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My son purchased a female veiled chameleon last week. It is currently in a mesh cage with silk foliage and branches for it to climb. He is using a combo coil lamp. The temp in the cage is approx. 66 to 68 degrees. It is currently declining all food and lossing weight. He has been misting the cage daily an is feeding it med brown crickets. I would have him take to a vet but the problem is that I live in Mass. and just found out they are illegal an there is not a herp vet anywhere either. I am going to have him try the pedilyte and cricket mix and see if it will take that. Any other advise that you can give would be greatly appricated..
Hello Dawn, welcome to the chameleon forums

I did not know veiled chameleons were illegal in your state. I do not want to encourage people to break the law, but since you already have the chameleon I will try and help.

Your temperatures look too low. You need to provide a gradient within the cage. The high temperature under a basking light should be around 95-100F for a veiled chameleon. The average ambient temperature should be around 80-85F. If your chameleon does not have the chance to warm up, he will not have the energy to eat. What is your humidity like in the cage? Has the chameleon been drinking?
I agree the temperature is far too low. The chameleon cannot digest any food if she doesn't get the chance to warm up sufficiently. Can you offer her any other insects? (even salad is eaten by Veiled chameleons). She may be bored with just brown crickets or they may even bite her. Don't allow more than a couple to free roam as they will attack a sick chameleon. Please do a google search on veiled chameleons to find out the correct conditions to keep them in. I hope you have a UVB tube.
I use Reptisun 5.0 tube in addition to a 100 watt basking bulb with my own male Veiled chameleon. By the way, if the chameleon is indeed female (no spurs behind the back legs) then she will need all her crickets dusting daily with calcium powder and when an adult, will need an area in her viv containing a deep bowl of sand etc. for her to lay her eggs in. Female veiled are prone to laying eggs even if the eggs are infertile.
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He has not see her drink there is a water dish and he is misting. the Humidity in the cage is low - he was told that veil chameleons did not need humidity. If they do what is the best way for him to accomplish it in a total mesh enviroment?
Your son was given wrong information. Veiled chameleons need high humidity and this can be achieved by using plenty of live plants and spraying them reguarly. Again, spraying the plants heavily with warm water is best as the water dripping off the leaves encourages the chameleon to drink. A chameleon will rarely drink water from a water bowl as it doesn't recognise water unless it is moving. Get your son to buy a plant sprayer bottle, fill it up with warm water and heavily spray the enclosure for at least five minutes twice a day. It takes a few minutes of spraying to stimulate the chameleons drinking response.
He is on his way to the pet store now to get a basking lamp - he currently is using his snakes, I did want to mention that once the backing light went on top of the cage the chameleon came right out an is currently sitting under light an is looking around at her enviroment, He is picking up pedylte to make the mixture can anyone offer what the ratio should be so that he does not over feed as she has not eaten. He should be the one emailing you guys now thanks so much for you insight.
update on respond ASAP

Well we have installed a basking light that she seems to like. Tried to feed i t some pedialyte that did not go well at all. My son tried feed it using a dropper it bite him twice. (any help with that would be great) She is still not drinking or eating I have installed a make shift drip system so that she has water if she decides to drink. I am hoping in the morning it is doing somewhat better. We did try offering it some wax worms since his other lizard loves them but no luck. I have read that it does like some live plants but I am thinking that might be a good idea considering the condition that it is in at the moment. I think that I have found a vet in my area I am just hoping that it is open tomorrow. Does anyone know a really informative website(other then this one) that we could visit to get more information? Does anyone have the reciepe for the cricket and pedialyte mixure?
Here is the link to the bugjuice: link to bugjuice

Another good website: Chameleon News

Chameleons are very demanding animals to care for in captivity. They are delicate and require a more specialized environment than your normal lizard. Female chameleons are even more difficult. Your son has a lot of research to do. The site above is a great place to start.

Hard to say from my position, but I would continue to work on the watering and try to get her to drink. Chamgirl offered some good advice above. I would wait a few days before trying the bug juice. Continue to offer different insects and make sure you get your chameleon's environment setup correctly.
Thank you Brad and Chamgirl - You both were very informative - Lexi is not out of the woods yet but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I found a vet and took her this morning. Found out she is not illegal its just illegal to sell them in Mass. (duh silly mom) Currently the temp is 80 and the relative humidity ranges between 87 to 70 depending no how much time has gone by. The vet put her on Repiaid. And the vet recommended to place her back end into a bowl of Pedilyte (warmed of course) until she gains some strength to drink on her own. Any hints on how to get her to open her mouth so that she will get some nutrition in her as she has to be on repiaid for the next 3 days? I have I tried placing a drop on her nose but no luck I also carefully tried to pry the bottom jaw down just enough to allow the liquid to flow in. Brad the site you recommended was great got lots of ideas on making a mister for the cage. I am going to do the humidifier with the pool piping. That should be installed and working tomorrow afternoon. Never thought having a extra pool supplies would come in handy. I hope to keep coming to this site and once Lexi is better I will be sure to post her pic so you guys can see who it is you saved. Thank you again.

A Frantic Grandmother of Lexi
Hi Dawn,
I am very glad you found a vet. I believe a good vet is half the battle won:)
In answer to your question about getting her to open her mouth, either gently pinch her nostrils using two fingers or touch behind her casque. Both actions should iritate her enough for her to open her mouth. (The second suggestion works well with my own ones for giving them medicine etc.)
I hope she makes a 100% recovery
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