New Chamelon won’t or move

MelissaGates

New Member
We got a Chamelon from Petco 3 weeks ago. It looked healthy but now has to be close to death. It will not eat anything. We don’t think it’s eaten anything since it came home. We offer mealworms, crickets and kale. It’s getting weak now. It’s eyes are now closed most of the time. We don’t know how old it is, it’s been here 3 weeks and it was probably at least a month old when we got it. Yesterday it wanted to be on the floor of the cage but it was cold so we would put it back up top. We hand fed it 2 mealworms last night by opening its mouth and tweezers putting the worm in. It did chew and swallow those mealworms but only 2 then it refused more. We also gave it a dropper of water. The cage is glass/mesh. The temp is 83. Rainfall system every 4 hours. It just never became okay since we brought it home. We have a bearded dragon and didn’t have any problems with her. Side by side pic is the day it came home compared to now.
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Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome, sorry to read this.

He/she is definitely not doing okay and on the edge of.......
It´s probably a combination of a few things and it would best to see a good vet with chameleon experience ASAP, otherwise you will loose him / her. Time is now essence.

Then there are some things that need to be corrected within your husbandry, however to do this the best way is fill out following form by copy / paste it.

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.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. Your chameleon doesn’t look good at all and needs a vet asap. From what information you’ve provided, your pics and the way your chameleon is holding it’s head up, I would suspect it may have a respiratory infection for starters. Very young chameleons have zero tolerance for any errors in husbandry and are fragile. We can help you get your care corrected, but to save your poor baby, you need a vet today.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree with everything above.

Can you tell me specifically what type of UVB bulb you bought for this baby? Is it a coil bulb? This is one major point of husbandry that is off. Chameleons need T5HO fixtures and 5.0 or 6% UVB bulbs. Then the distance needed between the bottom of the fixture and the branch is 8-9 inches to put the baby in the correct UVI level. Without the correct UVB babies shut down rapidly. They stop eating and become really weak.

Also feeders would need to be really tiny, no larger than 1/4 of an inch.

This link will help you find a reptile vet near you. https://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661
 

MelissaGates

New Member
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?

Chameleon Info: he’s doing a little better today. We just tried to get him to eat some worms and he ate one. Then the second one he vomited it back up after a minute. Trying to find a vet that could see him but there are none close. One I found isn’t taking new patients.

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chamelon. Unknown sex. Unknown age, we’ve had it 3 weeks. It’s young.The species, sex, and age of your chameleon.
  • Handling - Not very often until now we are forcing it to take some worms and water.
  • Feeding - Mealworms. Pinhead crickets. Kale. Waxwoms. He’s been offered all of that but he hasn’t eaten anything. Past few days, we’ve been force feeding him a few worms. What are you feeding your cham?
  • Supplements - We havent done any bc he won’t eat…
  • Watering - Automatic rain mister. It goes off every 4 hours. We’ve never seen him drink. We’ve been giving him droppers of water.
  • Fecal Description - we saw a little once , it was watery
  • History - He was active when he came home, climbed all over his cage. But he refused to eat anything. We kept waiting thinking he was just stressed from the move.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Combo glass and screen. 2ft 24L X 18W X 36H
  • Lighting - 2 - ZooMed 100 Watt, ZooMed 5.0 UVB. 12 hours on and 12 hours off
  • Temperature - 86 degrees at top. We only have the one digital thermometer.
  • Humidity - 33%
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? No
  • Placement - corner of dining room, no vents near. Not much traffic. 5’5” top of cage from the floor
  • Location - South central Pennsylvania
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll go thru your husbandry, but your sweet little one really needs veterinary care. Many of us do have to travel for a good vet. If you put your baby in a box with some air holes, he/she will fall asleep in the dark and won’t be stressed by the travel.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chamelon. Unknown sex. Unknown age, we’ve had it 3 weeks. It’s young.The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. It’s important to know gender. Males have prominent bumps at the backs of their back feet. For age, I’m going to guess about 2 months old maybe…very young.
  • Handling - Not very often until now we are forcing it to take some worms and water.
  • Feeding - Mealworms. Pinhead crickets. Kale. Waxwoms. He’s been offered all of that but he hasn’t eaten anything. Past few days, we’ve been force feeding him a few worms. What are you feeding your cham? No to mealworms, yes to tiny crickets. No to Kale or any plant matter. Waxworms only for treats. Attaching feeder and gutload graphics for you. See if you can get some small bsfl (aka calci worms, phoenix worms), tiny dubia, tiny silkworms or even something like bean beetles. Rainbow mealworms and Josh’s frogs should have a good variety of feeders to order.
  • Supplements - We havent done any bc he won’t eat… :( You should be using a phosphorus free calcium without D3 lightly dusted at every feeding except one per week. That one weekly feeding you’ll alternate between using a phosphorus free calcium with D3 and a multivitamin.
  • Watering - Automatic rain mister. It goes off every 4 hours. This is too frequent. It’s best to mist for about 2 minutes just before lights go on and off and a mid day misting is optional. Your enclosure needs to dry out in between. We’ve never seen him drink. Many chameleons are very secretive about drinking. We’ve been giving him droppers of water. Will address this and force feeding later.
  • Fecal Description - we saw a little once , it was watery Parasites are always a concern so it’s good to have a fecal done.
  • History - He was active when he came home, climbed all over his cage. But he refused to eat anything. We kept waiting thinking he was just stressed from the move. Where did you get him from?

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Combo glass and screen. 2ft 24L X 18W X 36H This is a good size for now, but you really need to make sure to monitor humidity and good ventilation. Adults need larger - minimum of 2x2x4’.
  • Lighting - 2 - ZooMed 100 Watt, ZooMed 5.0 UVB. 12 hours on and 12 hours off Your 12 hour schedule is perfect. However, your lights aren’t. I’m afraid the screw in uvb bulbs aren’t able to provide the needed uvb levels any farther away than 2-3” and then you run the risk of baking your baby. The standard is a linear T5 with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. Then basking area will need to be about 8-9” below the lights. With babies, it’s strongly suggested to elevate the lights a couple of inches off the screen top to prevent burns. Babies love to hang off/climb upside down off the tops.
  • Temperature - 86 degrees at top. We only have the one digital thermometer. This is too hot. For babies you don’t want any higher than 80.
  • Humidity - 33% Perfect, but with all of the misting and glass I’m wondering how you are measuring it. You should be using a digital hygrometer with a probe end.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? No Artificial plants are never good with veileds as they will nibble their plants and it only takes once to cause an impaction. Attaching safe plant list.
  • Placement - corner of dining room, no vents near. Not much traffic. 5’5” top of cage from the floor Ok. Chams like to be as high above us as possible to feel safe, but this is ok for now.
  • Location - South central Pennsylvania
  • As I’ve already said and will say again just to stress how crucial it is, your beautiful baby needs veterinary care asap. Correcting your husbandry needs to be done asap too (lights, food and supplements) but that won’t fix if baby has a respiratory infection. Having high heat and high humidity/poor ventilation can cause respiratory infection, which along with holding his head up is why I suspect this is the problem. Chameleons can and will hide that anything is wrong with them until they are extremely ill. Closing their eyes during the day is a very bad sign and from one of the pics, it looks like baby has just no strength left and has given up. 🥺
    As for force feeding and hydrating, you have to be very very careful when doing this. Cham airways are in the front of their mouth and it is too easy to accidentally cause them to aspirate, which will only add to baby’s health/respiratory issues. Baby does need food and water, but you have to be especially careful and aim for the back of the throat and only give a drop at a time for such a tiny one. Even with an adult chameleon this can be tricky. I would suggest mashing up a feeder like bsfl and make a slurry to put in the back of baby’s mouth. It’s a gross thing to do, but is the quickest and easiest way to get some nutrition in right now. @kinyonga may be able to offer some additional advice.
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I really hope the little sweetie makes it. 🤞🙏
This does give you time to get your husbandry corrections made. I’ll also add that you’ll want to remove the substrate and keep the floor bare…much easier to keep clean and hygienic. Adding more branches or vines to climb on is also good, along with safe live plants to hide and take shade in. To learn more, https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/ and do check out https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/ and Neptune the chameleon on YouTube.
Prayers for your little one. 🙏💗
Don’t hesitate to ask any questions and do please keep us updated.
 

MelissaGates

New Member
They will give him back to us when he’s better. He’s my husband pet and he’s been spending hours every night trying to get his enclosure set up and perfect. I don’t think he realized how much more fragile and involved the chamelon care takes compared to the Bearded Dragon. We have a 2 year old dragon and he perviously had a 10 year old one. This is already the second enclosure he bought. The first one from the store was all mesh and he felt it was too small. Hopefully he makes it. He does seem a little stronger today. Yesterday he was cold and laid on the bottom of the enclosure. Today he moved around some and stayed up near the lights.
 

MelissaGates

New Member
They say our little guy is doing better. He’s eating some crickets and he went to the vet and got supplements. He’ll go see the vet again next week and we’ll see how he’s doing.
 

MelissaGates

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chamelon. Unknown sex. Unknown age, we’ve had it 3 weeks. It’s young.The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. It’s important to know gender. Males have prominent bumps at the backs of their back feet. For age, I’m going to guess about 2 months old maybe…very young.
  • Handling - Not very often until now we are forcing it to take some worms and water.
  • Feeding - Mealworms. Pinhead crickets. Kale. Waxwoms. He’s been offered all of that but he hasn’t eaten anything. Past few days, we’ve been force feeding him a few worms. What are you feeding your cham? No to mealworms, yes to tiny crickets. No to Kale or any plant matter. Waxworms only for treats. Attaching feeder and gutload graphics for you. See if you can get some small bsfl (aka calci worms, phoenix worms), tiny dubia, tiny silkworms or even something like bean beetles. Rainbow mealworms and Josh’s frogs should have a good variety of feeders to order.
  • Supplements - We havent done any bc he won’t eat… :( You should be using a phosphorus free calcium without D3 lightly dusted at every feeding except one per week. That one weekly feeding you’ll alternate between using a phosphorus free calcium with D3 and a multivitamin.
  • Watering - Automatic rain mister. It goes off every 4 hours. This is too frequent. It’s best to mist for about 2 minutes just before lights go on and off and a mid day misting is optional. Your enclosure needs to dry out in between. We’ve never seen him drink. Many chameleons are very secretive about drinking. We’ve been giving him droppers of water. Will address this and force feeding later.
  • Fecal Description - we saw a little once , it was watery Parasites are always a concern so it’s good to have a fecal done.
  • History - He was active when he came home, climbed all over his cage. But he refused to eat anything. We kept waiting thinking he was just stressed from the move. Where did you get him from?

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Combo glass and screen. 2ft 24L X 18W X 36H This is a good size for now, but you really need to make sure to monitor humidity and good ventilation. Adults need larger - minimum of 2x2x4’.
  • Lighting - 2 - ZooMed 100 Watt, ZooMed 5.0 UVB. 12 hours on and 12 hours off Your 12 hour schedule is perfect. However, your lights aren’t. I’m afraid the screw in uvb bulbs aren’t able to provide the needed uvb levels any farther away than 2-3” and then you run the risk of baking your baby. The standard is a linear T5 with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. Then basking area will need to be about 8-9” below the lights. With babies, it’s strongly suggested to elevate the lights a couple of inches off the screen top to prevent burns. Babies love to hang off/climb upside down off the tops.
  • Temperature - 86 degrees at top. We only have the one digital thermometer. This is too hot. For babies you don’t want any higher than 80.
  • Humidity - 33% Perfect, but with all of the misting and glass I’m wondering how you are measuring it. You should be using a digital hygrometer with a probe end.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? No Artificial plants are never good with veileds as they will nibble their plants and it only takes once to cause an impaction. Attaching safe plant list.
  • Placement - corner of dining room, no vents near. Not much traffic. 5’5” top of cage from the floor Ok. Chams like to be as high above us as possible to feel safe, but this is ok for now.
  • Location - South central Pennsylvania
  • As I’ve already said and will say again just to stress how crucial it is, your beautiful baby needs veterinary care asap. Correcting your husbandry needs to be done asap too (lights, food and supplements) but that won’t fix if baby has a respiratory infection. Having high heat and high humidity/poor ventilation can cause respiratory infection, which along with holding his head up is why I suspect this is the problem. Chameleons can and will hide that anything is wrong with them until they are extremely ill. Closing their eyes during the day is a very bad sign and from one of the pics, it looks like baby has just no strength left and has given up. 🥺
    As for force feeding and hydrating, you have to be very very careful when doing this. Cham airways are in the front of their mouth and it is too easy to accidentally cause them to aspirate, which will only add to baby’s health/respiratory issues. Baby does need food and water, but you have to be especially careful and aim for the back of the throat and only give a drop at a time for such a tiny one. Even with an adult chameleon this can be tricky. I would suggest mashing up a feeder like bsfl and make a slurry to put in the back of baby’s mouth. It’s a gross thing to do, but is the quickest and easiest way to get some nutrition in right now. @kinyonga may be able to offer some additional advice.
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Any recommendations to order live plants other than Josh’s Frogs?
 
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