Please can anyone help?!


New Member
Hello people I am new to this site and desperately need some help/ advice. I have a three month old veiled male chameleon and he is sick.

About a month ago I noticed slight signs of URI - slight bubbling from his mouth and immediately took him to a recognised herpatolgist who gave a shot of broad spectrum antibiotics but could not see any symptoms because he refused to open his mouth! The vet even x-rayed him and said his lungs were clear.

A week later and he showed signs that his eyes were infected - first one closed and then both and after a couple of days both eyes were permanently closed and so he was struggling to feed or even get around his vivarium safely. Took him back the vets and was prescribed antibiotic eyebrows plus a course of antibiotic injections which I had to administer at home.

Unfortunately this has not worked and the symptoms of the RI got worse - more bubbles or sticky spit at his mouth and he became very lethargic although his eyes looked much better.

During this time he still ate and drank and remained bright green colour but I knew he was unwell and went back to the vet three days ago. The vet gave a shot of antibiotics against and a half shot of calcium. I just say that the vet is highly recommended and is fantastic and also that he made it clear that husbandry is almost always the cause of such things but after going through everything he agreed that everything about our set up and feediby is right.

He ate three locusts two days ago and had plenty of water but today both of his eyes hiw appear cloudy and he is really lethargic, sitting up in his basking spot with one or more legs nor even holding on and he is not interested in food. The vet said there was little else we can do but continue the shots at home. I am supposed to be giving him his shot tonight byt? I am so concerned I am going to stress him out too much in his current state, although I know I will do what the vet says. I have heard that nebulizers ate a good way of administerinformation the meds, has anyone any experience of this and can anyone offer any advice?

Thanks in advance and praying the little guy can make it...
I am surprised your vet could not figure out how to open its mouth? Baytril is usually prescribed for RI. What humidity range are you keeping and what are you housing your chameleon in? Usually too damp of conditions and stagnant air which breed bacteria can be culprits for respiratory infection. I would fill out the ask for help form in the health clinic section and let us look at your husbandry. Go the green forums tab, health clinic, and then how to ask for help.
Hi, the vet did get him to open his mouth on the consecutive visits afterwards and they are recommended by all reptile stores in the area so I hope I didnt imply the vet doesn't know what they are doing as this is not the case at all.

I will complete the form and hope someone can help.

VerConditions in the UK are a bit different so we have to so some things you guys would not not recommend in terms of husbandry like using glass viv for example.

I keep him I'm glass viv with mesh top and ventilation at the front to allow air flow. It measures 60w x 45d x 90h.

He has various sticks all through the viv to allow him to moderate his temps and plastic vines either side.

He has a basking spot at 35 degrees and the rest if the viv goes down to about 26 in the daytime. At night the temp in the house is too cold so we use a low voltage ceramic adjusted to make a warm spot of 25 going down to 20 elsewhere, he usually sleeps in the middle so this seems about right.

He has a 5 percent uv coil bulb in one half of the viv and is able to get shade if he needs, we were told when small that this would be better than a 10 percent bulb due to the potential for eye problems.

There is no substrate in the viv in case of ingesting it, housing bacteria or maintaining higher than necessary humidity.

I mist him with boiled and cooled water at least twice a day to maintain humidity of around 60 to 70 percent and he also has a waterfall which I thoroughly clean every week. He had never drunk from the waterfall ever until yesterday when he took a big drink for the first time, he usually drinks from the leaves.

He is fed gut loaded locusts, gut loaded with carrot, cabbage, sweet potato, capsicum ans dandelion leaves. Dust all food daily with calcium and every three or four days with multi vitamin powder instead so as not to overdo the D3 levels.

He has not been handled mote than five or ten minutes a day maximum so as not to stress him too much and is in a room where no one goes other than to look at him!

Can ayone help at all..?
A couple of things I would change. I know you guys use glass and that is fine. A lot of people use terrariums over here, especially for babies. 95 degrees is really hot for a basking temp for a baby. I would drop that ten degrees. I would try and keep the humidity around 50% and then let it rise and fall when you mist. The can you be sure your chameleon has never drank from it? Are you there all day watching? I would remove the waterfall altogether. Do you ever find feces in it? They can get ill from drinking the water with bacteria in it. Does the calcium you use daily contain d3?
Hi, thank you for the advice. I tried moving the heat bulb to cool it a bit but he just tried to get nearer to to it so thought he wanted to be warmer?

I guess I could not be sure he hadn't drank from the waterfall but I do look at him a LOT :) and he always drank when I listed so just assumed he hadn't drank from elsewhere. I clean and sterilize it every week but since seeing him drink from it was gonna make that every threedays. Do you really think I should still remove it?

I just gave him his injection and he went spotty black and he looked pretty annoyed at me but he did drink some water drips off my hand so maybe he doesn't hate me too much...
Has your daily calcium got d3 in it. Can you tell us what your schedule is and which brands are you using? I would up the mistings as he has had a fair amount of antibiotics so twice a day does not give him much opportunity to drink. I agree with Carol about the waterfall. I used to use one and my veileds used to drink out of it but feeders used to drown in it and they used to poop in it.:D I have just finished a course of antibiotics by injection and I have been forgivenLOL:)
Paul, I am just trying to give you advice on experience of others and what works. I suppose if you don't see your chameleon gaping under his basking, then he is not too hot. Most people just bask their babies in the low 80's as to not overheat. If your chameleon was a female(are you sure you have a male?) then it is totally recommended to keep the temps lower as hotter temps are thought to cause egg production. I mean the waterfall is a no brainer if you are finding feces in it. Which you did not answer the question, if there is? Most chameleons do not drink from standing water and that is why we drip and mist the cages but on occasion we have seen that they will. What do you measure your temps with by the way and what wattage basking bulb do you use? Are you sure your temps are accurate?
Welcome to the forum!
So sorry to hear your young cham is ill.

This is one thread about nebulizing medications for RIs.
See post#41 in this thread for details

Searching using nebulizer as the searchword yield 2 pages of results:

This thread discusses a few other medications
This one, too

I don't know if it applies to injected antibiotics also, but when chams are given oral antibiotics, it is advised that you increase their access to drinking water, since at least some of the oral antibiotics are notoriously tough on the kidneys.

I do realize that special glass vivaria for reptiles are very commonly used in the UK and the rest of Europe but I don't know that waterfalls are.
The general belief here is that waterfalls serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause respiratory infections.

Things should dry out between mistings, rather than anything remaining constantly moist.
Continuous moistness promotes the growth of bacteria and molds.

35 is a bit bit too hot for a young Veiled.
I would lower it to 32 while he is ill, since my vet always recommends bumping up the temperature during illness.
After he is completely well, I would lower it to 29.
A nighttime temperature drop of around 5 to 8 degrees is actually beneficial to chams but again, while he is ill it may be better to have him a little warmer than when he is well..

Here is a very reliable caresheet for Veiled chams:

You have to be careful with both Vitamin D3 and multivitamins.
Chams can be overdosed fairly easily on either, so the most frequent calcium dustings are done with plain calcium without D3.
Calcium with D3 is typically used 2x a month and multivitamins 2x a month
Of course it depends on how much D3 your supplement contains and how potent the multivitamins are, also.

I hope that he regains his health quickly and that you will let us know how things go.
No improvements to report for Saladin the baby veiled

Thank you all for your advice, I appreciate that you all have the best interest of the animals at heart and that you are far more experienced than me and so I really appreciate hearing from you.

I have lowered the temp in the basking spot to about 31 although it is difficult to maintain without a thermostat which I can't afford at the moment after all the vets bills and now having just bought a nebulizer to continue the antibiotics in a less stressful method.

He has also been drinking a lot more so have increased mistings but unfortunately after seeming to improve last week he has continued to deteriorate. It seems now that the biggest problem is his weakness having not eaten for five days and not having the strength to even show interest.

So today I mashed up two unfortunate locusts with a little water to create a slurry and managed to squirt some into his mouth. I know that this in itself causes stress but it is the stage now where he is going to die of starvation, he is very skinny and feeble and it is so sad to see him like this and I will do anything to give him a chance. He half sat, half lay with his head resting on my fingers and swallowed quite a bit of the goop and it didnt seem to cause him lots of stress. I made sure I didnt squirt it right down into his mouth in case he choked, instead just squirting into his bottom jaw and allowing him to kind of drink it.

The nebulizer arrives tomorrow and the vet has prepared antibiotics to administer via the nebulizer into his viv. I will give him more 'bug soup' later and hope that we see some improvement after a few days of this, but I am not getting my hopes up.

Regarding the dusting powder, what I was sold when I got him is nutrobal which contains d3, it was after reading about the potential for overdosing on d3 that I chose to also get some pure calcium powder and use this daily with the nutrobal used only once or twice a week. Does this seem ok? I mean, that's assuming the little guy makes a recovery...
That nutrobal with d3 should be used twice a month, not a week.

the plain calcium should be used every feeding.

Im sorry your guy is so weakm and i dont have much to add here, but I can suggest a shower chamber,

Get a plant, and place him on it, then place it in your shower, aim the shower head towards the wall and let the water bounce off and the mist land on the plant.

this can entice him to drink, and it helps with humidity.

the bug juice is a good idea, just make sure you strain it some so as to remove the large particles he could choke on.
It sounds like you are doing everything possible to help him.
You're a very dedicated cham owner and I hope that your cham will overcome his illness.

In the past, when I've had a sick cham that didn't want to eat, I used a few high fat/high calorie feeders (waxworms, superworms) and pushed them through a needless syringe once a day to keep the cham from getting weaker from lack of food.
The superworms mush through nicely if decapitated first--just in case anyone reading this ever wants to try it.

Sandrachameleon is a very experienced keeper who is more familiar with Nutrobal than most of us in the US are. Her suggestion is that Nutrobal may be used as often as 1x per week, in this thread:

I hope this is of some use to you.
What brand of uvb are you using? Some brands have issues with the output which can cause serious eye problems or even death from burning. Somtimes coil bulbs do this more.
Also, keeping an animal, even a baby, at a slightly warmer temp when they have an infection is a good thing. They need to heat to basically give themself a fever to help fight it off. I wouldn't go higher than 90 (32) for a baby though.
I ust nutrabol every 7-10 days. It's d3 content is not as high as some. Crickets are meatier than locusts for squashing. You will still have to strain them to remove the lumpy bits:D
nebulising has begun...

I just got a nebuliser and have used for the first time so hoping this makes the difference. I have managed to get him to have some bug soup twice now and he already doesn't look so thin although little else has changed.

I have noticed he is closing what looks like a third eyelid most of the time although I read chams don't have this membrane so wondered if anyone can tell me about this? It makes him look like a zombie!
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