Pet store?


Avid Member
So went into this mom and pop pet store that I normally go to because its the only one I deem worthy of getting my money. They usually breed the reptiles they sell. They actually take care of their chameleons well and the chameleons are nice and healthy looking with white urates and UVB sources. They even only sell the good dog food and not that purina or iambs crap. The only thing I would change is the size of their enclosures, but it is still a pet store after all and I can only expect so much...

They have this awesome super colorful veiled male that was approx. 10 months and was 80 bucks. Score! He is definitely worth the 80 bucks, in fact I would pay more for him because of these teal and turquoise shades he had on his belly and sides and bright yellow bars. I've been eyeing him for about a month now and just noticed that, of course, he is missing a few nails, probably because whenever someone walked by he tried to crawl through the screen to chill out on their head. He seemed so friendly even though he was way above my head and the store people said he was mean. He was trying to crawl down to me and didn't puff up and hiss when I got close to him (on my tippy toes of course because I'm so dang short and the cage was so high up!) I was wondering if I would be able to get a discount on him because of his missing toes. He was missing about 5 and was having a little bit of trouble crawling on the screen with his front left foot but other wise looked completely healthy and his toes looked all healed up and good.

So I went to talk to the store manager about it and I told him that the Veiled he had was missing a few nails. He looked at me all confused and said they didn't have nails. I was just like, What?!?! He continued on to say that they had sticky pads on their feet so they just clung on to stuff. He also said that they only have three toes and he couldn't be missing five. At this point I'm completely confused/wanting to laugh and you could see it on my face (the confused part) quite clearly. I told him that they definitely have nails and my mom came over and said the same thing so he also has a confused look on his face and says that he'll check it out later.

I ended up leaving the store not even asking about a discount because I didn't even know what to say to it all, but I really want that chameleon. Normally they are so knowledgeable about their animals! I know the basic care requirements for most of the animals they sell and they are always telling people what they need or how to make an animal more comfortable in their cages and all that good stuff, so I was completely baffled that he didn't know they had nails.

I just thought I'd share my story from todays adventures. But do you all think I should get him after I buy a new cage and lights and stuff? I'm kind of iffy on it now. Do you think his feet will be okay?

(I hope this belongs here... Sorry if it doesn't, I couldn't decide between here and the lizard lounge)
I think you should get it if you feel you can take care of it. The chameleon sounds amazing and as for the toes as much as I feel bad for the guy, I think he will be ok. I say go or it and get the little guy and then post pics:)


Avid Member
Perhaps it's not the store manager that takes care of the chameleons? Perhaps it is someone else within the store. Go back tomorrow and ask him who takes care of the reptiles to have someone else help explain.. but if he is the one taking care of them, perhaps print out something explaining that they don't have sticky pads, they have claws, or even bring in one of your chameleons. That's really the best I can offer. It's your choice! If he's healthy and looks good, go for it, but make sure there is nothing wrong you aren't seeing right away. Good luck!


New Member
Loosing toe nails can be caused from climbing the screen too much. Normally if the store doesn't have good husbandry I wouldnt buy from them because then youre just dooming another chameleon to the bad husbandry. But you say they are pretty good so I do not see why not.


Avid Member
Thanks guys. I was actually thinking of bringing in Pan to see what The other fella looks like fired up, so maybe I will one day and we'll see how it goes.

Lizard Lover- normally I would be totally against buying from pet store because most of them are really bad and buying from them only encourages poor husbandry, but they take care of their animals pretty well and I dont think I would be doing harm to another animal by buying from them (except for the small furry animals that are already over populated enough as it is.) But at least they take care of all the animals well and give them the essentials.


Established Member
I have a T.sternfeldi with some damage to one of her hands. She is missing three whole fingers from one hand, leaving her with only two finger and a small stump to pinch with on that hand. I received her wild caught from an importer and you could tell it was old damage. Maybe this one is also a wild caught and like Syn said, maybe the person you talked to was not the normal reptile person.

I did have to make some accommodations to her cage to make it easier for her to get around. She could not climb normal width vines or branches because of her grip but I found some plastic covered wire and strung it around the cage. She is the only one that I have had to make special accommodations for but she appears happy and health despite her handicap.

I'm sure you could give him a good home if you decide to get him.:D


New Member
Pssh, if you like the reptile and want him - get him.

Most of the forum already knows your a great keeper, any chameleon would be lucky to be in your care.

From my experience with one of my veileds that was missing a nail or two ( most like from climbing the screen ) was that as long as your make the proper adjustments, everything will work fine.

what I did:

I took this or about four of them for the entire enclosure ( base the size for your chameleon, he may need the medium vine) and what I did was wrap them around each other. Put both ends together and twist until they fuse into one "curly" branch. It provided great extra support for him and he seemed just fine. With one vine alone his front foot wobbled a bit when he used it for support.

you already know this, but with enough climbing vines and hiding place - chances are this veiled won't ever need to climb the screen again to get to where he wants. The exception to this rule of course comes from my Female panther Isabella, who thinks shes a sloth rather than a chameleon and is always hanging upside down on the screen....last night I caught her sleeping upside down.

As for getting a discount, print pictures of veiled chameleons ( from a reputable care site ... such as here of course! ). Make sure the pictures clearly show the feet and more importantly the toe nails! You can also make the manager take him out. on his hand the chameleon should close his grip and he will easily feel that three feet have toe nails and the one doesn't.

The best way to educate is always with show and tell.



New Member
If they take good care of the animals as you say and you want him go for it! Your pretty knowledged on your care and how to take care of him so your judgement on this choice should be fine. I think for the price thats not bad and you would be giving him a wonderful home from the way you always talk online. Good luck with what you decide!


New Member
But is it toes missing or just nails? Its possible its nails have broken off and will grow back. I imagine lose of toes would make the foot look odd, but if its healed up and dosent have issues gripping then if you like it, buy it.
Sounds like an opportunity to eduate a little, since your freindly with these folk as a regular customer.
Maybe you could print out a nice foot closeup pic of someones cam here, clearly showing toes and nails, and politely point it out.
Any animal (or thing) is to my mind, worth whatever you are willing to pay for it.
At the end of the day, you may just score a nice cham and a bargain.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Whether or not you buy the animal is up to you. You'll know if it feels right or not. If the animals feet dont look infected, and if he seems to get around okay with out them.... maybe its not a big deal.

You might take a nice close-up photo of your chameleons feet, print it and take it to the store to show them chams do indeed have toenails. Or show the photo on your phone or laptop or whatever if you have such gizmos. Perhaps it will be an opporuntity to educate them about the dangers of screen, and perhaps they will modify their caging so as not to hurt another chameleon.


New Member
i told my wife that i read a post about a shop owner trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the girl who post on EVERYTHING :)D) and we had a good laugh. pads on their feet like a gecko LOL. but pet stores hire animal fans, not specialist. the potencial owner always needs to know as much as they can before (oh, king orbit, forgive my ignorance over half a decade ago). and pssh, i bought a leopard gecko before because the animal rescue table at a rep con had no air holes :confused: its your duty to the forums to buy him (unless he's mean as they say:()
Show them this photo next time you are there....

LOL that is Henry's foot.... I count 5 toes. yeah... it's a melleri foot... but I am sure he won't know that. ;)

I say take home the cham if ya like him... my veileds have missing toes.... my panther Steve has stubby nails because he managed to shave them down from crawling the screen. You might want to suggest they add a plastic mesh to the inside of the cage that has a wider spacing for the cham's feet to grab without losing nails.

My little guy Chris lost three outer toes on his rear left foot when he was little.... he managed to climb across the top of his cage and sat under the heat light for too long :( He manages OK though... I was looking at his foot this weekend and he new has little stubby nails. they are very blunt and don't stick out much... but his foot healed very well of the months (about 9 months I think)


New Member
I just hope they misunderstood which animal/enclosure you were referring to. But if you like the animal and think you can work with him, by all means.


Avid Member
That managers math seems a little fuzzy. If he thinks they only have three toes on each foot, that still makes twelve toes altogether which is obviously enough to make it possible to be missing five nails. Unless he thinks that chameleons have a total of three toes divided between their four feet :p


New Member
maybe he was thinking of an "american chameleon" which is an anole and they have the sticky gecko toes and claws. i found a website online for the keeping of chameleons but they were talking about anoles the whole time! (if owners of real chameleons went by this website, their chams would be in deep trouble!) but if he saw the veiled chameleon on your head assuming he took it out of the cage for you, then i dont know what to say! lol

my chameleon has been missing a claw since i got her. its missing in a row of three toes so at least its not that noticable but ive had her for 7 months and no sign of it growing back. you should definately buy this male, he seems beautiful (and a great price!) but make sure his tootsies dont have infections :)
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