New Owner, Questions About Handling

cornmeal

New Member
First time pet owner, got my little chameleon as a surprise in Feb. of 2021, so naturally I'm not too educated on the subject. I have, however, watched plenty of videos, talked to chameleon caretakers and have searched online on how to take care of my little lady.

Not sure how old she was when I got her, but she was small enough to fit on my finger. I set up a large laying bin with wet sand, give her calcium, food, and plenty of water. Her cage has lots of (artificial) leaves and vines so she can hide if she needs.

But she's still always a very dark color, even when she's not basking. The only time it changes is when she sleeps, where she turns bright green. She's also very wary of me, even after practicing handling and hand feeding her, when I enter the room I can tell she gets uneasy, and I can't get too close without her crawling behind something. It's been 4 months and she still hasn't warmed up to me yet, even after constantly and carefully spending time around her. Any advice?
1623432987405.png
1623433040889.png
1623433225535.png
1623433398953.png
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. You can find lots of useful information on chameleon academy, Neptune the chameleon you tube, one of our many good members, casque above. Com. Firstly the light fixture you have is not the greatest for chameleons you will want either a reptisun t5ho 5% or an arcadia t5ho 6 % long linear tube for uvb and a separate fixture for a basking light. There are some other things ( looking at your pictures that could be improved) @ sonny13 can you stick a husbandry form on here please thanks .@cornmeal if you could fill this out it will help the good members on here help you and your girl better 😉
 

PoseidonTheChameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome, there are a lot of things that need to be gone over. Please fill this out

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.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
An important thing to understand is that these shy, (usually) gentle creatures are very low on the food chain. Apart from the insects they eat, virtually everything else in their world wants to EAT them, and from their perspective, that includes humans (other primates—monkeys & lemurs—are known to eat chameleons in the wild). This is hard-wired instinct, so very difficult to overcome.

Many chameleons can be taught to overcome this and tamed to a point—it takes much time & patience—but some may never, and we have to accept that. They are not like bearded dragons who can learn/like to chill with us (and some beardies never do as well).



 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi @cornmeal have you had time to look through the form which was added to your/ this thread. If your little lady doesn't feel safe in her enclosure ( as there isn't much foliage for her to hide) then she may not feel safe coming out to be handled ( some never as they are more of a look don't touch pet. You will want to think about replacing your fake plants with yeman safe real plants as they ate notorious for eating things and fake plants can cause impaction risks
 

cornmeal

New Member
Welcome, there are a lot of things that need to be gone over. Please fill this out

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.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon -
  • Chameleon Info:
    • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, 7 months old, 5 months under my care (obtained Feb, 2nd)
    • Handling - Not at all. The farthest extent is hand feeding mealworms, and cleaning cage if that counts.
    • Feeding - Crickets, mealworms and spinach. Mostly crickets, about 5 every 4 days. Crickets are fed spinach and Fluker's Orange Cubes. I release them into the cage and let her hunt them by herself. Chameleon herself eats a couple leaves of spinach once a week. Vitamin coated mealworms as a treat, about 2 every other day.
    • Supplements - REPTIVITE vitamins (shown below). Twice every other day.
    • Watering - Strong mist spray bottle. I thoroughly spray the cage, making sure to wet the leaves, vines, and cage mesh, but take care not to spray water on her. Large droplets form on the mesh. I do this once every day and I see her lapping up the water sometimes. (I've tried to watch her but she only drinks if she doesn't know I'm watching).
    • Fecal Description - Healthy, large. The white part is only slightly yellow. Poops every couple of days. She's never been tested for parasites.
    • History - Did not buy her from a big name pet store (Petco, Pet Smart). Heard that was bad. Bought her from a locally owned pet store who said they bought her from breeders and resold her.

  • Cage Info:
    • Cage Type - All sides made of mesh screening (except the bottom, just reassuring you). 16x16x30 inches.
    • Lighting - EXO TERRA UVB 100 bulb and a REPTISUN 5 UVB. (I've been told these weren't optimal so will be looking to replace these ASAP). Lights are on from 11 AM to 11 PM. The only light on in my room during dark hours is my digital clock, which isn't bright at all.
    • Temperature - Temps range from 65 F to 79 F. Frequent mid 70's at the basking area, however I've attached my thermometer to the top of her cage and cannot check the temp at the bottom. Lowest temp I've seen overnight is 55 F back in March, but it frequents 57-60 normally. Thermometer at the top of cage.
    • Humidity - I'm unsure.
    • Plants - Artificial, non-toxic plants and vines
    • Placement - Cage is located near window and my real potted plants, so she can get some sun, fresh air and maybe feel more at home next to them. I have a standing fan and AC vent on the opposite side of the room that I use in the summertime. She's located in my bedroom, so when I'm in there, I try to move slowly or not at all as to not stress her out. Top of cage is 5 feet away from the floor.
    • Location - Northern Ohio. During hot summer and cold winter days, we regularly keep the heat/AC at around 72 F.

  • Current Problem - Always a dark color when awake, I've only seen her green a handful of times (outside of sleeping) and she's always hesitant of me. Has been sleeping at the bottom of her cage during the day, only coming up an hour or two at a time to bask.
 

Attachments

  • 90.PNG
    90.PNG
    865.9 KB · Views: 22
  • 91.PNG
    91.PNG
    586.5 KB · Views: 17
  • 92.PNG
    92.PNG
    595.8 KB · Views: 20
  • 93.PNG
    93.PNG
    857.5 KB · Views: 16
Last edited:

cornmeal

New Member
Hi @cornmeal have you had time to look through the form which was added to your/ this thread. If your little lady doesn't feel safe in her enclosure ( as there isn't much foliage for her to hide) then she may not feel safe coming out to be handled ( some never as they are more of a look don't touch pet. You will want to think about replacing your fake plants with yeman safe real plants as they ate notorious for eating things and fake plants can cause impaction risks
Oh okay, I've got you. I just filled it out (out of town over the weekend, didn't get a chance to fill in the finer details until a couple hours ago). I'm already thinking of revamping her enclosure with more real foliage, lights etc. Thank you!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. :) Looks like you have some improvements to make to keep your sweet little girl healthy and happy. My feedback is in red.
  • Your Chameleon -
  • Chameleon Info:
    • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, 7 months old, 5 months under my care (obtained Feb, 2nd)
    • Handling - Not at all. The farthest extent is hand feeding mealworms, and cleaning cage if that counts.
    • Feeding - Crickets, mealworms and spinach. Mostly crickets, about 5 every 4 days. Crickets are fed spinach and Fluker's Orange Cubes. I release them into the cage and let her hunt them by herself. Chameleon herself eats a couple leaves of spinach once a week. Vitamin coated mealworms as a treat, about 2 every other day. I’m attaching feeder and gutloading graphics. Mealworms aren’t a recommended staple. Crickets are fine, but adding more staple feeders will be great. Roaches and silkworms are super healthy. Avoid the spinach, both directly to your chameleon and as gutload. It binds to calcium, meaning it reduces available calcium. Although veileds will eat their plants and other various vegetables, there really is no need for anything other than insects. The orange cubes are a mistake we’ve all made. They are really rather useless for nutrition. The healthier your feeders are, the more nutritious they will be for your cham.
    • Supplements - REPTIVITE vitamins (shown below). Twice every other day. This is a great multivitamin with D3 to use, but it should be used only one feeding every other week. You need to get a phosphorus free calcium without D3 to use at every feeding. Too much D3 is just as bad as not enough.
    • Watering - Strong mist spray bottle. I thoroughly spray the cage, making sure to wet the leaves, vines, and cage mesh, but take care not to spray water on her. Large droplets form on the mesh. I do this once every day and I see her lapping up the water sometimes. (I've tried to watch her but she only drinks if she doesn't know I'm watching). Is best to mist for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times daily. Once early AM and again in the evening. For mid day you could either mist again or use a dripper for about 20-30 minutes.
    • Fecal Description - Healthy, large. The white part is only slightly yellow. Poops every couple of days. She's never been tested for parasites. It’s always a good idea to have a fecal parasite check done.
    • History - Did not buy her from a big name pet store (Petco, Pet Smart). Heard that was bad. Bought her from a locally owned pet store who said they bought her from breeders and resold her.

  • Cage Info:
    • Cage Type - All sides made of mesh screening (except the bottom, just reassuring you). 16x16x30 inches. She is already old enough that she needs a larger enclosure of at least 2x2x4’.
    • Lighting - EXO TERRA UVB 100 bulb and a REPTISUN 5 UVB. (I've been told these weren't optimal so will be looking to replace these ASAP). Yes, your uvb is incorrect and needs replacing ASAP. You want to get a linear T5 ho with a 5.0 or 6% uvb bulb. This is a great one to buy. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html You’ll want it to be as long as her enclosure is wide. Both basking and uvb lights should be about 8-9” above her basking area to provide optimal uvb levels. Lights are on from 11 AM to 11 PM. The only light on in my room during dark hours is my digital clock, which isn't bright at all.
    • Temperature - Temps range from 65 F to 79 F. Frequent mid 70's at the basking area, Basking temp needs to come up a bit to around 80. This is most likely why she’s so dark…she’s trying to absorb as much heat (and uvb) as she can. however I've attached my thermometer to the top of her cage and cannot check the temp at the bottom. Lowest temp I've seen overnight is 55 F back in March, but it frequents 57-60 normally. Night drops are perfect. Thermometer at the top of cage.
    • Humidity - I'm unsure. It’s quite important to monitor humidity. Ideal range during the day when it’s warm is between 30-50%. At night when temps drop and are cool, you can increase it to 80-100% with use of a cool mist humidifier/fogger.
    • Plants - Artificial, non-toxic plants and vines She will eat her plants and it only takes one unfortunate bite of a fake one to become impacted, which is life threatening if not treated. I’m attaching 2 safe plant lists for you. Pothos is the easiest and my chams think is the tastiest (after hibiscus). Investing in a good plant light will help to keep many of the plants on the lists doing well. Use the fake ones hung on the outside of her enclosure for added privacy.
    • Placement - Cage is located near window and my real potted plants, so she can get some sun, fresh air and maybe feel more at home next to them. Near or next to a window is fine…they do enjoy having a good view. However, make sure that when the sun comes in it won’t overheat her enclosure. I have a standing fan and AC vent on the opposite side of the room that I use in the summertime. She's located in my bedroom, so when I'm in there, I try to move slowly or not at all as to not stress her out. Top of cage is 5 feet away from the floor. If you could raise this up at least 1-2’, she would greatly appreciate it. They feel safest when they are above us and everything else.
    • Location - Northern Ohio. During hot summer and cold winter days, we regularly keep the heat/AC at around 72 F.

  • Current Problem - Always a dark color when awake, I've only seen her green a handful of times (outside of sleeping) and she's always hesitant of me. Has been sleeping at the bottom of her cage during the day, only coming up an hour or two at a time to bask. As I’ve already explained, one of the reasons for being dark is she needs more heat and better uvb. Other reasons could be that she’s just not happy in her current enclosure...size, lack of live plants, etc. I am concerned about the possibility that she may have eggs that she needs to lay. Has she been eating? Can you post some more current pics of her?
73C2A884-0A44-412D-8955-776F5361BDB3.jpeg
71135BD2-C871-45E0-88B6-82BE6751F992.jpeg
D2C6EABA-E95B-4E7E-8DCC-FEAE28DD25F1.jpeg
FA66B495-3EE6-4C27-9373-632418064ED1.jpeg
5758ED0D-F0B0-47A3-985A-B5F07455492E.jpeg
 

cornmeal

New Member
Hi. :) Looks like you have some improvements to make to keep your sweet little girl healthy and happy. My feedback is in red.
  • Your Chameleon -
  • Chameleon Info:
    • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, 7 months old, 5 months under my care (obtained Feb, 2nd)
    • Handling - Not at all. The farthest extent is hand feeding mealworms, and cleaning cage if that counts.
    • Feeding - Crickets, mealworms and spinach. Mostly crickets, about 5 every 4 days. Crickets are fed spinach and Fluker's Orange Cubes. I release them into the cage and let her hunt them by herself. Chameleon herself eats a couple leaves of spinach once a week. Vitamin coated mealworms as a treat, about 2 every other day. I’m attaching feeder and gutloading graphics. Mealworms aren’t a recommended staple. Crickets are fine, but adding more staple feeders will be great. Roaches and silkworms are super healthy. Avoid the spinach, both directly to your chameleon and as gutload. It binds to calcium, meaning it reduces available calcium. Although veileds will eat their plants and other various vegetables, there really is no need for anything other than insects. The orange cubes are a mistake we’ve all made. They are really rather useless for nutrition. The healthier your feeders are, the more nutritious they will be for your cham.
    • Supplements - REPTIVITE vitamins (shown below). Twice every other day. This is a great multivitamin with D3 to use, but it should be used only one feeding every other week. You need to get a phosphorus free calcium without D3 to use at every feeding. Too much D3 is just as bad as not enough.
    • Watering - Strong mist spray bottle. I thoroughly spray the cage, making sure to wet the leaves, vines, and cage mesh, but take care not to spray water on her. Large droplets form on the mesh. I do this once every day and I see her lapping up the water sometimes. (I've tried to watch her but she only drinks if she doesn't know I'm watching). Is best to mist for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times daily. Once early AM and again in the evening. For mid day you could either mist again or use a dripper for about 20-30 minutes.
    • Fecal Description - Healthy, large. The white part is only slightly yellow. Poops every couple of days. She's never been tested for parasites. It’s always a good idea to have a fecal parasite check done.
    • History - Did not buy her from a big name pet store (Petco, Pet Smart). Heard that was bad. Bought her from a locally owned pet store who said they bought her from breeders and resold her.

  • Cage Info:
    • Cage Type - All sides made of mesh screening (except the bottom, just reassuring you). 16x16x30 inches. She is already old enough that she needs a larger enclosure of at least 2x2x4’.
    • Lighting - EXO TERRA UVB 100 bulb and a REPTISUN 5 UVB. (I've been told these weren't optimal so will be looking to replace these ASAP). Yes, your uvb is incorrect and needs replacing ASAP. You want to get a linear T5 ho with a 5.0 or 6% uvb bulb. This is a great one to buy. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html You’ll want it to be as long as her enclosure is wide. Both basking and uvb lights should be about 8-9” above her basking area to provide optimal uvb levels. Lights are on from 11 AM to 11 PM. The only light on in my room during dark hours is my digital clock, which isn't bright at all.
    • Temperature - Temps range from 65 F to 79 F. Frequent mid 70's at the basking area, Basking temp needs to come up a bit to around 80. This is most likely why she’s so dark…she’s trying to absorb as much heat (and uvb) as she can. however I've attached my thermometer to the top of her cage and cannot check the temp at the bottom. Lowest temp I've seen overnight is 55 F back in March, but it frequents 57-60 normally. Night drops are perfect. Thermometer at the top of cage.
    • Humidity - I'm unsure. It’s quite important to monitor humidity. Ideal range during the day when it’s warm is between 30-50%. At night when temps drop and are cool, you can increase it to 80-100% with use of a cool mist humidifier/fogger.
    • Plants - Artificial, non-toxic plants and vines She will eat her plants and it only takes one unfortunate bite of a fake one to become impacted, which is life threatening if not treated. I’m attaching 2 safe plant lists for you. Pothos is the easiest and my chams think is the tastiest (after hibiscus). Investing in a good plant light will help to keep many of the plants on the lists doing well. Use the fake ones hung on the outside of her enclosure for added privacy.
    • Placement - Cage is located near window and my real potted plants, so she can get some sun, fresh air and maybe feel more at home next to them. Near or next to a window is fine…they do enjoy having a good view. However, make sure that when the sun comes in it won’t overheat her enclosure. I have a standing fan and AC vent on the opposite side of the room that I use in the summertime. She's located in my bedroom, so when I'm in there, I try to move slowly or not at all as to not stress her out. Top of cage is 5 feet away from the floor. If you could raise this up at least 1-2’, she would greatly appreciate it. They feel safest when they are above us and everything else.
    • Location - Northern Ohio. During hot summer and cold winter days, we regularly keep the heat/AC at around 72 F.

  • Current Problem - Always a dark color when awake, I've only seen her green a handful of times (outside of sleeping) and she's always hesitant of me. Has been sleeping at the bottom of her cage during the day, only coming up an hour or two at a time to bask. As I’ve already explained, one of the reasons for being dark is she needs more heat and better uvb. Other reasons could be that she’s just not happy in her current enclosure...size, lack of live plants, etc. I am concerned about the possibility that she may have eggs that she needs to lay. Has she been eating? Can you post some more current pics of her?
View attachment 303585View attachment 303586View attachment 303587View attachment 303588View attachment 303589
Thank you, all insanely helpful. Have already placed an order for the light and thinking about places where I can find these plants safe and the bugs tasty.

She's been sleeping for a while now, when I neared her to take pictures, I woke her up and she got very spotty at me, so I decided I'd leave her alone until morning. I'll edit this post with pics once I take them! ^^
 

Cheezilla

Member
First time pet owner, got my little chameleon as a surprise in Feb. of 2021, so naturally I'm not too educated on the subject. I have, however, watched plenty of videos, talked to chameleon caretakers and have searched online on how to take care of my little lady.

Not sure how old she was when I got her, but she was small enough to fit on my finger. I set up a large laying bin with wet sand, give her calcium, food, and plenty of water. Her cage has lots of (artificial) leaves and vines so she can hide if she needs.

But she's still always a very dark color, even when she's not basking. The only time it changes is when she sleeps, where she turns bright green. She's also very wary of me, even after practicing handling and hand feeding her, when I enter the room I can tell she gets uneasy, and I can't get too close without her crawling behind something. It's been 4 months and she still hasn't warmed up to me yet, even after constantly and carefully spending time around her. Any advice?View attachment 303438View attachment 303440View attachment 303441View attachment 303444
Had similar problem ..once you fill that cage up and try for live plants she will get more comfier looking instantly ..few different reasons but better living conditions equals better health and better chameleon ...do what you can at your own pace to fill that cage out a little more
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you, all insanely helpful. Have already placed an order for the light and thinking about places where I can find these plants safe and the bugs tasty.

She's been sleeping for a while now, when I neared her to take pictures, I woke her up and she got very spotty at me, so I decided I'd leave her alone until morning. I'll edit this post with pics once I take them! ^^
Many home improvement stores like Home Depot & Lowe’s carry an assortment of plants. Some like pothos are kept inside the store near the garden centers. Walmart is also a good source for plants.
For feeders, check the forum sponsors. For silkworms, both Mori feeders and Serenity are great.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Many home improvement stores like Home Depot & Lowe’s carry an assortment of plants. Some like pothos are kept inside the store near the garden centers. Walmart is also a good source for plants.
For feeders, check the forum sponsors. For silkworms, both Mori feeders and Serenity are great.
I agree with these sources, as well as friends, neighbors, & family who may be tapped for donations of plants and cuttings.

ALL live plants—regardless of source—should be checked for parasites, washed for pesticides, and repotted for chemical fertilizer in the event your girl gets an urge to dig. Yup, it's a PITA, but for her safety.

Botany is also a secondary subject to keeping a reptile. We all must become familiar with out plants & their requirements & symptoms—light, food, & water, pests & diseases, growth rates, etc. This is also beneficial to your chameleon's health.

To have a healthy chameleon, we need a healthy enclosure. Plants with high (full-sun) light requirements are best located nearer the plant lights, while partial/full-shade lovers can be located farther down. Same with watering.

To discourage digging and soil ingestion, potted plants can have a layer of smooth river pebbles placed on top of the soil. Pebbles should be large enough not to be swallowed by an adult chameleon, and not too deep to allow air to get to plant roots.

Yes, it's a lot, but if you learn about each plant as you acquire it, it's really not so bad. Getting things set up properly is the hard part; maintaining afterward is much easier/simpler.
 

cornmeal

New Member
Hi. :) Looks like you have some improvements to make to keep your sweet little girl healthy and happy. My feedback is in red.
  • Your Chameleon -
  • Chameleon Info:
    • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, 7 months old, 5 months under my care (obtained Feb, 2nd)
    • Handling - Not at all. The farthest extent is hand feeding mealworms, and cleaning cage if that counts.
    • Feeding - Crickets, mealworms and spinach. Mostly crickets, about 5 every 4 days. Crickets are fed spinach and Fluker's Orange Cubes. I release them into the cage and let her hunt them by herself. Chameleon herself eats a couple leaves of spinach once a week. Vitamin coated mealworms as a treat, about 2 every other day. I’m attaching feeder and gutloading graphics. Mealworms aren’t a recommended staple. Crickets are fine, but adding more staple feeders will be great. Roaches and silkworms are super healthy. Avoid the spinach, both directly to your chameleon and as gutload. It binds to calcium, meaning it reduces available calcium. Although veileds will eat their plants and other various vegetables, there really is no need for anything other than insects. The orange cubes are a mistake we’ve all made. They are really rather useless for nutrition. The healthier your feeders are, the more nutritious they will be for your cham.
    • Supplements - REPTIVITE vitamins (shown below). Twice every other day. This is a great multivitamin with D3 to use, but it should be used only one feeding every other week. You need to get a phosphorus free calcium without D3 to use at every feeding. Too much D3 is just as bad as not enough.
    • Watering - Strong mist spray bottle. I thoroughly spray the cage, making sure to wet the leaves, vines, and cage mesh, but take care not to spray water on her. Large droplets form on the mesh. I do this once every day and I see her lapping up the water sometimes. (I've tried to watch her but she only drinks if she doesn't know I'm watching). Is best to mist for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times daily. Once early AM and again in the evening. For mid day you could either mist again or use a dripper for about 20-30 minutes.
    • Fecal Description - Healthy, large. The white part is only slightly yellow. Poops every couple of days. She's never been tested for parasites. It’s always a good idea to have a fecal parasite check done.
    • History - Did not buy her from a big name pet store (Petco, Pet Smart). Heard that was bad. Bought her from a locally owned pet store who said they bought her from breeders and resold her.

  • Cage Info:
    • Cage Type - All sides made of mesh screening (except the bottom, just reassuring you). 16x16x30 inches. She is already old enough that she needs a larger enclosure of at least 2x2x4’.
    • Lighting - EXO TERRA UVB 100 bulb and a REPTISUN 5 UVB. (I've been told these weren't optimal so will be looking to replace these ASAP). Yes, your uvb is incorrect and needs replacing ASAP. You want to get a linear T5 ho with a 5.0 or 6% uvb bulb. This is a great one to buy. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html You’ll want it to be as long as her enclosure is wide. Both basking and uvb lights should be about 8-9” above her basking area to provide optimal uvb levels. Lights are on from 11 AM to 11 PM. The only light on in my room during dark hours is my digital clock, which isn't bright at all.
    • Temperature - Temps range from 65 F to 79 F. Frequent mid 70's at the basking area, Basking temp needs to come up a bit to around 80. This is most likely why she’s so dark…she’s trying to absorb as much heat (and uvb) as she can. however I've attached my thermometer to the top of her cage and cannot check the temp at the bottom. Lowest temp I've seen overnight is 55 F back in March, but it frequents 57-60 normally. Night drops are perfect. Thermometer at the top of cage.
    • Humidity - I'm unsure. It’s quite important to monitor humidity. Ideal range during the day when it’s warm is between 30-50%. At night when temps drop and are cool, you can increase it to 80-100% with use of a cool mist humidifier/fogger.
    • Plants - Artificial, non-toxic plants and vines She will eat her plants and it only takes one unfortunate bite of a fake one to become impacted, which is life threatening if not treated. I’m attaching 2 safe plant lists for you. Pothos is the easiest and my chams think is the tastiest (after hibiscus). Investing in a good plant light will help to keep many of the plants on the lists doing well. Use the fake ones hung on the outside of her enclosure for added privacy.
    • Placement - Cage is located near window and my real potted plants, so she can get some sun, fresh air and maybe feel more at home next to them. Near or next to a window is fine…they do enjoy having a good view. However, make sure that when the sun comes in it won’t overheat her enclosure. I have a standing fan and AC vent on the opposite side of the room that I use in the summertime. She's located in my bedroom, so when I'm in there, I try to move slowly or not at all as to not stress her out. Top of cage is 5 feet away from the floor. If you could raise this up at least 1-2’, she would greatly appreciate it. They feel safest when they are above us and everything else.
    • Location - Northern Ohio. During hot summer and cold winter days, we regularly keep the heat/AC at around 72 F.

  • Current Problem - Always a dark color when awake, I've only seen her green a handful of times (outside of sleeping) and she's always hesitant of me. Has been sleeping at the bottom of her cage during the day, only coming up an hour or two at a time to bask. As I’ve already explained, one of the reasons for being dark is she needs more heat and better uvb. Other reasons could be that she’s just not happy in her current enclosure...size, lack of live plants, etc. I am concerned about the possibility that she may have eggs that she needs to lay. Has she been eating? Can you post some more current pics of her?
View attachment 303585View attachment 303586View attachment 303587View attachment 303588View attachment 303589
Alright, first 3 photos were taken this morning. The 4th photo was taken last night (she's sleeping, not closing her eyes from stress overload). The 5th pic was taken on May 29th.
 

Attachments

  • pez1.PNG
    pez1.PNG
    1.7 MB · Views: 26
  • pez2.PNG
    pez2.PNG
    1,000.6 KB · Views: 29
  • pez3.PNG
    pez3.PNG
    1.5 MB · Views: 26
  • pez4.PNG
    pez4.PNG
    953.2 KB · Views: 28
  • pez5.PNG
    pez5.PNG
    1.7 MB · Views: 27

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
She does look like she’s working on some eggs. You said you have a lay bin for her, but didn’t go into detail about it. It should be at least 12x12” long x wide. keep the sand no deeper than 6”. It should be moist enough to hold a tunnel without collapsing. Keep in mind that they don’t dig straight down, but can go across a bit too.
As she hasn’t been getting the much needed calcium or uvb, I definitely suggest a visit with a vet experienced with chameleons to do an x ray and check her out…making sure she won’t have any problems laying. She may need some liquid calcium to help the eggs form properly for laying, but only the vet can say.
Once she enters her lay bin and starts digging you’ll want to cover the lower half of her enclosure to give her total privacy. If she sees anyone looking, she may stop laying and get eggbound. Normally laying takes 1-2 days and she may sleep in her tunnel. She may dig several holes until she likes one. You’ll know she’s done when she’s on her usual basking branch, looking thin and dirty. You’ll feed and hydrate her very well for 2-3 days after. Then you’ll start her big girl diet. I feed my ladies 3-4 feeders 3 days a week and keep basking temps no higher than 80-82. This helps not only to reduce the amount of eggs produced, but the frequency that they lay. This will help to extend her life as egg laying takes a lot out of our sweet ladies.
Signs to watch for that mean she is having trouble and needs an ASAP vet visit are: staying low in the enclosure, lethargy, eyes closed, not drinking, sunken eyes. It is normal for some not to eat in the days before laying, but if it’s accompanied by the other signs, that’s not good. Also, dropping eggs rather than laying them is a bad sign and she’ll need an ASAP vet visit. Being eggbound is not only painful, but it is fatal if not treated.
Usually with proper husbandry they shouldn’t have any problems with laying. This first time is a bit different as supplements and lighting are incorrect. Replace the light and correct her supplements. I’d hold off on making any major changes to her enclosure right now until she lays or at least sees a vet.
 

cornmeal

New Member
Her bin is 10.5 inches wide, 9 inches long and 10 inches tall. The sand in 9 inches deep. Since I set it up I've always made sure to make the sand wet enough so that it clumps together, adding more water if it dries out. I've seen her go into the laying bin several times but she only seems to pad around in there curiously. A couple of weeks ago I covered her enclosure with an opaque sheet (left the top and bottom open for air flow) so that she could get some privacy. However this didn't seem to help as when I uncovered it a couple of days later, her bin seemed undisturbed and I dug around and found no tunnels or eggs.

I'm a dependent, so I've been discussing a vet visit with my parents for the past day now. I'm hoping we can take ASAP her because this is a bit odd and I'd be nothing short of devastated if something goes wrong :/
She does look like she’s working on some eggs. You said you have a lay bin for her, but didn’t go into detail about it. It should be at least 12x12” long x wide. keep the sand no deeper than 6”. It should be moist enough to hold a tunnel without collapsing. Keep in mind that they don’t dig straight down, but can go across a bit too.
As she hasn’t been getting the much needed calcium or uvb, I definitely suggest a visit with a vet experienced with chameleons to do an x ray and check her out…making sure she won’t have any problems laying. She may need some liquid calcium to help the eggs form properly for laying, but only the vet can say.
Once she enters her lay bin and starts digging you’ll want to cover the lower half of her enclosure to give her total privacy. If she sees anyone looking, she may stop laying and get eggbound. Normally laying takes 1-2 days and she may sleep in her tunnel. She may dig several holes until she likes one. You’ll know she’s done when she’s on her usual basking branch, looking thin and dirty. You’ll feed and hydrate her very well for 2-3 days after. Then you’ll start her big girl diet. I feed my ladies 3-4 feeders 3 days a week and keep basking temps no higher than 80-82. This helps not only to reduce the amount of eggs produced, but the frequency that they lay. This will help to extend her life as egg laying takes a lot out of our sweet ladies.
Signs to watch for that mean she is having trouble and needs an ASAP vet visit are: staying low in the enclosure, lethargy, eyes closed, not drinking, sunken eyes. It is normal for some not to eat in the days before laying, but if it’s accompanied by the other signs, that’s not good. Also, dropping eggs rather than laying them is a bad sign and she’ll need an ASAP vet visit. Being eggbound is not only painful, but it is fatal if not treated.
Usually with proper husbandry they shouldn’t have any problems with laying. This first time is a bit different as supplements and lighting are incorrect. Replace the light and correct her supplements. I’d hold off on making any major changes to her enclosure right now until she lays or at least sees a vet.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Her bin is 10.5 inches wide, 9 inches long and 10 inches tall. The sand in 9 inches deep. Since I set it up I've always made sure to make the sand wet enough so that it clumps together, adding more water if it dries out. I've seen her go into the laying bin several times but she only seems to pad around in there curiously. A couple of weeks ago I covered her enclosure with an opaque sheet (left the top and bottom open for air flow) so that she could get some privacy. However this didn't seem to help as when I uncovered it a couple of days later, her bin seemed undisturbed and I dug around and found no tunnels or eggs.

I'm a dependent, so I've been discussing a vet visit with my parents for the past day now. I'm hoping we can take ASAP her because this is a bit odd and I'd be nothing short of devastated if something goes wrong :/
She may not be ready just yet to lay her eggs. She has a bin, knows it’s there and you’re prepared, so that’s good. You should remove some of the sand so that it’s only about 6” deep. She will dig all the way to the absolute bottom and that’s a lot of work for those little mitten paws.
Although she hasn’t had any useful uvb, she has gotten too much vitamin D3, so hopefully 🤞🙏 that kind of evened things out for her bones and the eggs she’s producing. I don’t see any obvious signs of mbd, which is very good.
 

cornmeal

New Member
She may not be ready just yet to lay her eggs. She has a bin, knows it’s there and you’re prepared, so that’s good. You should remove some of the sand so that it’s only about 6” deep. She will dig all the way to the absolute bottom and that’s a lot of work for those little mitten paws.
Although she hasn’t had any useful uvb, she has gotten too much vitamin D3, so hopefully 🤞🙏 that kind of evened things out for her bones and the eggs she’s producing. I don’t see any obvious signs of mbd, which is very good.
Vet visit confirmed on Saturday, will keep you updated
 

cornmeal

New Member
She may not be ready just yet to lay her eggs. She has a bin, knows it’s there and you’re prepared, so that’s good. You should remove some of the sand so that it’s only about 6” deep. She will dig all the way to the absolute bottom and that’s a lot of work for those little mitten paws.
Although she hasn’t had any useful uvb, she has gotten too much vitamin D3, so hopefully 🤞🙏 that kind of evened things out for her bones and the eggs she’s producing. I don’t see any obvious signs of mbd, which is very good.
Alright, she went to the vet. Poop is fine. But she's definitely full of eggs and they're saying she has a reproductive disorder, which they say is common. They x-rayed her and said some of the eggs are deformed and if she doesn't lay by herself in the next 10-14 days we have to get her operated on and spayed.

Something weird though is that since we left the vet's, she's been dragging herself around on her two front legs. I'm not sure what happened in there (due to COVID they had us park, tell them what's wrong, and give the pet to the nurses so they could be brought inside and examined). They mentioned they gave her a calcium injection, but I wouldn't assume it'd have this sort of an effect on her. She was moving around perfectly fine before the vet visit, so I'm almost certain this happened there.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Can you post a photo or two of her from today please?
The dragging may be that the eggs are putting too much pressure on up her legs/nerves and making it so she can't use them. Could be other reasons too though.

Where in her did they give the calcium shot? Arm? Back....Low or high?
 
Top Bottom