My panther chameleon is shedding twice


New Member
got it,
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.
Got it i will update you all on when the changes have been made! Thank you all for your help.


Chameleon Enthusiast
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. If there are no predators around/he's in a cage or something secure outside, natural UV is amazing for chams! They'll get darker and bigger (expanding the gular pouch) to absorb more rays, too. When he's looking through a window, all of the UVB is getting blocked (he could overheat, as well, if the window isn't energy efficient and it's hot out), along with the possibility of him getting stressed out if he sees his reflection, so outside time is better. If he's outside for long enough, he doesn't need any supplemental D3.
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! Kale is not the best, either. And you need to buy as many ingredients as possible, one vegetable is not nearly enough! If you don't want to do that, either use Arcadia Insect Fuel or Repashy Bug Burger to gutload your bugs, like @Flick boy said.
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!) He also needs multivitamins! Right now, with the overexposure with his UVB bulb, he doesn't need D3, but once that is fixed, he will need a D3 supplement, as well (unless he is outside for long enough). Could you post a pic of the ingredients list and guaranteed analysis on the Calci Dust bottle? Get Zoo Med's Reptivite WITHOUT D3 to use once every two weeks. A phosphorus-free calcium with D3, like Zoo Med ReptiCalcium With D3, can be used once every two weeks once his UVB is fixed, as well. Online, everything is cheaper and there are so many more options!
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. Have you had panther chams before these two (you said these were your first healthy ones)? Fogging and misting are not identical, and with your situation, if you continue to fog, there will be health problems (if there aren't already). Please listen to what @Beman said! Misting once around lights and once around lights off for at least 2 minutes will be much better than one misting during the day (high heat and humidity during the day without ventilation can cause RIs). A dripper that uses clean water and drained out of the cage will offer hydration during the day without raising humidity.
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 You need an exotics vet with more (and reputable) chameleon experience. When you take him (I'd take your other one along, as well, and fill out a husbandry form for him/her, too), make sure to bring a fresh fecal sample with you to test for parasites, as well as make sure to do bloodwork and x-rays. After that first appointment, drop off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples after that (per cham) to make sure no parasites were missed.
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 It needs to go, and proper branches need to go 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. If you look at the most accurate and up-to-date info, the standards have changes for bigger and better care. His current cage needs to be modified. A screen top, more vents, a drainage system, and either make screen doors or screen a side and/or put a big long vent under the doors to establish a chimney effect. A CPU fan for circulation will help, too.
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. Since it's not bioactive, it's a breeding ground for bacteria, so a drainage system and a bare bottom are what's needed, along with cleanings. If you cup feed the locusts, it'll make sure they're not eating plastic or anything when your cham hunts them down. You can even add a little gutload in the cup so they stay gutloaded.


Chameleon Enthusiast
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. You need a screen top. Could you cut out a side and screen it, as well? That'd work great!
Are all of the fake plants in his enclosure meant for reptiles?
Yes! I made sure all the materials and greenery were reptile safe! Great! Just making sure because the flowers look like they're from a craft or floral store, not bought from a pet store.
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! Both need to be outside of the cage ASAP. You'd also benefit from a 6% bulb, instead of your 12%.
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... Vets not experienced in chams usually give either outdated or wrong info.
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! Great!
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 No more strawberries at all, panther chams don't eat plants or fruit.

Ok so changes:
Changing the Gutload from spinach to kale No kale, and either a ton of fresh organic ingredients or Arcadia Insect Fuel/Repashy Bug Burger. How do you gutload your feeders?
Changing the diet from 4 locust a day to 2 locust 3 times a week, making sure to dust each one with calcium dust. You need a multivitamin without D3 but with preformed Vitamin A to use once every two weeks. After the UVB is fixed and he's not overexposed anymore, he'll need a phosphorus-free calcium with D3 once every two weeks, as well (unless he spends a long enough time outside, then no D3).
Changing the drop the temp even more at night so the fogger has the perfect condition therefore allowing me to use it again No fogger, just misting and clean dripping
Changing the ventilation by opening the side doors just a tad to acquire more airflow That can lead to escape and won't help. You need a screen top and either screen doors, a screen side, or a big vent on the bottom under the doors and a CPU fan.
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 Yes, they need to be out and above! How old is his UVB light? Let us know which type of screen you use, and we can help you make sure the UVB bulb is at the proper distance! Make sure the heat bulb is at leas 8-9" away from where the top of your cham's back is when he's on his basking branch (and the basking temp is measured there with a probe, it should be around 30*C).
Changing his flora so that he maybe has some live plants Yes! Look at the live plant link and charts!
Changing to an outside system, I would love to know more about a drainage system so I can move things to the outside! Check out the drainage inspiration link!
Changing to get a mister hopefully once the lights are out I can add an automatic mister on the inside! Yes!

And keeping the same:
Daytime Humidity
Vivarium It needs to be modified
The hammock It needs to go and have tons of branches replace it.
Not taking him outside often. You can as long as it's safe, it's actually recommended!

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! It's the UV overexposure and probably the lack of vitamins, as well.

Here's the links you need to read through: (read through every module) (read through every module) (everything except the basking temps and amount of food items is correct) (read through every section) (another great cage set-up link!) (drainage system ideas) (read all 4 parts!)
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