tip was a little brown. I've been giving lots of water and mist his cage more often.
-I got him from petco, just a baby chameleon
-His enclosure is a 18x12x20 Zilla fresh screen habitat
-He has a Zoomed daylight blue reptile lamp 40w, I try to have lights on for 12 hours and no lights for 12 hours. I have a basking red night light, but I've read that they dont need light at night, as it can disturb their sleep schedule.
- His temperature is usually around 70-80F, he tends to go to his basking spot right under the light bulb. The lowest overnight tempt can be 65F, I use imagitarium thermometer and humidity gauges.
- His humidity levels stay at a steady 35-45% and can go up to 50-55% when misting. I use a misting bottle to maintain humidity, I use humidity gauge.
-At the moment i dont have live plants, just some fake one, which i know they are bad but he likes to hid in them. I will soon get some golden pathos, and i will have to try and fit in his enclosure.
-His cage is on top of my dresser, like 4 feet off the ground, not near any doors or windows.
-Im from california
 
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll put my feedback in red.
He’s a veiled chameleon, male, I'm not sure how old he is but he seems to be around 2 months maybe 3, (He's only shed once). I've have him for about a month now.
-Before I realized he had MBD maybe 2 times a week, or when I had to clean or fix his cage. Now that he has MBD I tend to handle him around 4 times a week. Pascal doesnt seem to mind me handling him, though at times he does puff up and hiss at me. At first Pascal had to be fed with a syringe as a two man job, but as he regained his strength I don't have to open his mouth anymore, as I put the syringe close to his mouth and he eats.
-I fed my chameleon crickets and mealworms but i've seen that mealworms arent recommended so i will stop on that. He would usually eat around 4 or 5 crickets in a feeding, (Medium ones) and sometimes he would walk over to his food bowl and eat a couple mealworms. At his age he should be eating as much as he wants in a 15 minute period. After he’s around 3 mos old, you’ll want to give him around 14-15 feeders daily. As he gets older, you’ll gradually reduce his feedings. I’m attaching the feeder graphic for you. Roaches and silkworms are great additions. I usually feed him after I mist his cage in the morning. I gut load the crickets with bloc choy and kale, as well with apples, sweet potatoes and sometimes mango. I also feed the crickets Repashy Bug burger. Pretty good. Attaching gutloading graphic too just for guidance.
- I coat the crickets in Repcal calcium No phosphorus and no vitamin D3 for every feeding and Repashy Calcium Plus LoD every 2 weeks. Good schedule. Did your vet prescribe any liquid calcium?
-I bought a little dripper that is quite useful, I tend to put it at the top of his cage where it drips down. I mist around 4 times a day maybe 5, depending on his humidity and temp for around 30 secs to 1 min. You could decrease your misting to 2-3 two minute mistings…one early AM and one in the evening. Either a third mid day or use your dripper. I see my chameleon drink water from his dripper, or I will give him water myself and see him drink. Consider yourself lucky! Many chams (like all of mine) are secret about drinking.
-His feces we're always brown with the gooey coat and white tip. Last time I saw him poop was maybe about a week ago around after his vet visit. Try to collect a fresh sample and take to the vet to have checked for parasites. You shouldn’t have to make another appointment for that. It was a the same texture, except it looked a little more unraveled, I'm not sure how to explain, and the tip was a little brown. I've been giving lots of water and mist his cage more often.
-I got him from petco, just a baby chameleon
-His enclosure is a 18x12x20 Zilla fresh screen habitat This is ok for now, but he’s going to be growing fast and will need a minimum 2x2x4’ enclosure. My male uses all of his space and I’m actually going to give him a ’double wide’ soon.
-He has a Zoomed daylight blue reptile lamp 40w, I try to have lights on for 12 hours and no lights for 12 hours. I have a basking red night light, but I've read that they dont need light at night, as it can disturb their sleep schedule. Colored lights can hurt sensitive cham eyes. You can use an old fashioned incandescent bulb for basking, if you can find one. Halogen works too. LED does not put out the heat. Very important - you need a uvb light. Without correct uvb, his mbd will only worsen. You’ll need a linear T5HO fixture with a 5.0 uvb bulb. Arcadia makes a nice one (similar price as ReptiSun). https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html You’ll want it to be as long as your enclosure is wide. As you’ll be needing at least a 24” wide enclosure soon, is better to get that size from now. You will need to suspend your lights, basking and uvb, above your enclosure for now. Besides the little ones liking to screen climb and risking getting burns, you need at least 8-9” of space between your basking area and the uvb light. We don’t want to bake the poor little guy.
- His temperature is usually around 70-80F, he tends to go to his basking spot right under the light bulb. Basking temp should be 78-80. Most accurate readings are with a digital thermometer with a probe. The lowest overnight tempt can be 65F, Nice drop for night time. I use imagitarium thermometer and humidity gauges.
- His humidity levels stay at a steady 35-45% Perfect! and can go up to 50-55% when misting. I use a misting bottle to maintain humidity, I use humidity gauge. You could get a fogger/humidifier for night time when it’s cool and boost your humidity to 80-100%. It simulates natural hydration.
-At the moment i dont have live plants, just some fake one, which i know they are bad but he likes to hid in them. I will soon get some golden pathos, and i will have to try and fit in his enclosure. I’m not so sure if the babies eat plants much, but the older chams do. All it takes is one nibble of a fake leaf and he could get impacted. Attaching 2 safe plant graphics for you. Start accumulating them now. I use my fake plants on the outside of my enclosures to provide extra privacy. If funds allow, you may want to splurge on Dragon Ledges which make hanging branches, vines and plants a breeze. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ Some members have made their own.
-His cage is on top of my dresser, like 4 feet off the ground, not near any doors or windows. Perfect!
-Im from california
So, you do have some corrections/improvements to make. The correct uvb is perhaps the most important one right now and can’t wait. Natural unfiltered sunlight will also help him to recover from mbd if you can take him outside safely for a bit. Just be careful that he doesn’t overheat. I’m in Florida and take my friendly cham outside for only about 5-10 minutes at a time when he wants out of his enclosure. Any longer than that and it just gets too hot for both of us.
Do feel free to ask as many questions as you need. Everything can sound so simple and easy, but when actually making the changes, it can get a bit confusing. I think I covered everything. If I missed anything, hopefully another member will catch it.
Very glad to have you and Pascal here. :)

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PascalTheKam

New Member
Pascal is having breakfast! He ate 4 of his crickets, im still gonna try to syringe feed him. And yes the vet prescribed calcium injections that I inject every 3 day days. For 10 doses. I will also invest in a UVB 24”
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Can you take clearer pictures of the chameleon so we can see the extent of the MBD?

Please note that syringe feeding is only recommended when chams are not eating. This is extremely stressful for them and can cause more issue especially if the cham aspirates the food. I would strongly urge you since he is eating feeders to only do this and give baby as many as it wants making sure they are properly supplemented. With you giving injections this will be stressful enough for baby so to add even more stress is not something I would recommend for a compromised chameleon that is eating.
 

PascalTheKam

New Member
Can you take clearer pictures of the chameleon so we can see the extent of the MBD?

Please note that syringe feeding is only recommended when chams are not eating. This is extremely stressful for them and can cause more issue especially if the cham aspirates the food. I would strongly urge you since he is eating feeders to only do this and give baby as many as it wants making sure they are properly supplemented. With you giving injections this will be stressful enough for baby so to add even more stress is not something I would recommend for a compromised chameleon that is eating.
It’s been maybe 3 days since i had to handle him to syringe feed, recently he will open up his mouth himself to eat. Today he just ate crickets and i’ll cut back on the syringe feeding. These are the best pictures i could get as hes hiding in his basking spot
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
It’s been maybe 3 days since i had to handle him to syringe feed, recently he will open up his mouth himself to eat. Today he just ate crickets and i’ll cut back on the syringe feeding. These are the best pictures i could get as hes hiding in his basking spot
Do you have any pictures of the back of the back feet? I am not sure that you have a male.

And the mbd is actually quite progressed since it has affected the legs causing bowing.

You will want to order the proper UVB lighting asap and make the additional changes you received in your help form quickly.
 

PascalTheKam

New Member
Do you have any pictures of the back of the back feet? I am not sure that you have a male.

And the mbd is actually quite progressed since it has affected the legs causing bowing.

You will want to order the proper UVB lighting asap and make the additional changes you received in your help form quickly.
I ordered the Arcadia Linear uvb @MissSkittles recommended. It gets here Sunday. I’m pretty sure its a male, but im not sure.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I ordered the Arcadia Linear uvb @MissSkittles recommended. It gets here Sunday. I’m pretty sure its a male, but im not sure.
Good it is a male. I just wanted to make sure because with the advanced MBD in the limbs for a female this could pose a major threat to the ability to lay eggs causing egg binding and death. Fortunately while this boy will not have the easiest time moving around and will need additional branches for stability you do not have the added risk a female would.
 

PascalTheKam

New Member
Good it is a male. I just wanted to make sure because with the advanced MBD in the limbs for a female this could pose a major threat to the ability to lay eggs causing egg binding and death. Fortunately while this boy will not have the easiest time moving around and will need additional branches for stability you do not have the added risk a female would.
I expected as much, he does seem to be a little Uncoordinated but besides that his grip is strong. When he was fresh out of the vet he didn’t really climb, so i had to put a safety net, which he didn’t mind. But now he likes to climb up to his basking spot and chill.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I expected as much, he does seem to be a little Uncoordinated but besides that his grip is strong. When he was fresh out of the vet he didn’t really climb, so i had to put a safety net, which he didn’t mind. But now he likes to climb up to his basking spot and chill.
Yes, so just add more branches. Making sure he can still get in between them but so that if he were to lose his grip there is another one close that he can grab on to.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!

Sorry to see that your chameleon has MBD....but it's good that you figured it out quickly and you're working on fixing it.

Be careful how you handle him until the MBD is corrected because it's easy to break bones at this time and make matters worse.

When a chameleon has MBD, not only are his bones affected but his muscles an other things in his system as well....so it's not unusual for their digestion to be slow, their appetite to be less and their pooping less often too. This of course also means that they will likely get less supplements indirectly.

To correct the MBD, it's important to give them extra calcium, proper supplements, proper temperatures, etc to bring things back into balance so that the bones and muscles will become strong again.

Usually we use a liquid calcium gluconate and give it by syringe...but the shots should be good (maybe even better) too.

So make sure you feed/gutload the insects properly ...and dust them properly just before feeding them to the chameleon as well.
At all feedings but one per week, dust with a phos free calcium powder lightly. At that one feeding per week alternate between a phos free calcium/D3 powder and a vitamin powder with a prEformed source of vitamin A (no D3) lightly.

Once the bones, etc are strong again, the liquid or injections can be stopped and the regular supplementing should keep things in balance and keep the MBD from returning.

Exposure to proper UVB from the long linear tube 5.0 Reptisun or long linear tube Arcadia 6% is important too.

Proper basking temperature of about 80F will help with digestion, etc.

More about supplements...
D3 and preformed vitamin A in the supplements are fat soluble and ready to go ...so any extra will be stored in the body for future use and can lead to overdose....and health problems. Vitamin A and D3 are also somewhat antagonistic and need to be in balance with each other. By only dusting with the supplement with them in twice a month we ensure that they get some without overdoing it and leave it so that the rest of what they need comes from other sources. Vitamin A from their diet and vitamin D3 from their exposure to the UVB or direct sunlight.

Hope this helps explain it all.
 

PascalTheKam

New Member
Welcome to the forum!

Sorry to see that your chameleon has MBD....but it's good that you figured it out quickly and you're working on fixing it.

Be careful how you handle him until the MBD is corrected because it's easy to break bones at this time and make matters worse.

When a chameleon has MBD, not only are his bones affected but his muscles an other things in his system as well....so it's not unusual for their digestion to be slow, their appetite to be less and their pooping less often too. This of course also means that they will likely get less supplements indirectly.

To correct the MBD, it's important to give them extra calcium, proper supplements, proper temperatures, etc to bring things back into balance so that the bones and muscles will become strong again.

Usually we use a liquid calcium gluconate and give it by syringe...but the shots should be good (maybe even better) too.

So make sure you feed/gutload the insects properly ...and dust them properly just before feeding them to the chameleon as well.
At all feedings but one per week, dust with a phos free calcium powder lightly. At that one feeding per week alternate between a phos free calcium/D3 powder and a vitamin powder with a prEformed source of vitamin A (no D3) lightly.

Once the bones, etc are strong again, the liquid or injections can be stopped and the regular supplementing should keep things in balance and keep the MBD from returning.

Exposure to proper UVB from the long linear tube 5.0 Reptisun or long linear tube Arcadia 6% is important too.

Proper basking temperature of about 80F will help with digestion, etc.

More about supplements...
D3 and preformed vitamin A in the supplements are fat soluble and ready to go ...so any extra will be stored in the body for future use and can lead to overdose....and health problems. Vitamin A and D3 are also somewhat antagonistic and need to be in balance with each other. By only dusting with the supplement with them in twice a month we ensure that they get some without overdoing it and leave it so that the rest of what they need comes from other sources. Vitamin A from their diet and vitamin D3 from their exposure to the UVB or direct sunlight.

Hope this helps explain it all.
Ahh ok, that explains why i haven’t seen him poop in a few days. I gutload my crickets with blok choy and kale, some apples and sweet potato. I let them eat and feed them to my cham the next day. I powder the crickets with repcal no phos, no d3 every feeding and rapashy calcium Plus LOd every 2 weeks. I ordered his light as well it comes in sunday. I got him some pathos and a mainden hair. I also got him a trunk as a base. I will install his plants and trunk once he’s better and i feel safe to take out the safety net. I will take out the exo terra vines once hes a little better and can climb easier. Im thinking of getting a money tree as a base.
 

PascalTheKam

New Member
Hey guys, Pascal was misted and i tried to give him crickets but he didnt want to eat. It was time for his calcium injection, and it went quite well. I got him some hornworms the other day as treats, and i tried to give him one, and i think he got mad, or was ready to fight. He just opened his mouth, and i thought he was gonna eat the worm but he wasn’t sticking his tongue out. Once i backed the hornworm away he closed his mouth and went back to normal. Was he scared of the hornworm? Or can he not eat any yet.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey guys, Pascal was misted and i tried to give him crickets but he didnt want to eat. It was time for his calcium injection, and it went quite well. I got him some hornworms the other day as treats, and i tried to give him one, and i think he got mad, or was ready to fight. He just opened his mouth, and i thought he was gonna eat the worm but he wasn’t sticking his tongue out. Once i backed the hornworm away he closed his mouth and went back to normal. Was he scared of the hornworm? Or can he not eat any yet.

Was the hornworm big?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I bought the smallest ones. It was his first time.
Can you put it next to something like a quarter so I can see its actual size. Some will back off of large ones. And some when they have never had them do not understand they are food. So they go into fight mode.
 

PascalTheKam

New Member
Can you put it next to something like a quarter so I can see its actual size. Some will back off of large ones. And some when they have never had them do not understand they are food. So they go into fight mode.
Yea look. Sorry for late response something came up.
 

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