Postpartum depression

lucimirka

Member
Hi,

my girl laid her first eggs ever (5 days ago; unfertilized). There was no problem with laying. She had peace (towel over the cage), lots of room to dig... The whole laying process took her 1-2 days. From the view (the lid of the cage; I have attached a photo), the eggs looked "nice". She is tired from the clutch and I would also say that she may be apathetic (which is understandable), but I would just like to know if she is okay or if I can take her do something more to make her feel better.

She's been drinking a lot since lying, so I don't think she's dehydrated. She also eats, but less than before (now 3-4 crickets a day).

Now she also has a problem that someone is looking at her (I left the towel over the terrarium, otherwise she didn't want to eat). She also acts protectively and territorially over her laying peat.

Just wondering if this is normal and what to do. Also tips on how to remove unfertilized eggs.

Thanks a lot!


Chameleon info:
  • My chameleon - Veiled cham; female; 6 ½ months; in my care since February 2024
  • Handling - sometimes; she climbs by herself in my hands
  • Feeding - crickets; 5-7 crickets a day; I am feeding my feeders veggies (fresh every day); water gel and oats
  • Supplements - ReptiPlanet
    • Calcium - 100% clear calcium - it is just calcium so I use it 4x times a week
    • Multivitamin - D3, A, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, biotin, folic, choline chloride, minerals: Fe, Co, Mn, Cu, Zn, I, Se → 1-2x times a month
  • Watering - 2x times a day
  • Fecal Description - every other day; sometimes every day, dark brown color; about 2 pieces of poop and one big piece of ,,urea" - slightly yellowish/white; has not been tested for parasites

Cage info:
  • Cage type - glass cage with sandstone background, cleaning every sunday, dimensions - height 100 cm/39,9 inches, width 80 cm/31,5 inches
  • Lighting
    • UVB - Arcadia PRO T5 UVB Kit 6% UVB
    • Heating bulb - 25 W - ReptiPlanet
      • schedule (both bulbs) - 7 am ->7 pm
  • Temperature
    • cage floor - 21 C/69,8 F
    • Basking spot - 27-28 C/ 81-82 F
    • Lowest overnight temp - 19-20 C/ 66-68 F
  • Humidity
    • daytime - around 30-40 %
    • night - around 80-90%
    • measuring with ReptiPlanet digital thermometer and hygrometer
  • Plants - live plants only
    • Orchid
    • Monstera
    • Ficus
      • plants transplanted into non-toxic peat
      • before I gave them to my cham they were carefully cleaned with water and quarantined for a month (separated from my other plants in the house)
  • Placement - in the living room (we are not there much often, so she has a peace and space to relax)
    • ventilation - holes in the top of the cage and around 20 cm/ 7 inches from the cage floor
    • cage is placed 40cm/15 inches above living room floor, so the top of the cage is 140 cm/55 inches relative to my living room floor
  • Location- Central Europe
 

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I’m not an expert with females, but from what I’ve seen on here, it sounds like normal behavior. They are very tired after laying and take a few days to recover. It’s normal for her to drink a lot. I’m not positive on how long these symptoms last so I’ll tag in someone who knows females. @MissSkittles how long does this typically last?

Do you know how many eggs she laid?
 
Thanks for reply. I do not know the number of eggs because she is watching over them and acts offensive when I look or even come closer to her enclosure.
 
This is mostly normal I would leave her alone so she can Cover up her holes that she made. Its good she getting water and eating just keep a eye on her just in case.
 
This is mostly normal I would leave her alone so she can Cover up her holes that she made. Its good she getting water and eating just keep a eye on her just in case.
okay, i was just curious... it was our first time laying eggs so for both of us it is new experience.
 
This is mostly normal I would leave her alone so she can Cover up her holes that she made. Its good she getting water and eating just keep a eye on her just in case.
okay and do I have to do it secretly like so she would not see me digging or can I just dig them? I do not want to cause trauma or something...
 
When you do dig them up, let us know how many. You can reduce clutch size with diet and temperature adjustments. The larger the clutch size, the harder it is on them, so we try to reduce it.
 
Hi! :) Laying eggs really takes a great deal out of our little ladies and it can take a couple of days to recover and return to her normal behavior. Has she covered her eggs? If not, then she is not finished. To the best of my knowledge, chams aren’t protective of their eggs after laying. Once they do their job of laying and covering their eggs, the eggs are on their own. Instead I’ll guess that she’s tired and cranky and just wants you to feed her and leave her alone. Just to avoid bothering my girl, I will remove the eggs at night when she’s asleep. I just pull the whole lay bin out if I can. It’s important to count the eggs to gauge how much success your attempts at reducing egg production is having. Yes, you can reduce or possibly even stop her egg production. Check out my blog. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/veiled-chameleon-laying-101.2488/ Regarding husbandry, the biggest thing I see is that the multivitamin/D3 needs to be given once every other week.
 
You said…”Now she also has a problem that someone is looking at her (I left the towel over the terrarium, otherwise she didn't want to eat). She also acts protectively and territorially over her laying peat”….no reason to leave the towel on if she is done laying. They are supposed to lay all the eggs at one sitting and fill the hole in….and return to the branches, hungry and thirsty. If this isn’t the way it goes then usually something is wrong.

You said…”Just wondering if this is normal and what to do. Also tips on how to remove unfertilized eggs”….keep an eye on her and if she is acting lethargic, sitting low in the cage, not eating, sleeping during the day, etc …then you will need to see a good chameleon vet before she declines too much to be able to be checked for egg retention and spayed.

You said…”I do not know the number of eggs because she is watching over them and acts offensive when I look or even come closer to her enclosure.”…It’s important to know the number of eggs…it will help to tell us if she is having reproductive issues and needs to see a vet or not and also if she needs changes made to her husbandry to lower the number of eggs so she won’t develop follicular stasis orr egg binding. I’ve always had a second identical lay bin and swapped them out quickly at night so she doesn’t even realize it’s happened.

@MissSkittles said…”To the best of my knowledge, chams aren’t protective of their eggs after laying. Once they do their job of laying and covering their eggs, the eggs are on their own”…exactly!

And she said…”Just to avoid bothering my girl, I will remove the eggs at night when she’s asleep. I just pull the whole lay bin out if I can.”…just like I’ve said to do.

I started back in the early 90’s to control egg production in veiled chameleons and have even been able to stop it completely. Many veiled females are lucky to escape reproductive issues enough to live a couple of years….almost every veiled female I had lived to be 6 or 7 years old and many did not produce eggs at all once I controlled their husbandry. They were not too skinny, not showing any signs of poor health… and did not become eggbound or suffer from follicular stasis. I know this because I took the bodies in for necropsy.

Hopefully your girl has not retained eggs…or if she has, you get her spayed before she declines to far to have it done.

@jannb can give you information about the spaying success, if you need it.
 
I would like to add that my girls are usually starving after laying eggs and eat everything offered. I feed them well for two to three days and then cut them back to their regular schedule of 2 to 3 bugs, depending on the size, 3 times a week. Once I had a female veiled that wouldn’t leave her laying bin alone after she laid eggs, so I removed it from her room. I’m afraid to tell you to do that incase your girl still has eggs.

In the past, I’ve had 6 girls spayed. If you are thinking of spaying, it’s best to do it when they are still strong and not weak. The most important thing is to have a really good vet with a lot of chameleon knowledge that has done this surgery successfully before…..many times before is best. Where do you live? I might be able to recommend a good vet.

Sean McCormack is a really good reptile vet if you live within driving distance to London.
 
You said…”Now she also has a problem that someone is looking at her (I left the towel over the terrarium, otherwise she didn't want to eat). She also acts protectively and territorially over her laying peat”….no reason to leave the towel on if she is done laying. They are supposed to lay all the eggs at one sitting and fill the hole in….and return to the branches, hungry and thirsty. If this isn’t the way it goes then usually something is wrong.

You said…”Just wondering if this is normal and what to do. Also tips on how to remove unfertilized eggs”….keep an eye on her and if she is acting lethargic, sitting low in the cage, not eating, sleeping during the day, etc …then you will need to see a good chameleon vet before she declines too much to be able to be checked for egg retention and spayed.

You said…”I do not know the number of eggs because she is watching over them and acts offensive when I look or even come closer to her enclosure.”…It’s important to know the number of eggs…it will help to tell us if she is having reproductive issues and needs to see a vet or not and also if she needs changes made to her husbandry to lower the number of eggs so she won’t develop follicular stasis orr egg binding. I’ve always had a second identical lay bin and swapped them out quickly at night so she doesn’t even realize it’s happened.

@MissSkittles said…”To the best of my knowledge, chams aren’t protective of their eggs after laying. Once they do their job of laying and covering their eggs, the eggs are on their own”…exactly!

And she said…”Just to avoid bothering my girl, I will remove the eggs at night when she’s asleep. I just pull the whole lay bin out if I can.”…just like I’ve said to do.

I started back in the early 90’s to control egg production in veiled chameleons and have even been able to stop it completely. Many veiled females are lucky to escape reproductive issues enough to live a couple of years….almost every veiled female I had lived to be 6 or 7 years old and many did not produce eggs at all once I controlled their husbandry. They were not too skinny, not showing any signs of poor health… and did not become eggbound or suffer from follicular stasis. I know this because I took the bodies in for necropsy.

Hopefully your girl has not retained eggs…or if she has, you get her spayed before she declines to far to have it done.

@jannb can give you information about the spaying success, if you need it.
Well the first time my panther laid eggs she did it over four days and wasn’t cool with me even looking till she was done so I must disagree with the statement that they lay in one session. The second time she dug a hole to china and filled it on day three. Bless their little hearts.
 
It may take them several days to dig the hole to their satisfaction but the actual egg laying is supposed to always be done in one sitting only…not a few at a time. If if the chameleon is laying a few then taking a break, etc, there’s something wrong.
 
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When you do dig them up, let us know how many. You can reduce clutch size with diet and temperature adjustments. The larger the clutch size, the harder it is on them, so we try to reduce it.
Hi there!

So my girl is now all right I think. Whole laying took her 1-2 days. I must say it was just me being overstressed with her first laying. My girl did a good job and now seems to be okay. She is eating and drinking normally. Thx for all of your tips.

About the eggs I digged, there was 56 eggs (I think that was a lot? ). I have read some tips how to reduce the quantity in the future. I will do the best I can to reduce the number so my girl can be less congested. I am attaching some photos of the eggs.

Thanks everyone :)

L.
 

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