Possibly Sick Veiled Chameleon

Sabriel13

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled Chameleon, about 2 months I believe. He has been in my care a little over 2 weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Only when absolutely necessary for cage cleaning.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I am currently feeding crickets, 10-20 a day. The feeders are gut loaded with Flukers Orange Cube
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I use Repti calcium with every feeding, once a week i use the kind with D3. I also used Reptivite with every feeding.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I have the little dripper and i see him drink from it. I also have a fogger that mists for 30 mins every hour and a half.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? His fecal matter is brown and solid. His urates are white with a tiny bit of yellow on the end. He has not been tested for parasites
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. When he was purchased he spent a lot of time pretty out in the open. We recently noticed spots of mold on the branches in his enclosure. We took out those branches and replaced them with wood we whittled and washed from outside. We also added some new fake plants and leaves. Today when i came home from work he was sleeping under the new leaves. He also slept a tiny bit during the day yesterday but then he was up and moving around as normal after that. I know it is either a sign of stress or sickness that he s sleeping during the day.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? I have a screen cage. It is 30in tall x 16in deep x 16in wide
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? The lights i have are by Zoo Med. The heat light is 150w (anything lower and with my central AC it wouldn't be warm enough. I also have a UVB bulb. The heat bulb runs 24/7 and the UVB runs from 8am-10pm
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I recently bought a new probe temp/humidity meter by zoo med. The basking spot is around 90 and the bottom of the cage is 70. The house is pretty well controlled and I havent seen much of a dip in temperature at night.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure the humidity? I use a fogger and it is on for 1/2 an hour on a low setting and then off for an hour. I also have the little dripper and I used to hand mist before the fogger. I am unsure if my new probe is working correctly, as when the fogger is on it measures in the 80 to high 80% humidity and when the fogger is off the humidity drops to around 45%
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?I am currently using fake plants as i've heard the chameleon will eat dirt or pebbles i try to grow them in.
  • 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? The cage is near the corner kind of tucked away and I have wrapped a sheet around 3/4 of the cage. His cage is on a half book case so the top of his cage is about 5 1/2 feet from the ground. I do have a humidifier i also run near his cage because the climate here is insanely dry.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I am located in Denver Colorado

This is my first chameleon. His name is Clamps and i would really like to provide the best I can for him. Thank you all for any help.
 

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Thatwizard420

Avid Member
she/he Might not like that red light, Also all light should be 12 hours with and without. They need total darkness to sleep.
Try to give him calcium without D3 every feeding, With D3 every 2 Weeks, And Multivitamins (Reptivite) With Vit A every 2 Weeks also. For Basking Light, Use a regular incandescent house bulb. Try to aim for 100% humidity when he is crashed out, and around 30-60 during day when basking light is on.
 
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi Sabriel. I’m new to chameleons and have limited knowledge, especially with younger chameleons. I do see a few changes that you can make though. I’m going to throw a good amount of changes at you but don’t get overwhelmed. They all don’t need to be made in one day. It’s a process. :)
The biggest thing I see is lighting. If you are using the compact UVB in the dome, that will not provide adequate levels. You will need to get a linear UVB light...T5 with a 5.0 bulb. You don’t need a heat bulb for night. It’s fine and normal for the temperature to drop at night. For daytime heat you can use just a regular incandescent bulb. The correct UVB is the first and most important thing for you to tend to.
I really don’t know about your humidity levels, but I’m thinking yours may be a bit high. Or perhaps it’s more that it sounds like your enclosure is too wet. I run a mister for 3 minutes four times a day. You want the enclosure to be able to dry out in between misting. Excessive moisture plus heat grows bacteria. If your fogger is more of a humidifier, most run those for a few hours at night when it’s cooler. A great way to boost your humidity is putting in some live plants. Veileds tend to nibble the leaves so make sure they are safe. Pothos are great and as they grow provide lots of little cham highways. Use at least 1” or larger river rocks on top of the plant soil to prevent your guy from eating the dirt.
Crickets are ok, but veileds like variety just like we do. Silkworms, roaches and BSFL are great additions to his main diet. I bought the orange cubes too. They aren’t good for gutloading. Fresh fruits, veggies and leafy greens are better and there are commercial preparations like Repashy bug burger that are great.
Eventually you’ll be needing to get a much larger enclosure for him. 2x2x4 is usually the minimum for male veileds. You could add some more vines and sticks, especially in the top half of the enclosure. Give him more roads to travel and they like to have a hiding place. They are private little tree dwellers in nature.
Last but certainly not least and perhaps the most important of all. There could be many reasons why your guy is sleeping during the day. It is not normal for them to do this. I strongly suggest finding a good vet who is experienced with chameleons and take him in for a check and make sure to get a fecal done too.
There is a lot of great info in the forums. Start with looking under resources and you’ll find the basics.
Do make sure to ask as many questions as you need and keep us posted with everything.
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:


This is my first chameleon. His name is Clamps and i would really like to provide the best I can for him. Thank you all for any help.
Hi there and welcome. I am going to go through all the info you provided. See my feedback in red bold. :)

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled Chameleon, about 2 months I believe. He has been in my care a little over 2 weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Only when absolutely necessary for cage cleaning.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I am currently feeding crickets, 10-20 a day. The feeders are gut loaded with Flukers Orange Cube This is not an adequate gutload. I will provide an image for you. When we gutload we are feeding a diverse variety of green leafy veg or a commercial gutload. We do this to transfer the nutrient to the cham not feed the bugs. :)
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I use Repti calcium with every feeding, once a week i use the kind with D3. I also used Reptivite with every feeding. Ok I would toss all of these and get Repashy Calcium Plus LoD. Use this and only this at every feeding. If you want to stick with multiple supplements you will want to follow this schedule. Calcium with D3 2 times a month, Multivitamin (reptivite) 2 times a month. You will rotate these two week over week. Then at every other feeding you will use the Calcium WITHOUT D3.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I have the little dripper and i see him drink from it. I also have a fogger that mists for 30 mins every hour and a half. Ok so the fogger should only be run at night. Heat with moisture creates an environment where they can get a Respiratory infection. You will want to either get a Mistking for automatic mistings or a pressurized hand misting bottle. I will give you a link to a great podcast on Naturalistic hydration.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? His fecal matter is brown and solid. His urates are white with a tiny bit of yellow on the end. He has not been tested for parasites. Go ahead and see if you have a reptile vet and see if they will let you take in a fresh fecal. It is better to be safe and know that he does not have any parasites.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. When he was purchased he spent a lot of time pretty out in the open. We recently noticed spots of mold on the branches in his enclosure. We took out those branches and replaced them with wood we whittled and washed from outside. We also added some new fake plants and leaves. Today when i came home from work he was sleeping under the new leaves. He also slept a tiny bit during the day yesterday but then he was up and moving around as normal after that. I know it is either a sign of stress or sickness that he s sleeping during the day. I think the mold is due to the cage not being able to dry out during the day with the fogging. The sleeping during the day is more then likely directly related to keeping the heat light on 24/7.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? I have a screen cage. It is 30in tall x 16in deep x 16in wide You will need to upgrade the cage to a 2x2x4 by the time he is about 7 months old.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? The lights i have are by Zoo Med. The heat light is 150w (anything lower and with my central AC it wouldn't be warm enough. I also have a UVB bulb. The heat bulb runs 24/7 and the UVB runs from 8am-10pm Ok so 150 watt is really high. How far away is his basking branch. I am guessing the UVB bulb is a screw in bulb so you will need to ditch this and get a T5HO linear fixture and a 5.0 UVB bulb for it. I would go ahead and get a 24inch length fixture because you will need to upgrade the cage size by the time he is about 7 months old. You will want your basking branch about 8 inches below the new UVB fixture to get the correct UVB levels. They are ok with temps down to 50 degrees. They actually need the cool off. So you need to have both the heat and UVB lighting on for 12 hours only. Get a timer for these to kick on and off at the same time each day. No red bulbs.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I recently bought a new probe temp/humidity meter by zoo med. The basking spot is around 90 and the bottom of the cage is 70. The house is pretty well controlled and I havent seen much of a dip in temperature at night. Temp is too hot for a young guy. You want to have it at 85 max at basking. At night it can drop as low as 50 degrees.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure the humidity? I use a fogger and it is on for 1/2 an hour on a low setting and then off for an hour. I also have the little dripper and I used to hand mist before the fogger. I am unsure if my new probe is working correctly, as when the fogger is on it measures in the 80 to high 80% humidity and when the fogger is off the humidity drops to around 45% So during the day you are needing a 30-50% max humidity level for a Veiled. At night is when you want to run the fogger. Say between the hours of 1am-5am on high. That is when they need a high humidity level. The podcast goes into more detail. The fogger does not make up for misting. They need the opportunity to clean their eyes.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?I am currently using fake plants as i've heard the chameleon will eat dirt or pebbles i try to grow them in. You can use live plants like pothos and dwarf umbrellas just cover the top of the dirt with 1inch river rock and he will not be able to get to the dirt. They love pothos!
  • 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? The cage is near the corner kind of tucked away and I have wrapped a sheet around 3/4 of the cage. His cage is on a half book case so the top of his cage is about 5 1/2 feet from the ground. I do have a humidifier i also run near his cage because the climate here is insanely dry.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I am located in Denver Colorado

This is my first chameleon. His name is Clamps and i would really like to provide the best I can for him. Thank you all for any help

Naturalistic Hydration. And all of Bill's podcasts are wonderful. https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/

Caresheet for your cham https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

Let us know if you have any questions. I know this can be overwhelming but just take it piece by piece. Heat lamp off at night is the first thing. Getting the proper UVB lighting is the second along with correcting your supplementing. Then you need to correct the hydration aspect. Then start going through the other pieces of info that I gave feedback on. :) Welcome to the forum we are happy you are here!

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chameleon-gutload.jpg
 

Sabriel13

New Member
Thank you all so much for advice. I will be hitting my reptile store today to compare lighting options and I will definitely give him more time in the dark. I was so scared to turn off the heat lamp in case he froze in my air conditioned house but you have reassured me. I will also inquire about a good local vet for him. You guys are great for the advice and I will implement as much much as I can.
 

Sabriel13

New Member
Alrighty, so following your advice I immediately changed his light schedule and that alone got him back into being awake and alert all day. I got paid today and got him a UVB bar and a new purple light so it would be easier on his eyes, but I can feel the purple light isn't as warm on my hand although it is the same wattage. I also started putting kale in for the crickets to eat. I also bought some super worms, do I try to feed them kale and other greens as well? I started hand misting and he immediately started cleaning his eyes so now I see what you mean about that being the best way for him to stay clean. I also set the foggier settings to much lower during the day.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Alrighty, so following your advice I immediately changed his light schedule and that alone got him back into being awake and alert all day. I got paid today and got him a UVB bar and a new purple light so it would be easier on his eyes, but I can feel the purple light isn't as warm on my hand although it is the same wattage. I also started putting kale in for the crickets to eat. I also bought some super worms, do I try to feed them kale and other greens as well? I started hand misting and he immediately started cleaning his eyes so now I see what you mean about that being the best way for him to stay clean. I also set the foggier settings to much lower during the day.
Why purple?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Alrighty, so following your advice I immediately changed his light schedule and that alone got him back into being awake and alert all day. I got paid today and got him a UVB bar and a new purple light so it would be easier on his eyes, but I can feel the purple light isn't as warm on my hand although it is the same wattage. I also started putting kale in for the crickets to eat. I also bought some super worms, do I try to feed them kale and other greens as well? I started hand misting and he immediately started cleaning his eyes so now I see what you mean about that being the best way for him to stay clean. I also set the foggier settings to much lower during the day.
And your going to want to use more of the leafy vegis for gutload not just kale. You need a mixture. Why are you still using the fogger during the day?
 

Sabriel13

New Member
And your going to want to use more of the leafy vegis for gutload not just kale. You need a mixture. Why are you still using the fogger during the day?
I will make sure to add a mixture of greens. I am using the fogger to keep it above 30% humidity, I am unsure of the humidity levels at this point. I have the cheapy one that sticks to the screen and that measures low and then I have a more expensive zoo med probe and the humidity measures high. I am using purple light because I was told no red lights and the blue lights available at the stores I went to didn't not go up to a high enough wattage, and with my budget I didn't know if a ceramic bulb would have been a lot better. If you think I should do no fogger during the day I will try it out, but it's very dry here and I know lack of hydration is a quick chameleon killer, but I'm sure a respiratory ailment would be terrible as well. Thank you for the help and insight.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I will make sure to add a mixture of greens. I am using the fogger to keep it above 30% humidity, I am unsure of the humidity levels at this point. I have the cheapy one that sticks to the screen and that measures low and then I have a more expensive zoo med probe and the humidity measures high. I am using purple light because I was told no red lights and the blue lights available at the stores I went to didn't not go up to a high enough wattage, and with my budget I didn't know if a ceramic bulb would have been a lot better. If you think I should do no fogger during the day I will try it out, but it's very dry here and I know lack of hydration is a quick chameleon killer, but I'm sure a respiratory ailment would be terrible as well. Thank you for the help and insight.
So the analog ones do not work. I run two digital ones on mine to get a more accurate idea of the levels. You really do not want to run the fogger into the cage during the day because you are mixing wet air with heat this gives you a risk for a respiratory infection. We have quite a few members in Denver area. They either run a fogger during the day in the room where the cham is or they wrap 3 sides of the cage with plastic to keep the humidity more stable. I will tag them here to give you more advice on humidity for Denver. @Daesie11 @CamoChameleonsHuman

As far as the light. No colored bulbs. All you need is a regular household incandescent bulb. Pick the wattage to get the appropriate temp. This is an inexpensive and good way to provide heat. Just make sure it is not an LED bulb.

Great job on making changes. Let us know if you have additional questions. :)
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi! I didn't read any of this post other than what @Beman an said so forgive me if I repeat something.
To keep up my humidity I do several things. I have a humidifier in the same room as my cham, NOT over the enclosure. I just have it to raise the overall humidity of the room and it does a dang good job. This is the one both myself and @CamoChameleonsHuman use :

LEVOIT Cool Mist Humidifier, 4.5L Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Bedroom and Babies, Large-Capacity Vaporizer for Large Room, Whisper-Quiet, Auto Shutoff, Lasts up to 40 Hours, 2-Year Warranty https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C96NK8P/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_VUtyDbWBCM4Q7
(Check it out, it even has free same day shipping if you have prime and let's be honest who doesnt have prime)

I also have 3 sides of my enclosure wrapped in a window insulation kit. I used to have the front door wrapped as well but this stuff works so well I was getting 80-90% humidity without even running a humidifier lol. I had to make adjustments and I found that 3 sides (with a few holes here and there) and a humdifier keeps me at the sweet spot of 35-50% humidity depending on how recent the last misting was. Window kit :

Duck Brand Indoor 5-Window Shrink Film Insulator Kit, 62-Inch x 210-Inch, 286217 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NHY1P0/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_9XtyDbMHS2E5P

That brings me to my misting schedule. My mistking goes off roughly every 3 hours for 2 minutes each. The leaves dry out after about an hour so that gives him 2 hours to dry out before the next mist. I also have a home made dripper set up so he always has access to water.

I use a fogger at night ONLY between 12am and 4am when the house is the coolest and the enclosure has cooled down as well. Like has been said above, absolutely do not use the fogger during the day :)
 
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