New member here/new-ish chameleon parent

PlanetRemulak

Avid Member
Hello everyone, this is my first time posting.

i’ve loved chameleons ever since I was given my first boy, Maynard (he was a big grumpy veiled). Eventually I lost him to old age and took a break from reptiles for nearly 10 years. It was just recently that I decided I’d like another chameleon, but I had my heart set on a panther chameleon this time around. I had actually been researching panther breeders and all things chameleon for the larger part of the afternoon when I stumbled across a local post about a sickly looking female. $30 for the cage and animal and all. I got off my tablet for a while and worked on keeping my mind occupied, but I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Needless to say, I found myself agreeing to rescue a skinny female veiled chameleon from someone not familiar with her care. The plan is to pick her up tomorrow.. I’m equal parts excited and terrified. I really am just trying to gear myself up for the likelihood that this may be an investment in heartbreak. That being said..

I figured now is a good time to introduce myself here! I‘m cetrain I’ll be needing some advice along the way.

-E
 

Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
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.

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome on here and back into the hobby! Do you have an exotics vet with good and reputable chameleon experience within a few hours of you? Filling out the form in as much detail as possible, including pics of your new girl, her entire cage, and her lights, will be super helpful, too!
 

PlanetRemulak

Avid Member
Thank you so much everyone for The kind welcome!

Had an unexpected change of plans today and as a result, was not able to pick up my rescue girl. :( Fortunately I was able to reschedule her pick up for tomorrow. I’m very anxious to get her 🥺 from what I can see in the pictures, her husbandry is entirely off (I really get the impression that current owner is someone that definitely meant well, but was sold a bunch of garbage and inaccurate information by Petco). Compact UVB bulb, very sparse cage furnishings, fake moss vines and what looks to be maybe a dead or dying plant. The chameleon herself looks very, very thin and has apparently stopped eating. I didn’t want to put her current owner on the defensive by asking a lot of invasive questions and make them feel like I was being judgmental. The bottom line is that they asked to rehome their sick animal, I took on the responsibility, she needs veterinary care and I‘m so hoping she has a chance. I’m no vet myself, but I suspect her hunger strike is either the starting of MBD - given her current cage set up, there‘s no way she can be absorbing any UVB from the compact bulb. It could also be that she‘s ingested some fake moss or plants that she can’t pass, or.. both.. or none of those things. Here is a picture of my soon-to-be girl, in case anyone is curious (not my picture! This is from her current owner):

A71E101A-34F2-4F23-87FD-6588359F740C.jpeg


@Serbianchameleon and @ERKleRose, I will gladly post pictures and fill out all the particulars once the chameleon is in my care! Any input from other keepers with this cham going forward is going to be beyond appreciated.

@Klyde O'Scope, thank you so much for the link! Fortunately I have found a vet that specializes in reptiles about an hour and 20 minutes away from me. I wasn’t able to schedule an appointment for this Friday, but will be able to get in early this next week.

Sorry for the wall of text! My final question (for the time being) is regarding handling. I know that it is definitely recommended to avoid handling a chameleon you’ve just brought home, but I feel my hands are a bit tied in this situation - the chameleon will be given to me in the cage she currently lives in. I’ll have to get her out to remove all the imoss, fake vines and plastic/dead plants. I‘ll also want to disinfect her cage and redo everything from the inside out. On top of all of that, there will also be next week’s trip to the vet. Any guidance on this? I’d postpone the vet visit, but I really feel that she needs be evaluated given that she hasn’t been eating. ☹️

-Sigh.- I know that veiled chameleons can be pretty hardy, but I am clearly taking on a lot with this girl. 😢 Fingers crossed I can get her healthy again!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Awesome! Does the vet have chameleon experience? For handling, use a branch to get her in and out of her enclosure. A branch placed securely in a shoe box works great to transfer her to and from the vet with minimal stress, too! Make sure to bring a fresh fecal sample with you to the vet, along with doing x-rays, bloodwork, and a general wellness exam. Drop off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples afterwards to make sure no parasites were missed, as well. A cage redo and disinfect sounds great! Also, thank you for taking her, I know you wanted to get a healthy panther instead!
 

PlanetRemulak

Avid Member
@ERKleRose thank you for the excellent advice and kind response. The vet I had in mind fortunately does have chameleon experience (I was sure to ask!). I say “had” in past tense for the following reason:

Update. my fiancé happens to have a friend of the family that is a vet tech. She has three veilds already and ended up with my rescue girl the same day I went to pick her up. I ultimately wound up deciding it was for the best as I hadn’t been expecting to take in a rescue and was still scrambling at the last minute to get the right supplies together. I am very happy to report that my rescue girl ended up doing very well and began eating as soon as our vet tech friend brought her home. I had some surprises with this one; she was not as bad off health-wise I had anticipated, yet her living conditions were worse than I expected. It turns out her previous owner had to move back in with family, the owner of the house didn’t want a chameleon inside and she was kept outdoors on a patio. Basking light kept ON despite it already being up into the 80’s and 90’s during the day where I live. It also gets very, very windy here at night and I’m just shocked that she survived any of it.

I apologize for taking so long to update - I had really emotionally geared myself up for this one. While I do feel that the chameleon went to the best possible owner, I still went through a week-long funk and was feeling incredibly bummed. At least now ai have some supplies to start with, and I can continue planning for a panther. :)

Thank you everyone for your kind responses!
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Biggest respect you´re doing this and given her a second chance, many would have chosen the easy way. Eventually it didn´t come out as you expected, however you saved her. The intentions where just as good, now you can focus on your panther chameleon.
 

PlanetRemulak

Avid Member
Biggest respect you´re doing this and given her a second chance, many would have chosen the easy way. Eventually it didn´t come out as you expected, however you saved her. The intentions where just as good, now you can focus on your panther chameleon.
Thank you so much for this! Things like this are really helpful to hear. The selfish part of me of course wanted to keep her, but what matters the most is that she was rehomed and now has a chance at getting better. I was told by my friend that she’s been eating, which is really great news by itself. I’ll have to see if I can get any updated pictures of her after she’s put on a bit of weight :)

Thank you again!!
 
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