PLEASE help! Have tried everything!


My veiled, Randy, is about 8 months old. I recently took him to the vet because he kept opening his mouth, even when out in freerange.. and also has always has shedding issues.
He came back positive for 1 parasite and was treated for that but every time he checked his breathing and throat he saw nothing. He and the other staff would even comment everytime on how great he looked.
I do everything that I know I need to be doing, I have spent the past almost year on here, obsessed with learning from the most experienced cham owners and going thru everything to make sure I do it right. The only thing I know is wrong is his cage size, but I'm currently waiting for the sealant on his new one to air out so I can move him in. But he gets out everyday(not for too long, because I know he needs his light)

The vet seems to have no answer for it, and I have looked up everything.
No hard signs of breathing, popping, nothing. As far as the shedding humidity is good, temps are good, he has plenty of water... the spikes that you will see under his chin in the image below have been there for like 2 months now.!!!!! I tired a cotton swap with warm water and extra warm mistings... nothing.

He used to be so excited about food and I used to ALWAYS see him drink water, and now he eats.. but he doesnt run to it like he used to. (I understand they can slow down at this age) but he hardly drinks water and his urates are orange. Have tried long misting sessions and multiple drippers and rarely see him drink anymore. I know they try to hide it,but he never did before and his urates are orange, so I know he's not. I just dont understand what could be wrong. His appointments and treatments have already cost me about 500$ just for parasite tests and treatment.... and he is the only vet in my town who will take chameleons.
My only other option is to get him swabbed and blood work.?? (Another 1,000$ probably )
If anybody can help or relate PLEASE let me know.!!!!!
Oh, also sometimes when I catch him gaping he will close his mouth and this happens with his gums..
I know he looks dark in this picture, he isnt always like that, but is often. I know it can be normal but I feel like he used to be colorful way more often!! I dont know...

Thought I'd put a good pic, so that you know he doesnt always look so meeh... haha


Chameleon Enthusiast
Best way for us to get any idea of what could be going on is to fill out the help form. Just copy and paste. He looks good from the pics, darker colors normally mean they are absorbing heat from the light especially if they are sitting under them.

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 to 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 - The current problem you are concerned about.


  • Your Chameleon - veiled,male, around 8 months I beleive. Have had him for about 7 months.
  • Handling - Everyday, only to freerange which is a step away, and back (he loves coming out)
  • Feeding - (main) roaches, bsfl, hornworms, (few) butterworms, (rare) superworms. Always mix it up for him. About 6-8 feeders a day,(depends on what it is) and sometimes skip a day. Going to take it down to every other day soon. He eats within the first part of day. Gutloaded with dandelion greens, collard, mustard, squash, bell pepper, oranges, etc... dry-cricket crack or repashy.
  • Supplements - zoo med no d3 every feed, alternate between zoo med with d3 or repcal vitamins at end of every week. Didnt know how crappy the zoomed supplements were, actually was something I was reading just the other night and have the ordered better brands.
  • Watering - hand mist 3 times a day usually for about 5 mins with warm water. (Still in small cage so it starts getting everywhere, upgrading to mistking with new cage) used to ALWAYS see him drinking... hardly never anymore..
  • Fecal Description - poops good, solid.. urates pretty orange and runny. Just got treated and cleared of parasites
  • History -

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - stupid chameleon kit they have at the store... I know I suck for having him in there.... I bit off WAY more than I could chew when I was building him his new one and it took longer than expected... soon to be moved!! That's why i make sure he gets to get out everyday.
  • Lighting - ruptisun 5.0 (upgrading to Arcadia with new cage) 6:00 to 6:00 everyday.
  • Temperature - basking 87-88 bask works down to mid 70s. Never below like 65! Thermomitor with probe(2) and accurate at bottom
  • Humidity - around 45 when I spray up to 70s. 1 probe and accurate at bottom
  • Plants - 1 large phothos in his cage all twisted with sticks.
  • Placement - cage is in corner of bedroom( still live at home, no other option) but behind a wall shelf in the furthest corner for privacy and on a tall dresser.
  • Location - California

Current Problem - mouth opening, shedding issues since I've had him, and not drinking water.

Sorry this literally took me SO long.!! Hahaha


In the first picture that I posted above it will show you. It's really weird. He will be gaping(even in freerange, away from light, vet said no r.i...?) and when I walk up to check on him he will close his mouth and his little gums get like pinched between his lips (see above pic). Vet has checked his mouth and everything and said he looks good. I know this can't be normal?


Chameleon Enthusiast
Does he have any trouble shooting his tongue while feeding? Never seen a chameleon do that before. The vet didn't see any swollen gums or lip? Any discoloration?


He hasn't had any trouble with it at all. And nope, I told him every single one of his problems and he checked him several times and said he didnt see anything wrong with him. It's very frustrating KNOWING there is something not right, and not know what to do for him.


Staff member
I'm guessing for whatever reason he seems to have some excessive tissue in his mouth and he probably can't breath properly when his mouth is closed. His airway is right there below that bit of tissue he's biting. He probably does his best to hide it at the vets and when you look too closely.
I have no idea what it is from but for the vet to get a good look in there you will either need to have him scanned or sedated or both. @jannb has had some experience with this. Maybe she can recommend a more experienced vet.


Okay would I just message her to ask?And the gum line he is biting down on is always the top gum.. would that still effect his airway if it is the top gum? Sorry if that's a stupid question.


And it does almost look as if it swells up now that you mention that..
It's like its puffy and then it almost like shrinks back in when he tries to put it back in his mouth. I dont know how else to explain it.


Staff member
I'm just speculating that the extra tissue is blocking the airway it could just be too painful to keep his mouth closed. Either way someone needs to take a good look in there, more of a look than just him hissing.


Any advise on what I can do for his shedding issues or do you think this all ties together somewhere with whatever is going on with his mouth?
The 3 spikes under his chin have had shed stuck on them for a long time. I tried q-tip with warm water several times and boosted humidy with warm sprays and it's not budging.
Anything that I can give him to make him feel better?


Staff member
There is the possibility that he has a vitamin deficiency and the swollen tissue you are seeing is part of that. You could try giving him one dose of vitamin A supplement (retinol). Some people hav given their chameleons a small amount smeared on the back of a single feeder. You have to be careful because given top much too often can be toxic.
What are the new vitamins you ordered? They may have retinol vitamin A.


I ordered miner-all both with and without d3 and I was actually thinking vitamin defenciy! I wanted to get either calcium plus or the one with lod to maybe help with that. What would you suggest lod right?


Chameleon Enthusiast
Dr. Greek is excellent with chameleons if you can get him down there.
Dr. Stein has moved, you can google him and see where he’s at. He’s good too.


Attila Molnar, DVM *
All Animals Medical Center, Calabasas, California - (818) 591-2773

Geoffrey Stein, DVM *
Shipp's Animal Hospital, 351 Foothill Blvd., Beverly Hills - (310) 550-0101

Daniel Reimer, DVM *
Adler Veterinary Clinic, North Hills, California - (818) 893-6366

Thomas H. Boyer, DVM
Pet Hospital of Penasquitos, 888-F Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA - (858) 484-3490
Pet Hospital of Penasquitos

Todd R. Cecil, DVM
Pet Emergency and Specialty Center, Chula Vista, CA (619) 591-4802 and La Mesa, CA (619) 462-4800

Tom Greek, DVM
Greek & Associates Veterinary Hospital, 23687 Via Del Rio, Yorba Linda - (714) 463-1190 or (866) 940-7028
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