Panther chameleon tongue

Lexiharvey68

New Member
Hello! I am currently on Day 4 of my panther male chameleon not using his tongue to eat. He isn’t showing any other signs of being unhealthy. He still hunts the crickets in his screen cage and gets them all. I’m making sure he is hydrated with the dripper, misting, and a humidifier. He caught a fly on a porch chair on 9/2 and hasn’t used his tongue after that. Do you think he just injured his tongue? I’m so worried :(
 
What kind of supplements are you using to dust your feeders? Has he been eating bugs from outside often? Could be a tongue injury, a lack of proper vitamins, a parasitic issue…
 
Hello and welcome! As @Andrew1283 mentioned, please send photos of your enclosure and your little guy.

If you can also fill out the form below that would also be helpful. The more info we have, the better we can assist :)

Also welcome!

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 do 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 -
 
What kind of supplements are you using to dust your feeders? Has he been eating bugs from outside often? Could be a tongue injury, a lack of proper vitamins, a parasitic issue…
I am using the powder calcium with D3 and he doesn’t eat outside often. He just so happened to try and catch that fly. I will send pictures when I get home I am at work now.
 
I am using the powder calcium with D3 and he doesn’t eat outside often. He just so happened to try and catch that fly. I will send pictures when I get home I am at work now.
If you’re only ever using the powder with D3 at every feeding that could be causing some issues. I dust my crickets with the D3 powder twice a month. The other feedings are the calcium w/o D3
 
Hello and welcome! As @Andrew1283 mentioned, please send photos of your enclosure and your little guy.

If you can also fill out the form below that would also be helpful. The more info we have, the better we can assist :)

Also welcome!

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 do 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 -
My chameleon is a male panther chameleon I’ve only had him since April of 2023. He’s and adult but the breeder wasn’t able to tell me his age guessing between 1-2.

I handle him frequently. Probably everyday at some point he’s active and likes to climb on my indoor plants.

I feed him large crickets from pet supply plus and give him 6 crickets every morning before work. Also gut loading with cricket food from the pet store.

I dust the crickets with repti calcium with D3 every morning when I feed him 5 crickets.

I use the dripper, mist his cage 3x a day and use a little humidifier throughout the day and night.

His pee is white and poop is just a sack not dry always looks hydrated.

His cage is screen and I basically have the chameleon starter kit that everyone says is not good. However he is place near 3 south facing windows and gets a lot of sunlight along with the day lights.

Temp range during the day is anywhere from 70F to 85F gradient. I measure with the temp readers and humidity readers. I also use a temp gun to better see the gradient. Over night it doesn’t go below 68 degrees.

My humidity levels are usually 50% and up.

I do use live plants. I have a ficus and a pothos in the cage.

I am located in Pittsburgh PA
 
If you’re only ever using the powder with D3 at every feeding that could be causing some issues. I dust my crickets with the D3 powder twice a month. The other feedings are the calcium w/o D3
Okay I thought I had to use the powder with D3 for all feedings I can definitely go get the one with out D3. What are your thoughts on the calcium infused gel for crickets?
 
HI Lexi - welcome to the forum, new member here as well! :) Plenty to read and learn!

Others with a lot more knowledge will likely chime in but I think the consensus is the calcium infused gel is not a substitute for the powder, nor recommended just because. Stick to the basics. Gutload your feeders with the good produce or a GOOD commercial gutload. Sprinkle them at each feeding with Cal w/o D3 supp and twice a month sprinkle with multivitamin w/ D3.

When you get a chance show us a pic of your little guy!
 
If you’re only ever using the powder with D3 at every feeding that could be causing some issues. I dust my crickets with the D3 powder twice a month. The other feedings are the calcium w/o D3
Agreed, D3 gets stored in the body so if you are giving it to your guy every feeding you are overdosing him on this. Give me a minute to go through your husbandry.
 
HI Lexi - welcome to the forum, new member here as well! :) Plenty to read and learn!

Others with a lot more knowledge will likely chime in but I think the consensus is the calcium infused gel is not a substitute for the powder, nor recommended just because. Stick to the basics. Gutload your feeders with the good produce or a GOOD commercial gutload. Sprinkle them at each feeding with Cal w/o D3 supp and twice a month sprinkle with multivitamin w/ D3.

When you get a chance show us a pic of your little guy!
This was him 4 days ago! Still looks the exact same. And thanks for letting me know I will definitely go to the pet store today and correct that powder.
 

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See my answers in red :)

My chameleon is a male panther chameleon I’ve only had him since April of 2023. He’s and adult but the breeder wasn’t able to tell me his age guessing between 1-2. Interesting that the breeder did not know his age, out of curiosity, where did you get your guy from?

I handle him frequently. Probably everyday at some point he’s active and likes to climb on my indoor plants. Just a word of caution, chameleons are very shy lizards, frequent handling is often highly stressful for them. If your chameleon is 'friendly' we often look at the enclosure first to ensure baby has everything it needs to feel safe and secure before agreeing that a chameleon is friendly. It took me a while to be able to read my chameleon's body language. You could very well have a friendly chameleon, but because it is not common, I just wanted to share that.
Listen to this podcast, this helped me learn more about chameleons, stress & their body language:
https://chameleonacademy.com/ep-6-chameleons-stress/


I feed him large crickets from pet supply plus and give him 6 crickets every morning before work. Also gut loading with cricket food from the pet store. If your guy is 1-2 years old you can now start to move him to 4-5 feeders every other day. Feeding an adult daily is overfeeding and he could become overweight. When they are young and are still growing we want to feed them as much as they can eat every day so they get what they need, however adults eat far less. With the crickets, the more variety of bugs you can feed him the better, I am attaching a document with other good feeders in case you can get some for him. What kind of gut load do you use? I'll attach a good gutload you can use as well.

I dust the crickets with repti calcium with D3 every morning when I feed him 5 crickets. Ok you are missing some things in his supplementation. You need phosphorus free calcium WITHOUT D3 for every feeding. What you are currently using you need to use every other week and then you need a multi vitamin to use every other week.
Get this calcium:
https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Reptile-Calcium-without/dp/B000UJPHL8/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1H90CKSI3TWD9&keywords=reptile+calcium&qid=1694103191&sprefix=reptile+calcium%2Caps%2C222&sr=8-3
Get this multivitamin: https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Reptivite-without-Vitamin/dp/B00167S5GC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1K9W9UZQAQC8V&keywords=reptivite+without+d3&qid=1694103273&sprefix=reptivite+wit%2Caps%2C134&sr=8-1
With those 2 supplements and the one you already have use this schedule:
Calcium WITHOUT D3 - every feeding
Calcium WITH D3 - 1x every other week
Multivitamin - 1x every other week - use on the week you do not use the D3 calcium


I use the dripper, mist his cage 3x a day and use a little humidifier throughout the day and night. Your baby needs high humidity at night with LOW temperatures below 68 degrees and then LOW humidity with higher temps (72-78) during the day. High temps and high humidity will result in an upper respiratory infection. You have all the right stuff for hydration, you just need to make a few adjustments. This is what I do, keep in mind I live in a dry state, so you may have to make adjustments according to where you live

7:30 am - mist
enclosure
8:00 am - lights come on
9:00 am - basking light comes on (basking temp 80-85 degrees, no higher)
1:00 pm - basking light turns off (again, this will need to be adjusted to where you live, if its hotter in your area maybe you only use the heat lamp for less time)
3:00 pm - dripper is used for about 10-15 minutes, if I see my chameleon drinking, I know I need to adjust my humidity at night and increase drinking opportunities so they do not become dehydrated
8:00 pm - lights turn off
9:30 pm - mist enclosure
10:00 pm to 6:00 am - fogger runs for 1.5 hours on, 30 min off

Humidity during the day 50-60%
Humidity at night 80-100%
Temps during day 72-78
Temps at night 68-65


His pee is white and poop is just a sack not dry always looks hydrated. Excellent!

His cage is screen and I basically have the chameleon starter kit that everyone says is not good. However he is place near 3 south facing windows and gets a lot of sunlight along with the day lights. Unfortunately the chameleon kit is not sufficient for an adult chameleon. Your baby needs a minimum cage size of 2ftx2ftx4ft. The other concern is the UVB that comes with the kit, that UVB is not efficient and we often see chameleons develop MBD with the chameleon kit due to the lack of UVB they get. Windows block UVB so even though he is by windows he still is not getting any UVB. I would also caution being by a window, you just want to make sure your sweet little guy isn't getting too hot with the sun coming in.

Minimum size for
enclosure: https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-reptibreeze-reptile-cage/dp/344873

Temp range during the day is anywhere from 70F to 85F gradient. I measure with the temp readers and humidity readers. I also use a temp gun to better see the gradient. Over night it doesn’t go below 68 degrees. As I mentioned earlier, the ambient temp of your boys enclosure should be between 72-78 degrees, his basking temp should be 80-85 degrees. The night temp is great :)

My humidity levels are usually 50% and up. great! 50% during the day is perfect, just a reminder at night if your temps are low enough having a high humidity is awesome, this is how chameleons get hydration in the wild :)

I do use live plants. I have a ficus and a pothos in the cage. Perfect!

I am located in Pittsburgh PA

Lastly, this is the care sheet I use https://chameleonacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Panther-Chameleon-Care-Guide-2023.pdf
 

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No i havent do you think I should with him not using his tongue to eat? He’s still eating just taking him much longer to catch the bugs.
This is most likely due to the D3 over supplementation and not having the correct UVB light. Once you get everything correct, I bet he will be able to start using his tongue again.
 
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