Poor aim - gettin lazy?

Mark_C

Member
So, SAFP has gotten to the point where he couldn't hit the side of his enclosure from an inch away.
His aim is terrible.

I've read about the deficiencies, in particular B and Ca, but he's pretty healthy. UV is good, gut loaded dubia and crickets, free flying black flies, and the occasional hornworm or super worm. Ca without D daily, multis one every week or two. Excellent mobility, eyesight seems fine as he can see me from across the room, shedding semi regularly, and he's got a cage I'd like to live in.

But...
A few months ago he was hitting food from 8" or more away.
I feed him from a small bucket suspended from the side of the cage and over the past 2-3 months he's taken to actually crawling into it and just eats the insects off the bottom of it.

His aim is decreasing considerably. 3-4 weeks ago he was taking 2-3 shots to hit anything. A few nights ago he missed a super worm 6 times from about 5" away, every shot was high. Last night he made 1 attempt at a hornworm then just waited until I put it in the cup, and he crawled in.

I'm putting this down to general laziness. Anyone have any experience like this?
Any serious red flag I may be missing here?
 

DonKeesh

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would temporarily give him repashy LOD at every feeding and see if that helps. It could be him getting lazy also so make the food harder to reach or try a controlled release of the feeder in the cage. Also may want to skip a feeding or two and see how that affects things. Hopefully it's not a tongue or eye issue. Also maybe try a wild caught prey item... Something he can't resist like a grasshopper or catydid. I usually get the most aggressive feeding response and best trick shots that way haha.

It is possible for them to damage their tongue have you ever seen anything that would suggest he injured it?
 

Mark_C

Member
Interesting. I haven't seen any indication of injury but that doesn't mean it isn't there. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll use them all and if no improvement I'll drag him hissing to the vet. Wouldn't hurt to have a checkup anyways.
 

Tkrd69

Avid Member
Mine will hit a superworm from across the enclosure. He loves them, crickets he gets closer to them.
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
What brands of supplements do you use?

And injuries can happen, most likely from a slight Vit A deficiency. I would hold off on giving a feeder insect that he can't resist since he will miss it anyways. It's not that he is lazy, he is trying his best to hit the target. It's just that he can't hit it for some reason or another.

The problem with tongue injuries is that there are multiple causes. One cause could be that a feeder insect had exceptional grip (e.g. hornworm) and held onto the branch, causing the chameleon to strain his/her tongue. Another reason is Vit A deficiency. Vit A deficiency (as well as strained tongues) messes up their eye-tongue coordination. A chameleon with Vit A deficiency may miss its target several times, and even hit other objects, causing strains on the tongue anyways.

The first thing to do is let the chameleon rest his tongue for a few days. Then once the tongue has recovered a little, supply your chameleon with Vit A on a feeder insect. I found reptivite with D3 to work exceptionally well with Vit A deficiency. Use it twice a month for panthers.

Are you feeding your feeder insects with high-quality food?

Also, just a note, Vit A deficiency and Vit A overdose, from what I've read, cause similar symptoms. Providing a multivitamin every 1 to 2 weeks for a panther should be fine (tho every week may be a little overkill in my opinion for any chameleon including panthers). Though panthers are less likely to have noticeable Vit A overdose issues. I mainly wanted to include this paragraph for people keeping other species of chameleons that are more sensitive. If you have a chameleon that is sensitive and want to switch to Reptivite with d3, start with one dusting per month, but if symptoms continue, up it to two per month. If symptoms continue, there is most likely something else at play that needs to be fixed.
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
Summary, rest the tongue first and foremost. The more they shoot and miss, the worse their aim gets. It's definitely not laziness, but the problem should correct itself with time. I have delt with this issue with my jackson's chameleon a few years ago. He is still going strong and has excellent aim.
 

Mark_C

Member
Bulb is an Arcadia 6%, 5mos old. Daily dust is the Flukers Ca without D3. Bi-week is the Flukers Reptile Vitamin with Beta Carotene.
And here’s a few pics (just finished a shed):
75D5B879-DB73-48D3-A74D-73DC973F8814.jpeg


87077242-A8EB-4FC4-8203-E2178B99EFD9.jpeg
 

DonKeesh

Chameleon Enthusiast
He beautiful! I will let someone with more knowledge of flukers respond but I don't believe it has a preformed vit A. I would switch to repashy or arcadia.
 

Mark_C

Member
There are 2x 1w red bulbs up there in a LED grow fixture for the plants, which he is directly under in that pic. They're not that powerful, but he does have a lot of red/orange facial colors they're accentuating.
Heat lamp is white light at approx 83.

EDIT: LOOKS LIKE TONGUE DAMAGE :(
I held a superworm directly in front of him. His eyes are locked on, his nose is straight, but his tongue is leaving his mouth at an angle.
Its up about 10 degrees and its deviating to the left a few mm.
He just took about 3 shots at it (then I just handed it too him), all with the exact same trajectory on the miss.
He's been hunting blackflies. Guessing he may have missed one and got a branch or the tank wall or something.

Will take previous advice and give the tongue a rest, remove any flies from enclosure, change up supplements, and shift from a pro-A (beta carotene) to a pure vitamin A.
Any further thoughts or advice appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are 2x 1w red bulbs up there in a LED grow fixture for the plants, which he is directly under in that pic. They're not that powerful, but he does have a lot of red/orange facial colors they're accentuating.
I´m not 100% convinced to rule these out. Colored lights do effect their eyes and 1w led can already be a lot. The outside of my house is lightened with 6 x 3,5w led lights, therefore 1w can already be bright. I´m guessing the zoomed led/uvb fixture?

I would also test if this anything to do with it, by turning them off for a few weeks and see of it changes behavior. In principal it´s advised to not use any colored lights whatsoever with chameleons.
 

MzLaurie11

Avid Member
There are 2x 1w red bulbs up there in a LED grow fixture for the plants, which he is directly under in that pic. They're not that powerful, but he does have a lot of red/orange facial colors they're accentuating.
Heat lamp is white light at approx 83.

EDIT: LOOKS LIKE TONGUE DAMAGE :(
I held a superworm directly in front of him. His eyes are locked on, his nose is straight, but his tongue is leaving his mouth at an angle.
Its up about 10 degrees and its deviating to the left a few mm.
He just took about 3 shots at it (then I just handed it too him), all with the exact same trajectory on the miss.
He's been hunting blackflies. Guessing he may have missed one and got a branch or the tank wall or something.

Will take previous advice and give the tongue a rest, remove any flies from enclosure, change up supplements, and shift from a pro-A (beta carotene) to a pure vitamin A.
Any further thoughts or advice appreciated.
My previous veiled was disabled which went unnoticed until i rescued. The targeting was off to the right. It wasnot the tongue but the eye muscle had been damaged in a breeder injury. The vet explainef to me that when they are growing they have more energy and are always on the hunt. Howerver once full grown the need to feed lessens and if there are issues they become noticable. he pretty much had to be hand fed which allowed him to trust me a lot more. His fav was hornworms cause they are easy to grab. Good!uck i hope you figure thus out.
 
Top Bottom