Panther Not Eating?

elizaann2

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello All,

I wonder if I can get some pointers on feeding my Panther Chameleon and any other helpful tips! I got him on 12/29/2022 from a woman selling him on KSL. He was in her home for two months and she purchased him from a breeder. She had the right lights, temps, humidity, and a fog machine. Since I got him, I have been able to get him to eat one, maybe two bugs at best each day, apart from a three-day period when he did not eat at all.

My veiled cham will eat anything and everything, even from my hands, while I am holding her. So my panther being such a picky eater, is throwing me off. I am hoping I could get tips from other panther keepers on getting him to eat, what I could be doing better, and if I need to be concerned with how little he is currently eating.


Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Male - Amobile Panther Chameleon, age 11 months old, has currently been in my care since December 29th, 2022.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I avoid handling him at all costs; he is still getting used to his new environment, occasionally, I will help him get off the screen enclosure with a stick, and sometimes he will walk on my hand and sit there for a minute before climbing back into his leaves. Once he gets more stabilized in our home, I will only handle him when necessary such as cleaning his enclosure, taking him to the vet, or doing a visual check on him to ensure there are no concerns I can see.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I currently have: silkworms, red horn worms, crickets, dubia roaches, super worms, All are gutloaded with fresh veggies (sweet potatoes, kale, carrots etc) I place in their bins every other day with dubia feed, and other powders I purchased to feed the bugs when I bought all of them. I recently had BSFL, however recently ran out of those. I am currently feeding him daily due to the limited amount he is eating.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Repti-Calcium (6 days a week), Repashy Calcium Plus LoD Vitamin and Calcium Supplement (2x a month)
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Hand mist in the morning before lights come on, hand mist at night after lights turn off. Fog machine that runs for the first full hour after lights are out and before they turn on, and in between that, the fogger is on for 30 min sessions throughout the night. Water dripper 2x during the day. I do still see him occasionally drinking, which worries me, probably 1 time a week on average.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? The last feces was solid and moist; urate has always had a slight orange tint to it; no matter how many dripper sessions I give him during the day, I have never been able to get his urate to be white. His first poop with me, there was a LOT of poop, almost as if he had been backed up for a while (photo attached).
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. I purchased him from a home that was selling him on KSL. From the questions that I asked the family regarding his husbandry, feeding etc, he seemed relatively healthy. He came with his enclosure, the correct UVB lights and a fog machine, they just didn't have the time to take care of him. I have done my best to leave him alone and let him settle into our new home. I am working on getting an appointment set up for him with my vet to get a general checkup and fecal check; however, I wanted to wait for a little since his travel to his new home seemed relatively stressful to him. He currently has Log Lunch Feeder from Sunset Chameleons.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? ReptiBreeze XL screen cage, online the dimensions are 24 by 24 by 48
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? ReptiSun T5 HO 5.0, 12 on, 12 off 7 am to 7 pm.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? The ambient temp of the enclosure is around 72 degrees during the day, the basking temp is around 85 degrees, and the ambient temp of the enclosure during the night is around 66 degrees.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity during the day is around 50%, and humidity at night is around 90%. I am measuring this with a hydrometer purchased at Walmart. For now, I have his enclosure wrapped with a shower curtain on 3 sides. Eventually, the plan is to get a better-looking setup using corrugated plastic to help hold in humidity.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? Several umbrella trees and pothos plants
  • 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? His enclosure is on our office, very very low traffic, it is not near any fans or vents. His enclosure is currently on a metal side table that is 24 inches high, the top of his enclosure is 72 inches from the floor.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Utah
Current Problem - Panther doesn't seem to eat much, I have gotten him to eat 1-2 feeders a day at most. There was a 3 day period where he wouldn't eat anything at all. I also noticed yesterday he almost fell when moving from a branch, I know Chams arent fallers, so I am looking at this as a red flag to be aware of. He also seems to sit in his sleeping spot for a while before going up to bask in the morning. Once he gets going during the day, he is fairly active.

Thank you for your time! He is very different from my veiled, so I am not sure how much is normal and how much is a concern.
 

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At his age it's not uncommon for them to eat that amount. Veileds are known to eat more than panthers but of course it depends on the individual. Also common for his poop to no longer be bright white at his age. As long as the urate is not more than 50% orange you're doing okay -- a slight cream color is totally normal. It's also normal to not see him drink often. I've seen my almost 5 year panther drink in front of me less than 10 times.

I would consider getting a fecal test done to test for parasites and allow him to continue to settle in. Usually takes 2-3 weeks before they feel comfy in a new home. Hope this helps!

 
Hi there. I agree with everything above... Kick him over to an every other day feeding schedule of 3-5 feeders.
red horn worms
What do you mean? I have never heard of red horn worms.

Everything in your husbandry looks good. Only thing I see is that pothos on the top is taking up most of the basking level. Does he have areas behind it that are clear access to UVB and heat?
 
At his age it's not uncommon for them to eat that amount. Veileds are known to eat more than panthers but of course it depends on the individual. Also common for his poop to no longer be bright white at his age. As long as the urate is not more than 50% orange you're doing okay -- a slight cream color is totally normal. It's also normal to not see him drink often. I've seen my almost 5 year panther drink in front of me less than 10 times.

I would consider getting a fecal test done to test for parasites and allow him to continue to settle in. Usually takes 2-3 weeks before they feel comfy in a new home. Hope this helps!


Thank you so much for the video link! There is a lot of helpful information in it that I will be including in my feeding with my little guy! I appreciate it!

His fecal test appointment has recently been set up for the 24th :)
 
Hi there. I agree with everything above... Kick him over to an every other day feeding schedule of 3-5 feeders.

What do you mean? I have never heard of red horn worms.

Everything in your husbandry looks good. Only thing I see is that pothos on the top is taking up most of the basking level. Does he have areas behind it that are clear access to UVB and heat?
Hello! Thank you for the help! I will feed him every other day moving forward.

I apologize for the confusion, what I meant by the 'red horn worm' is the Hornworm / Oregon Silkworm.

The whole back of the enclosure is fully open so he is able to bask anywhere behind the pothos and also has places to hide as well.
 
Hello! Thank you for the help! I will feed him every other day moving forward.

I apologize for the confusion, what I meant by the 'red horn worm' is the Hornworm / Oregon Silkworm.

The whole back of the enclosure is fully open so he is able to bask anywhere behind the pothos and also has places to hide as well.
Ok good just wanted to check. :)
 
Is it normal for him to stay in his sleeping spot for a while before getting to his basking light in the morning? My veiled girl is up and at 'em every morning as soon as the lights come on. My panther boy stays in his sleeping spot for about an hour before he starts moving for the day. His eyes are open and he is looking around, he just stays put for a while.
 
Good morning,

My panther does this, especially in the winter months. He is much more lazy compared to the summer months. If it is only an hour and he is still roaming around after it should be just fine. Same at night when getting ready to sleep.
 
Good morning,

My panther does this, especially in the winter months. He is much more lazy compared to the summer months. If it is only an hour and he is still roaming around after it should be just fine. Same at night when getting ready to sleep.
I am hoping this is what it is. I've only had him since December 30th. Its been about an hour and 38 minutes since his lights came on and he is still there. He does put him self to bed about an hour before his lights turn off. My veiled puts herself to bed 1.5 to 2 hours before her lights turn off.
 
Hello Everyone!

Sadly, I am still concerned about my panther. In the last 2 weeks, I have noticed he is now closing his eyes during the day. I took him to the vet on Monday (1/30), he does not have any parasites and my vet did not see any signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection or MBD, he had a good firm grip, was a good weight for his size and there no concerns found in his mouth.

Because he seemed perfectly healthy other than closing his eyes during the day, we thought he may be stressed. I took him home and wrapped 3 sides of his enclosure so he can only see out of the front and kept the door closed to the room he was in to decrease traffic in the room and decrease the number of times he may see us walking by the room. I put a nanny cam in the room to help me monitor his behaviors without disturbing him in case his behaviors are stress-related.

It's now been 5 days and there are days he seems better and is more active in his enclosure, however, the next day he seems to stay in his sleeping spot more. When he is in his sleeping spot I have noticed his eyes are closed. Today he has been in his sleeping spot most of the day and his eyes are closed. If he is stressed, when would I start to see improvement in his behaviors?

I do have a follow-up vet appointment set up for Tuesday at 9:00 to see what else we can do to find out what is going on with this little guy, but any suggestions on what I could be doing better would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
 
Tell me about your supplements... Which ones exactly are you using and can you post pictures?

Was the UVB bulb replaced when you got him? I still feel like there is a lot of the top level that is overtaken by the pothos plant. This leaves a smaller area for him to regulate and find a basking area below the uvb that he prefers.

Did the vet run a fecal test?
 
Tell me about your supplements... Which ones exactly are you using and can you post pictures?

Was the UVB bulb replaced when you got him? I still feel like there is a lot of the top level that is overtaken by the pothos plant. This leaves a smaller area for him to regulate and find a basking area below the uvb that he prefers.

Did the vet run a fecal test?
I use a calcium supplement every feeding apart from the Repashy supplement, which I use 2x a month, pictures included. I've also attached a spreadsheet I started not too long ago to track behaviors and pictures of the room he is in case someone can see something that may be bothering him that I am not seeing.

The lady who owned him before me said she got his UVB lights in October 2022 when she purchased him so it should not need to be replaced yet. I am getting close to that 6-month replacement mark though, so should I just replace it now?

Understood about the pothos, I'll move it now. He does have a whole network of branches behind all of the plants too they are all just more in the front of the enclosure.

My vet did run a fecal test, he is clear of parasites. For our appointment on Tuesday, we were planning on running bloodwork next if his behaviors didn't change this week with decreasing the traffic by the room he is in.
 

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The giant pothos is now moved. Does this look like an ok amount of coverage?
 

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