My Yemen Chameleon hasn't eaten in over a month!

Pinapple198

New Member
I bought my chameleon in September 2018, everything was fine until she just stopped eating one day. I have already taken her to the vet and they weren't any help at all. I have tried everything, I have bought her a new enclosure, I've gone from mesh to wood to keep the heat in. I have tried different foods for her, changing the temperature, adding more vines and leafs etc. I am really starting to worry now as its been over a month since she has eaten anything. Visually she doesn't look any different and she is still as active as she was when i first got her. Before when I put food near her she would get it straight away where as now she starts hissing when I go near her with food. Is there anything I can do to try and get her to start eating again? She is a little over one year old I forgot to mention.
Thanks!
 

Jesspete

Avid Member
This is long, but it's the best way for us to help you. Please fill out the following form and post pictures if you can. Lots of different things could be happening here. LOTS.

Also, sounds like you're making a lot of changes quickly. That could be part of it.

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.
 

Pinapple198

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, Female, just over 1 year old. Been in my care since September 2018
  • Handling - As little as possible maybe every few days as I know they don't like being handled
  • Feeding - I have been feeding her brown crickets and Mario Worms, I put around 6 in at a time. I fed her everyday, once in the morning once at night. I am gut loading them with potato peel and carrot.
  • Supplements - I am using Nutrobal calcium powder, i dust them before i feed my chameleon.
  • Watering - I spray the cage a few times a day, make sure all the leaves are wet. I usually mist for maybe a minuet and i see my chameleon drinking often.
  • Fecal Description - Her dropping are white coloured as she has not been eating and she does it maybe twice a week. The chameleon hasn't been tested for parasites.
  • History - Unfortunately the only thing I know is that she was at one of my local reptile shops.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - My cage is made from wood with a glass front. The dimensions are Size L x D x H in feet (approx) : 1ft, 11" x 1ft, 7" x 3ft, 0"
  • Lighting - I am using arcadia heat lamp in my viv as well as the UV light. I turn them both on as soon as i wake up and turn they off after 12 or more.
  • Temperature - The temperature of the cage at the bottom is 22-25 degrees and the basking spot is 35. The lowest the temperature could go overnight would be 16 degrees Celsius. I measure the temperature with an exo terra thermometer.
  • Humidity - I'm not sure what level my humidity is at.
  • Plants - Currently there are no live plants.
  • Placement - The cage is on my desk in my bedroom with no distractions.
  • Location - I live in the UK, specifically Sheffield.

Current Problem - She hasn't eaten in over a month. she has gone from eating everyday to not eating at all. She has been to see the vet who said she had a bacteria infection and gave me medicine, the bacteria infection is now gone. I have attached a picture of my enclosure and of my beautiful chameleon. thumbnail (1).jpg thumbnail.jpg Any help would be really appreciated!
 

Jesspete

Avid Member
There's a lot going on here, that we will want to address, that could make her happier and healthier. Her not eating in so long is a sign that something is amiss.

I'm gonna hit a few highlights, plenty of others will likely chime in. I don't want to overwhelm you, but you reached out, so you obviously care.

1. You didn't mention, nor do I see a laying bin. I can't see much from photos, and I have always avoided female chams, so I can't even remotely tell if she's gravid, but at her age, she should always have a laying bin available. Has she ever laid eggs for you?

2. Unless you're doing bioactive, which I know little about, you don't really want anything in the bottom. It will just harbor bacteria (which you've already treated.)

3. Red light, not good for chams.

4. That enclosure is pretty small for her, and she needs lots of pathways in and around, so more vines or branches.

5. In supplements, you only mentioned calcium, is that with or without d3? Chams will need calcium withOUT d3, at every feeding, and calcium WITH d3 plus a multivitamin twice a month.

6. Your gutloading could use some more variety, as well as your feeders.

Here is a link to a very easy to read and digest care sheet. Check it out, and see how it stacks up against what you have.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/
 

Jesspete

Avid Member
I'm gonna rescind my comment about the size of the enclosure. It photographed smaller than it is, BUT she can't use most of that space, as there aren't branches reaching out to it.
 

Pinapple198

New Member
There's a lot going on here, that we will want to address, that could make her happier and healthier. Her not eating in so long is a sign that something is amiss.

I'm gonna hit a few highlights, plenty of others will likely chime in. I don't want to overwhelm you, but you reached out, so you obviously care.

1. You didn't mention, nor do I see a laying bin. I can't see much from photos, and I have always avoided female chams, so I can't even remotely tell if she's gravid, but at her age, she should always have a laying bin available. Has she ever laid eggs for you?

2. Unless you're doing bioactive, which I know little about, you don't really want anything in the bottom. It will just harbor bacteria (which you've already treated.)

3. Red light, not good for chams.

4. That enclosure is pretty small for her, and she needs lots of pathways in and around, so more vines or branches.

5. In supplements, you only mentioned calcium, is that with or without d3? Chams will need calcium withOUT d3, at every feeding, and calcium WITH d3 plus a multivitamin twice a month.

6. Your gutloading could use some more variety, as well as your feeders.

Here is a link to a very easy to read and digest care sheet. Check it out, and see how it stacks up against what you have.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/
As of yet she has never laid eggs, at first i thought it was because she needed to lay so when i was at the vets i asked and the vet said that they couldnt feel any eggs. Also i will remove the chippings at the bottom of the enclosure, i had no idea that it was a bad thing. What light should i swap the red one for? The person at the reptile shop gave me all of the products so maybe they didnt know what they were on about. I am definatly getting her more vines and branches that was already my plan for tomrrow. I will also look at getting different calcium powder as this has D3 in. And i will certainly increase the variety of the gut load thank you for the reply!
 

Jesspete

Avid Member
They just are bothered by the red light.
From the care sheet:
Basking Bulbs
These bulbs are normal shaped incandscents and do not have UVB. They are used to create heat for reptiles to bask in for proper digestion and visible light. The wattage corresponds to the amount of heat and light (higher wattage = more heat). Generally a 40 or 60 watt bulb is appropriate. It should be a white light bulb.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Couple more comments (I agree with everything said so far). I do not mean this to come across harshly, but there is a lot that needs to be improved:

(1) You should only be feeding her every other day. Overfeeding is particularly dangerous for females, as it leads to them developing larger clutches of eggs and this is a tremendous health risk.

(2) NEVER feed a chameleon at night. They should only ever eat during the first half of the day so that they have time to digest their food. They are cold blooded, so having ample time to bask and digest is critical

(3) Potatoes (let alone just the skin) are one of the worst possible gutload ingredients there is. Next to no nutrition. I wouldn't personally use potato even as an ingredient in a mixture for my chams. Carrots are not very nutritious either. Focus on leafy greens like collards, mustard greens, and turnip greens. These are some of the very best choices.

(3) In addition to buying the calcium WITHOUT D3, make sure to also get a multivitamin for twice a month use.

(4) Is that dish at the bottom of the enclosure filled with water? That ought to be taken out immediately. No standing water near chameleons, ever. Just a breeding ground for bacteria which may infect your cham.

(5) I don't think it is ever a good idea to have the lights inside the enclosure. More importantly, that UVB light is situated in an unacceptable manner. The UVB light need to be horizontal and above your chameleon to be doing any real good. Having it vertically in the corner like that is doing her no favors whatsoever.

(6) Your basking temperature is way, way too high for her. It should be no more than 29 C. She is baking with it as it is now.

(7) All chameleon owners need a way to measure humidity. Very important.

(8) I highly recommend adding live plants. She would enjoy safe ones as a snack as well.

(9) To reiterate, the inside of the enclosure needs a near 100% redesign overhaul. As it is now, it is not suitable for any species of chameleon. You have all that space, but are using 50% of it at best. Chameleons are strictly arboreal reptiles, so she needs many horizontal walking options (sticks, branches, vines, etc) going all the way from one side of the enclosure to the other. Make sure you have these horizontal perches at all levels of elevation so she can easily maneuver through the 3D space that is her cage. Chameleons need many, many options for movement and she has almost no where to go currently. Live plants would be great for this, too. Ficus, schefflera, pothos, etc. All good options.
 

Pinapple198

New Member
Couple more comments (I agree with everything said so far). I do not mean this to come across harshly, but there is a lot that needs to be improved:

(1) You should only be feeding her every other day. Overfeeding is particularly dangerous for females, as it leads to them developing larger clutches of eggs and this is a tremendous health risk.

(2) NEVER feed a chameleon at night. They should only ever eat during the first half of the day so that they have time to digest their food. They are cold blooded, so having ample time to bask and digest is critical

(3) Potatoes (let alone just the skin) are one of the worst possible gutload ingredients there is. Next to no nutrition. I wouldn't personally use potato even as an ingredient in a mixture for my chams. Carrots are not very nutritious either. Focus on leafy greens like collards, mustard greens, and turnip greens. These are some of the very best choices.

(3) In addition to buying the calcium WITHOUT D3, make sure to also get a multivitamin for twice a month use.

(4) Is that dish at the bottom of the enclosure filled with water? That ought to be taken out immediately. No standing water near chameleons, ever. Just a breeding ground for bacteria which may infect your cham.

(5) I don't think it is ever a good idea to have the lights inside the enclosure. More importantly, that UVB light is situated in an unacceptable manner. The UVB light need to be horizontal and above your chameleon to be doing any real good. Having it vertically in the corner like that is doing her no favors whatsoever.

(6) Your basking temperature is way, way too high for her. It should be no more than 29 C. She is baking with it as it is now.

(7) All chameleon owners need a way to measure humidity. Very important.

(8) I highly recommend adding live plants. She would enjoy safe ones as a snack as well.

(9) To reiterate, the inside of the enclosure needs a near 100% redesign overhaul. As it is now, it is not suitable for any species of chameleon. You have all that space, but are using 50% of it at best. Chameleons are strictly arboreal reptiles, so she needs many horizontal walking options (sticks, branches, vines, etc) going all the way from one side of the enclosure to the other. Make sure you have these horizontal perches at all levels of elevation so she can easily maneuver through the 3D space that is her cage. Chameleons need many, many options for movement and she has almost no where to go currently. Live plants would be great for this, too. Ficus, schefflera, pothos, etc. All good options.
Thanks for the reply! I'll get everything you've mentioned sorted! Thank you for the help!
 

starter

Member
Wow! I have learned a lot from this one thread alone which I just picked by chance. Thank you! I am brand-new here. I have one question. Someone mentioned: "at her age, she should always have a laying bin available". How would such a laying bin have to look like?
 

Zombiexsloth

New Member
Laying bins are generally very deep (think 12" MIN). You'd also want at least 12" by 12" for her to roam. Generally, an enclosed area where there is limited view of outside influences or stressors, i.e. larger pets, or even you looking in on her while she is laying can stress her out. A good option for this is a larger trash bin, like the ones with wheels. You can put mesh over the top so the lights and heating equipment can be put there. The bin should be filled at least 12" deep with a mix of soil and clean playsand. Make sure the soil is moist enough that it can be clumped up with little effort. You do not want to make the mix too moist though, otherwise the female cham won't be able to dig her tunnels. There should also be some kind of branch or plant in there for her to climb. Just make sure she won't be able to climb completely out of the enclosure and you should be set!

Let me know if I forgot anything guys!
 

starter

Member
Dig tunnels??? My (probably highly pregnant) female has a 20l flower pot filled with earth (compost soil mixed with desert sand) in her mesh vivarium which is quite large (60x60x90 cm, which is about twice the size you were talking about, as 12'' are 30 cm, with the flower pot filling at least a third of the floor area) and she has been digging in it passionately over the last two days, but has made only holes and covered them up again, and has not built anything like tunnels. She appeared quite restless and walked around a lot in the last two days ... does that mean that she is or was close to laying her eggs? I am a total beginner in chameleon breeding and hope to get some good advice and information here.
 

starter

Member
Sorry, I am aware that we are discussing my issues in the wrong thread, perhaps if someone could point me to a more suitable one?
To the asker in this thread: I have recently bought an adult male who is a very bad eater, too, although he is now in the same environment and gets the same food as my very eagerly eating and top-healthy female. I also wonder why. He obviously eats when unobserved and prefers green leaves to worms, but I have never actually SEEN him eating yet and he is very thin. Still, he is about 3 years old and still alive...
 

Jesspete

Avid Member
Dig tunnels??? My (probably highly pregnant) female has a 20l flower pot filled with earth (compost soil mixed with desert sand) in her mesh vivarium which is quite large (60x60x90 cm, which is about twice the size you were talking about, as 12'' are 30 cm, with the flower pot filling at least a third of the floor area) and she has been digging in it passionately over the last two days, but has made only holes and covered them up again, and has not built anything like tunnels. She appeared quite restless and walked around a lot in the last two days ... does that mean that she is or was close to laying her eggs? I am a total beginner in chameleon breeding and hope to get some good advice and information here.
Copy and paste this to a new thread, and tag @Brodybreaux25
 

Pinapple198

New Member
Thanks for all of the help guys! I have purchased a real plant and i have ordered some more vines for her enclosure! I have also bought a Humidity sensor and her humidity is at 50-60% which is fine from what i have researched, i am going to add another live plant but I have one last question. What could I put at the bottom of my enclosure as a moisture absorber as the enclosure is made of a wood that could potentially get damaged by water. Also she struggles to walk on the wood at the bottom of the cage so I think i may need something at the bottom of the cage like artificial grass maybe? Thanks for all of the help again!
 

pmdaggett79

Member
A female needs a laying bin. If she doesn’t she won’t have a place to lay her eggs and she will certainly have issues from it.
 
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