Small Shed Issue

lizunzel

New Member
Pascal is about 2-3 months I'd estimate. I got him from petsmart ( I know a poor choice, but he appeared healthy and he's been behaving absolutely normally ) I've had him less than a week and he had his first shed. He absolutely hates it when I mist so it makes it hard to increase those and I'm afraid to take him to the shower. I'm guessing he is lacking the supplements he needs because petsmart said they don't really gut load or dust their bugs ( wtf??? ) so he's been eating dusted crickets, dubia, and mealworms ( only a few of these primarily dubia and crickets ) since I got him, about 7 or so a day ( he's picky ). Anyways, after his first shed he's got a small (1/2 ring not full so i don't think it's constricting ) piece of dead skin over his front left leg, some flakes on his left dorsal side, but what is really concerning me is the small patch on his front left side, I'm hoping it's not a burn. it appeared after his first shed and is approximately the same color as the shed. I'm hoping it wasn't a burn ( he did like to sit in a basking spot that I think was too close to the light ( this was for a day or two and I got paranoid of a burn occurring so I moved it promptly )

I tried to take a Q-tip dipped in luke warm water to the flakes to test out that method but the second I touched him it was stress level 100 and so I pulled out immediately. I sprayed him through the cage with the zoo-med shed aid. I'm hoping this works. He's hiding now because I have angered him so I can't get a picture just yet I will when he calms down and is basking again.

All other behavior is normal. I believe and I hope that it is a vitamin deficiency as I have caught him sneaking dirt here and there. Even though this is not proven it is displayed in many animals so I wouldn't be surprised. I plan to go to the store to pick up some hibiscus and other plants today so I was going to pick up some garden rocks as well to stop that because I'm terrified of impaction as well. I'm a new owner, but I'm in grad school and have a bachelor of science degree in biology so animal husbandry behavior and basics aren't new topics for me and when I read about all the potential problems I get paranoid whenever I see something abnormal. Thankfully he's not acting strange...

Thoughts?
 

lizunzel

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, Male, 1 week exactly
  • Handling - I have been about every day, which seems like a lot, but only when he acts interested to hang out and crawls onto my hand.
  • Feeding - I try to feed him what he wants to eat in the morning and early afternoon which is usually about 5-7 bugs primarily small dubia with some small-med if he's interested, and crickets. Sometimes 1-2 mealworms but he's not a big fan of worms after an incident with superworms on day one ( I made a big mistake and fed him large superworms which he threw up - he's doing fine now vet told me to observe and everything went well ) dubia and crickets have been gutloaded with kale and carrots and next round will be cilantro and arugala
  • Supplements - Repti-Calcium w/ D3 with every feeding, and next monday I plan to start w/ a Reptivite with D3 every other monday (2x a month)
  • Watering - Drip Method when needed, primarily a hand pump mister 2-3 times a day. I try to use a zoomed mister system but I'm not the biggest fan. The cage is in my room and I sit at my computer all day for class so it's easy to get up and mist when needed. I've seen him drink once or twice but fecal matter so far has been normal.
  • Fecal Description - A little drier but I think it's because I haven't seen it immediately, urea is white. He's pooped twice from what I can see. No parasite testing yet.
  • History - No I'm the only owner, unfortunately he came from PetSmart though.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - ZooMed 24x24x48 - it's a hand me down so there quite a few tears and holes that i've mended with zip ties and wire to keep it safe. I can't afford a new cage right now but it's doing alright except for the occasional feeder escape.
  • Lighting - Thrive 20 in 10.0 bulb linear - I plan to get a larger one because I'm paranoid it doesn't cover it.
  • Temperature - Mid 80's in the basking area, can't get it higher than that without getting it too high ? But I think the gauge may be busted. It's a ZooMed thermometer, I think the previous supply owner started with the kit. I have a thermometer gun coming today and I plan to get a new hygrometer/thermo combo from homed depot today as well.
  • Humidity - I live in GA so it's usually an ambient 40-50, I mist 2-3 times a day to get it up to 80. A humidifier is on the way tomorrow so I can increase night time humidity and decrease mistings during the day. I'm reading a lot about that more natural cycle and that I shouldn't be misting so much during the day.
  • Plants - Yes, 1 hanging marble pathos and a croton on the ground. I plan to add a hibiscus and bromeliad I'm a big fan of natural plants and he's a snacker.
  • Placement - Currently ground level, I'm in the process of trying to elevate onto a higher stand and add a shower drain to the substrate tray so that I can create a make-shift drain. I don't think he's happy that he's that low and he is in my room currently.
  • Location - GA.
 
Last edited:

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Putting my feedback in red.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, Male, 1 week exactly
  • Handling - I have been about every day, which seems like a lot, but only when he acts interested to hang out and crawls onto my hand. Perfect to go at his pace.
  • Feeding - I try to feed him what he wants to eat in the morning and early afternoon which is usually about 5-7 bugs primarily small dubia with some small-med if he's interested, and crickets. Sometimes 1-2 mealworms but he's not a big fan of worms after an incident with superworms on day one ( I made a big mistake and fed him large superworms which he threw up - he's doing fine now vet told me to observe and everything went well ) dubia and crickets have been gutloaded with kale and carrots and next round will be cilantro and arugala For so young you should be feeding him more. Age pretty much determines how much...up until 3 months he should get as much as he’ll eat in about 15 minutes. 3-4 months should be around 10-15 feeders. Mealworms are not a good choice for chams. Attaching the feeder and gutload sheets for you.
  • Supplements - Repti-Calcium w/ D3 with every feeding, and next monday I plan to start w/ a Reptivite with D3 every other monday (2x a month) Why are you giving the calcium with D3 every feeding now but going to cut back to twice a month later? Right now he is getting too much D3.The younger they are, the less forgiving they are in our errors. He should be getting a phosphorus free calcium with NO D3 at every feeding. The Reptivite with D3 is very good and you are correct that it is to be used omce every other week. You won’t need any other supplements that those 2.
  • Watering - Drip Method when needed, primarily a hand pump mister 2-3 times a day. I try to use a zoomed mister system but I'm not the biggest fan. The cage is in my room and I sit at my computer all day for class so it's easy to get up and mist when needed. I've seen him drink once or twice but fecal matter so far has been normal. Perfect. If in the future you want to invest in a good misting system, Mist King is great.
  • Fecal Description - A little drier but I think it's because I haven't seen it immediately, urea is white. He's pooped twice from what I can see. No parasite testing yet.
  • History - No I'm the only owner, unfortunately he came from PetSmart though. Many of us have gotten chams from chain pet stores even though we know better. It’s hard to walk away from those sweet little babies in need. Some may have health issues so it’s a gamble...but they all need loving homes.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - ZooMed 24x24x48 - it's a hand me down so there quite a few tears and holes that i've mended with zip ties and wire to keep it safe. I can't afford a new cage right now but it's doing alright except for the occasional feeder escape. You’re ahead of many in having the right size.
  • Lighting - Thrive 20 in 10.0 bulb linear - I plan to get a larger one because I'm paranoid it doesn't cover it. Not sure about the Thrive brand lights. What you do need is a T5 fixture with a 5.0 or 6% uvb bulb. Should be long enough to span the width of the enclosure, so 24” long. It needs to be about 8-9” from basking area to get correct uvb levels.
  • Temperature - Mid 80's in the basking area, can't get it higher than that without getting it too high ? But I think the gauge may be busted. It's a ZooMed thermometer, I think the previous supply owner started with the kit. I have a thermometer gun coming today and I plan to get a new hygrometer/thermo combo from homed depot today as well. Ok...could be a degree or two lower (closer to 80) but no higher than what you currently have.
  • Humidity - I live in GA so it's usually an ambient 40-50, I mist 2-3 times a day to get it up to 80. A humidifier is on the way tomorrow so I can increase night time humidity and decrease mistings during the day. I'm reading a lot about that more natural cycle and that I shouldn't be misting so much during the day. During the day 40-50% humidity is fine. You don’t want any higher than 50%. Misting 2-3 times daily is fine, but no more than that.Night humidity can get to 100% for naturalistic hydration.
  • Plants - Yes, 1 hanging marble pathos and a croton on the ground. I plan to add a hibiscus and bromeliad I'm a big fan of natural plants and he's a snacker. Perfect! Just know that hibiscus has high light needs and you’ll need a special plant light to keep it alive. If you have any plastic plants, you can hang those outside the enclosure for added privacy.
  • Placement - Currently ground level, I'm in the process of trying to elevate onto a higher stand and add a shower drain to the substrate tray so that I can create a make-shift drain. I don't think he's happy that he's that low and he is in my room currently. They do like to be higher than us...makes them feel safer.
  • Location - GA.
Your husbandry looks pretty good except for the few things I mentioned. The biggest is supplementation and uvb light. I’ll have to look up the Thrive light to see what exactly it is.
Regarding the stuck shed...chameleons are dry shedders. It is instinct to want to moisten the stuck shed to help it come off, but that can actually make it stick more. I believe the shed aid sprays are more geared towards humid shedders. As long as nothing is being constricted by the stuck shed, just let it come off on it’s own.
Now, the biggest problem that we have here is you didn’t provide any pics of your cham. How am I supposed to get in any little smiles and “awwws” without a pic of a baby cham? ?
Seriously though, it would be great to see your cham and a full pic of your enclosure...lights to floor. Often that gives further insight.

  • 07DF89A2-4540-4CE6-8B06-32CD3EB0325F.jpeg
    6A94BC4C-4101-4194-9CF2-33F5FA10051A.jpeg
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can’t determine if the Thrive light that you have is a T5 or a T8...Petsmart’s site says nothing about it. One way to determine which it is, is to measure the width of the bulb. T5 are about 1/2“ wide and T8 are about 1” wide.
 

lizunzel

New Member
Oh my goodness i just realized the typo ! it's w/o D3 every day, I was very sleepy and scared about him this morning! AHHHH ! rookie typo i'm so sorry. The thought of having accidentally burnt him is killing me.

And Pics incoming! I just woke up from a nap!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh my goodness i just realized the typo ! it's w/o D3 every day, I was very sleepy and scared about him this morning! AHHHH ! rookie typo i'm so sorry. The thought of having accidentally burnt him is killing me.

And Pics incoming! I just woke up from a nap!
Phew! Much much better!
 

lizunzel

New Member
So I went to my local exotic store to get him a new light. I looked up the thrive ight and you're right it doesn't even say if it's T5 orT8 so I went and got a 24 inch reptisun T5HO as well as a 50watt bulb just in case the 100w is too warm after i've lowered the basking spot.

Here are some photos of him you can kind of see the spot. However I'm terrified now because I as trying to elevate his cage and it fell over and he got knocked to the ground and now i'm worried he's going to die of fright. He seems to be behaving normally and ate 3 crickets.... god i'm literally the worst mom i want to cry.

as for eating he just won't eat more than 2-3 bugs at a time even if there are more he loses interest and moves on. IDK what's up.

1605643035421.png
1605643044274.png
 

lizunzel

New Member
The Zoo Med Shed aid definitely is helping with the spots around his limb and the small amount on his dorsal side - but I can't tell if it's helping the spot yet. It does look more diffuse/translucent then before. But I don't want to spray or bother him any more today after that traumatic episode he probably just experienced. Trying to limit his time with me as much as possible for at least 24 hours. Update on his condition after the fall. He's moving around with no problem at all. Grasping at the cage wall and climbing without issue of his toes. Tail is gripping without issue and there appears to be no step off or deformities there. So far no bruising of the skin or permanent color change. He appears to be a darker shade but hat's expected since he's probably scared or pissed. No display of aggression spots / puffing up / bloating. No edema or deformity of extremities. Eyes are plump, round, and moving without ocular impairment...

I worked EMS before this and am now in PA school so trauma assessments of patients is my go to to make sure things are normal.

He also just ate a smooshed cricket I missed after his last feeding... I try to smash them since it's easier than trying to gnab what he doesn't eat with tweezers. He absolutely hates cup feeding - he must be easily bored by it. but with the holes in the cage from the previous owner I'm afraid of dubia and crickets escaping into my room so I monitor them carefully. I also tend to put them on vines for him to hunt but those fall off and I lose those easily too. Plus I can only do that one by one so it takes forever and I think he loses interest / gets annoyed by me invading his space for so long even if it is for food.

Sorry everyone if this is a lot of posting and words. I'm just a new paranoid owner with a medical background so like I'm hypercritical about every little thing...

I realize you can't enlarge that photo to see the spot. Here is a better one. It's just behind his left arm so it's still kind of blocked. it's about 5 mm in diameter and I wouldn't say it's full thickness more like scales pre-shed when their skin starts to turn white but not bubble and pull up off the surface yet. Another side note for his enclosure the photo above was taken after the toppling incident so the crotan is removed. The crotan is back in there and fills up the front right quadrant space. He loves to move around and just vibe in it.

1605644970597.png
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
No worries! As long as he’s moving around and using all of his limbs...nothing popping out from his ribs he should be ok. Maybe don’t take him out tomorrow and let him chill and relax. He’s a little cutie! ?
I wanted to see that you’ve got enough branches and vines to climb on (you do) and plant cover to provide shade and hiding spots (you do). There’s several different types of feeders out there, but this one is a favorite of many here. https://tkchameleons.com/products/shooting-gallery?variant=30018608595032 It’s as close to escape proof as you can get. If you get one, get the large and make sure to hang it high enough for him to see it from his basking area. My guy loves his...always peeking in it for food and one night even slept inside it! Just got some for my ladies and they’ve learned quick that’s where the food is.
If you do replace his enclosure in the future, https://www.diycages.com/ has a nice screen enclosure and I can’t sing the praises enough for dragon ledges http s://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/. Some great sites to learn so much about chameleons and their care are https://chameleonacademy.com/ and Neptune the chameleon on YouTube.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Hi I’m also new to the chameleon husbandry thing and I know you’ve got some really great help already. I saw you posted something about a shower drain, I was looking into drain options for a while too and found that they sell 24x24 drain pans that could work too and rig to a bucket, but I ended up getting a “pet loo” which is made for potty training dogs but works pretty great for my 24x24x36, only thing is that I can empty the tray every 2-3 days (depending on how much water runoff) and if you don’t have the time you may want to rig to a bucket instead. Only suggesting cuz I also looked into the shower drain prices and wow ? who knew it would cost soo much for a small piece of floor?
And btw you Cham is adorable! ?
 
Top Bottom