Sick little girl (veiled)


New Member
Recently I have taken in my girlfriends two veiled chameleons, the first month I noticed that the female got more and more plump every day and they both seemed relatively happy. Thinking she was gravid we added a mixture of coco and sand to the enclosure in a small container so she could lay. Shortly after this (either the container introducing a contaminate, or restricting the air flow we noticed odd mold problems popping up. The plant roots were getting moldy, and any time she deficates it would become moldy within 24 hours. She also seemed to have what I thought was mouthrot, that I treated with betadine, and her eye seemed partially closed. After she shed around her face her mouth seemed better.
My girlfriend discovered her upside down in the fetal position the other night, severely dehydrated. She dripped water into her mouth and she finally was able to move herself around her encloser. In the morning we scheduled a vet appointment and took her in where they did x-rays and told us she was severely egg-bound. The vet told us that it was the eggbinding pushing on her organs causing her discomfort. She received a calcium shot, as well as liquid calcium we are to administer once a day orally. The vet told us that she could spay her, but that it was going to be relatively expensive ($700) with a less than 50% chance that she will make it. So she suggested that we try to get her eggs to calcify, and then she would administer a drug to try to cause her to start contractions. We brought her home to a freshly cleaned encloser. Her one eye is swollen shut, a viscous liquid oozing out when she closes it tightly. I was under the impression she had an active infection when she was taken to the vet, but the vet told my girlfriend (I was at work during the appointment) that everything was caused by being eggbound.
Wondering what we can do for her at this point, is there an anti-biotic we should give her? Call the vet back? She has a follow up Tuesday for another x ray to verify the eggs are calcified and to try to induce her laying. She is still eating, does not seem to be drinking, but we are giving the calcium orally. Any suggestions on how to help the poor sweet girl would be greatly appreciated.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Poor girl. She does sound very sick, I have not heard of egg binding leading to eye issues. (@kinyonga ?)

Fill out this forum and we can maybe identify what happened. Do you know how much experience the vet has with chameleons? They're tricky creatures. With this info please include pictures of the enclosure from top down.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? (And in your girlfriend's care)
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.


Please Note:
The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
Photos can be very helpful.


Chameleon Queen
From the sounds of things, the poor female hasn't got much time.
I dint know why the vet is waiting for the eggs to calcify. Do you have copies of the X-rays? Are the "eggs" round or oval?
I doubt the oxytocin will start the contractions if the vet is right and she's egg bound. I also doubt that the eye condition is because of the eggs. I think you really need a different good chameleon vet.


New Member
Veiled female approximately 2 years old, my girlfriend got her from craigslist (not a breeder) march 29,2020, and shes been at my house for about 3 months

Rarely handle minus feeding, occasionally allow her out to climb on us, and and she is usually fed out of my hands, allows us to touch her to give her meds, (calcium) daily.

She is being fed superworms, and twice a week crickets are substituted for the superworms. The superworms are being fed oats, carrots and bit of vegetable scraps. We have also given her small pieces of mango and melon since shes been dehydrated.

She receives "Repti Calcium Zoo med calcium carbonate without d3 (each feeding) and zoo med reptiveite vitamines (every other week)

White to yellow fecal but firm.

Typically her tank is being misted with petspioneer digital timing humidifier (the thing broke on us 2 days after being back from the vet and another should arrive tomorrow)

For lights, zoo med labroratories LF-71 and t13 lights 14 hours on, 10 off and a basking light that does not specify brand.

Cage; zoo med reptibreeze open air screen cage large, 18" x 18" x 36" all screen.

Tradescantia, pathos, mother in laws tongue... we just switched some of the plants out the day of the vet visit.

Her current enclosure is in my room in the basement. No air vents and only mildly trafficked area. She is about 2 feet from another chameleon enclosure with a large corn plant providing a barrier between the two enclosures. Top of her enclosure is about 15 inches from the ceiling.

She is eggbound as diagnosed by xrays, and seemingly in my opinion has a bacterial infection as well. Her eye looks swollen shut and has progressively looked worse since she has come back from the vet. She is still eating and while i have not seen her drink i belive my girlfriend has. We have been dripping water into her mouth as well as the calcium liquid. The vet said looking at the x-ray that she was "severely egg-bound" but that her eggs were not calcified. The vet said spaying her was the best option but that she was less than 50% chance to make it through. The alternative she offered was calcium for a week followed by a follow up xray and oxytocin to try to pass the eggs if shes still bound. I originally was under the impression that the vet recommended the alternative forthright, but after writing this up with my girlfriend it seems she asked if there was any alternative to an expensive surgery that she was told was likely to result in the chams death. (I wasn't present for the appointment,)

I will attatch some pictures here as well. The worst looking picture was how my girlfriend found her the other night before we got her to drink and took her to the vet. the other four i took this morning.


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Chameleon Queen
You said she is severely dehydrated....what do you base that on?
If her urates are white to pale orange than she shouldn't be dehydrated.

You have a second chameleon you said...what is it? Male or female?

Why is the vet saying that the eggs aren't calcified? Are they round or oval in the xray?

When did she start showing the mustardy splotches and bluish dots?


New Member
The dehydration is based on the look of her eyes. I personally have never seen her drink, the male chameleon i see drinking often. The vet (and first a friend of my brother who breeds mostly rare gecko's i reached out to when she was looking so sick) said she was dehydrated, but currently we have been getting more water in her than had been.

I am on the phone with the vet right now asking them to send me the x-rays so i can post or answer that question.

Without being able to say for sure, i believe its been at least a month that shes been showing that general coloration.


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Chameleon Queen
First of all...I'm not a vet...just someone who kept chameleons and lots of other reptiles for over 30 years and learned from my own experiences and those of others as well as associations with vets, etc.

Chameleons eyes can IMHO are more often sunken in from health issues and stress from them than from dehydration. Urates seem to be a better indication of hydration from what I've seen.

I thought I might be able to tell you more from the X-rays but it's hard to be sure. Round "eggs" would mean they are still likely follicles but oval means they are likely eggs and should be shelled if they are.

If it's only been a month then it could be possible that she could lay the eggs....but it also depends on her past husbandry to some degree and also her own genetics.
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