not pooping


New Member
Hi All,
Well, my male Ambanja "Spike" is about 6 mo. old now and I have noticed he hasn't been pooping lately. He is very alert and healthy looking. His appetite is fine and he eats about 10-12 medium large sized crickets a day. I have been adding in a few adult sized crickets (maybe 4-5) in place of a few smaller ones. Last Saturday after noticing he hadn't gone for 4 or so days, I took him out and let him climb around my hands for a few minutes and he eventually pooped (a big one). I've noticed he hasn't pooped since then. Could it be that the larger crickets are possibly "stopping him up"? I have not fed him today. Also, when should I go to feeding him every other day?

Firstly, the larger crickets shouldn't be larger than the width of his head - but I'm sure you've read that already and are ensuring that they aren't.

But even so, the larger crickets shouldn't be 'stopping him up'. Even when he eats larger food, and in smaller quantities, he should still be pooping normally. If he is not digesting them properly, there could be other aspects of your husbandry that are causing problems.
What sort of lights are you using? What are the basking and ambient temperatures in the cage? Is the cham being properly hydrated?

Please provide more details of your husbandry so that the situation can be more properly diagnosed.

If your cham has been eating larger partilcles of dirt or wood chips that are in the cage as a substrate, or in the soil of the plants of the cage, these could cause an impaction in the cham, preventing the food from passing through it. This is quite a serious situation, so if you suspect that your cham may have swallowed solid objects, get it to a vet.

In fact, long-term constipation in a cham is always a serious problem, so if your cham does not return to normal, you should get it to a vet as soon as possible.
I just had a look at the pics you posted in the general forum, and judging by the base of his tail, Spike looks pretty well-fed.

Are you sure that he's eating all the crickets you've been giving him lately? It's possible that he just isn't hungry and isn't eating the crickets you put in for him (they could be escaping too).
And if he's not eating, then he won't be pooping...

But as I said earlier, if he is indeed eating the crickets, then the constipation is quite a serious problem, and I would have him checked out.
Thanks for the response Tygerr,

The husbandry has been the same since he was really small.
repti glo 5.0
basking light
these are on a timer 12 hrs a day
basking temp 85-95
amb temp 75-85
dust crix rept-cal w/D3 Monday-Friday
no dust on weekends
repti-vite 1x every other week
mist 2x a day

crickets are fed/gutloaded fresh veggies and WER gutload
I cup feed the crickets and have a stick in the cup so some can climb out and Spike can hunt, I have never seen an escapee, so he is surley eating them all.

Actually the only change is that recently I added a 2nd flourecent light, a GE "daylight" full spectrum bulb but no UVB.

He IS getting bigger, he will need a bigger cage soon. Could this be stressing him out.

I'm puzzled
...I have noticed he hasn't been pooping lately... I took him out and let him climb around my hands for a few minutes and he eventually pooped (a big one)...
Howdy Tom,

First, he's probably fine but...

If you haven't met your quota for tech toys this month, look into a digital infrared spot thermometer with an 6:1 or better D:S spot ratio to measure your critter's body temp while basking. Actual body temps will help you better understand if he is keeping his temps at their digestive best.

An example of a decent temp meter:

Hydration is always a concern with chameleons. Hydration can help with keeping poop from backing-up. Some chameleons' poop-rate varies for other reasons too. If his urates are nice and white then it is unlikely that he is dehydrated but it doesn't eliminate the possibility that he could benefit from more water intake. It can take 20 minutes or more to trigger their drinking process with some critters. You mentioned showers and that can be beneficial. If your drainage system is setup properly, try a constant, warm mist for 20-30 minutes. A 1-2 quart hand pump-up mist bottle works well for this process. If the misting triggers drinking you can try adjusting the nozzle to a light stream right on this mouth and see if he gulps-down a few milliliters.

Reasonable poop:

Reasonable urates:

Friend's constipated panther poop after a 2ml dose of 50/50 water and Pedialyte. Note the urates. The poop was probably 4x normal.
nasty nasty..when the chams are babies the urates (that white part) is stuck to the poop(brown part) right? At least thats how mine poops.
Hi Dave, long time no talk.

He did go again this morning. I had to hold him and make him climb from one hand to the other for a few minutes and he went. The urates were orange and white, thick cheesy texture and the poop was solid with a sort of mucus skin on it. I can watch him drink during misting so he appears to be getting water.
“Reasonable” Dave? Look how that turd catches the light just right … see how it glistens … that’s a fabulous looking turd IMO.

“Reasonable” Dave? Look how that turd catches the light just right … see how it glistens … that’s a fabulous looking turd IMO.

Howdy Roo,

It was tricky. I told him to wait, wait, wait... let it out a little bit mooooore... hold it! Snap. Okay, now the urates....:). I think he gave me the "stink-eye" after that episode :D.
Top Bottom