Sick Mellers chameleon

jnyhuis

New Member
I have had my Mellers for one and a half years. He is all of the sudden not eating or drinking. The skin on his eyes look slightly more wrinkly and his spine is starting to become more pronounced! I'm not sure what to do, there have been no changes in his environment and we keep a close eye on the humidity and temperature. I have tried a dripper and a spray bottle but he just wont open his mouth! I'm bringing him to the vet tomorrow but does anyone have any idea what it could be? He is still active but he sometimes rests his body on his perch rather than gripping it! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have had my Mellers for one and a half years. He is all of the sudden not eating or drinking. The skin on his eyes look slightly more wrinkly and his spine is starting to become more pronounced! I'm not sure what to do, there have been no changes in his environment and we keep a close eye on the humidity and temperature. I have tried a dripper and a spray bottle but he just wont open his mouth! I'm bringing him to the vet tomorrow but does anyone have any idea what it could be? He is still active but he sometimes rests his body on his perch rather than gripping it! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
There isn't nearly enough information in your post to even guess. Please use the "how to ask for help" sticky and answer the questions with details about your husbandry...lighting, temps, humidity, feeder gutloading, dusting schedule, specific products you use, cage type, size, location, etc.

Only then can we start to guess.
 

Jimturner

Established Member
How large is your mellers, is it full grown? Did you get a fecal done after you purchased it? Hard to tell the age of an imported animal. It could just be old as most mellers are full grown adults when imported. Could you post some pictures? Maybe we could see some thing you are missing. Also try the search feature to find the "How to ask for help" form... fill it out and post it here. Best of luck and hope all works out well. Cheers!
 

jnyhuis

New Member
Not sure how to find that "how to ask for help" link as I am BRAND new to this page! :)

We use a regular household 30watt lightbulb for heat and a reptiglo 5.0 uvb light.
Basking temp is about 80 Degrees and 65 to 70 everywhere else
We have a wide humidity range from 20 to 80%
We give him crickets, super worms, roaches and occasionally pinkies
(the insects are all gutloaded with crickets food and oats)
We feed him everyother day or as he seems hungry and only dust with fluker's repticalcium 2x a week.
we use reptisafe h2o conditioner to de-chlorinate his water
the cage is open air and is 36" tall, 31.5"wide and 19" deep
It is in our living room, we do not have a lot of visitors so its not high traffic
We have a dripper we change the water in everyday and we spray him 3x a day, we also have a humidifier near his cage.

I am trying right now to figure out how to put pics on here too!
 

jnyhuis

New Member
Also, he is full grown but not sure on his age.... I added current pic's of him to my gallery too! Let me know if you all can find them and if I did it correctly!
 

Jimturner

Established Member
carol5208 posted the link to the form.. click on the blue text. To post photos, if they are already in you computer just scroll down the reply page to "additional options" you will see "attach files"... click manage attachments
 

Julirs

New Member
Your Mellers does not look to be in too bad of shape. Looks like he just shed or is about to. How long has it not been drinking/eating? Do you know it is a male for sure? Mellers are very difficult to sex, and females will lay eggs without a male. Do you have any plants in that cage with it?
 

jnyhuis

New Member
Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - Meller's, male, roughly 2yrs? I have had him 1.5 yrs.
* Handling - We rarely handle him
* Feeding - Crickets, superworms, roaches, occasionally pinkies. We feed him every other day as much as he wants and they are gut loaded.
* Supplements - We use flukers repticalcium & vitamins & dust 2x weekly.
* Watering - We use a dripper and a spray bottle. I mist 3x daily for about 20min or as long as he wants to keep drinking. I do (normally) see him drink a lot!
* Fecal Description - fecies is brown & white to clear, not too mucousy and not too dry and he has never been tested for parasites. (will be tomorrow)
* History - I bought him from the west michigan expo and the person we got him from gave us HORRIBLY incorrect instructions on how to care for him! He was dehydrated and we consulted w/ a vet/herpatologist to nurse him back to health. (this was 1.5yrs ago)


Cage Info:

* Cage Type - cage is metal, open air 36in tall, 31.5in wide & 19in deep.
* Lighting - We use a regular household 30watt lightbulb for heat and a reptiglo 5.0 uvb light. 12hrs on & 12 off.
* Temperature - Basking temp is about 80 Degrees and 65 to 70 everywhere else, we use thermometers in the cage.
* Humidity - We have a wide humidity range from 20 to 80%, we use a humidifier and spraying & measure w/ a humidity gage? Can't think of correct name!
* Plants - No live plants currently
* Placement - Cage is in the living room. It is somewhat near a blocked air vent. Cage is on a stand. Top is about 4ft from the floor.
* Location - We are in west Michigan.


Current Problem - He wont eat no matter how & what we offer. He wont drink no matter how long I spray or use the dripper!
 

jnyhuis

New Member
I am thinking of upgrading to a screen, 29"x29"x72" cage and getting live plants b/c we currently have none. Also, we have done more research resently on the melleri discovery site and according to them he COULD possibly be a she! Hopefully the vet can shed some light on that tomorrow! I know it opens up a whole new slew of possibilities on what could be wrong! "it" Hasn't been eating for almost 2 weeks now!
 

jnyhuis

New Member
Haha, hi Chad! They all seem very well informed! I'm glad because I view Sol as my child! I want whats best for him! :)
 

Jimturner

Established Member
I have nothing to add, your husbandry seems fine. It could just be seasonal… my chams slow down a bit in winter as well. Please update us after the vet visit. Cheers!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Any possibility that its a female and is producing eggs? Doe you have a place it could dig in the cage? (Just a thought.)
 

jnyhuis

New Member
I thought about that, I'm definately going to mention it to the vet! If it's the case, I will be putting something in there soon!
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
The spine (as in bones, not crest) looks fine to me. Level of fat looks good to me all around- I think you are mistaking fat along the spine for the spine itself.

My guess- your winter temps have him somewhat sedentary...

Which is also fine.

Personally I use more powerful basking lights for mine with similar ambient temps to yours during this time of year (75 watt incandescent bulbs, my ambient temps are 60-70 days, around 50 nights, I've never checked basking temps I just watch the chameleons and make sure they are behaving normally). But the way yours looks, I don't think I'd recommend changing what you are doing.

I think the vet is not going to find much wrong, and I think your chameleon will perk up when spring temps come around at your house...
 

jnyhuis

New Member
I hope you are right! Just the same, this has been quite a scare for me! The guy we got him from told us that melleri can live in glass cages, DON'T need lights and are practically bullet proof/ not sensitive at all! We found out the hard way that none of that was true and we almost lost him b/c he was dehydrated! We don't wanna got through that again and since he has never been to the vet, I still think it will be good to do a check up!

Thanks everyone for all your help! If anyone else has suggestions keep them coming! I like to be well informed about my reptiles! I will let everyone know what the vet tells me!
 

Julirs

New Member
Please, please make sure you are going to a Vet that knows chameleons, and not just reptiles. I would not let the Vet probe for sex either. X-raying for eggs would be safer. I would get it in some appropriate caging, lots of live plants and horizontal perches, and get a laying bin in just in case. Weirdly enough my Mellers would slow down but would not quit eating altogether before laying.
 
He looks 'ok' to me.... but going off food... might be prego... The cage is also too small. The basking temp seems too low and the ambient is too low also I think.... I'd let it get a tad warmer.... and make the basking float around 85-90. keep the lamp at a distance, and use a flood lamp. melleri burn easy, so if you use a spot lamp you'll create hot spots and the skin will burn. You really should think about an automated mister... 3 times a day with a hand spray bottle is nowhere near enough water for them. you say he drinks a lot when you do mist, that tells me he isn't getting enough. I mist my guys about 60-70 minutes throughout the day. 20 minutes in the morning 20 late afternoon..... 20 mid day... a few smaller 3-5 minute sprinkles to keep the humidity up. My guys will just sit in the mist.... if they aren't drinking, it tells me they are getting enough water. If they run for the water every time you mist, something is goin on.

For lighting... I like to use a PAR30L 75w Flood lamp in my free range. On my cages I like to use the PAR20 50W flood. These lamps make a good amount of heat. So you should be sure to angle them and keep the 50w about 8-10 inches from the basking spot. The PAR30L's I keep about 18-22" away from the basking spot in the free range. Melleri loooovve to bask... They live high up in trees in summer and will sleep near a spot that gets early morning sun. They will warm up and move away from the direct sun when they are warm enough, as long as you make it safe for them, it is ok. If you make it too hot in spots, they'll burn.



Basking:



Henry had a spot lamp for just one day, at the same distance as a flood lamp and he got this burn:



Here is the same burn months later..... I should take another photo to show the progression of healing...

 
Top Bottom