Odd behavior

Wiemsties

New Member
I have a male veiled who just finished shedding. I am guessing he is around 5 months old, maybe 6? We've had him about 3 months. I took him out today to help get some skin that was wrapped around his toe and plugging his nostril off with a damp q- tip, and to let him bask outside for a bit. He was bright and happy outside and stretched ALL the way out on my arm for some sun. As soon as we started to come back in he began acting odd, climbing all over me erratically.

I thought at first it was the temp change and he needed to even out on his basking branch but he keeps running all over his cage and then pausing to bask, then climb down to the bottom where he changes his colors to threatened/stressed, then he climbs up the cage, not his vines, then goes running all over the place again until he basks and chills out back to green and then repeats. He seems very restless and very angry at something on the right side of the living room but there is nothing new by his enclosure. He also keeps coming to the front corners of his enclosure which he does not usually.

This is his third trip to bask outside and normally when I put him back he goes about his normal chameleon business. He likes to slowly roam around his area and is active generally but not like this. He is also swinging from his vines and branches very haphazardly and clumsily. Usually he is more calculating when he walks around.

Is this mating behavior? Is he trying to get back out? It's very odd. He almost never goes to the bottom area unless he is hunting a snack and he hasn't climbed his screen walls since his first couple of nights with us. He is our first cham so not sure.

For some basic info he is fed crickets (gut loaded with Flukers), chopped Collard greens and Dandelion root every day. Crickets are dusted twice a week. He gets superworms every other Sunday (sometimes more on those occasions where you find all your remaining crickets deceased <SURPRISE!> and are in a pinch). He is misted 2-3 times a day, more if he is shedding, with distilled water, he has lots of dowels, branches, and vines as well as pothos, a dwarf umbrella tree, bromeliad, spider plant, and some fake guys. Lots of hiding spots and more once the pothos vine. He has a basking light a uvb and we have a terrasky light for the plants. Healthy poops and urate.

Attached is a pic of him outside and then him on his way back up from a Hell run. He starts at the bottom flashing black and white and angry then as he makes his way back up he switches to cold, then basks back to green and starts all over.
20220710_115750.jpg
20220710_150606.jpg
 
Last edited:

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m not sure why he would be acting like that. What kind of a uvb light do you have? He needs a long linear T5HO fixture with either a reptisun 5.0 long bulb to fit in it or a Arcadia 6%. Either one of th one are the go to uvb lights for chams. ill tag some people in that might know why he’s acting that way, hang in there.
@Beman @MissSkittles @ERKleRose
 

Wiemsties

New Member
I’m not sure why he would be acting like that. What kind of a uvb light do you have? He needs a long linear T5HO fixture with either a reptisun 5.0 long bulb to fit in it or a Arcadia 6%. Either one of th one are the go to uvb lights for chams. ill tag some people in that might know why he’s acting that way, hang in there.
@Beman @MissSkittles @ERKleRose
He has a Reptisun 5.0 short bulb that's in a dual holder with his heat bulb which is a blue daylight zoo med.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
He has a Reptisun 5.0 short bulb that's in a dual holder with his heat bulb which is a blue daylight zoo med.
Those are not recommended because the uvb doesn’t penetrate more than 2-3 inches from those bulbs so the Cham never gets the benefit of the uvb. You’ll need to get a long linear t5ho with a reptisun 5.0 bulb or an Arcadia 6% bulb. Either one is fine. It needs to be long enough to span the top of your cage and the cage needs to be at least 24x24x48 inches for an adult Cham. im not sure how big your cage is but if it’s smaller than that and you don’t have the correct uvb that could be one reason why he’s acting strange.
 

Wiemsties

New Member
He has a 24x 24x 48 and spends most of his time by his uvb as it's near his "house," which is his sleeping spot and go to when he's not basking and roaming. When I have some extra cash though I will absolutely look into a longer bulb.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome on here! The pacing could mean multiple things, like being stressed, looking to mate, etc. As @Lindasjackson said, the dual bulbs are not good. As well as upgrading your UVB, the blue bulb needs to be replaced with a white light basking bulb. Your feeding and supplement schedule needs some tweaks, as well. It'd be great if you could post more pics of your living room where he's been looking and some of his entire cage! Filling out this form in as much detail as possible would be super, too! It'll help us help you make sure all of your husbandry is spot-on!

Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. 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.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also you need to get rid of the blue heat bulb. Colored bulbs bother chams eyes and can wreak havoc so take that out and try to get a regular halogen household bulb about 60 watts and use that instead. No LED bulbs because they don’t give off heat. They sell them at wal mart or lowes
 

Wiemsties

New Member
Also you need to get rid of the blue heat bulb. Colored bulbs bother chams eyes and can wreak havoc so take that out and try to get a regular halogen household bulb about 60 watts and use that instead. No LED bulbs because they don’t give off heat. They sell them at wal mart or lowes
Good to know about the colored bulb. We also have a Terrasky light that is LED for plant growth that goes across the top of the cage and is 6500 white but no heat. We do think we have found the issue of the rage runs. We had a jar on the area by his cage that I did not realize was reflective and I think he kept seeing himself and stressing out/ getting territorial. He is acting normal now that we have removed the jar.
20220710_165121.jpg
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Good to know about the colored bulb. We also have a Terrasky light that is LED for plant growth that goes across the top of the cage and is 6500 white but no heat. We do think we have found the issue of the rage runs. We had a jar on the area by his cage that I did not realize was reflective and I think he kept seeing himself and stressing out/ getting territorial. He is acting normal now that we have removed the jar.View attachment 326469
That’s great but you do need to make these other changes in order to prevent mbd and for him to thrive with you. you should also get rid of all plastic plants as these can pose an impaction risk since veilds eat their plants. All live plants are best. Theyre readily accessible at Walmart and lowes among other places and pretty cheap to, just make sure to wash them thoroughly before adding them to his enclosure. Erklerose has been here a long time and knows a lot more than I do about chams so please fill out the form so she can help you to. It’s just to give us some basic info on h ow you keep your Cham so we can help you give him his best life with you For many years to come!😊
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
He will need the long linear uvb bulb and fixture asap because he will get mbd if you don’t. youve already had him for 3 months without effective uvb and so mbd may already be setting in. Please keep this in mind. You can often find the fixture and the bulb together for around 50-60 dollars. Check Amazon for Arcadia t5ho 6% and you may find the set together.
 

Wiemsties

New Member
That’s great but you do need to make these other changes in order to prevent mbd and for him to thrive with you. you should also get rid of all plastic plants as these can pose an impaction risk since veilds eat their plants. All live plants are best. Theyre readily accessible at Walmart and lowes among other places and pretty cheap to, just make sure to wash them thoroughly before adding them to his enclosure. Erklerose has been here a long time and knows a lot more than I do about chams so please fill out the form so she can help you to. It’s just to give us some basic info on h ow you keep your Cham so we can help you give him his best life with you For many years to come!😊
Yes he has mostly real plants and is very annoyed if he doesn't get his greens everyday. He hasn't shown interest in eating the fakes. One is his house and the others will be removed when his pothos fills out a bit. They are less leafy looking and more coverage. I appreciate all the advice on lighting and for sure will make changes. I plan on filling out the form when I finally get a chance to sit down! All advice for him to have a long happy life is welcome.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s great but you do need to make these other changes in order to prevent mbd and for him to thrive with you. you should also get rid of all plastic plants as these can pose an impaction risk since veilds eat their plants. All live plants are best. Theyre readily accessible at Walmart and lowes among other places and pretty cheap to, just make sure to wash them thoroughly before adding them to his enclosure. Erklerose has been here a long time and knows a lot more than I do about chams so please fill out the form so she can help you to. It’s just to give us some basic info on h ow you keep your Cham so we can help you give him his best life with you For many years to come!😊
Please, you know lots and help out tons, it's a real help to everyone here!
 

Wiemsties

New Member
Welcome on here! The pacing could mean multiple things, like being stressed, looking to mate, etc. As @Lindasjackson said, the dual bulbs are not good. As well as upgrading your UVB, the blue bulb needs to be replaced with a white light basking bulb. Your feeding and supplement schedule needs some tweaks, as well. It'd be great if you could post more pics of your living room where he's been looking and some of his entire cage! Filling out this form in as much detail as possible would be super, too! It'll help us help you make sure all of your husbandry is spot-on!

Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. 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.
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, Male, 5-6 months based on his measurements before his first shed. We have had him since May.
  • Handling - I hand feed him his Superworms on treat day and handle him minimally. When we first got him he was very curious and friendly and wanted out but since his cage is more filled out he prefers his solitude. He doesn't mind me poking around but he likes to stay put. I'd say maybe once a month I take him out for some sun and to check him. He hates the process of being taken out but once he is, he turns green and likes to look around.
  • Feeding - He eats crickets twice a day 6-10 small at a time. He gets organic collared greens and Dandelion once a day which he seems to prefer almost more than the crickets. The crickets are gut loaded with Flukers High Calcium Cricket Diet and calcium fortified quencher. Once every other week he gets 2 superworms and 3 crickets for breakfast as a treat.
  • Supplements - We dust 2-3 times a week with zoomed repti calcium
  • Watering - We have a spray bottle and a misting bottle. We water 2-3 times a day and will get a small humidifier for winter when it dries out here. We mist him more during shedding. We use distilled water. I have seen him drink but don't notice him doing it like when he eats. His eyes look good and his urate looks good so I beleive he is well hydrated. We tried an automatic mister but because of the screens water got EVERYWHERE so it is now keeping our Crested Gecko watered.
  • Fecal Description - Solid and dark. They look like the descriptions I have seen of healthy cham poops. He has not been tested for parasites since I purchased him but I have not seen any of the signs I read about.
  • History - After 13 years of working at Petsmart and successfully avoiding bringing home any critters, I saw him and loved him. He got excited and came to the front of his enclosure everytime I went over and would try and come out and follow me. His little Kermit legs killed me.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen 24×24×36. We plan on going taller when he grows more.
  • Lighting - Reptsun 5.0 and zoomed blue day light bulb on for 12 hours. Terrasky LED light with 6500 white and other color/weather options. Also 12 hours but sometimes we'll leave the moonlight or violet setting longer. He puts himself to bed around 630-730 every night and sleeps like a log.
  • Temperature - Basking area is 85. Other areas are usually around 72-74. Evening temps never below 68. We live in a very warm area.
  • Humidity - We mist frequently and he has a small jungle and bromeliad. I plan on buying a humidifier for drier months since hes in an open screened cage. Our humidity gage needs replacing, so at the moment I couldn't say.
  • Plants - Yes. Multiple Pothos, a Dwarf Umbrella tree, a Spider plant, and a Bromeliad.
  • Placement - He is in a high traffic area but nothing compared to being raised in a pet store. He doesn't mind us. We have him on a 2 foot tall table so when basking he's about 5 feet up. Currently he is under a vent but is being moved this week to a less drafty corner! We planned on today but he was so upset we thought best to give it a couple days.
  • Location - Southern California about 15 miles from the beach.

Current Problem - Very odd behavior earlier but he seems calmer now that we moved the reflective jar.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome! Very happy to have you here. :) I’ll review your husbandry - feedback in bold.
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, Male, 5-6 months based on his measurements before his first shed. We have had him since May.
  • Handling - I hand feed him his Superworms on treat day and handle him minimally. When we first got him he was very curious and friendly and wanted out but since his cage is more filled out he prefers his solitude. He doesn't mind me poking around but he likes to stay put. I'd say maybe once a month I take him out for some sun and to check him. He hates the process of being taken out but once he is, he turns green and likes to look around.
  • Feeding - He eats crickets twice a day 6-10 small at a time. He gets organic collared greens and Dandelion once a day which he seems to prefer almost more than the crickets. The crickets are gut loaded with Flukers High Calcium Cricket Diet and calcium fortified quencher. Once every other week he gets 2 superworms and 3 crickets for breakfast as a treat. For his age, he should be fed just once in the morning, around 10 medium sized feeders. Veileds are opportunistic eaters and bottomless pits, so it’s very easy for them to become obese. Adding more variety to his diet would be of benefit. Afraid that the Fluker’s cricket foods aren’t really very good for more than hydration. It would be much better for your feeders and your chameleon to give the collards and dandelion greens to the feeders along with other fresh produce. Attaching feeder and gutloading graphics for you. As for giving him the greens, really all he needs is insects and his digestive system isn’t built to process plant matter. Why veileds eat plants is not truly known. I know that some keepers do give their veileds greens in order to save the plants from being eaten, but I can’t tell you that it’s ok.
  • Supplements - We dust 2-3 times a week with zoomed repti calcium Very important! Does it have D3 in it? If not, then you’ll want to lightly dust every feeding with it. Then you’ll need to add a source of D3 and a multivitamin. I like the combination products like ReptiVite with D3 or Repashy calcium Plus/Repashy calcium plus LoD. The combo product is to be used at one feeding every other week. Correct supplementation is absolutely essential for a healthy chameleon.
  • Watering - We have a spray bottle and a misting bottle. We water 2-3 times a day and will get a small humidifier for winter when it dries out here. We mist him more during shedding. Ideal misting is done for at least 2 minutes early in the day right before lights go on and right before lights go off. Mid day is optional to mist or use a dripper. Unlike many other reptiles, chameleons are dry shedders so do be careful not to over-mist when he is shedding. We use distilled water. I have seen him drink but don't notice him doing it like when he eats. Many chams are secretive drinkers. (I swear they have a conspiracy) His eyes look good and his urate looks good so I beleive he is well hydrated. We tried an automatic mister but because of the screens water got EVERYWHERE so it is now keeping our Crested Gecko watered. Many use various things to contain the water…shower curtain, shrink-fit window insulation, etc.
  • Fecal Description - Solid and dark. They look like the descriptions I have seen of healthy cham poops. He has not been tested for parasites since I purchased him but I have not seen any of the signs I read about. It’s always a good idea to have a veterinary wellness check and fecal test for parasites.
  • History - After 13 years of working at Petsmart and successfully avoiding bringing home any critters, I saw him and loved him. He got excited and came to the front of his enclosure everytime I went over and would try and come out and follow me. His little Kermit legs killed me. Mitten feet! 🥰
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen 24×24×36. We plan on going taller when he grows more. Yes, the minimum standard size for an adult is 2x2x4’. However, if you are able to give him larger, he’ll appreciate it.
  • Lighting - Reptsun 5.0 and zoomed blue day light bulb on for 12 hours. UVB has already been addressed. It is super important to have the correct uvb asap though as he is currently at high risk for developing mbd. His supplementation hasn’t been correct and the lighting being incorrect too is not good at all. Without a source of adequate D3, whether by vitamin supplement or uvb exposure, he has no way to process any of the calcium he’s been getting. If you still work at PetSmart, many of the stores have started carrying Arcadia Pro T5 which does come with a 6% uvb bulb. It’s a great light and the bulb is good for 12 months (vs 6 months for ReptiSun) Terrasky LED light with 6500 white and other color/weather options. Also 12 hours but sometimes we'll leave the moonlight or violet setting longer. He puts himself to bed around 630-730 every night and sleeps like a log. No lights at night.
  • Temperature - Basking area is 85. Other areas are usually around 72-74. Evening temps never below 68. We live in a very warm area. Very good temps. It’s great to have a significant temp drop at night and is preferred if you can achieve it. Veileds can handle temps in the 60’s without problem.
  • Humidity - We mist frequently and he has a small jungle and bromeliad. I plan on buying a humidifier for drier months since hes in an open screened cage. Our humidity gage needs replacing, so at the moment I couldn't say. Ideal daytime humidity for a veiled is between 30-50%, which is much drier than most think. High heat plus high humidity increases the risk for respiratory infection. To improve and maintain humidity, live plants are best. If your daytime humidity drops below 30%, you can cover the back and sides of the enclosure with shower curtain or other (mentioned above). At night is the only time that you’d use a humidifier and then only if your temps are well below at least 70.
  • Plants - Yes. Multiple Pothos, a Dwarf Umbrella tree, a Spider plant, and a Bromeliad. Perfect! However, please do remove the artificial ones. It only takes one bite of a fake leaf to risk impaction. I use my fake plants attached to the outside of my enclosures to provide my chams more privacy.
  • Placement - He is in a high traffic area but nothing compared to being raised in a pet store. He doesn't mind us. We have him on a 2 foot tall table so when basking he's about 5 feet up. Currently he is under a vent but is being moved this week to a less drafty corner! We planned on today but he was so upset we thought best to give it a couple days. Very good! Height = safety for chams. You could try a vent deflector to angle the air away from him rather than move him. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Frost-King-Heat-and-Air-Deflector-HD5/202318547
  • Location - Southern California about 15 miles from the beach.
Current Problem - Very odd behavior earlier but he seems calmer now that we moved the reflective jar. As he gets older, you will start seeing new behaviors - patrolling his enclosure, moodiness, etc. Yes, reflections will upset him as chams don’t like seeing other chams.
I hope I’ve been of some help. :) Do check out the various resources available on the forum and ask as many questions as you need. For additional learning check out https://chameleonacademy.com/

1175315E-9934-4A36-B2A5-51B5B253D913.jpeg
3EB1FFD9-84A0-457F-84D7-074DB8A7735C.jpeg
D112AFAD-3BE4-49E1-9F5C-BC6A8124C67E.jpeg
 

Wiemsties

New Member
Thanks! I do also have a multivitamin I've dusted with a few times but I had read to use it more sparingly than the calcium especially with him getting vitamins from the leafy greens WHICH were recommended to offer in all of the research I did. Very odd. Everywhere said Veiled only will really want them and to chop them into small peices as part of the diet, as well as offering small bits of fruit as a treat, which he did not care for. I had read that D3 wasn't imperative with the UVB but will double check his multi.
We don't leave the lights on at night just a bit longer on occasion at a low setting. He sleeps in the dark.
Yes, I would only use the humidifier at night and only in winter honestly. It gets DRY. We have to use one for ourselves also.
I am going to pick up an Arcadia light when I go in

Thanks for all the information! I will definitely do some tweaking. I did a ton of research when we adopted him in addition to all the information and care sheets from work. I haven't had so much anxiety about killing something since my first week home with our newborn.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
There is a tremendous amount of outdated and erroneous information on keeping chameleons out there. Chameleon Academy is the most accurate and up to date source for information. It was started by Bill Strand, who has dedicated his life to chameleons and how best to keep them. If you listen to his podcasts, you’ll get in depth info from not just him, but all of the leaders in the community who he interviews and it’s the best way to learn why we do the things we do. As we are learning more, our husbandry standards are always evolving.
 

Wiemsties

New Member
There is a tremendous amount of outdated and erroneous information on keeping chameleons out there. Chameleon Academy is the most accurate and up to date source for information. It was started by Bill Strand, who has dedicated his life to chameleons and how best to keep them. If you listen to his podcasts, you’ll get in depth info from not just him, but all of the leaders in the community who he interviews and it’s the best way to learn why we do the things we do. As we are learning more, our husbandry standards are always evolving.
Yes, that is mainly where I've stuck to going back to as it seems to be the most legitimate source online.
 

Wiemsties

New Member
Ok. I got the Arcadia 6% light. Right now his basking branch is about 6 inches down. Is this too close for this type of light. I've been all over the place on the forum. Some say 6-8 is safe some say 8-11. I don't want to burn him. He does not crawl on the ceiling. He slept upside down once the first night we had him and I haven't seen him up there since. I've seen the light charts and the working zone seems to be 6-10 but I'd like to be sure.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok. I got the Arcadia 6% light. Right now his basking branch is about 6 inches down. Is this too close for this type of light. I've been all over the place on the forum. Some say 6-8 is safe some say 8-11. I don't want to burn him. He does not crawl on the ceiling. He slept upside down once the first night we had him and I haven't seen him up there since.
Basking branch should be about 8-9” below your uvb. I always put my basking branch at a bit of an angle so my chams have a choice of how much uvb they get.
 
Top Bottom