Panther chameleon closing eyes

Oxy24

New Member
My new male panther chameleon (1.5 years old) has only been under my care for one week as of today. I suspect that the past caretaker have not been following very good practices as he is closing one eye or both during the day. I have been doing much work to give him a proper enclosure in hopes to fix his behavior but no luck yet.


  • Handling - I have taken him out twice to let him explore plants within my home as he quickly trusted me to walk him.
  • Feeding - Every other day, first two meals were superworms as they were given to me but he will now be eating black fly larvae, hornworms, and crickets.
  • Supplements - I have boughten Calcium w and w/o D3 as well as Reptivite. I plan on giving calcium w D3 and the Reptivite Bi-weekly and the Calcium w/o D3 for all other feedings.
  • Watering - I have been misting 3 times a day for two minutes as well as using a dripper during the day. I also have a water cycled which he prefers to drink out of, I see him drink from it often in the morning.
  • Fecal - He has left only two droppings with a cream/white urate and runny poop.
  • History- I don’t know every detail about his past ownership but I can tell that he is overweight and I believe that they left food available to him more often than not. I am going to limit his feedings until he is a healthy weight.
  • Cage - screen enclosure that measures 3ft tall, 1.5 ft wide and deep ( I plan on building him a larger enclosure )
  • Lighting - T5 UVB and a 10 watt incandescence bulb for heat. Both on from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM.
  • Temperature - 80 - 83 F basking zone with a gradient to 65F. Overnight temp 70F. Measured using an electronic gauge.
  • Humidity - Peaks at 80% then drops to 60% throughout the 4 hour misting schedule during the day. At night humidity rests near 70%. Measured using electronic gauge
  • Plants - Umbrella plant and a Japanese aralia.
  • Placement - 3ft above ground near a large window for natural light, near kitchen which has some commotion during the day but little to none by his bedtime.
  • Location - Norco, California (SoCal).
I have scheduled an appointment with a vet who has experience with chameleons but this is not until next Friday which is a week away. As of today he is eating and drinking well, he is a surprisingly social guy considering I have had him for such a short time. However, his behavior with closing his eyes and laying during the day makes me very concerned. At times he will have both open looking very healthy and active, sometimes only one will be closed (no particular side) and he will still slowly walk around. He may also have both eyes closed laying near his basking spot. If anyone knows how to help before his appointment I would appreciate any advice it so much.
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Pickle-cham

Avid Member
You say plan too give supplements what are the current supplements been given in your care? Was the previous owner giving vitamins? It can be a vitamin A deficiency but this wont be the case if doing a good supplement regime.
Btw those water fountains need to be cleaned regularly like daily
Lovely blue bars btw
 

Oxy24

New Member
You say plan too give supplements what are the current supplements been given in your care? Was the previous owner giving vitamins? It can be a vitamin A deficiency but this wont be the case if doing a good supplement regime.
Btw those water fountains need to be cleaned regularly like daily
Lovely blue bars btw
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This is the schedule for supplements I’m giving him. I believe the past owner was only giving calcium supplements but not multivitamins so started this schedule with a multivitamin. I change the water every morning in the fountain but I will begin to give it a thorough cleaning and see if that helps.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
View attachment 289813
This is the schedule for supplements I’m giving him. I believe the past owner was only giving calcium supplements but not multivitamins so started this schedule with a multivitamin. I change the water every morning in the fountain but I will begin to give it a thorough cleaning and see if that helps.
Make sure it is properly cleaned with a proper cleaning agent at least once a day, not just replacing the water. I’d just personally take it out all together, as fountains are breeding grounds for bacteria. Does his Reptivite have D3 in it?
 

Oxy24

New Member
Make sure it is properly cleaned with a proper cleaning agent at least once a day, not just replacing the water. I’d just personally take it out all together, as fountains are breeding grounds for bacteria. Does his Reptivite have D3 in it?
I am going to take the fountain out and hope he learns to drink from either the mistings or the dripper although as of now he seems to dislike when the mister is going off. The Reptivite does not have D3.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am going to take the fountain out and hope he learns to drink from either the mistings or the dripper although as of now he seems to dislike when the mister is going off. The Reptivite does not have D3.
Sounds great! Good luck at the vet!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Its possibly a vitamin A deficiency but yeah eyes closing during the day best getting a check up at vets
Agree, there are so many possibilities for eye problems that an experienced chameleon vet is best, as keepers on here can’t guess when they don’t have the proper instruments like a vet has
 

Pickle-cham

Avid Member
Just noticed on your husbandry form that basking light us 10 watts is that a typo is it 100watts or us it a led bulb?
How is your chameleon now still closing eyes during day?
 

Thompson

Avid Member
My new male panther chameleon (1.5 years old) has only been under my care for one week as of today. I suspect that the past caretaker have not been following very good practices as he is closing one eye or both during the day. I have been doing much work to give him a proper enclosure in hopes to fix his behavior but no luck yet.


  • Handling - I have taken him out twice to let him explore plants within my home as he quickly trusted me to walk him.
I would allow him to get use to his surroundings inside his cage before holding him as he might be a little stressed from the transition.
  • Feeding - Every other day, first two meals were superworms as they were given to me but he will now be eating black fly larvae, hornworms, and crickets.
How many per day are you feeding him? I would stick to adult sized crickets about 5-8 every other day lightly dusted with you supplements. Personally I use rapashy supercal LoD (lightly lightly dusted every feeding for my lil guy) but the traditional supplementation schedule should be for an adult male panther
w/o d3 2-4 times a week
w/ d3 twice A month
multivitamin twice a month
  • Supplements - I have boughten Calcium w and w/o D3 as well as Reptivite. I plan on giving calcium w D3 and the Reptivite Bi-weekly and the Calcium w/o D3 for all other feedings.
  • Watering - I have been misting 3 times a day for two minutes as well as using a dripper during the day. I also have a water cycled which he prefers to drink out of, I see him drink from it often in the morning.
is this a waterfall? Could you expand on this.
  • Fecal - He has left only two droppings with a cream/white urate and runny poop.
Could you possibly get a pic of his fecal. Cream white crates means he is properly hydrated. Great job there.
  • History- I don’t know every detail about his past ownership but I can tell that he is overweight and I believe that they left food available to him more often than not. I am going to limit his feedings until he is a healthy weight.
He does not look malnourished or even necessarily obese based on your pics. I would just focus on gut loading your feeders (maybe introducing dubia roaches along Side the crickets as his staple) and would stick to a normal feeding regimen for an adult male panther.
  • Cage - screen enclosure that measures 3ft tall, 1.5 ft wide and deep ( I plan on building him a larger enclosure )
https://www.diycages.com/collection...ducts/sc4-48x24x24-jumbo-vertical-screen-cage He would be perfectly happy in this sized cage
  • Lighting - T5 UVB and a 10 watt incandescence bulb for heat. Both on from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM.
5.0, 10.0? Reptisun or aracadia ? I don't think a 10watt bulb will get him to the 85 degree basking spot temp he requires. But based on what you said below VVV you seem to be accomplishing this lol. How are you getting a gradient of 65F and the overnight is at 70F? If you could get his temps to dip down to the 65F at night while he sleeps that would be perfect as well. Maybe try and aim for a higher basking temp, just a couple degrees, to 85F.
  • Temperature - 80 - 83 F basking zone with a gradient to 65F. Overnight temp 70F. Measured using an electronic gauge.
  • Humidity - Peaks at 80% then drops to 60% throughout the 4 hour misting schedule during the day. At night humidity rests near 70%. Measured using electronic gauge
Does his humidity stay relatively high at 70% throughout the night and day like this? You want it to dip to about 45-60% humidity in-between mistings so he doesn't develop a URI.
  • Plants - Umbrella plant and a Japanese aralia.
You have dense foliage in his cage as well as a good amount of branches for his "highway" so he can travel throughout his cage. Great Job. Only recommendation here is I would ditch the fake silk plants and just add real live plants. Maybe add a pathos where you have the silk plants on the side.
  • Placement - 3ft above ground near a large window for natural light, near kitchen which has some commotion during the day but little to none by his bedtime.
Just make sure he isn't getting direct sunlight into his cage as it might be getting a bit too hot when the light shines in on him (or if he does then allow him to escape it by adding shady spots that are cooler so he can thermoregulate)
  • Location - Norco, California (SoCal).
You guys have nice weather in SoCal. Try getting him outside to catch some natural sunshine every now and then :)
I have scheduled an appointment with a vet who has experience with chameleons but this is not until next Friday which is a week away. As of today he is eating and drinking well, he is a surprisingly social guy considering I have had him for such a short time. However, his behavior with closing his eyes and laying during the day makes me very concerned. At times he will have both open looking very healthy and active, sometimes only one will be closed (no particular side) and he will still slowly walk around. He may also have both eyes closed laying near his basking spot. If anyone knows how to help before his appointment I would appreciate any advice it so much.
View attachment 289802
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Someone else think he looks a bit dull like he might be getting ready to shed?


Also! I noticed you don't have the plant's soil covered with river rocks or screen so that he doesn't accidently ingest any of that perlite that is in it. Might want to do that very soon (even though you cup feed).
 

Oxy24

New Member
Just noticed on your husbandry form that basking light us 10 watts is that a typo is it 100watts or us it a led bulb?
How is your chameleon now still closing eyes during day?
Yes it was a typo for 100 watts that’s my bad. But unfortunately he is much of the same, taking portions of the day to just bask with his eyes closed. He still eats well and tries to move around as much as possible. I will be calling the vet tomorrow to ask to move up his visit if possible because one week feels like a very long time for his condition.
Thank you for the follow-up.
 

Oxy24

New Member
I would allow him to get use to his surroundings inside his cage before holding him as he might be a little stressed from the transition.

How many per day are you feeding him? I would stick to adult sized crickets about 5-8 every other day lightly dusted with you supplements. Personally I use rapashy supercal LoD (lightly lightly dusted every feeding for my lil guy) but the traditional supplementation schedule should be for an adult male panther
w/o d3 2-4 times a week
w/ d3 twice A month
multivitamin twice a month

is this a waterfall? Could you expand on this.

Could you possibly get a pic of his fecal. Cream white crates means he is properly hydrated. Great job there.

He does not look malnourished or even necessarily obese based on your pics. I would just focus on gut loading your feeders (maybe introducing dubia roaches along Side the crickets as his staple) and would stick to a normal feeding regimen for an adult male panther.

https://www.diycages.com/collection...ducts/sc4-48x24x24-jumbo-vertical-screen-cage He would be perfectly happy in this sized cage

5.0, 10.0? Reptisun or aracadia ? I don't think a 10watt bulb will get him to the 85 degree basking spot temp he requires. But based on what you said below VVV you seem to be accomplishing this lol. How are you getting a gradient of 65F and the overnight is at 70F? If you could get his temps to dip down to the 65F at night while he sleeps that would be perfect as well. Maybe try and aim for a higher basking temp, just a couple degrees, to 85F.

Does his humidity stay relatively high at 70% throughout the night and day like this? You want it to dip to about 45-60% humidity in-between mistings so he doesn't develop a URI.

You have dense foliage in his cage as well as a good amount of branches for his "highway" so he can travel throughout his cage. Great Job. Only recommendation here is I would ditch the fake silk plants and just add real live plants. Maybe add a pathos where you have the silk plants on the side.

Just make sure he isn't getting direct sunlight into his cage as it might be getting a bit too hot when the light shines in on him (or if he does then allow him to escape it by adding shady spots that are cooler so he can thermoregulate)

You guys have nice weather in SoCal. Try getting him outside to catch some natural sunshine every now and then :)

Someone else think he looks a bit dull like he might be getting ready to shed?


Also! I noticed you don't have the plant's soil covered with river rocks or screen so that he doesn't accidently ingest any of that perlite that is in it. Might want to do that very soon (even though you cup feed).
I’ll do my best to answer every question and thanks for the response.

For handling this was only from him coming to me and I did not grab him or force him out, he is very social. In his condition now I have not attempted handling as to not provide any stress during this time.

Feeding is every other day with mainly a mix of larvae and crickets to about 5 in total with the exact schedule you provided. I did start him with Reptivite however because the past owners did not use a multivitamin.

The waterfall has been taken out, it is pictured.

I can post a fecal next time he passes but it was not solidified, again on the mushy side.

The heat bulb is a 100 Watt that was just a typo. The bottom of his cage near the plants usually sits at 65 F during the day, and the top of his cage where he sleeps is between 65-70F at night without any use of a ceramic bulb or maintenance. I will be going out and getting a higher heat bulb soon

Yes, his humidity does drop back down to 60% after only about an hour and a half after a misting, then at about 50% before his next. At night it typically rests at 55%.

There is a faintly visible line of shedding on both sides of his upper body so he is getting ready to shed.

And I will go cover up the soil, thanks for the tip.

Hope this answered all of the questions asked and again thank you for the concern.
 

Thompson

Avid Member
I’ll do my best to answer every question and thanks for the response.

For handling this was only from him coming to me and I did not grab him or force him out, he is very social. In his condition now I have not attempted handling as to not provide any stress during this time.

Feeding is every other day with mainly a mix of larvae and crickets to about 5 in total with the exact schedule you provided. I did start him with Reptivite however because the past owners did not use a multivitamin.

The waterfall has been taken out, it is pictured.

I can post a fecal next time he passes but it was not solidified, again on the mushy side.

The heat bulb is a 100 Watt that was just a typo. The bottom of his cage near the plants usually sits at 65 F during the day, and the top of his cage where he sleeps is between 65-70F at night without any use of a ceramic bulb or maintenance. I will be going out and getting a higher heat bulb soon
You do not need a higher wattage heat bulb if you are getting the optimal basking temp at his basking spot which should be 85F. Ambient temps are good if they range between 65-80F. 65F at night is good as well. You want to make sure he can escape the heat of his basking bulb and thermoregulate in the cooler spots of his cage so he does not risk overheating/burns.
Yes, his humidity does drop back down to 60% after only about an hour and a half after a misting, then at about 50% before his next. At night it typically rests at 55%.

There is a faintly visible line of shedding on both sides of his upper body so he is getting ready to shed.
This might be the culprit. Since you say he does eat, drink, and poop well, this was what I was thinking might be causing him to close his eyes periodically throughout the day. He should not be sleeping for prolonged times though, however. Once he starts to shed his skin, after he sheds the skin around his eyes just keep an eye on him and see if the problem continues.
And I will go cover up the soil, thanks for the tip.

Hope this answered all of the questions asked and again thank you for the concern.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi Oxy24, welcome to the forum.

My new male panther chameleon (1.5 years old) has only been under my care for one week as of today. I suspect that the past caretaker have not been following very good practices as he is closing one eye or both during the day. I have been doing much work to give him a proper enclosure in hopes to fix his behavior but no luck yet.
As you know, closed eye/s during the day is not good. Since he's eating & well-hydrated, I wouldn't sweat the week wait to see the vet. Delays are common during this pandemic. If things change for the worse, that may be another story, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. ;)

  • Watering - I have been misting 3 times a day for two minutes as well as using a dripper during the day. I also have a water cycled which he prefers to drink out of, I see him drink from it often in the morning.
You've already said you'll get rid of the fountain. (y)
  • Fecal - He has left only two droppings with a cream/white urate and runny poop.
Runny could indicate parasites. It could also be bacteria from that fountain, or any of a number of things. If you haven't yet, I suggest reading through Chameleon Poop 101

Be sure to take a fresh sample with you to the vet for analysis. If necessary, you should be able to drop one off in advance in anticipation of the visit. Explain it to them if necessary.
  • History- I don’t know every detail about his past ownership but I can tell that he is overweight and I believe that they left food available to him more often than not. I am going to limit his feedings until he is a healthy weight.
Overweight or bloat? Just something to consider/check out.
  • Cage - screen enclosure that measures 3ft tall, 1.5 ft wide and deep ( I plan on building him a larger enclosure )
Please get on that ASAP. Too small an enclosure can stress them out, sometimes leading to strange symptoms or behaviors.
  • Lighting - T5 UVB and a 10 watt incandescence bulb for heat. Both on from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM.
Try to get that on a 12/12 on/off schedule. I know a half-hour doesn't seem like much, but it's chameleon years! (Half kidding) ;)



  • Plants - Umbrella plant and a Japanese aralia.
Am I seeing some artificial plants in your pics? If so, please lose them. If I'm mistaken, nevermind! :oops:
  • Placement - 3ft above ground near a large window for natural light, near kitchen which has some commotion during the day but little to none by his bedtime.
Facing? Should avoid direct sunlight through a window; windows can sometimes work like magnifiers.
 
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