Shaky and clumsy...Stress???

The Scrill

New Member
Hi everyone,

My 6 month female blue bar has been really shaky and restless recently. The last couple days she's been restless and will fall down periodically which makes my heart jump :( I don't know if its stress or something else, but I've been leaving her alone because from what I read online it could be stress. She's done this a few times in the past too so it makes me think its stress but I can hand feed her and she doesn't hide or run from me either so I figure she's fairly use to my movements and hand. I gutload most nights but only use calcium everyother week or so. Should I be calcifying her crickets more often too? Let me know if you think its stress or something else please.

Thanks
Patrick
 

SaintJimmy

Avid Member
Calcium NON d3 should be used on at least a couple crickets every feeding (or all of them lightly dusted) or other feeders should be dusted too.

So I would start using it every day instead of every other week or so because they NEED calcium. :) D3 vitamin calcium every 2 weeks
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Welcome to the forum!

You've found a good place for reliable cham information, as some very experienced cham keepers are here.

It is not normal for a chameleon to fall and this can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency---very often it is a calcium deficiency (often called MBD).
It is extremely important to identify and correct nutrition problems.

A calcium deficiency is typically caused by one of these things:

Lack of UVB lighting
Lack of vitamin D3
Not using a calcium supplement on feeders.
Excessive vitamin A

Chams should be fed a variety of feeders and those feeder insects should also be fed nutritious foods, so they give your cham plenty of nutrients.
In the wild, chams can eat dozens of different kinds of insects.
In captivity, it is hard to do that, so feeding as many types of bugs as possible and dusting them lightly with supplement powders is typically done.
Too many supplements are harmful, as are too few.
A good supplement dusting schedule for Panther chameleons is this:

Calcium nearly every feeding
Calcium with D3 once every 2 weeks unless the cham is housed outdoors
Multivitamin once every 2 weeks


Here is an excellent caresheet written by the forum moderators:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/

If you cut and paste the how to ask for help questions and add your answers, as Atarxia requested, we will gladly help you determine what may be causing your cham's problems and how to correct things.
 

The Scrill

New Member
Thanks for the advice and quick response :) I've read that calcium with D3 should be given twice a month like SaintJimmy was saying and that's all I currently have so I was afraid to overdo it. But I just ordered some calcium free of phosphorous and D3 and it should be here Saturday so Scrill should be ok. It's weird too because she this isn't the first time she's done this but it's not like she does it all the time. Anyways I'll make sure my Scrill is well calcified with the right stuff here soon. I saw the forum thread on MBD and it almost brought me to tears of all the disfigured chams :( I surely don't want that for my princess.

Thanks again.

Patrick
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Also very important....

You're very welcome, Patrick. :)
All too often, people receive bad care advice from well-meaning sellers who just don't know any better.

Since she has been having troubles gripping, her bones may also be weak, so I would not handle her.
By making the needed changes, your princess won't become one of those heartbreaking chams.


Very important for calcium absorbtion is a good UVB bulb, like the Reptisun 5.0, which should be replaced with a new one every 6 months. (It will still light up just fine but it stops giving off enough UVB for your cham's needs.)
Chams can't use the calcium they ingest without a UVB source.
Daily exposure to at least an hour of natural sunlight actually replaces the need for UVB bulbs and D3 supplements.
Vitamin D3, used only 2x a month, helps calcium to be absorbed--but it should only be given 2x a month. Too much D3 supplement is harmful.

Natural sunlight is excellent--better than UVB bulbs.
Your cham's body actually makes a very safe amount of natural D3 from spending time in unfiltered sunlight. (Not sunlight that passes through glass or plastic--no UVB in that.)
If your cham can be safely taken outdoors on a plant for a while while you watch her carefully, her body will actually make some of its own D3.
The temperatures need to be OK for her and you would be very surprised at how quickly a cham can disappear if you go inside for "only a minute" to answer a phone, use the bathroom, etc.


If you can get some Phoenixworms or Calciworms, they will also help your cham to catch up on calcium.
Phoenixworms are especially high in calcium.
Silkworms, hornworms, dubias and blue bottle flies are other foods which will add variety and different nutrients to your cham's diet.


The Panther caresheet that I gave you a link to is a good one to look over and see if everything is right with her care.


You need to be careful not to give too many or too few vitamins.

The best way to ensure that your chameleon is getting all the nutrients it needs is this:

Feed a variety of feeder insects --not just 1 or 2 types of insects.

Feed your feeder insects a very nutritious diet, so that they provide your cham with good nutrition. (More info here: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/food/

Use calcium and multivitamin supplements to ensure that no nutrient is missing from your cham's diet but not as a substitute for good feeder nutrition and variety.

Chams don't enjoy handling and many chams are extremely stressed out by it but some will tolerate a small amount of handling.
It depends on the cham--each one has his/her own personality.
 

The Scrill

New Member
Ya I just received the pure calcium powder in the mail today and will start dusting her crickets daily. I don't think she's mature enough to lay eggs but I'll probably make her a laying bin here soon. I only have a Petco in my town and they only provide crickets and superworms so the variety of feeders I can get is limited. Do you know of a good website to get a variety of feeders from and what are the next best (longest live, most nutritious, not super expensive) feeder to get besides crickets and superworms?

Thanks,

Patrick
 

The Scrill

New Member
Also her cage is setup next to the window and she does have a Reptisun 5.0 tube bulb.

Thanks for all your advice Lovereps...appreciate your timely and detailed responses.

-Patrick
 

djfishygillz

Established Member
Ya I just received the pure calcium powder in the mail today and will start dusting her crickets daily. I don't think she's mature enough to lay eggs but I'll probably make her a laying bin here soon. I only have a Petco in my town and they only provide crickets and superworms so the variety of feeders I can get is limited. Do you know of a good website to get a variety of feeders from and what are the next best (longest live, most nutritious, not super expensive) feeder to get besides crickets and superworms?

Thanks,

Patrick
What kind of lighting are you using? When was the last time your bulbs were replaced? Also what are you temps, are you gutloading properly? Like many have recommend PLEASE fill out the "how to ask for help"! It could mean the difference between life or a very sick or deceased chameleon. It will be worth the time to fill it out.
 

The Scrill

New Member
Scrill:

Female Blue-bar Ambilobe

Handled every other day or so for 5-10mins. I know it seems too much but she is very tolerable and I never have to grab her. She willingly comes up and never puffs up or flinches. Also will hand eat even outside her cage

Feed her mostly crickets gutloaded (carrots, oranges, collard greens, and recently turnip greens). Superworms not gutloaded and feed once twice a week between buying crickets.

Dust with Reptivite multivitamins with D3 twice a month, but just received Repti Calcium today with no phosphorous or D3 and will begin a daily regimen

Water with a spray bottle when necessary but just acquired a misting system. She drinks water when necessary.

Poops are brown/gray/greenish with the urea half white and yellow.

Cage is 16'x16'x38'

Lights are a 100w basking bulb and a Reptisun 5.0 UVB tube bulb. about 12 hr on and off

temps between 70 at bottom and 85 basking

humidity is can be from 30-80% but know that I have a misting system it should be higher and more stable.

Has one umbrella plant and several sticks.

Her cage is in living room but not in a high traffic area. Also next to giant window.

Located in Corvallis, OR




I'm pretty sure its probably the a deficiency of calcium because I did not dust crickets everyday. Probably only once every 2 weeks because I heard that D3 was bad to overdue. I'll give you guys an update in a couple weeks if it get worse.

Thanks for all your help

Patrick
 
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