Panther male, slightly sluggish, sometimes misses branch with rear legs

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
•Your Chameleon - Ambilobe Panther, male, 1 year old. Have had him for 9 months.
•Handling - Once or twice a week, only when he asks to be taken out.
•Feeding - I provide 15 or so BSFL's daily, I now also offer him superworms only a few times a week. He was on a superworm-only diet for a while since it was the only thing he would eat...before I tried BSFL's which he now loves. BSFL's I offer powered Repashy Bug Burger and fruit. Sometimes I do not gutload them. Superworms would eat carrots, potatoes and oat meal (bedding). I recently bought hornworms and butterworms, which he has loved in the past, but is showing very little interest in, he ate a few butterworms but hasn't touched the hornworms. He is eating the BSFL's.
•Supplements - Repashy Calcium Plus Lo-D. For the first 5 months he would eat 15-20 dusted dubia roaches or crickets a day. He eventually refused to eat these bugs once he discovered superworms. I attempted to dust supers but it wouldn't stick so I held off on dusting, which probably wasn't the best idea. From what I read, BSFL's should not be dusted so I was not supplementing them. Should I get some Sticky Tongue Miner-All Indoor or am I ok with Repashy Calcium Plus Lo-D only?
•Watering - Automatic mister, Mist King, he drinks daily and shows no signs of dehydration.
•Fecal Description - He does not poop very often, maybe once a week, and when he does his urates look orangish. His poop is also not as big as it used to be. Sometimes there are whole BSFL's in it.
•History - He has acted/looked healthy and perfect up until days ago.

Cage Info:
•Cage Type - Zoomed Repti-Breeze 24"x24"x48"
•Lighting - Zoomed ReptiSun T5 5.0, replaced at 6 months (5/1) towards the backside of his cage going from left to right around 8 inches from the top branches in his cage. He hangs out back there for a bit every day. I am now realizing I should place this dead center front to back so he always gets UVB. Have 2 LED swimming pool lights for basking. Can the LED basking lights interfere with the UVB rays?
•Temperature - Basking area is 85-92, ambient is around 72-75F. Lowest area in his cage is ~68F. It is summer here with the air conditioning on ... I have all of the vents in my room closed, I keep the windows open and the door shut to keep the temps.
•Humidity - Consistent 40%-70% throughout the day. I have a humidity/temp combo digital gauge.
•Plants - Large dwarf umbrella and 2 pothos
•Placement - In my bedroom, low traffic as I work all day. His cage is on a stand that is around 2 feet high. The top of his cage is at around 6 feet from the floor.
•Location - New Jersey

Current Problem - Over the past 2 days he seems slightly sluggish. When going from branch to branch he sometimes misses the branch with his rear legs on his first attempt but then grabs on.. I noticed a few times that he will kind of pull himself with his arms and kind of slides on his tail that is resting on a vine/branch. He was on a lower branch in his cage yesterday (maybe 1 foot up) and he fell. He was not hurt and climbed back to the top of his cage with no issues.

Should I consider getting a smaller cage, either the smallest repti-breeze or even a bird cage until he is 100% normal again, or am I over-reacting.
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey hun. I would say just by reading through my initial thought is this is a supplement/lighting issue. Move the UVB dead center on the cage. Make sure there is a basking branch below it 7-8 inches. Angle the heat toward the same area so he is getting UVB while getting heat.

But only feeding BSFL and not being able to properly gutload them along with the lack of supplements. That is concerning. You may have to go the tough love route and get him back on dubia as a staple. I did this by withholding all other feeders for a week and by day five he was too hungry to turn down the dubia. I would say Dubia would be your best bet as a staple just because you can gut load them so well. While the BSFL are high in calcium you are missing all the vitamins and vitamin A that the repashy loD provides. I am going to tag @Brodybreaux25 in on this though.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
You need to see a vet with chameleon experience. Make sure to get a fecal too. This could be a number of things. BSFL are nutritious, but don't always digest and worms/larvae in general are poor staples due to the lack of gutload they can hold. More importantly, you are limiting your chameleon's nutrition by only feeding one or two things. BSFL may have a good calc phos ratio, but that isn't everything a chameleon needs. Not to sound mean, but it seems you need to read up a little on chameleon/reptile nutritional needs. Without dusting, gutloading, and offering variety you're not giving d3, retinol vitamin A, and many other micronutrients. Repashy lod is a good place to start, I would continue dusting with it for now.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
You need to see a vet with chameleon experience. Make sure to get a fecal too. This could be a number of things. BSFL are nutritious, but don't always digest and worms/larvae in general are poor staples due to the lack of gutload they can hold. More importantly, you are limiting your chameleon's nutrition by only feeding one or two things. BSFL may have a good calc phos ratio, but that isn't everything a chameleon needs. Not to sound mean, but it seems you need to read up a little on chameleon/reptile nutritional needs. Without dusting, gutloading, and offering variety you're not giving d3, retinol vitamin A, and many other micronutrients. Repashy lod is a good place to start, I would continue dusting with it for now.
I did my research and am aware, I try to vary his diet but he just doesn't eat. I offer him dubia roaches (that eat well), superworms, hornworms, butterworms, wax worms, crickets, BSFL's, BSF's. I've tried starving him for days to get him to go after dubia's since that is the feeder I want him back on due to their nutritional value, and being I have an established colony. Also, from what I read in multiple places, BSFL's are one of the best staples.
 

Highway61

Avid Member
Also, from what I read in multiple places, BSFL's are one of the best staples.
Can you please site where you've seen/been told this? My Jacksons is picky as well but the one food source I see him gravitate to consistantly is BSF. I try to feed BSF as a treat but would love to be wrong here.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I did my research and am aware, I try to vary his diet but he just doesn't eat. I offer him dubia roaches (that eat well), superworms, hornworms, butterworms, wax worms, crickets, BSFL's, BSF's. I've tried starving him for days to get him to go after dubia's since that is the feeder I want him back on due to their nutritional value, and being I have an established colony. Also, from what I read in multiple places, BSFL's are one of the best staples.
Most people talking up anything as being the best staple, likely don't know what they're talking about. Calcium isn't the only important nutrient and simply dusting something fixes that anyway. Most of what you hear is just companies trying to make sales. Worms do not contain much at all in their gut as I said before. The only thing they really have going for them is their calcium to phosphorus ratio. They are a great addition, but not fit as a full time feeder. If your cham is 9 months+ he can go a couple weeks without eating, just tough love it out until he takes roaches, they get spoiled on worms fast and that's why he's rejecting the others.

You still need to dust, bsfl do not contain retinol or d3 and we do not know much about their micronutrients I'm sure, so only offering them without proper supplements/gutload will lead to probems.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Can you please site where you've seen/been told this? My Jacksons is picky as well but the one food source I see him gravitate to consistantly is BSF. I try to feed BSF as a treat but would love to be wrong here.
When I first considering trying them I did some searching and found nothing but positives. Try googling bsfl staple and see what you come across.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
I shared the same thought about BSFL as a staple, but upon further reading, I saw that when people mentioned BSFL as a staple it was in addition to either roaches or crickets. So they would have 2 or 3 "staple" feeders and consider everything else a "treat"

BSFL are nutritious but no one bug has everything any reptile/insectivore need to thrive.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I did my research and am aware, I try to vary his diet but he just doesn't eat. I offer him dubia roaches (that eat well), superworms, hornworms, butterworms, wax worms, crickets, BSFL's, BSF's. I've tried starving him for days to get him to go after dubia's since that is the feeder I want him back on due to their nutritional value, and being I have an established colony. Also, from what I read in multiple places, BSFL's are one of the best staples.
Agreed, shaking, clumsy, uncoordinated steps point to a nutritional/supp issue. I remember when you first joined and I know you did your research and we went over all this with you but you’ve somehow fallen short on the implementation. You be got to have the fundamentals in place or this is where you end up.

If you can put him in direct sunlight every day, it works miracles.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So when we speak of staples it is important to remember it is all about variety. You do not want to just feed one item. You are picking multiple staple items.

Dubia roaches are my main staple. But I also feed a few BSFL, hornworms 2 times a week, Black Soldier flies, and blue bottle flies. He also gets silk worms here and there when I want to add an additional item.

So it is never just one.

chameleon-food(1).jpg
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Agreed, shaking, clumsy, uncoordinated steps point to a nutritional/supp issue. I remember when you first joined and I know you did your research and we went over all this with you but you’ve somehow fallen short on the implementation. You be got to have the fundamentals in place or this is where you end up.

If you can put him in direct sunlight every day, it works miracles.
Attempts to follow through have been made since day 1, but with him refusing to cooperate with what I offer is the problem I need to figure out.
So when we speak of staples it is important to remember it is all about variety. You do not want to just feed one item. You are picking multiple staple items.

Dubia roaches are my main staple. But I also feed a few BSFL, hornworms 2 times a week, Black Soldier flies, and blue bottle flies. He also gets silk worms here and there when I want to add an additional item.

So it is never just one.
Agree, I never said BSFL is the only thing he is offered, he gets offered many insects.. what he will actually go after is the issue I need to resolve.

I am able to watch him on a camera in his cage and he is moving around fine ... maybe I am over-reacting, but either way I am going to straighten up his diet/supplements.

Any pointers on getting him to go after feeders that he does not prefer, or do I just starve him until he has no other choice?

IMG_20190720_173913.jpg
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Attempts to follow through have been made since day 1, but with him refusing to cooperate with what I offer is the problem I need to figure out.

Agree, I never said BSFL is the only thing he is offered, he gets offered many insects.. what he will actually go after is the issue I need to resolve.

I am able to watch him on a camera in his cage and he is moving around fine ... maybe I am over-reacting, but either way I am going to straighten up his diet/supplements.

Any pointers on getting him to go after feeders that he does not prefer, or do I just starve him until he has no other choice?

View attachment 242367
Beautiful guy!

I had to withhold food for 7 days to get my girl to eat roaches. I did not offer her anything for 5 days. 6 and 7 were just dusted roaches and on day 7 she took them. She occasionally still leaves one or two in her feeder cup.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Beautiful guy!

I had to withhold food for 7 days to get my girl to eat roaches. I did not offer her anything for 5 days. 6 and 7 were just dusted roaches and on day 7 she took them. She occasionally still leaves one or two in her feeder cup.
Thanks!
Do you feed off the adults? I put some in the blinky bug bar I just bought but the adults are able to climb out. Maybe I will stick with the smaller ones for now and move up to the bigger ones? Does you cham has a preference in size? What type of feeder device, if any, do you use?
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just hold out until he takes something else.

What has me concerned is you said he fell. Whatever the case, when it gets to a chameleon falling, it tends to be an urgent matter. A fall from a high tree could easily mean death, so they have to be in pretty rough shape for that to happen.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
But do they have a preference that anyone has noticed? I want to make them as enticing as possible. It's been months since he went after one.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
But do they have a preference that anyone has noticed? I want to make them as enticing as possible. It's been months since he went after one.
My cham won't eat what she thinks is too big and she is a she so a little smaller. The Medium sized dubias seem to be perfect for her.

It's really about movement -- dubias don't move much which is why I think some chams arn't interested. Where do you live? Some other faster roaches might be your cham's jam.
 
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