Newbie need advice

Beaner99

New Member
My son bought a veiled chameleon. The problem now is she is egg bound. I listed what I know below. Stopped eating. Took to vet. Said she was constipated. Giving laxatives for a week. Took back. Vet xrayed and now says not constipated but filled with eggs. Didn’t have nesting spot so bought some material today and put her on it. She is taking calcium 3x day starting today. Her hind legs are just laying out to sides. She can’t climb. We covered screen to give privacy. I know we are doing it all wrong. My son did his best but clearly we need to learn a lot. Nearly $400 later and I just want to try to get her through this and educate him and me so we do it right. Sort of need a basic step by step as I get overwhelmed with all the temps humidity. Anyway. How long do we leave her on nest. How do we know when she needs to be closer to light. How do we help her lay these eggs. What next.

  • Your Chameleon - veiled chameleon. Female. Supposedly about 5 months old. Have had it about two months.
  • Handling - maybe once a week
  • Feeding - Crickets in morn and night. About 10 a day. Maybe? Don’t know about gut-loading
  • Supplements - none
  • Watering - mist leaves. Don’t see it drinking
  • Fecal Description - whitish color never tested for parasites?
  • History - no

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen. Dimensions 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 - idk- need help with this
  • Plants - no live plants.
  • Placement - by door to bedroom. Top of cage is at 5ft. Maybe.
  • Location - NY State
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
It would help if I knew how big your enclosure is. Regardless, I’m going to go by the premise that it’s a smaller one...maybe 16x16x30” Repti Breeze. You need to get a large plastic tote and fill it to about 9” deep with washed play sand. It needs to be moist enough to hold a tunnel without collapsing. Remove the bottom floor panel of your enclosure and place the enclosure directly on top of/in the bin. You may need to dig a small starter hole for your girl. Give her privacy by covering up the visible sides of the enclosure. Either cut some peek holes or leave a small area to move aside to peek without disturbing her. Do this ASAP.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, need you to fill out the rest of the questions and need pics of her and her enclosure, top to bottom please.
 

Beaner99

New Member
The enclosure is 16”x16”30” -- screened.

I've put a plastic tub on bottom with Zoo Med Eco Earth Compressed Coconut Fiber Expandable Substrate.

Have large leafy plastic plant that we are misting with water and we have one stick in the bottom on top of substrate, but she really doesn't seem able to climb it or move much.

Covered sides for privacy.

I will take pic and post it. I think if she pulls through I have learned she needs more cover and will put the climbing sticks/vines back in.

Thank you very much. How long a process is this. She has not eaten for at least a week.
 

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Beaner99

New Member
Also, how wet should the the substrate be? I'm concerned it is too wet. We raised the tub up to be closer to the light. The thermometer broke so have to get new one tomorrow. We are concerned she isn't warm enough. We have sides covered except for peek areas toward top and we drape a towel of the front. This is stressful. OH. I made some starter holes with a fat pencil.
 

BenjiTheCham

Established Member
This is not related to being eggbound, but their are a good number of other husbandry issues that will need to be corrected soon. I’m pretty new at this too, so I will leave it to someone with more experience to address these
 

Beaner99

New Member
I should add, if I didn't already mention. The enclosure usually doesn't look like the pic. But the chameleon can't climb now and we are just trying to get her to lay her eggs somehow and soon.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
@kinyonga is the best person to advise you on just about everything, but specifically with an eggbound chameleon. I can review your husbandry (and will), but it’s priority to get your cham taken care of first.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Putting my replies in red. Making the changes ASAP is important, but right now you need to focus on getting those eggs out or husbandry won’t matter.

  • Your Chameleon - veiled chameleon. Female. Supposedly about 5 months old. Have had it about two months.
  • Handling - maybe once a week
  • Feeding - Crickets in morn and night. About 10 a day. Maybe? Don’t know about gut-loading 1st, you have been over feeding. She should be getting fed once a day in the morning (to give time to bask and digest) about 3-4 medium sized feeders. If you haven’t been feeding your crickets, they aren’t very nutritious. It’s not about keeping the feeders alive so much as it’s about passing on nutrition. Crickets are ok, but variety is better. Will attach feeder & gut load graphics.
  • Supplements - none Proper supplementation is essential. Best regimen is phosphorus free calcium without D3 with every feeding except one every week. On that one weekly feeding you’ll use a phos free calcium with D3, the next week use a multivitamin and keep rotating those every other week.
  • Watering - mist leaves. Don’t see it drinking
  • Fecal Description - whitish color never tested for parasites? Is always good to have fecal done
  • History - no

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen. Dimensions Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? The 16x16x30“ is too small. The minimum for an adult cham is 2x2x4’ or equivalent.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? From the pic all I see is a dual dome. I’m going to assume you have a coil uvb bulb and basking bulb. Hopefully, your basking bulb is not colored as that can harm cham eyes. The coil uvb can not provide adequate uvb levels. For that you need a linear T5HO fixture with a 5.0 bulb. ReptiSun makes one that comes with the bulb. They are hard to find in stores so you may need to order. Uvb should spam the width of the enclosure and sit on top.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Temps are important. Basking temps should be around 80-82* with gradients getting cooler lower in the enclosure. At night, it is preferred to cool off and can get as low as the 50’s without problem.
  • Humidity - idk- need help with this This too is important. Daytime humidity should be between 30-50%. At night when it’s cooler it can get higher. Heat + excess humidity = respiratory infection.
  • Plants - no live plants. Live plants provide so very much for your chameleon. They help with general humidity and can create little pockets of humidity as well. They offer additional climbing area, leaves to drink from, leaves to hide behind and even a quick ‘snack’. Veileds nibble on their plants so it needs to be safe. Pothos is a favorite and easy to grow.
  • Placement - by door to bedroom. Top of cage is at 5ft. Maybe. This could be higher. Chams feel safest when they can look down upon us and their world.
  • Location - NY State
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    So, I’ll guess that you bought her from a chain pet store and were given either minimal keeping advice or wrong advice, which has caused her to be eggbound. Although you haven’t posted a pic of her yet, I’m going to venture that she most likely has metabolic bone disease. I’ll be hopeful that she can pass the eggs on her own, but there’s a good chance she may need surgical removal, which will also be a spaying and she wouldn’t lay eggs again.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am not a vet and speak from experience and what I have learned and read along the way.

If she can't lay the eggs/is eggbound (which is not always easy to determine until it's too late), she needs to be spayed. If she's eggbound you don't have much time to make this happen. You need a good chameleon vet to do this. A good vet is likely the best option.

If she has MBD and is weak in the legs, etc the she can't likely dig a hole to lay her eggs in. You can dig one for her and she may be able to lay the eggs in it...but only if she is not eggbound and has muscles that are strong enough...and that's unlikely if she has MBD...lacks proper supplements.

It's good that you adjusted her cage so she's not going to fall...but
the UVB light needs to be close enough that the chameleon is getting the good of it. She also needs to be strong enough to move out of it I'd she needs to...and she needs to be able to move out from the baking area if you set one up in the hospital cage.

Giving her calcium without her having enough D3 either from supplements or exposure to the UVB, will mean that she can't use the calcium to strengthen the bones or lay the eggs. Lack of calcium will also affect the shelling of the eggs. You need to be careful with the D3 supplements because they can build up in the system as well.

BTW...is it a liquid calcium you are using now?
I still need to see photos of her to see wht her condition is.

I hope you can get her through this all.
 

Beaner99

New Member
Yes. it is liquid calcium that she is getting. We have raised her nesting bed so it is closer to lights. Tried to make holes for her. Thank you so much for all your responses.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes. it is liquid calcium that she is getting. We have raised her nesting bed so it is closer to lights. Tried to make holes for her. Thank you so much for all your responses.
Oh...poor sweet girl doesn’t look good. I doubt that she’ll have the strength to dig with those arms/legs. Looks like she can’t hold herself up. :(The holes need to be big enough for her to fit her body in. Just with your hand scoop out a nice big angled hole for her. Hopefully she’ll try to dig a little or decide it’s good enough and be able to lay her eggs. When digging, they go face first in their tunnel. When laying it’s butt first. While my experience is very limited, Give her privacy but discretely check on her. I’d say if nothing happens in the next day or two she’ll need surgery to remove the eggs. You don’t want to wait until she’s too weak to survive a surgery.
 

Beaner99

New Member
OK. Will make larger hole. Should we put her in the hole butt first? We are trying our best. My son bought her at pet store. Did research and cared for her best he could, but clearly mistakes have been made. I feel just terrible about it, but we are doing our best. Should we be offering food?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
OK. Will make larger hole. Should we put her in the hole butt first? We are trying our best. My son bought her at pet store. Did research and cared for her best he could, but clearly mistakes have been made. I feel just terrible about it, but we are doing our best. Should we be offering food?
Just put her near the hole and hopefully she’ll take it from there. I doubt she’ll want to eat. Do make sure to give a good misting before covering her up and use a dripper to keep her hydrated without disturbing her. You can make a dripper by taking a plastic or foam cup and poking a hole in the bottom with a thumbtack. Put it on top of the enclosure and it’ll drip down.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do you know how long she's had the gold splotches?
Do you have a supplement with D3 in it now? Have you used it? Which one is it?
 

Beaner99

New Member
I don't know how long she has had the gold splotches. I don't see a D3 supplement in my son's room. Do we need to get one?

Sorry. I've only very recently become involved in her care and am quickly learning more about chameleons than I have ever known or even wanted to know!!

We did try to make a hole for her and she was moving around in it head first for a bit. If that means anything. I just don't know.
 

Beaner99

New Member
So. Now when I peek she is sitting in the hole we made for her. I hope this is a good sign.

What do you do about the water dripper so that it doesn’t soak the egg nest or cage in general?

Again. I am so grateful for all of you who took the time to respond. This is so stressful.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
So. Now when I peek she is sitting in the hole we made for her. I hope this is a good sign.

What do you do about the water dripper so that it doesn’t soak the egg nest or cage in general?

Again. I am so grateful for all of you who took the time to respond. This is so stressful.
If she’s sitting in the hole, that IS a good sign. Hopefully she’s laying all of her eggs. You can remove the dripper for now. Put it back in the morning.
 
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