My Yemen Seems to walk lop-sided to the right?


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Hiya, i'm new to the forum, and already loving it.

I came home from work today to notice jim my yemen chameleon to be walking around his viv leaning to the right, he has also been quite clumsy, not scratching at the glass to get out any more, and when i got him out earlier, he seemed to just "spazz" out in a way, start rolling around and all kinds of crazyness.

He seems to be drinking well, havn't seen him eat lately, but i am keeping my eye on him just incase.

Has any of you noticed this before?

Thanks alot, i appreciate any help i can get as he is such a character and wouldn't want anything bad to happen to him

about 1-1 1/2 years old or so, i'm not 100% sure as i got him from the store, who was given by an owner who didn't have the space for him.

Just got off the phone to the vet and he reckons it could be a dietary problem and reccomends feeding pheonix worms, or could be an enclosure problem like ventilation/hydration.

Any thing like this happen to anyone before?

Tim yemen chameleon to be walking around his viv leaning to the right, he has also been quite clumsy...
...not scratching at the glass to get out any more...
...he seemed to just "spazz" out in a way, start rolling around and all kinds of crazyness...Tim

Howdy Tim,

This is likely not to be your problem because what you've described came on in one day but it continues...

The last time that I saw a chameleon with the symptons that you describe, he had severe MBD because his UVB light had a plastic lens that filtered out all of the UVB. Lack of calcium/D3 not only damages bones and organs, but it also affects the nervous system.

As was mentioned in the posting above, gather all of your husbandry info, especially about your lights and supplements. Absolutely post lots of photos of everything especially your critter.

I'm interested in how much of your enclosure is made out of glass.
Wow cheers guys

it's just the front that is made of glass, the rest is beeh effect wood with a huge vent hole, big branch going through the middle and a load of plants to climb/walk on.

As for the uvb light, that kind of worries me, it's a repti-glo 8.0 uvb something or other.

It's a male yemen, is fed on locusts dusted with calcium powder.

I spray him 4-5 times a day, maybe even more, he drinks from the end of the spray bottle fine.

As for pictures, my girlfriend is coming over tomorrow, so i'll get her to bring her cam and i'll get some pics of him for you.

Thanks alot guys
Tim's just the front that is made of glass, the rest is beeh effect wood with a huge vent hole...

As for the uvb light, that kind of worries me, it's a repti-glo 8.0 uvb something or other.

...dusted with calcium powder.

Howdy Tim,

Photos will help a lot.

Your enclosure worries me but I'll hold-off until photos...

A Repti-glo 8.0 is reasonable but if it is time to replace it (6 months...) then try a ZooMed Reptisun 5.0 for your next tube. Access to UVB is very important. He needs to be able to get within 6" to 12" of the tube otherwise the UVB levels that reach him will likely be too low.

Tell us more about your calcium powder. Exactly which one do you use and how often? Think about also adding a multivitamin like Herptivite and use it once or twice a month...

Don't forget to respond to the sticky that Heika posted:

Photos... photos... photos... clear view, well lighted, focused photos...
Yeah, i getcha, i'll get pics asap.

As for the tank, it's a solid wood construction, with sliding glass doors at the front, a big hole drilled out at the back with a grate over it. I have seen mesh "tanks" shall we say being used, but never knew what things they do, for better/for worse. is one of these the way to go for future chameleons?

The uvb bulb shouldn't be worn out just yet, i've only had him about 4 months...

Thanks again

Ok thanks, i get paid next week, so i can only buy one then. As for a temporary fix, could i take the glass out and tack a net curtain inplace or somesuch untiull i can buy a mesh tank?

Do mesh tanks require thermostats? as a few shops have told me larger tanks don't need them, does this go for mesh ones?

Thanks for your time guys


I have a strong feeling he might have MBD, as his limbs look kinda chunky, he's lethargic and is just "floppy" he might of developed him before i got him, as he's second hand, shall we say, and i not knowing he had it didn't try and prevent it. I just hope it's not my fault he's like this
Has he only been doing this "spazzing" for a day? Does he look like he has an extra elbow above his real elbow? Is his casque flexible? Does he have trouble holding himself up off the branches? Does he go to grasp something and end up grasping his own arm?

If it is MBD then you will want to work quickly to correct the problem before there is too much damage for him to recover from.

Is the calcium phosphorous-free? Do you dust with a vitamin powder or a calcium/D3 powder? Do you gutload the insects?

What is the basking area temperature in the cage?

Where do you get the locusts from? If they are wild, do you get them from an area where there are no pesticides used?

I have used cages somewhat like you described years ago, but not for veileds.
Yeah, he's only done it since yesterday, which is wierd.

His legs are fine, he just tends to walk somewhat sideways or so and he doesw tend to miss alot when reaching out for branches and he does grasp his own legs/arms

As for the locusts i always buy them from a shop, and was told nutrabol is all i need to dust them with, that's all i've ever done with all my lizards (i have 4) and have never had any problems, i've also not been told to gut load, but i do with things like greens with a bit of fruit also.

The basking temperature is around 97 degrees with the cooler part around 80 or so.

Hope this helps

The following site says that it contains
"Contents per gram: 200mg calcium and 150IU D3 plus vitamins A E K B1 B2 B6 B12 C, folic acid, nicotinic & pantothenic acids, biotin choline inositol niacin and minerals Na Fe Co I Mn Zn Se Cu" doesn't say what the source of vitamin A is. It also said that it contains phosphorous but only at the ratio of 46:1 (cal/phos) which should be fine. It also contains vitamin D3.

Calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D3 and vitamin A all play a part in bone health. Its important that they are in balance. Vitamin D3 from supplements and vitamin A from preformed sources can build up in the caution is needed. Vitamin A is antagonistic to vitamin D3 too. If the vitamin A is from a beta carotene source, then it won't build up in the system. Vitamin D3 produced from exposure to UVB from UVB lights or from sunlight won't cause D3 overdoses....but the light can't pass through glass or plastic. Appropriate basking temperatures (your basking temp. is fine) play a allow for digestion of the food....and thus absorption of nutrients.

Who told you not to gutload? If you don't you are feeding empty shells to the chameleon. It is also important to gutload your insects with a healthy diet. You need to take into consideration that things that you feed to your insects may contain vitamin A from preformed sources and vitamin D3 too.

Grasping their own legs is a sign of MBD...and its a fairly serious one in my experience. If you take him to a vet he can tell you for sure, and tell you what to do about it.
No pet shop has ever told me to gutload, but i keep reading it on various caresheets so i've always done it, is there special fruits and veg that i should avoid?

i've notice he seems to hang upside down on branches alot also, which he used to hate doing whenever i got him out, and turned him upside down on my arm, he also never goes to his "bed" in the corner of the tank.

I will definatly take him to the vet, only trouble is the nearest one is about 45 mins drive away :(

Thanks alot for all your help

I misunderstood what you said...the way you worded it I thought that you meant someone told you not to gutload..not that nobody ever told you too. I use a wide variety of greens (dandelion greens, collards, kale, endive, ROMAINE, lettuce (for moisture), etc.) and veggies (sweet potato, white potato, carrots, squash, etc.) and once in a while a very small amount of apple or pear.

IMHO, I would get him to the vet ASAP. Unless he's trying to hide from you behind the branch, hanging under the branches is not normal...and neither is grasping his own arms or spazzing out, as you put it. If he doesn't sleep in his normal place, where is he sleeping?
Thanks for the info on gut loading.

He usually sleeps in the top right corner of the enclosure (on top of a verticlly hanging plant) but not, it seems he can#t be bothered, or hasn't got the energy to climb up there, so he just sleeps on his horizontal branch 3/4 of the way up the tank.

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