Sick chameleon

Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by Borischameleon, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    Cage: 18 by 18 by 36 screen cage. Water: sprayed twice daily along with dripper. Fed once daily, 6 to 10 crickets, sometimes meal or wax worms. Temps: basking spot is 85 to 90, rest of tank is 80. Handling is once or twice a week for a couple minutes. He is a male and is quite small for his age because he is about twelve months old. My chameleon, boris, has been brown most of his life. When he was little he was bright green but as he got older he slowly turned brown over time. Figured that was natural because he never seemed sick. He is usually some shade of brown where they are normally colored yellow and a blue-green with black speckled where they are normally green. There is also some gray, mainly on his head. Recently, he stopped eating, which could be because he is shedding or because he is sick of the food he is fed, but he still worries me because brown means they are unhappy. Do any of you have an idea of what's wrong with him?
     

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  2. Katacara

    Katacara Established Member

    Just from you short explanation and your pictures I think you have both major and minor adjustments that need to be made.

    First we need a lot more detailed information before anyone can really attempt to help. Please fill out the "how to ask for help" from with as much detail as possible. Take your time and remember the more information we have the better we can help. It is in the best interest of your cham for you to add as much information as possible!

    Here is a link to the form: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/how-to-ask-for-help.66/ you can just copy and paste it, then add your answers. Please post it here (not in a new thread)
     
    Nursemaia and Graves923 like this.
  3. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    Your Chameleon: Veiled Chameleon, Male, 12 months old, the person I bought him from said this is how long it takes for them to grow up but he is still shedding often so this must not be true. He has been in my care since he was about a month old.
    Handling: Once or twice weekly, mainly to check if his jaw and legs are rubbery and if there are any mites. I do it quickly because he hates getting picked up and I feel bad for him because he looks so scared.
    Feeding: He mainly eats adult crickets gut-loaded with calcium, spinach, apple, and orange, sometimes he is fed waxworms and rarely mealworms. The food is dusted with a D3-free calcium supplement three times weekly. I do D3 free because I've read that if given D3 supplements along with exposure to proper UVB they will get sick from too much of it.
    Watering: He is sprayed twice a day with a full reptile mister of lukewarm tap water and a '' dripper '' ( a plastic spring water container with a small hole in the bottom ) is placed on top of his terrarium once every morning. Humidity is about 40-70%.

    Feces: Recent droppings are black, urates white. He has never been tested for parasites.
    History: About a year old. Purchased from LLL Reptile at an expo. I know that's not the best, but I didn't want a pet store one because they are treated horribly and my parents wouldn't let me order one online because they said the chameleon would get stressed, though I figure an expo one would be WAY more freaked out because of all the people..He slowly changed from bright green ( neonate ) to green and brown ( juvenile ), to brown and bluish green ( older juvenile to now ).
    Cage Info:


    Cage Type: Zoo Med 18, by 18, by 36 screen cage. I plan to build or buy a larger one when he becomes around 16 inches long.
    Lighting: Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 Tropical UVB. On twelve hours a day, about six inches about basking branch.
    Temperature: Basking spot is 85 to 90, takes a bit to warm up in the morning, as shown in some of the pics. Rest of tank is around 80. Lowest night temperature is 75, highest 80. I measure it via Zoo Med thermometers. One is at the basking spot, one is near the bottom.
    Humidity: 40 to 70. Maintained via dripper and spray bottle. I keep track of it with a hydrometer.
    No live plants. I had a ficus when he was little, but the frequent spraying killed it. I might get another, but if so I would cover the pot with mesh to keep water mostly out. The tank is filled with plastic vines and there are silk plants attached to his branches.
    His cage is located next to my African Sideneck Turtle, and both of them are in my room. The turtle and him watch eachother, and I'm sure she would eat my chameleon if he fell in, but I don't think the turtle stresses him. I am located in western Washington state.

    He has been brown and greenish blue most of his life, and I always thought it was just to blend in because he was healthy, active, and ate lots. Recently though, he stopped eating, which could be because of temperature, or shedding, or pickiness, but I am sort of worried. His eyes are also not as puffed out as many chameleons in pictures I see, so the loss of appetite might be because he is a little thirsty. I'm worried cause they can mask illness for a long time before they get too weak to show it. Are the adjustments medical or to do with his habitat/care? Please help because I am very worried.
     
  4. Fireborn

    Fireborn Established Member

    How old is your uvb bulb?
     
  5. Katacara

    Katacara Established Member

    Ok I didn't know where to start so I thought the easiest way would be to just copy your form and add my thoughts in red. So here it goes:

    Your Chameleon: Veiled Chameleon, Male, 12 months old, the person I bought him from said this is how long it takes for them to grow up but he is still shedding often so this must not be true. He has been in my care since he was about a month old. He is probably ready for his big boy enclosure, so if you are going to build it you should start now

    Handling: Once or twice weekly, mainly to check if his jaw and legs are rubbery and if there are any mites. I do it quickly because he hates getting picked up and I feel bad for him because he looks so scared. Why are you doing this? Does your cham already have MBD or are you just checking every week. How are you picking him up? Just reaching in and grabbing him? He could be dark colors all the time because every time he sees you he thinks you are going to take him out and check him over. It sounds like there is no trust there at all. I don't blame your cham, I would be stressed and freaked out all the time to!

    Feeding: He mainly eats adult crickets gut-loaded with calcium, spinach, apple, and orange, sometimes he is fed waxworms and rarely mealworms. You need more verity of Feeders, and no mealworms (use superworms instead), and you need to research gutloading you shouldn't need to gutload with calcium and spinach is a no no! There are countless threads, posts, and blogs about gutloading.

    The food is dusted with a D3-free calcium supplement three times weekly. I do D3 free because I've read that if given D3 supplements along with exposure to proper UVB they will get sick from too much of it. You need to throw all that out the window! A good supplement schedule is: calcium w/o D3 every day of the week except 1. On the day you choose alternate between calcium with D3 and a good multivitamin.


    Watering: He is sprayed twice a day with a full reptile mister of lukewarm tap water and a '' dripper '' ( a plastic spring water container with a small hole in the bottom ) is placed on top of his terrarium once every morning. Humidity is about 40-70%. I would add at least 1 more misting session, preferably 2

    Feces: Recent droppings are black, urates white. He has never been tested for parasites. You should have him tested at least 2 times a year

    History: About a year old. Purchased from LLL Reptile at an expo. I know that's not the best, but I didn't want a pet store one because they are treated horribly and my parents wouldn't let me order one online because they said the chameleon would get stressed, though I figure an expo one would be WAY more freaked out because of all the people..He slowly changed from bright green ( neonate ) to green and brown ( juvenile ), to brown and bluish green ( older juvenile to now ). See comment above

    Cage Info:

    Cage Type: Zoo Med 18, by 18, by 36 screen cage. I plan to build or buy a larger one when he becomes around 16 inches long. See comment above

    Lighting: Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 Tropical UVB. On twelve hours a day, about six inches about basking branch. As asked above, how old is the bulb? If the light passes through a screen go with a 10.0. remember that nothing beats natural uvb so research "taming" so it is not too stressful for him, maybe work on it over the winter so when next summer comes you can take him outside

    Temperature: Basking spot is 85 to 90, takes a bit to warm up in the morning, as shown in some of the pics. Rest of tank is around 80. Lowest night temperature is 75, highest 80. I measure it via Zoo Med thermometers. One is at the basking spot, one is near the bottom.
    Humidity: 40 to 70. Maintained via dripper and spray bottle. I keep track of it with a hydrometer.

    No live plants. I had a ficus when he was little, but the frequent spraying killed it. I might get another, but if so I would cover the pot with mesh to keep water mostly out. The tank is filled with plastic vines and there are silk plants attached to his branches. Veild chams like to eat plants sometimes, he needs live plants! Pothos work great! There are countless blogs about safe live plants you can use just do a search and find what works best for you.

    His cage is located next to my African Sideneck Turtle, and both of them are in my room. The turtle and him watch eachother, and I'm sure she would eat my chameleon if he fell in, but I don't think the turtle stresses him. I am located in western Washington state. Move his enclosure or make it so they can't see each other. It may help.

    He has been brown and greenish blue most of his life, and I always thought it was just to blend in because he was healthy, active, and ate lots. Recently though, he stopped eating, which could be because of temperature, or shedding, or pickiness, but I am sort of worried. His eyes are also not as puffed out as many chameleons in pictures I see, so the loss of appetite might be because he is a little thirsty. I'm worried cause they can mask illness for a long time before they get too weak to show it. Are the adjustments medical or to do with his habitat/care? Please help because I am very worried.

    I am also very confused about what kind of enclosure he is in. In a few places you said"tank" or"terrarium", but in the cage information you said "screen". Could you please clarify.

    Those are my suggestions to do some are asap and some will take some time. Once you have made those asap changes wait a few days and see how it goes, then repost an updated form so we can see how your doing. And as always we are always here to help so if you have more questions or something changes not for the better feel free to post/ask!
     
    Graves923 likes this.
  6. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    My cham does not have MBD, however he does have a twisted crest, but he has had that deformity as long as I have had him and he has solid, stable bones so I guess it's natural. I am using my D3 supplement now and will order his multivitamin soon. I have put insulator in front if the side that is next to my turtle so she doesn't scare him. I have begun the taming process and will order silkworms with his vitamins. I will get him a pothos and will have it hanging on the tank wall via wires, but I will need to save up a bit before I do so. He does live in a screen cage, I just call it a tank, but he is not much longer than a leopard gecko, so more space might stress him out. Are they able to find their food in a bigger cage? I have also got a higher wattage heat lamp. I am spraying him more, but now I am constantly having to empty out the big plastic box that keeps my floor from getting wet with his water. Do you know how to spray him lots but not need the water catcher? Also, how much do fecals cost?
     
  7. Goose502

    Goose502 Established Member

    It's definetly time for a larger enclosure. I usually pay about $80-$100 for a fecal exam/vet check. It's like $60 just to get in the door.
     
  8. Katacara

    Katacara Established Member

    Ok to start if he doesn't have MBD and doesn't have any health problems that requires you to be checking him over like that STOP! You are stressing him out for no reason! Before you can start earning his trust (taming) you need to leave him alone for at least 2-3 months. He needs to have time to forget the past 11-ish months of stress you have caused him before you can even attempt to earn his trust!!

    If you need to save up just for a pothos, then definitely start saving/buying materials for his big boy cage now! By the time you are done he will definitely need it! A bigger enclosure that is properly stocked with plants and vines is not going to stress out your cham! With plenty of places to hide from you he will probably be far less stressed, especially when you stop handling him. And yes, when he is hungry he will hunt and eat. Or you can cup feed whatever works best for your cham.

    If you need to empty your drainage box that much you are probably misting him enough now, don't stop misting him enough just to make your life easier.

    You need to find a qualified cham vet in your area, there is a sticky about this at the top of the health section. If you look through it and do not find one listed just post and ask. Make sure they have cham experience!! Not every vet who has reptile experience will have cham experience, they are a very specialized reptile!! You should ask them how much a check-up and fecal test will be and bring him in. If you are going to start properly taking care of him now make sure he is healthy.

    He is going to need more of a verity of feeders than just crickets and a few silkworms here and there!

    Taking proper care of a cham is expensive, if you are having trouble providing everything your cham needs, please consider finding someone who can.

    There is also a lot of information here about what your cham needs. Please do some research, the search function is great for finding answers to questions. There is a lot of information in posts, blogs, and in the resources sections.

    We are here to help
     
  9. Fireborn

    Fireborn Established Member

    Also if you haven't already done so. Uvb bulbs need to be changed every 6 months. Sometimes they remain dark when the bulb is no longer emitting enough uvb.
     
  10. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    What size do you recommend for his new cage? There are 24 by 24 by 48s but they aren't much bigger than his old one so it's probably a waste of money. I will add Dubai roaches and locusts( if I can find the locusts for sale ) to his diet. If I can't do locusts, I will do baby mantises. And for the UVB, should I use 5.0 or 10.0? And I will make sure to leave him alone. How many pothos do you recommend, because I dont know how big or fast they grow?
     
  11. Katacara

    Katacara Established Member

    Thank you @Fireborn for pointing that out! I meant to mention that but with everything else I forgot!
     
  12. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    This is him from last week, showing his blue colors.
     

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  13. Katacara

    Katacara Established Member

    A 24X24X48 is the minimum you want for an adult veild. Bigger is always better!! Most chams do not eat dubia's, you may have better luck with orange head's or redrunner's. If you live in the US you will not find locust for sale, they are illegal to sell here. Again I am going to stress doing some research!!

    I'm pretty sure I covered uvb in an earlier post, and again research options and figure out what is needed for your set up
     
  14. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    If I add orange head roaches to his diet of wax worms, mealworms, and crickets, will he get the proper nutrients he needs? Also, do the pothos need just UVB or do they require special lighting? I have a plan to breed orange heads, I store my crickets in a Tupperware box that is easily large enough to raise a colony of roaches. And is the brown color because he is unhappy or does it always mean they are sick? I don't think he's ill but I am still worried. I really don't want Boris to suffer!
     
  15. Katacara

    Katacara Established Member

    Ok I have been as nice as I can be. I have put a lot of time and effort into giving you in put and suggestions on what you need to change, adjust and research, asking the same questions repeatedly is not going to change my answers. It seems that you are not willing to put in the time to do any research, and you are just looking for quick and cheap answers that you will not need to put anything into. You say you don't want him to suffer, if that is really true than at this point you have 2 options 1) do the dam research so you can take care of him properly! Or 2) find someone who is willing to adopt him so he can be taken care of! If you keep this up you are going to cause him problems and kill him. Quite frankly I am surprised he has lasted this long!

    If you want someone to tell you what you want to hear than fine: "oh everything is fine" there ya go. If that was what you where looking for then definitely do your cham a favor and find him a new responsible owner!
     
  16. Katacara

    Katacara Established Member

    @Borischameleon I want to apologise for my post this morning. I was snappy, harsh, and rude and I am sorry! There was no need for me to take out what I was going through on you. I hope you accept my apology and not let my mistake drive you away from our fantastic community!!
     
    davthevieled likes this.
  17. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    It's fine! Don't be sorry! I didn't mean to sound like I didn't care or wasn't researching, I was just trying to ask for approval before doing something that might cause problems. I really do care, and I am very worried about him. It would be sad to see such an amazing lizard suffer. My guess is he might be a little dehydrated because his eyes aren't as puffy as most other chameleons. I gave him a shower on a plastic vine, letting the water hit the wall behind him and send down droplets to him, but he hated it and kept trying to get out. I am going to buy a big plastic tree and use that instead to give him more cover, and for now I have been misting him more and using my homemade dripper. It turns out he has been eating, just not right away, because there are cricket heads and metalwork chitin in his feces. And this morning he was eating some wax worms. I was just worried because he stopped taking food from my hand, which he used to always do. Today I will order some of the red runners because orange heads are too large for him, and from what I've read they're easier to breed than crickets. What does worry me is that he seems to not drink. He does not drink when I spray the tank and though he stands he the dripper I never see him drink. I have a feeling he likes the humidity but for some reason doesn't recognize it as water, but he opens his mouth a tiny bit as if he is thirsty. He is seemingly happier now as instead of pacing the tank he rests in the foliage as they normally do. I don't think he is sick, but I am correcting the problems with his care. He also has a better heat bulb because it is getting colder outside.
     

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  18. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    Sorry, I meant mealworm chitin.
     
  19. Katacara

    Katacara Established Member

    Most of the time I don't see my guy drink either but I know he is. They prefer to eat and drink while you're not looking. You may have posted this but I am exhausted and don't remember but how are his uraites? Mainly color.

    Honestly I can't reread your posts to offer anymore than that right now because I can barely form a thought that makes sense so this is definitely not a good time for me to attempt to give advice. But I will talk a look again tomorrow and see if I can help further.

    Could I see a picture of his whole enclosure?
     
  20. Borischameleon

    Borischameleon New Member

    His most recent urate was white, but an earlier one was yellow so I sprayed him extra. He seems to be hydrated now. I couldn't get good pics because it is night time but I will get better ones tomorrow morning. He does turn green and yellow when sleeps, but I don't think that means anything.
     

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