New Member
Hey alls, I searched the fourm for shedding tips, but none pertain to the question I have. So here it goes:
I have a Chameleon that I bought from PetsMart a couple months ago (like.. maybe 4-6 months ago) And I really dont know her age (But I do know shes a her!) She is almost 3.5 inches in length without her tail.. Now she started shedding Sunday and its still not all completley off. The last 2 days shes been sitting in the same spot all day. I open the cage and touch her, but she only opens her eye for a minute and closes it again. She still eats like normal, but Im not sure if shes like this because of her shedding or not. I usually buy 50 crickets at a time that lasts me a LONG while. I dont put that white powder on them (calcium) because the store said I didnt have to. Should I start? And I feed her 2-3/day. I've also been feeding her roaches. Is it safe? Thanks for your help!!!

Your chameleon shouldn't be sitting with her eyes closed during the day even when she is shedding.

You didn't say what species she is or how you know she's a she.

She should be getting phosphorous-free calcium (that white powder) on most of the feedings you give her. Most insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorous, so this dusting is intended to compensate for it.

She should also be getting exposure to UVB light....either in the form of sunshine or UVB tube lighting. Neither should pass through glass or plastic. Exposure to UVB allows her to produce vitamin D3 which allows her to use the calcium in her diet. Mine only get UVB from tube lights, so I dust lightly twice a month with a calcium/D3 powder as well as the calcium. D3 from supplements can build up in the system, so be careful not to overdo it.

I also dust with a vitamin powder that has a beta carotene source of vitamin A. Beta carotene won't build up in the chameleon's system, but preformed vitamin A will. There is some controversy as to whether chameleons can convert beta carotene some people give a bit of preformed vitamin A to their chameleons. Excess preformed vitamin A not only will build up in the system, it can stop D3 from doing its job and lead to MBD (metabolic bone disease).

In addition to this, its important to gutload your insects with a nutritious diet before giving them to your chameleon. You need to be careful of what you use regarding the calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D3 and vitamin A. These four things are the main players in bone health and need to be in balance to prevent MBD from occurring.

Appropriate basking temperature is also important for good digestion....thus ability to absorb nutrients.

If you have an egglaying female, its important, once she is sexually mature, to provide her an appropriate place to dig to lay eggs in case she produces them. Some do produce them and some don't....even if they haven't been with a male.

Do you mist her? Use a dripper? Have substrate in her cage? Is she pooping? Do you have real plants in her cage?

Hopefully you can make whatever changes are necessary for your chameleon's health.

It would be a good idea to have her checked by a vet too. Don't wait too long....they usually don't act sick until they are quite sick.
She is a Jackson Chameleon (the store said this, and its the species she most resembles in the books/online research I've done). I also know she is a female because she doesnt have the bump on her foot (I bought the book thats all about chameleons, it shows you how to sex them) And Im sure she isnt trying to lay her eggs because she isnt close to the ground. But I am aware that they can lay eggs, and they usually stay lower to the ground when they do (so Im prepared for that..Im hoping).
I havent been misting as much because firstly shes shedding and secondly, her cage usually stays at 48% humidity, and I read thats what its supposed to be at. Um, I did buy her a real plant, but it died within a couple of days, so I havent bought any more and have just stuck with fake plants. I do have (somewhat) of a drip system. I have a plastic bowl with a hole on it bottom at the top of her cage, I put ice in it so it melts, and a bowl at the bottom for the water to pour into when dripping. I placed the bowl so it will drip directly onto one of the (fake) plant leaves because I read they like to drink from leaves. Lets see.. I dont put calcium on the crickets, but will stop by the store tomorrow to get some (last time Im ever listening to the people that work there!) I do feed my crickets "Calcium Plus. Food for Crickets". The bottle reads: "High Calcium Cricket formula. -Highly palatable -calcium and vitamin fortified -Nourishes crickets - "gut loads" crickets for better reptile nutrition -convenient and cost effective. They are little round & multi-colored. Would the be the equivilant to the powder thats put on them? And im not sure if it matters or not, but I feed the crickets "Fluker's-High Calcium- cricket feed" and "Fluker's-original- Cricket Quencher".
Another question: How many crickets should I be buying for her? I get about 50 at a time, but they die very VERY fast.. I would say about half of them die. I have pieces of egg carton in there for them to climb onto and their food (thats usually messed around on the bottom). And as for her light, its been out for a while now and I havent gotten the chance to replace it.. well until today. (Again- I was told at the store that it would be okay if she was left with just the red light on) But I should have researched that more too! So its now replaced. Oh, and Im uploading some pictures so you could she her cage, tell me if theres anything wrong with it. And thank you so so much for helping! I was sooo worried!! Oh, and BTW roaches ARE okay to feed her right? And I hope I dont sound rude in my post, I re-read it and it seems that I might be coming off a bit rude, dont take offense please, that isnt my intention! :)

Cage: 11.5 width, 17.5 height for a 3 1/4" chameleon (excluding the tail).

Last edited:
first of all jackson chameleons don't lay eggs, they are live bearers (drop live babies)second of all the bump on the foot thing is called a tarsal spur and is a different type of chameleon (veiled) if she doesn't have horns she is a she, the males usually have three horns on the head.
throw away that red light it is useless, you need to buy a Zoo-Med reptisun 10.0 flourescent and a 60 watt basking bulb today!!!
the gut load is better than nothing what about fresh vegetables for your fedder insects? as far as the crickets, i buy 500 at a time, it is cheaper to buy bulk but they need as much care as the chameleon!
roaches, where are you getting them from?? are you buying them??
where are you located? as far as the people at the pet store either don't ask them anything or go somewhere else, if someone doesn't know something they should say so, not give the wrong information.
there is a reason the live plant died, go by another and keep it alive, jacksons' like live plants, alot of them and you should be misting about 3 times a day for 10-15 minutes to simulate rainfall.
your chameleon seems to be sick with her eyes closing during the day probably due to the lack of calcium and uvb lighting (vitamin D3) buy the correct lights TODAY, purchase REPCAL withD3 and Herpivite start her with dusted calcium with D3 everyother day for a week then 2x a week, Herpivite 1x a week for the first week and then 1xevery two weeks.
That site is worth posting four times! :)

Seriously though....
I'm a little worried about this chameleon. For someone who claims
to have done a lot of research .....
There are so many things wrong with the husbandry I don't know where to start.
Start researching these forums: food/gutload, supplementation, enclosures, health.
There is a ton of current and important information on here as well as sites like the one Heika linked.

The Care sheets they give you at PetsMart are crap.

My guess would be that alwyzchanging was misinformed/ under-informed by the store.

This kind of thing happens all the time- at least you are seeking out good info. before it's too late.

Like Brad and Heika said- start researching

I would go ahead and swap out one of your red lights for a basking light, add a reptisun 5.0 or 10.0 and give her a good long misting a.s.a.p (use hot water so the spray comes out warm)

I would even spritz her directly a couple of times-- it might annoy her, but she seems dehydrated

also a vet visit might be in order, who knows where she came from, or what parasites she could be carrying.

also, if you've had her for 4-6 months without a uv light or D3 she could be developing MBD.

Can you post another pic of her?
Top Bottom