Possible MBD/something else or am I just freaking out?


New Member
Hi. I have a 4-5 month old female veiled chameleon. I've had a male veiled that lived 7 years before so I'm not a rookie at this but I never had any issues with him so I'm a little nervous.

First off, I've had her for about 3 months now. I have her in a Large ReptiBreeze screen terrarium. The temp is usually between 70-80 degrees and never lower than 60 at night. I spray her cage every 2-3 hours or so and she usually eats 80-100 medium crickets (free range) every week. I dust the crickets with ReptiCal Herptivite multi vitamins every week and add ReptiCal Calcium with D3 every other week. I have a UVB light and a basking light for her on a schedule of 8am to 8pm. In the 3 months that I've had her, she has shed 4 times and is getting big and coming into her colors gorgeously.

Last week (right before her 4th shed) she started being less active, resting her head down more and not eating as much as normal. I have found that this is normal behavior for her before she sheds. I also had given her a few waxworms a day as a treat the week before and she LOVED them. Now it's a few days after her shed and she's still a bit blah. She seems strong when I handle her and she will climb from the bottom of the cage up to the top with ease but she's just not as active as usual. I just want to catch anything as soon as possible. Also, one of her front legs looks a bit bowed to me. I've taken comparison pics of both front legs.

Any help would be wonderful and thank you in advance!


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Is 80 as hot as her basking temp goes?

If so, thats a little low. I would get it to closer to 83 or 84
Yes, 80 is usually as high as it goes.. I will try to make it a bit hotter for her. Thank you!:)
If shes just been blah, raising her temps shoudl help.

ALso, I dont know how many crix that breaks down to a day, but you should be mixing up what she eats with other bugs.
It averages out to be about 12-13 crickets per day. I was giving her 5-6 waxworms every day, too, which she loved until I found a rather large poop (dark brown-looked like 3 small balls kind of joined together), my thoughts are she was eating too much (she's REALLY fat) or maybe she was laying eggs. I investigated (smooshed and closely investigated and it turned out to be just poop. I also gently palpated her belly and felt nothing out of the ordinary). That was maybe a week ago. Her shed was about 3-4 days ago and usually she is her Miss Piggy (her nickname) self by now. Other than that one poop, all of the others have looked normal white/black. She also had been dragging her head. Kind of army crawling when she moves. She is able to lift her head though and doesn't seem weak at all. She doesn't drag her head all the time either.

Thank you for all of your help. I really appreciate it. I already changed to a higher wattage heating bulb for her. She's sun bathing now. lol
The arm does look a bit odd, but not necessairly mbd.

What do you supplement with again?

Waxworms are high in fat, I wouldnt feed those too often.

as she gets older, youll need to reduce her food.

When my female developed her spots (whcih mean she was sexually mature) her food was reduced to 3-6 bugs every other day.
Her supplementing schedule is a bit off. its recommended to dust food with calcium without d3 at nearly every feeding, calcium with d3 twice a month, and a multivitamin twice a month. since shes growing a lot right now she really needs the calcium for her growing bones to stay strong :)

one of her frount arms does look rather strange but im not going to diagonse it as i am not experienced enough!!
Thank you all so much for your reassurance and suggestions!

Zelda has since had a big drink and perked up a bit right after that. I think this last shed has taken a big toll on her as she just about doubled in size after. She is currently perched, head resting on her front "nanu-nanus" (as we call them-from Mork & Mindy:p) in the crook of a branch all ready for bed(her lights go off at 8pm-which is in 10 mins from now here in NY).

I'm just making sure I have it correctly. If I feed her free range crickets weekly, I should alternate every other week with Week 1- Regular Calcium, Week 2-Multi Vitamins & Calcium with D3. Is that correct? Even if the multivitamins I have (RepCal Herptivite) had straight Calcium(without D3)?
Your chameleon's left arm does not look right. It has am extra joint and that should not be there. You should be dusting your feeders with calcium with no d3 at every feeding. The other two twice monthly. Your Chan could have mbd
Welcome to the forums. Would you please post some more pictures of you chameleon especially where we can see the legs, front and back. I know you are not new but I have a few blogs for you. The first is general info for keeping chameleons with a special section and a link for females. The second is my egg laying blog and the third is a video by Dez on the laying bin. I hope you find them useful.
Thank you! I have read all those and watched the video (TWICE!) as soon as i realized she didn't have a spur and was a girl! lol. Zelda is sleeping now but I do have a few pictures from April 9th, April 30/May 1, and yesterday. The 2 pictures in my original post were from today right before I posted.

April 9th-

April 30(shed)/May 1(misted)-

May 5 (My cat was a kitten when my other cham was a tiny baby. They grew up together and he would even ride on her back, she would NEVER hurt her~just in case anyone was gasping at this pic)-

I will get more pictures and post an update tomorrow. I am a stay at home mom and I am very protective of my babies! Whether they have skin, fur, or scales!:eek:
Pictures from Today

I just took a bunch of pictures of Zelda from every angle and position I could.

I spread my fingers apart for this picture. She doesn't "stand" like this normally
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Normal Stance Top View
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Left Side
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Left Side

Right Side
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That's what I'm concerned with! :(
I've felt it and straightened it (gently, of course) and it didn't seem to agitate her at all. But if you look at one of my earlier comments with a bunch of pics, you can see that this "extra joint" seems to have developed within about 4 days. I pay VERY close attention to her and I'm a stay at home mom so I'm around all day. I just want her to be okay. She's my baby! :(
Zelda did eat a few crickets this morning (that I saw) but she's still not as active as usual. She's resting her head and basking A LOT. She also seems to be very thirsty even though I mist her and her terrarium every 2 hours (plus a little spritz on her in between if she looks thirsty).

I'm a bit worried and STUMPED.
:( :confused:
Okay, another picture. This one was taken about 1 minute ago. Now her front left arm doesn't look as bad and she's lifting her head a bit more. What do you all think?

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Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYONE'S HELP! I really appreciate it! It's so nice that complete strangers with a common love reach out to help others just for the sake of HELPING! <3 <3 <3
Yeah the left arm looks odd. If the arm seems to be improving, it could be some swelling at the joint. Have you felt whether the problem area is hard - like a bone, or soft - which may indicate swelling..?
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