My cham's nails are breaking


New Member
My veiled chameleon is about nine months old. She has been very healthy since I got her in June. Her nails became very long and sharp and remained this way for months. I recently noticed that some of them seem to have broken off. The ones that have broken all seem to be on the outside-facing toes. I was slightly worried when I noticed, however I am now more worried because I believe that she is losing her grip because of this. I saw her fall off one of the highest branches the other day and I am now quite concerned. Should I be? She seems to be eating and drinking as always and has a daily supply of calcium dusted food as well as a UVA/UVB heat lamp. Is this a problem?
Hello Marisa
Welcome to the Chameleon Forums :)

What kind of cage are you using? It is common for chameleons to lose their nails when climbing on a screened cage that has too fine a mesh (screen holes). Are the nails completely missing?

I saw her fall off one of the highest branches the other day and I am now quite concerned.
I would be worried too. A chameleon could fall by accident, but I have never seen it happen. If her fall is related to the nail loss or a health problem, there is a good chance that was not his first time to fall. If you see or suspect she falls again I would take her to an experienced vet to try and find out what the cause may be. Try to add things to the cage that would help prevent injury in case of a fall. Do you handle your chameleon? What kind of grip does your cham have?
Her grip is o.k. but it used to be better. Since some of her nails are shorter and missing, her grip is not that great. Sometimes she feels unsteady, like she is going to fall, when I've been holding her lately. It is a mesh cage, and she does climb on the mesh at times. I believe that this is probably the cause, however I don't want it to get worse. I've only seen her fall that one time, she's been o.k. since then.
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