Question for all breeders - Won't Eat


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My veiled hasn't eaten now for 7 days. I took him to an exotics vet for deworming 2 days ago (the vet did did deworm him, and gave him an appetite stimulant, medicam) but did not see any problem, and was more than happy to suggest hundreds of dollars of tests, all to be performed at once). Anyways, he looks and acts healthy, walking around the cage, and the house when I take him out. His tail is curled a lot, and both eyes are open, alert, and constantly checking things out, as usual. At night though, he no longer sleeps horizontally, with his tail fully curled, but hangs on the cage vertically with his tail semi curled (I keep mentioning his tail, as I see that (correct me if I am wrong) as an indication of his contentment). More negatives: although he drinks water, he does look a bit dehydrated. Worst thing: just this morning, while eyeing a tempting dish of meal worms I had offered, he went through some gagging motions, like he was trying to vomit: his stomach contracted, and he made yawning motions with his mouth. Once, his body kind of twitched to the side, like he was having stomach spasm. After I took the meal worms away, the stopped acting like that. By the way, he only eats food from mail order outfits I have used for a while (no wild food). So the question: What do you think is his problem? Is it normal for veileds to stop eating for days at a time (as in 4 or 5) if they are not sick? Is the current behavior due to his deworming? How many days after deworming should he start eating again, if all goes well? I am just getting worried about the little guy! Please help!

Added post to my above original post:
Yes, my C. has still been drinking fluids on a regular basis and he does get a lot of natural exposure to sunlight since we live in CA. I still have a basking light set-up that I use when the window next to the window is closed or if it's a cool day and I don't open up the window.

The morning stretch/ yawn/ shudder is a common daily occurrance at our house.It sounds like that's what you're describing.
How much of a variety of insects are you trying?
I assume he is pooping and that it is normal?

Did your vet do a fecal or just give him a general wormer? Do you know what he used?

You said..."he does look a bit dehydrated" are you determining this?

You said..."he went through some gagging motions, like he was trying to vomit: his stomach contracted, and he made yawning motions with his mouth. Once, his body kind of twitched to the side, like he was having stomach spasm"...was his head pointing downward?
To response back to your questions:

1. The Vet used Panacur(Febendazole) as the de-wormer since I couldn't give her a fecal sample since my Chameleon hadn't produced a recent stool.

2. What appeared to be a vomiting response, his head was horizontal.

3. He looks more dehydrated because the area around his eye balls look a little sunken in and you can see that there is some skin wrinkling around his body area. Am I correct that those are signs of dehydration?

I am so relieved that he had a bowel movement this morning and it looked normal. Hopefully, it rules out impaction.

Still, he has not eaten even though there is always a small plate of insects for him to eat in the cage.

My question now: How long can a Chameleon go without eating if he is still drinking on a regular basis but shows some signs of dehydration?

chameleons can stop eating for a few days but each situation is different, i have some very good eaters so i don't think twice if they do not eat for a few days. try giving him a shower for the possible dehydration, bath tub with plants and or trees, warm shower, close door (keep him out of the direct running shower if he wants to enter it he will but the spray of the shower and humidity of about 100 percent will help.)
once every 2 weeks i put about 6-8 3 foot plants in the shower put on warm water and one at a time put my guys in there for about 25 minutes, most are alittle freaked at first but them enjoy the rain forest.
Hi Christine,

I have a panther who suddenly quit eating. In retrospect, I believe it was brought on by a significant drop in temperature. I have a family member who has a few problems, and he turned off the heat in the house by accident, and then couldn't figure out how to get it turned back on. It was winter, and very cold outside.

Spencer was my only chameleon at the time, and it was the first time I had to deal with illness. I did spring for the expensive tests, but was using an incompetent, expensive "exotics" vet who couldn't read the results, and by the time she got another vet to tell her how to read them, over a month had gone by. By the time I got the results saying he had a bacterial infection in his stomach, he was on the road to recovery.

It took 14 days of baytril and a long, long time for him to get better. I force fed him insects and goop for what seems like forever. There are some great products out there that can be used if you have to force feed your chameleon. Fluker's makes Repta-aid, and it works quite well. Adcham has the bug juice recipe as well. You can also use a Lafeber Critical Care product that is made for birds, but it is by prescription only. Honestly, I wouldn't wait all that long. It is possible that it is a bacterial infection in his stomach, or a URI, or whatever.. but he won't be able to fight it very effectively if he isn't eating. You may also want to ask your vet to prescribe an antibiotic of some sort.. or spring for some tests to see if it is a bacterial infection. When your chameleon starts looking sick, then he is very sick. Remember, chameleons hide illness quite well. It keeps them alive in the wild.

Good luck, and keep us up to date.

Did he eat yet?

I have had chameleons go in spells of not eating as much but never stopping so I really have no advice.
Thanks, Heika for the advice!!

I ordered the Flucker's Repta-aid from the Internet(via overnight delivery) o from Heika's recommendation and the stuff was delivered to me yesterday. I used a very small dosage amt.(less than company recommended) to hopefully re-hydrate my 7 month old Veil Male and to replinish him of needed calories that he wasn't getting.
What a difference in his overall health! He's looking good and I know he's feeling better. Overall, he's starting to eat again and he doesn't look dehydrated anymore meaning his eye sockets don't look sunken and around his spine, you see a lot less muscle wasting! Color looks real good on him and he's acting so much more alert and content!
I think that he probably had a gastro-intestinal irritation which ceased his eating completely. I tell you, he's like another "back to health again". I better knock on wood because with Chameleons, they can be so vunerable to any ailment but I swear by the stuff!!

yeah that stuff rocks- I always have some on hand.

my anole loves the stuff- I give him .1cc like every month or so and he just can't get enough! (vet said it was okay) He's really big and healthy.

can't get my chameleon to drink it though- tried to give him some the first few days since he came from a pet store, but he's doing really good anyway.
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