Please Help Sick Veiled Cham

torij28

New Member
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? We have the ZooMed Reptibreeze cage and have had her in it since we got her. Screen cage 24” x 24” x 48” Could you post a picture of the entire enclosure, including the bottom and the lights, it'd be really helpful! Also previously stated, the moss sticks and vines and bridge need to go, they can cause health issues. She does need a lay bin in her cage, I've attached a lay bin chart below! She needs to have veiled-tested live plants only (that are properly cleaned off, repotted in organic soil without chemical fertilizers, and the soil covered with rocks too big for her to eat), no fake plants or fake vines with leaves on them. Safe vines are live ones or real dead ones. It's preferred to use real vines only, but if you have to, something like Fluker's could work (just make sure to take it out or replace it once it starts to tear and wear down). I've attached a link for real dead vines below. Live vines are plants like pothos and such that you can hang near the top and weave their vines through branches. No Exo Terra vines, either. Her cage should be full of branches (none from any toxic or sap-producing trees) with vines weaving through them and full of live plants, too, with a proper lay bin at the bottom. The substrate needs to be taken out of the bottom of her cage. Her cage should be bare bottom with a drainage system installed underneath the cage. Once you get everything corrected and her back to health, you can start to look into bioactive enclosures if you want to. We’re going to completely redo her cage tomorrow after we gather everything that we need, so all the moss, fake plants and substrate will be gone.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? We have the Reptisun 5 UVB and we turn it on when we wake up around 9/10 am and turn it off at night around 10/11pm Is the ReptiSun 5.0 UVB bulb a T8 or T5 High Output linear bulb or a compact fluorescent? How old is it, and how many inches away is the UVB bulb from her basking branch? Do you use a heat bulb? We have the T5 compact and I believe it’s only a few months old, but we’re getting her the T8 5% reptisun lamp tomorrow as well. Her basking branch was probably about 10 inches away from her bulb. We have the double screw in light and the second bulb is the zoomed blue daylight.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? We live in Las Vegas so it’s fairly hot in our rooms, typically it stays at mid or high 80’s during the day and at night it ranges from low to high 70’s maybe even a few degrees lower If you could get her room down to 80*F, that'd be really awesome! Preferably, a female veiled's basking spot should be 78-80*F (measured with a digital thermometer with a probe, with the probe placed where the top of her back is when she's on her basking branch). If you could get her night temps lower, it'd be amazing, as well! How are you measuring her temps? It’s been warmer here in Vegas so our room has been a lot warmer too but it has been starting to cool down and her cage has been in the lower 80s. We have a probe thermometer that we use to measure her temps.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? We use a humidifier and put distilled water in it to keep her cage humidified, it measures the humidity for her and has been at 50-65% Look at my feedback in the watering section. What are you using to measure her humidity?We don’t have anything to measure her humidity besides the automatic humidity measurer that is apart of our humidifier.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? We have fake vines in there for her that she used to hide under but she never goes under it anymore, we also have moss sticks and a moss bridge, no live plants. I was thinking of getting her a pothos to put in there for her. Look at my feedback in the cage section. Make sure to choose veiled-tested plants from The Chameleon Academy's list.
  • 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? Her cage is by the window in our room, no fans or vents blow towards her. She is on top of this tall wood shelf and she looks over the room so we don’t tower over her at all, not even to feed her. Can she see her reflection in the window? Is the window energy-efficient or does it change the temps near it? She can’t see her reflection, she’s not directly in front of our window. It changed the temps near it.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Las Vegas NV
  • Current Problem - It’s been about a few weeks since I noticed that she hasn’t really been herself and I was able to see that she’s been having eye problems, we were able to rinse out her left eye but her right eye is completely shut but she opens it every now and then barely. I’ve also noticed that she will only use her back legs and not her front legs, she just kind of lays on them and she doesn’t really grip with them anymore, when we take her out to force feed her and give her some water we try to rinse out her eyes with the Repta Eye Rinse but she closes them too quickly or closes them when she feels the eye drops fall on her eye. She is constantly sleeping at the bottom of her cage and doesn’t really move, when we place her on the moss bridge she starts to fall over almost instantly so we move her back to the bottom. I’ve been reading all of the forums on here and trying my best to help her but I think I still need some help from the experts on what her problem is. :( We don’t really have any vets around here that are experienced in reptilian care either so I’m hoping maybe you guys could maybe give me any kind of clue as to what she’s going through. I’ve added some pictures from today of her after her feeding, her left eye seems to be fine but her right eye is still shut. Any response would be great. Thank you!
Here's the vine link:
https://www.neherpetoculture.com/woodvines

And here's the helpful links and images:
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Great! With the black soldier fly larvae, you want to either kill it or poke a hole in it because there’s been cases of them being pooped out whole and alive, which obviously isn’t giving the cham any nutrients. You don’t have to do that for other feeders. A cool-mist humidifier is good as long as it’s used properly. You can use it in intervals during the coldest parts of the night to help boost hydration (as long as there is enough ventilation and it’s at or colder than 65*F- you can go up to 67*F, but it’s pushing it). If you do use it (I would wait until she gets healthy again if you decide to continue to use it), make sure everything (including the humidifier, any tubes, and all accessories) is thoroughly cleaned at least once a week. If it came with tubes and they’re crinkly, you’ll want to replace them with either PVC pipe or vinyl tubing to help keep things more hygienic. You’d place the end of the output tube at/near the top of her cage so the fog rolls down
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay, so you’ll want the T5 High Output fixture and T5 HO Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 linear UVB bulb, not a T8. The distance from the bulb to basking branch needs to be 8-9 inches. The bulb needs to be aligned over her basking branch. As for her heat bulb, it should be a white incandescent bulb, also placed 8-9 inches away from her basking branch. If you could tilt the fixture holding the heat bulb so it shines onto the basking branch where the UVB is, it’d be even better! You’ll want to get some digital hygrometers or digital hygrometer/thermometer combos. I use 3 combos placed up top near the basking area, in the middle, and at the bottom of the cage, with a wired probe digital thermometer at basking.
 

torij28

New Member
You said..." i’ll get her a golden pothos and a money tree since they’re accessible to me right now and i’ll also check the links for more plants and vines"...make sure you wash the plants well...both sides of the leaves before putting them in the cage.
Stones that you use to cover the soil should be definitely too big for the chameleon to swallow.

You said..."sorry, i don’t know what you mean by “full enclosure lights down” but if you can explain i can take a picture for you"...we want to see the whole cage from the top to npbottom including the lights on the top of the cage. See post #28, flick boy, in this thread to see what we're looking for.

Your chameleon had definitely got MBD. It's the result of an imbalance in the nutrients in the chameleon's diet and incorrect UVB lighting, etc. To fix it you need to supplement with a liquid calcium from the vets until the bones are strong again and get the husbandry righ/fixed....and it won't likely correct any deformities or other issues depending on how bad the damage is..but she should be ok.

Vitamin A, D3, phos, calcium need to be in balance which is why we supplement the way we do. Phos free calcium lightly at all feedings each week but one. On the one day you don't use it, you alternate between a phos free calcium/D3 powder lightly and a vitamin powder lightly without D3 but with a prEformed source of vitamin A. PrEformed vitamin A and D3 from supplements can build up in the system and lead to health issues so it's better to produce the D3 from exposure to the UVB light or direct sunlight...and be careful not to over do the vitamin A/vitamin supplement.
We recommend using either an Arcadia 6% or a reptisun 5.0 long linear tube UVB light not a compact.

Once her bones are back to strong again and the other systems are back on track, the liquid calcium can be stopped but the 3 supplements need to be continued.

Proper feeding/gutloading of the insects is important too.
For crickets, locusts, roaches, etc we recommend a wide variety of greens such as dandelions, kale, collards, endive and veggies such as zucchini, sweet red peppers, carrots, squash, sweet potato, etc and a very small amount of apple, pear, berries.

Appropriate temperatures will aid in digestion as well. For females the temperature is particularly important...see reproduction for further info on that.

Being a female you also have reproductive issues to deal with.
Female veiled chameleons can produce eggs once they are sexually mature (get their big girl colors) even without a make being around. If she's overfeed once she is approaching maturity she very likely will produce way too many eggs, may develop MBD, may prolapse, develop follicular stasis, eggbinding, etc. She should only get about 4 or 5 crickets 2 or 3 times a week....or equivalent calories in other insects.. Keeping the temperature at 80F will be important too.

Controlling the temperature and diet will help keep the number of eggs lower or even stop it altogether....and your female should live much longer.
It's important to keep an egglaying bin in the cage at all times.

Hope this helps!
Thank you so much, this was very helpful! I’ll update you all with the changes we’ve made tomorrow. I was wondering though if you guys had recommendations for the supplements you’ve listed so I know i’m getting the correct ones?
 

torij28

New Member
Great! With the black soldier fly larvae, you want to either kill it or poke a hole in it because there’s been cases of them being pooped out whole and alive, which obviously isn’t giving the cham any nutrients. You don’t have to do that for other feeders. A cool-mist humidifier is good as long as it’s used properly. You can use it in intervals during the coldest parts of the night to help boost hydration (as long as there is enough ventilation and it’s at or colder than 65*F- you can go up to 67*F, but it’s pushing it). If you do use it (I would wait until she gets healthy again if you decide to continue to use it), make sure everything (including the humidifier, any tubes, and all accessories) is thoroughly cleaned at least once a week. If it came with tubes and they’re crinkly, you’ll want to replace them with either PVC pipe or vinyl tubing to help keep things more hygienic. You’d place the end of the output tube at/near the top of her cage so the fog rolls down
I’ll make sure to poke a hole in them next time, thank you so much! I’ll discontinue the use of the humidifier for now until I can see that she’s getting better.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
How do I gutload? Sorry, I’m not too familiar with it.
Okay, so gutloading means you’re feeding your feeder insects a healthy diet so they are more nutritious for your chameleon. There are two methods:
1) feed the healthiest and most nutritious foods 24/7 and hope the feeders have enough gutload in them (easiest and a lot of people do this)
2) feed the colonies/bins a lesser quality food and separating the feeders you’ll feed out the night before and using the higher quality gutload on them so they’re completely full of gutload when you feed them off (it’s a little more work, but it gives me peace of mind- lots of people do this, as well).

Here’s the gutload chart again, what you’ll want to do is get as many ingredients as possible from this list, blend and mix them all together in the proper ratios, then pour into molds (you can add Kosher gelatin or Agar-Agar to help the molds keep their shape and add some more moisture). Once it’s set, feed off the molds and freeze the extra!
chameleon-gutload 2.jpg
 

torij28

New Member
Okay, so gutloading means you’re feeding your feeder insects a healthy diet so they are more nutritious for your chameleon. There are two methods:
1) feed the healthiest and most nutritious foods 24/7 and hope the feeders have enough gutload in them (easiest and a lot of people do this)
2) feed the colonies/bins a lesser quality food and separating the feeders you’ll feed out the night before and using the higher quality gutload on them so they’re completely full of gutload when you feed them off (it’s a little more work, but it gives me peace of mind- lots of people do this, as well).

Here’s the gutload chart again, what you’ll want to do is get as many ingredients as possible from this list, blend and mix them all together in the proper ratios, then pour into molds (you can add Kosher gelatin or Agar-Agar to help the molds keep their shape and add some more moisture). Once it’s set, feed off the molds and freeze the extra!
View attachment 308121
great, thank you so much again!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay, so each one of those needs more items bought with it. The Zoo Med needs calcium with D3 and a multivitamin without D3 (it does have preformed Vitamin A, which the Miner-All line doesn’t). The Miner-All needs the Vit-All gutload with it
 

Snuits

Chameleon Enthusiast
Great! With the black soldier fly larvae, you want to either kill it or poke a hole in it because there’s been cases of them being pooped out whole and alive, which obviously isn’t giving the cham any nutrients. You don’t have to do that for other feeders. A cool-mist humidifier is good as long as it’s used properly. You can use it in intervals during the coldest parts of the night to help boost hydration (as long as there is enough ventilation and it’s at or colder than 65*F- you can go up to 67*F, but it’s pushing it). If you do use it (I would wait until she gets healthy again if you decide to continue to use it), make sure everything (including the humidifier, any tubes, and all accessories) is thoroughly cleaned at least once a week. If it came with tubes and they’re crinkly, you’ll want to replace them with either PVC pipe or vinyl tubing to help keep things more hygienic. You’d place the end of the output tube at/near the top of her cage so the fog rolls down
How do you kill them I need to do this lol. Or poke a whole ... gross. But I'm gonna lol
 
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