My panther chameleon is shedding twice

NeonDetonation

New Member
For the past few months I have had 2 panther chameleons one is a 3 year old called morph and is a masoala the both of them don't eat much but he has been shedding his whole head since I got him, the only thing I am worried about is that when looking at it today it seemed as if he was shedding again on the next layer down under where he just shed. I don't know why or even if this is normal, I am worried because of his age that he may pass sooner than I think I will post before photos of before I got him and now photos, surprisingly both like to be handles and like climbing and seeing my house both scratch on the glass on there vivariums to come out and climb around then just rest atop my head before eventually having enough and heading down my arm back towards where there vivariums are.

Now for all the information, they eat 4-6 adult locust per day sometimes less, a lot less, morph has a constant dripper and a fogger which turns on 2 times a day morph is in a 86cm by 94cm by 49cm vivarium with, hiding spots, tons of climbing stuff and even flowers, he is very content but the shedding has me worried its just on his head and I don't want him to be hurt.
The fist one with the mesh screen is before I got him
Then all the others are how he is now.
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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello there! Do you raise the humidity when they shed? Also, foggers shouldn’t be used during the day, and since they’re both adult males, you can give around 2 locusts 3x a week to each of them. If you want, could you fill out the husbandry form so we can make sure everything else is on tip-top shape? Make sure to use as much detail as possible and include pics of the entirety of each cage- lights to bottom.

PS- Morph is absolutely stunning!!! 😍😍😍
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
You have a shedding problem on a problem area. You are not insane, you have multiple layers of stuck shed. Lots of us have seen 3-4 layers on newly acquired animals. If you miss that golden hour to shed, it just kinda turns clear and glues to the next layer. And then it happens again and again over several months. There is hope, you only need one good shed to make everything perfect again.

IN chameleons this really isnt an issue. Worst case you may lose some spikes. In some reptiles the skin is really thick, so a stuck shed is more like plastic. Bending of the toe may cause bleeding cracks in animals over 5 pounds for example. And in some non chameleon species you will lose the tips of tails and fingers from multiple layers.
 

NeonDetonation

New Member
You have a shedding problem on a problem area. You are not insane, you have multiple layers of stuck shed. Lots of us have seen 3-4 layers on newly acquired animals. If you miss that golden hour to shed, it just kinda turns clear and glues to the next layer. And then it happens again and again over several months. There is hope, you only need one good shed to make everything perfect again.

IN chameleons this really isnt an issue. Worst case you may lose some spikes. In some reptiles the skin is really thick, so a stuck shed is more like plastic. Bending of the toe may cause bleeding cracks in animals over 5 pounds for example. And in some non chameleon species you will lose the tips of tails and fingers from multiple layers.
I have noticed he is missing part of his tail maybe he had had this problem before and has lost the tip of his tail because of it
 

NeonDetonation

New Member
Hello there! Do you raise the humidity when they shed? Also, foggers shouldn’t be used during the day, and since they’re both adult males, you can give around 2 locusts 3x a week to each of them. If you want, could you fill out the husbandry form so we can make sure everything else is on tip-top shape? Make sure to use as much detail as possible and include pics of the entirety of each cage- lights to bottom.

PS- Morph is absolutely stunning!!! 😍😍😍
Ok! I thought they just weren't eating and was worried I was doing something wrong turns out there is too much food and I don't use the forgers technically in the day or the day cycle for them, its on a timer and comes on before and after their light come on and go off and I did raise the setting for them whilst they are shedding maybe I should mist them too but I don't want it to be too humid that it stresses them and where can I find the form to fill out?

Ps, I know he's so gorgeous and he has improved so much since I got him, I mean just look at his colours before I got him.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok! I thought they just weren't eating and was worried I was doing something wrong turns out there is too much food and I don't use the forgers technically in the day or the day cycle for them, its on a timer and comes on before and after their light come on and go off and I did raise the setting for them whilst they are shedding maybe I should mist them too but I don't want it to be too humid that it stresses them and where can I find the form to fill out?

Ps, I know he's so gorgeous and he has improved so much since I got him, I mean just look at his colours before I got him.
Okay, so chameleons are dry shedders, which means adding more moisture can cause problems, like stuck shed. When they shed, you keep all of their environment conditions the same as normal. Do you use your fogger during the day, at night, or a different schedule (sorry, I couldn't understand your response fully)?
 

NeonDetonation

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - Panther masoala chameleon, male, and he's around 3 or 3 and a half. he has been in my care for 49 days or a month and a half
  • Handling - in the beginning he didn't want anyone near him let alone being handled but now he signals to me when he wants to come out and if its an average it would be ever 3 days or so for 10 minuets to 1 hour he will come down to the glass and tap it with his claws until I open the door and he then reaches for me and climbs up and on me, he lets me know when he's had enough by either huffing or climbing down my arm back towards his vivarium, some days he wants to come out others he wants to be left alone.
  • Feeding - I feed him locust, wax worms and strawberries. 4 large locust a day, a couple waxworms on occasion and small cut chunks of strawberries on occasion too. I have a large container which I put the locust in and feed spinach daily too so they will be full
  • Supplements - I have him on Pro Rep Calcidust, and dust 2 of the 4 locust a day but someone mentioned I should change it to 2 large locust per day so in that case I would give probably only 1 the calcidust
  • Watering - I have an automatic fogger that I have set up to go off once in the morning and once in the evening, he also has a constant flow of water running as he has a dripper which continues throughout the day and yes I do see him drinking
  • Faecal Description - He usually poops once every two days, from what I know it is quite normal he has a bit of white and then a slimy brown which is covered in slime to keep it in together and from when I had him I have took him to the vets but to my knowledge I don't think they specifically looked for parasites but they did a basic health look and said everything looked ok but to keep his stress levels down
  • History - He doesn't like his reflection and the gent that had him before had him in a mesh vivarium in a insulated outhouse with a bunch other chameleons, snakes and even an iguana. He has sharp claws and yet he struggles to turn around on branches so I purchased a climbing hammock (usually used for bearded dragons) and placed that to help him turn around.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - He is in a wooden vivarium with glass door panels, he has 3 ports of ventilation and the dimensions are 86cm by 94cm by 49cm L x H x W
  • Lighting - I have a Arcadia pro T5 UVB light and a UVA light as well, The UVB is on from 8 to 8 and the UVA comes on at intermitted times throughout the day usually to keep the temperature at the right levels
  • Temperature - between 24°C and 31°C it will sit more towards 24°C at night and has 2 different sensors to monitor the temperatures towards the ground are lower and the basking lights temperatures are higher
  • Humidity - the humidity stays around 50% to 60% humidity by the heat evaporating the leaf droppers water and the fogger that turns on in the morning and evening. they are also measured by the same sensor as the temperature.
  • Plants - I am not using live plants as the last passion flower plant I used was eaten by locust. so I have artificial logs leaves and flowers
  • Placement - The vivarium is inside an office which isn't used aside from in the evenings and is not a high traffic area, it is away from the windows and there are no air vents inside the house to cause drafts the vivarium is on 2 stands which are around 100cm to 120cm in height.
  • Location - I am located in the UK.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

Morph has been shedding for quite some time and has been shedding a second layer under the first one, I am worried as I fear it will accumulate damage to the new scales underneath and or cause sores i know i should not remove it myself as this can also damage the new layer of skin

Here are some photos of his vivarium, him before I got him, after and his head currently
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Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for filling out the form and pictures I can see that there is quite a few improvements that need made. I would cut the spinach out it is high in oxalate and not recommended. Providing a variety of feeders is best. I would also recommend a bigger enclosure 2x2x4 or bigger preferably a repti breeze, jungle Jim's vivariums or muji panthers as wodden enclosures don't provide enough air flow . You should not be running a fogger during the day this can lead to respiratory problems. You can either hand mist or purchase an automatic mister . Are you only using the repti cal and how often ( do you have pictures of the tub ) also with having your lights in your enclosure and a 12% you may be Providing to much uvb chameleon academy has good advice on husbandry you should read through it .
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello, again! My feeback and any questions will be in red, and I'll post helpful links below, along with two plant charts (@Flick boy already posted the gutload and feeder charts):
  • Your Chameleon - Panther masoala chameleon, male, and he's around 3 or 3 and a half. he has been in my care for 49 days or a month and a half
  • Handling - in the beginning he didn't want anyone near him let alone being handled but now he signals to me when he wants to come out and if its an average it would be ever 3 days or so for 10 minuets to 1 hour he will come down to the glass and tap it with his claws until I open the door and he then reaches for me and climbs up and on me, he lets me know when he's had enough by either huffing or climbing down my arm back towards his vivarium, some days he wants to come out others he wants to be left alone. He's probably uncomfortable in his cage. When you take him out, does he go outside, to a free-range area, or get any treats?
  • Feeding - I feed him locust, wax worms and strawberries. 4 large locust a day, a couple waxworms on occasion and small cut chunks of strawberries on occasion too. I have a large container which I put the locust in and feed spinach daily too so they will be full So spinach is a really bad gutload, it's not only high in oxalates, but it binds calcium, as well. Look at the gutload chart @Flick boy posted, and try to get as many as ingredients on there as possible (organic, and use in the correct ratios when feeding) to use as your gutload. 1-2 large locusts 3x a week is what his feeding amount should be, or equal amounts in other insects (variety is best!).
  • Supplements - I have him on Pro Rep Calcidust, and dust 2 of the 4 locust a day but someone mentioned I should change it to 2 large locust per day so in that case I would give probably only 1 the calcidust Every feeder needs to be dusted right before feeding off with phosphorus-free calcium without D3 every feeding, except for one day each week. On that one day per week, you'll alternate weekly between a phosphorus-free calcium with D3 and a quality multivitamin without D3 (but preferably with preformed Vitamin A), so that each of those is used once every two weeks, as well.
  • Watering - I have an automatic fogger that I have set up to go off once in the morning and once in the evening, he also has a constant flow of water running as he has a dripper which continues throughout the day and yes I do see him drinking A fogger should only be used during the coldest parts of the night, and only if there is enough airflow and cold enough temps. You have neither, so no more fogging right now. His enclosure should be misted at least 2x a day (preferably around lights on and lights off) for a minimum of 2-5+ minutes each time. Misting is a chameleon's primary source of water and allows them to clean out their eyes and such if wanted, as well, if they decide to go into the spray. The dripper you have is also not good, as it reuses water. So if there's something dirty in the water, it just keeps recirculating it. Both the dripper and water tub need to go (a drainage system installed outside and under the cage is what should be installed to collect water). A dripper that can be used should be placed outside of the cage (preferably placed on top of the cage or hung or sat above), dripping onto multiple leaves starting from the top down (preferably off of a real plant), and only using clean water, refilling with more clean water when it runs out.
  • Faecal Description - He usually poops once every two days, from what I know it is quite normal he has a bit of white and then a slimy brown which is covered in slime to keep it in together and from when I had him I have took him to the vets but to my knowledge I don't think they specifically looked for parasites but they did a basic health look and said everything looked ok but to keep his stress levels down Did they do a fecal test at the vet/did you bring a fresh poop with you and then they tested it?
  • History - He doesn't like his reflection and the gent that had him before had him in a mesh vivarium in a insulated outhouse with a bunch other chameleons, snakes and even an iguana. He has sharp claws and yet he struggles to turn around on branches so I purchased a climbing hammock (usually used for bearded dragons) and placed that to help him turn around. The hammock can do more damage than good and should be removed.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - He is in a wooden vivarium with glass door panels, he has 3 ports of ventilation and the dimensions are 86cm by 94cm by 49cm L x H x W A 61 x 61 x 122 cm tall cage is bare minimum size an adult male panther should be kept in, but 122 x 61 x 122 cm tall or bigger cage is best! Is his cage bioactive? His cage needs much more ventilation (at least enough to establish the chimney effect) and lots more branches (of multiple species and diameters- just none from toxic or sap-producing trees), more plant cover (preferably all live plants, just be careful with how much the humidity rises if it goes too high and you don't use anything to help bring it down), and vines (preferably all live or dead live vines, but fake ones, like Fluker's can make do as long as you replace or take them out as they tear or wear down- just no Exo Terra or moss vines, as they can cause health issues). Are all of the fake plants in his enclosure meant for reptiles? I've posted a chameleon-safe plant list link, two amazing cage set-up links, and two plant list charts below!
  • Lighting - I have a Arcadia pro T5 UVB light and a UVA light as well, The UVB is on from 8 to 8 and the UVA comes on at intermitted times throughout the day usually to keep the temperature at the right levels Both the UVB and heat bulbs and fixtures need to be outside of the cage, either resting on or hanging above it, with the ceiling cut out and replaced with standard aluminum window mesh. If you get the right kind of mesh (one of the same ones used for commercial cages), you want the Arcadia 12% UVB bulb ~28-30 cm away from the basking branch. With an Arcadia 6%, the distance would be ~20-23 cm. Still, it's best, and recommended, to buy and use a Solarmeter 5.5 to measure UVI levels so you know the placement is accurate. If you don't use the same screen type as commercial cages, the Solarmeter 6.5 will be needed. With both fixtures out of the cage, it'll be much safer, and you won't need tape either (it's also dangerous)!
  • Temperature - between 24°C and 31°C it will sit more towards 24°C at night and has 2 different sensors to monitor the temperatures towards the ground are lower and the basking lights temperatures are higher His basking temp should be ~30*C, measured with a probed digital thermometer, with the probe placed where the top of his back is when he's on his basking branch. It'd be much better if you got his nighttime temps to at least ~21*C, but preferably ~18*C or lower.
  • Humidity - the humidity stays around 50% to 60% humidity by the heat evaporating the leaf droppers water and the fogger that turns on in the morning and evening. they are also measured by the same sensor as the temperature. The daytime humidity level is perfect! At night, once you get enough airflow, and if the temps are ~18*C or lower (you can push it up to ~19*C), the humidity can go up to 100%. With those temps and circulation, you can use a cool-mist humidifier, as well, during the coldest parts of the night. If you decide to go with a cool-mist humidifier once conditions are right, make sure the output is placed near the top of the cage so the fog rolls down (and if it came with crinkly tubing, replace it with either PVC pipe or vinyl tubing, along with thoroughly cleaning the entirety of it and the tubes at least once a week).
  • Plants - I am not using live plants as the last passion flower plant I used was eaten by locust. so I have artificial logs leaves and flowers
  • Placement - The vivarium is inside an office which isn't used aside from in the evenings and is not a high traffic area, it is away from the windows and there are no air vents inside the house to cause drafts the vivarium is on 2 stands which are around 100cm to 120cm in height.
  • Location - I am located in the UK.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

Morph has been shedding for quite some time and has been shedding a second layer under the first one, I am worried as I fear it will accumulate damage to the new scales underneath and or cause sores i know i should not remove it myself as this can also damage the new layer of skin


Here's the links! I'd recommend reading through every module and the panther species profile from The Chameleon Acadmey, as well as listening to as many of their podcast episodes as possible, as well! They have the most up-to-date care info!
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, chameleons do not eat or need to eat fruit, they're strictly insectivores. So no strawberry, just properly gutloaded and supplemented insects
 

NeonDetonation

New Member
Also, chameleons do not eat or need to eat fruit, they're strictly insectivores. So no strawberry, just properly gutloaded and supplemented insects
Thank you for all your advice I know I am not yet a pro but I do have some reserves about some things mentioned, and I will answer in a bit more detail.
When you take him out, does he go outside, to a free-range area, or get any treats? He does go outside when it is warm enough I try to give him as much natural light as possible, however he doesn't seem to like the outside. I am unsure if its because there are birds around like pigeons or if he just genuinely doesn't like it but whenever I take him outside he goes dark and huffs, he does however like looking out of a window to the outside and will sit watching the outside for ages, although I make sure not to keep him in sunlight for too long if he's in a window as the sun is obviously magnified and could hurt him.
So spinach is a really bad/ Look at the gutload chart @Flick boy posted/ (variety is best!). I 100% agree with you after looking into it kale would probably be a better feeder for the locust, as its said to be best as it has the right calcium to phosphorus ratio, Thank you for pointing this out!
Every feeder needs to be dusted right before feeding. Got it I will start giving them each a coat and make a feeding schedule chart so I can monitor their feeding habits better. And I will include a photo of the calcidust, its the one my pet store recommended (I am in a small town so there aren't many options for finding calcidust, So if you have any product recommendations I am all ears!)
A fogger should only be used during the coldest parts of the night, and only if there is enough airflow and cold enough temps. You have neither, so no more fogging right now. Now I know I am no expert these are my first healthy panther chameleons but I slightly disagree, Doing research misting and fogging are almost identical and I usually do run it at night they wake up at 8 and go to sleep at 8 that is their healthy 12 hour cycle I run the fogger at 11 o'clock at night and 5 o'clock in the morning. You are right however I do probably need to mist him in the day as well possibly at 2 in the afternoon as that would be the middle of their day. When it comes to the dripper, I clean it out every 3 days making sure I use fresh water and to clean out the tub as well I should up this to everyday but I don't know if that makes up anything for the concern. However I like the idea of a drainage system and do think that would be an amazing idea to stop me having to constantly clean it daily and so that there can be more space for plant life I completely agree with you.
Did they do a faecal test at the vet/did you bring a fresh poop with you and then they tested it? No they did not. I didn't bring one either because everything on that end seemed to be fine I was just worried about their stress levels and a basic health check up, They asked if I the poop was ok and it was so I said yes, they check the cloaca (obviously very gently) and said it all looked good
The hammock can do more damage than good and should be removed. This is probably my fault for not mentioning sooner, because of the end of morphs tail, not being there he seems to have a harder time balancing and turning around on branches, He kept slipping and falling and I was worried he would hurt himself, The hammock allows him a larger surface area, to turn climb and get where he wants to go and since I've put it in, he has not fallen. That you for your input on the hammock but due to the circumstance I will be keeping that in
A 61 x 61 x 122 cm tall cage is bare minimum size an adult male panther should be kept in. Now I can understand why they need obviously large vivarium's, they need climbing space and to not be stressed and to be happy in their environment however this statement is false I am sorry to say. Actually adult male panther chameleons minimum enclosure size should be 45cm by 45cm by 91 cm L x W x H and females require even less space 40cm by 40cm by 76cm L x W x H. Would I love to put Him in a huge vivarium where he can climb to his hearts content. Yes. Would I love to have the money, space and resources to make this feasible. Absolutely. At this current time is he comfortable and not stressed in his 86cm by 49cm by 94cm L x W x H vivarium. Yes. However unfortunately I don't have the the money, space, resources to make that possible currently so I am going to stick with what I have which he is Happy being in.
Is his cage bioactive? Having an effect upon a living organism, tissue, or cell. Biologically active. does it look it, yes. Is it probably no as all the plants aside from the logs are fake because the locust kept devouring the plants I put in.
His cage needs much more ventilation I do agree, I think it would be beneficial to have more ventilation, Some people who also keep chams in wood vivarium's suggest leaving the sliding glass doors slightly open to make a whole circuit for the air to go in and out, I actually did this a few times when the heat in England was reaching 36 temps so I may do this all the time to allow more ventilation to go around.
Are all of the fake plants in his enclosure meant for reptiles? Yes! I made sure all the materials and greenery were reptile safe!
Both the UVB and heat bulbs and fixtures need to be outside of the cage in an ideal situation I completely agree, But in the current situation I don't think that is possible especially because they are the standard mdf wooden vivarium's you cant really cut into them (I want to however my father who is an engineer said we cant because it is too brittle. The lights are far enough away that he cannot grab or latch onto them if that is the main concern and the branches are far enough away form the basking hammock. 28-30cm But I do completely agree with you, If may get a carpenter out to see if he could do it for me instead and you are correct it will be much safer!
His basking temp should be ~30*C, measured with a probed digital thermometer, with the probe placed where the top of his back is when he's on his basking branch. It'd be much better if you got his night-time temps to at least ~21*C, but preferably ~18*C or lower. I did have it like this but when taking him to the vet they said to keep it between this new temperature and I asked why and the veterinarian said it was better for it to be bellow 32 but above 30 Chameleons are confusing sometimes...
The daytime humidity level is perfect! great I have gotten that right! nice! and ok I will make sure to drop the temp more at night so that the fogger is better at that time!
Also, chameleons do not eat or need to eat fruit. I know that they don't need to eat fruit however a chameleon eating fruit isn't unusual, I know morph does enjoy a good strawberry on occasion, but my other panther chameleon does not

Ok so changes:
Changing the Gutload from spinach to kale
Changing the diet from 4 locust a day to 2 locust 3 times a week, making sure to dust each one with calcium dust.
Changing the drop the temp even more at night so the fogger has the perfect condition therefore allowing me to use it again
Changing the ventilation by opening the side doors just a tad to acquire more airflow
Changing his light system, Hopefully by cutting holes in the top of the viv and seeing if I can put them on the outside, allowing more room on the inside for climbing
Changing his flora so that he maybe has some live plants
Changing to an outside system, I would love to know more about a drainage system so I can move things to the outside!
Changing to get a mister hopefully once the lights are out I can add an automatic mister on the inside!

And keeping the same:
Daytime Humidity
Vivarium
The hammock
Not taking him outside often.

I hope to hear back from you soon and get an answer about the main issue I am having which is why he is shedding twice!

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NeonDetonation

New Member
Thanks for filling out the form and pictures I can see that there is quite a few improvements that need made. I would cut the spinach out it is high in oxalate and not recommended. Providing a variety of feeders is best. I would also recommend a bigger enclosure 2x2x4 or bigger preferably a repti breeze, jungle Jim's vivariums or muji panthers as wodden enclosures don't provide enough air flow . You should not be running a fogger during the day this can lead to respiratory problems. You can either hand mist or purchase an automatic mister . Are you only using the repti cal and how often ( do you have pictures of the tub ) also with having your lights in your enclosure and a 12% you may be Providing to much uvb chameleon academy has good advice on husbandry you should read through it .
Got it these are the changes i am going to make and then the things i will keep the same going through the deatiled response from

ERKleRose

Changing the Gutload from spinach to kale
Changing the diet from 4 locust a day to 2 locust 3 times a week, making sure to dust each one with calcium dust.
Changing the drop the temp even more at night so the fogger has the perfect condition therefore allowing me to use it again
Changing the ventilation by opening the side doors just a tad to acquire more airflow
Changing his light system, Hopefully by cutting holes in the top of the viv and seeing if I can put them on the outside, allowing more room on the inside for climbing
Changing his flora so that he maybe has some live plants
Changing to an outside system, I would love to know more about a drainage system so I can move things to the outside!
Changing to get a mister hopefully once the lights are out I can add an automatic mister on the inside!

And keeping the same:
Daytime Humidity
Vivarium
The hammock
Not taking him outside often.
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi the gut load needs variety. You could always try arcadia insect fuel as well. Also as ERKleRose mentioned you should be adding a multivitamin +d3. If you are finding it difficult to get stuff here are a few places. Northampton reptile centre, swell reptiles, buzzard reptiles, livefoods4u and silkworm uk .
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there. I agree with everything @ERKleRose is telling you. Lots of husbandry corrections need to be made...

With the enclosure specifically. Not having a fully bioactive bottom with CUC means your basically growing bacteria in the environment. Not having ventilation means the cham is breathing in stagnant air full of bacteria.

The tub of water at the bottom also is a bacteria breeding ground. He is dropping urates and poop into this along with feeders falling into this. Then that is the water he is drinking from the dripper.

Fogging should only be done with an enclosure that reaches cold temps at night and has ventilation. Fogging in an enclosure that is cut off from air becomes high risk for a respiratory infection. When you add the bacteria growth in the ground and the tub your adding even more risk for this to cause an RI.

The net really is not safe. They have to have branches of different diameters. All your lighting being inside is dangerous. Your cham is being exposed to very high UVI levels with that 12% uvb bulb. I am willing to bet this is part of the issue with the shedding. High UVI levels are unsafe because they can burn the skin. Think of it this way. If you go to the beach and burn your skin then go back every single day. It will be burn on top of burn on top of burn. The skin gets the damage.

I would modify this cage. Take off the solid top panel and use aluminum window screen. This way all lighting is on the outside. Then get pvc lattice and cut it to fit your sides hooking it to your sides so you can mount branches correctly.
 
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