My female Veiled Chameleon is acting strange

FalonCrystal

New Member
I believe my cham is about 5 months old. The pet store I bought her from had no idea. I've had her for a little over two months now. She's had one regular molt with me. I went to AZ a month ago for 4 days, my sister took care of her while I was gone. When I got back her coloring had changed to a receptive or gravid type of coloring. Which is primarily been for the last month. I got her a laying bin, which she hated. She wasn't eating. Then she started acting normal again. She never laid any eggs. She has stopped eating crickets again for the last few days and has been digging a lot. Not making anything, just digging. Today I noticed that her throat is swollen. I don't see any outlines of eggs by her back hips so I don't know what's going on. She usually hisses if I put my hand in her cage to add food or something, and she barely hissed this morning. Her eyes look alert. She did eat two mealworms today, which is the first she's shown interest in food in probably 3 days. She seems tired. She's a pretty dark color. I've attached a pic of her I took today.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I believe my cham is about 5 months old. The pet store I bought her from had no idea. I've had her for a little over two months now. She's had one regular molt with me. I went to AZ a month ago for 4 days, my sister took care of her while I was gone. When I got back her coloring had changed to a receptive or gravid type of coloring. Which is primarily been for the last month. I got her a laying bin, which she hated. She wasn't eating. Then she started acting normal again. She never laid any eggs. She has stopped eating crickets again for the last few days and has been digging a lot. Not making anything, just digging. Today I noticed that her throat is swollen. I don't see any outlines of eggs by her back hips so I don't know what's going on. She usually hisses if I put my hand in her cage to add food or something, and she barely hissed this morning. Her eyes look alert. She did eat two mealworms today, which is the first she's shown interest in food in probably 3 days. She seems tired. She's a pretty dark color. I've attached a pic of her I took today.
Hi there. Can you please fill this out with detail so we can help you. Looks like gulular edema. Please be specific with your supplement information in the form.

Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. By providing this information you will receive more accurate and beneficial responses. It might not be necessary to answer all these questions, but the more you provide the better. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person can only guess at what your problem may be. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who can directly examine your animal can give a true diagnosis of your chameleon's health.


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.
 

NashansCamos

Avid Member
I believe my cham is about 5 months old. The pet store I bought her from had no idea. I've had her for a little over two months now. She's had one regular molt with me. I went to AZ a month ago for 4 days, my sister took care of her while I was gone. When I got back her coloring had changed to a receptive or gravid type of coloring. Which is primarily been for the last month. I got her a laying bin, which she hated. She wasn't eating. Then she started acting normal again. She never laid any eggs. She has stopped eating crickets again for the last few days and has been digging a lot. Not making anything, just digging. Today I noticed that her throat is swollen. I don't see any outlines of eggs by her back hips so I don't know what's going on. She usually hisses if I put my hand in her cage to add food or something, and she barely hissed this morning. Her eyes look alert. She did eat two mealworms today, which is the first she's shown interest in food in probably 3 days. She seems tired. She's a pretty dark color. I've attached a pic of her I took today.
It looks like she has broken ribs. my chameleons ribs broke a couple months ago and it looks quite similar
 

FalonCrystal

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, female, possibly 5 months old. I've had her for a little over 2 months. Bought from PetCo.
  • Handling - Once a week
  • Feeding - When she is eating normally, 8 large crickets a day and 2 giant mealworms every other day or every two days. She eats kale 2-3 times a week. My crickets have a cricket food block and Fluker's brand Cricket Quencher.
  • Supplements - I cover her crickets in ReptiCalcium with D3 every other day.
  • Watering - She has a Little Dripper water system that I turn on twice a day. I also have a misting bottle that I use twice a day to coat her cage in water droplets. She is a shy drinker. I've seen her drink before, yes, not always as I work during the day. Her eyes are in great shape... I'm always checking for signs of dehydration and she has been good.
  • Fecal Description - When she eats properly, she goes to the bathroom generally every other day if not daily. Her samples seem normal. When she isn't eating properly, it's smaller and every few days. I do not know if she's been tested for parasites... the pet store didn't seem to know much about her.
  • History - She's very aware of her surroundings and is very alert.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Medium ZooMed mesh cage: 16 x 16 x 30H
  • Lighting - 60watt blue daylight and UVB. 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
  • Temperature - tank thermomator averages around 65 degrees at night and between 73-86 during the day, depending on misting.
  • Humidity - Mister twice a day to three times a day.
  • Plants - fake reptile foliage from the pet stores.
  • Placement - On top of a dresser in a high traffic area (near my bedroom door). I don't have anywhere else to put the cage just yet.
  • Location - Troutdale, Oregon.
Current Problem - Lots of digging, and even though she has receptive coloring, I don't see egg outlines in her belly. Decreased appetite, except for this morning she is doing better, just ate three crickets since my original post. Seems to have a swollen neck. See picture provided with my original post.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, female, possibly 5 months old. I've had her for a little over 2 months. Bought from PetCo.
  • Handling - Once a week
  • Feeding - When she is eating normally, 8 large crickets a day and 2 giant mealworms every other day or every two days. She eats kale 2-3 times a week. My crickets have a cricket food block and Fluker's brand Cricket Quencher.
  • Supplements - I cover her crickets in ReptiCalcium with D3 every other day.
  • Watering - She has a Little Dripper water system that I turn on twice a day. I also have a misting bottle that I use twice a day to coat her cage in water droplets. She is a shy drinker. I've seen her drink before, yes, not always as I work during the day. Her eyes are in great shape... I'm always checking for signs of dehydration and she has been good.
  • Fecal Description - When she eats properly, she goes to the bathroom generally every other day if not daily. Her samples seem normal. When she isn't eating properly, it's smaller and every few days. I do not know if she's been tested for parasites... the pet store didn't seem to know much about her.
  • History - She's very aware of her surroundings and is very alert.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Medium ZooMed mesh cage: 16 x 16 x 30H
  • Lighting - 60watt blue daylight and UVB. 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
  • Temperature - tank thermomator averages around 65 degrees at night and between 73-86 during the day, depending on misting.
  • Humidity - Mister twice a day to three times a day.
  • Plants - fake reptile foliage from the pet stores.
  • Placement - On top of a dresser in a high traffic area (near my bedroom door). I don't have anywhere else to put the cage just yet.
  • Location - Troutdale, Oregon.
Current Problem - Lots of digging, and even though she has receptive coloring, I don't see egg outlines in her belly. Decreased appetite, except for this morning she is doing better, just ate three crickets since my original post. Seems to have a swollen neck. See picture provided with my original post.
You are overdosing on calcium with D3.... Please do not use this every day. I will go through your whole form right now.
 

FalonCrystal

New Member
It looks like she has broken ribs. my chameleons ribs broke a couple months ago and it looks quite similar
Her ribs always look like that. And she moves really well. Do you think maybe something happened before I got her? They always look sorta pokey like that and I thought it was just how she was built.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@FalonCrystal See my feedback in red bold. There will be a lot of information for changes she needs.

Chameleon Info:


  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, female, possibly 5 months old. I've had her for a little over 2 months. Bought from PetCo.
  • Handling - Once a week
  • Feeding - When she is eating normally, 8 large crickets a day and 2 giant mealworms every other day or every two days. She eats kale 2-3 times a week. My crickets have a cricket food block and Fluker's brand Cricket Quencher. She should be getting 3-4 feeders ever other day to three days a week. These should be properly gutloaded. I will add an image. Mealworms are very low in nutritional value. I will post an image for feeders as well.
  • Supplements - I cover her crickets in ReptiCalcium with D3 every other day. This is what is causing the gular edema. Puffing in her throat area. She needs calcium with D3 only 2 times a month. A multivitamin like reptivite WITHOUT D3 two times a month. These two should be rotated week to week and then at all other feedings she need calcium WITHOUT D3. Feeders should be lightly dusted not look like powdered donuts. Stop the calcium With D3 for 3-4 weeks so that her body can expel the toxic amount she has been given.
  • Watering - She has a Little Dripper water system that I turn on twice a day. I also have a misting bottle that I use twice a day to coat her cage in water droplets. She is a shy drinker. I've seen her drink before, yes, not always as I work during the day. Her eyes are in great shape... I'm always checking for signs of dehydration and she has been good.
  • Fecal Description - When she eats properly, she goes to the bathroom generally every other day if not daily. Her samples seem normal. When she isn't eating properly, it's smaller and every few days. I do not know if she's been tested for parasites... the pet store didn't seem to know much about her.
  • History - She's very aware of her surroundings and is very alert.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Medium ZooMed mesh cage: 16 x 16 x 30H
  • Lighting - 60watt blue daylight and UVB. 12 hours on and 12 hours off. You need to buy asap a linear T5HO fixture with a 5.0 UVB bulb to replace that coil uvb bulb that came with your kit. These coil bulbs are not adequate and cause chams to develop MBD. This new fixture is a priority purchase.
  • Temperature - tank thermomator averages around 65 degrees at night and between 73-86 during the day, depending on misting. How are you measuring your temps? She should be no hotter then 80 degrees at basking. Higher temps with more then recommended food intake cause them to develop a very large clutch of eggs.
  • Humidity - Mister twice a day to three times a day.
  • Plants - fake reptile foliage from the pet stores. You need live plants for her. If she eats the fake plants which veileds are known to do they can kill her. See link. https://chameleonacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Chameleon-Plants-122819.pdf
  • Placement - On top of a dresser in a high traffic area (near my bedroom door). I don't have anywhere else to put the cage just yet.
  • Location - Troutdale, Oregon.
Current Problem - Lots of digging, and even though she has receptive coloring, I don't see egg outlines in her belly. Decreased appetite, except for this morning she is doing better, just ate three crickets since my original post. Seems to have a swollen neck. See picture provided with my original post.



Stop the calcium with D3 today and do not give it to her again for 3-4 weeks. Buy calcium without D3 and reptivite (multivitamin) without D3. Follow the info above for when to give these supplements. The edema should clear once the levels of D3 lower.

You have to buy a linear t5HO fixture with a 5.0 bulb or a 6% bulb. then Basking would be about 9 inches below this fixture sitting on the top of the cage. Something like this.
This in a 24 inch.... https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/t5-uvb-light-fixture.html
This in a 6% bulb... https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-6-uvb-t5-reptile-bulb.html

About lay bins
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/egg-laying-and-the-laying-bin.345/

Accurate info and Product links for things I like:

https://chameleonacademy.com/

https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/

https://www.youtube.com/c/NeptunetheChameleon?sub_confirmation=1

www.dragonstrand.com

https://tkchameleons.com/collections/accessories/products/shooting-gallery



chameleon-food(1).jpg
chameleon-gutload.jpg
 

FalonCrystal

New Member
I REALLY appreciate this new information! I've taken lots of screenshots so I can go to the pet store today. When I first got her, her kit had come with reptile calcium but it didn't have the D3. I had read on another website that she should have the D3, so that's what I've been using... so probably a couple of weeks now. I will stop the D3 today and I'll take this info to the store with me.

I am super grateful. Thank you.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I REALLY appreciate this new information! I've taken lots of screenshots so I can go to the pet store today. When I first got her, her kit had come with reptile calcium but it didn't have the D3. I had read on another website that she should have the D3, so that's what I've been using... so probably a couple of weeks now. I will stop the D3 today and I'll take this info to the store with me.

I am super grateful. Thank you.
You have options with the supplements. She needs a multivitamin as well. I prefer Reptivite. You can get this with D3 or without D3. If you want you can get it with D3 and only use it 2 times a month dropping the other calcium with D3 all together, then at all other feedings you give the calcium without D3.

This is what the D3 version looks like https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-repti...MI5NHpyK366gIVUfDACh166wGgEAQYASABEgL2d_D_BwE
The label will either say with D3 like this one or Without D3.

When you go to find her UVB lighting. It is super important that you do not get the T8 fixture instead of the T5HO fixture. The T8's are most commonly sold but they do not have the same UVB output. But if you can find a T5 with a 5.0 UVB bulb this is equivalent to the links for the pangea site I gave you.

Let us know if you have other questions. :)
 
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