SOMETHINGS WRONG WITH SHORDY

Shordy Mom

New Member
My veiled chameleon is around 3 years old. With the last week he’s stopped eating. I noticed a few months ago when he would eat, his tongue didn’t shoot out. Instead he’d dip his head low enough to let the worms touch his tongue. My routine for feeding has fallen short. He like blue horned worms, meal worms and wax worms. He doesn’t like crickets, I’ve tried that before. The last time his eaten was last Week on Wednesday. I’m getting concerned because he’s sleep all day, always has one arm or leg hanging. He doesn’t have sullen eyes and his color is bright and green. When he is scared from movement he’ll turn brown quickly. He also fall from the top branch tonight. He wouldn’t let me help him, he puffed up immediately. But it took him some time to get back up. I’m thinking I go to the vet to see what’s wrong. But I also have been researching to help understand. If anyone has suggestions pls do help

Before I get asked his lighting and cage is correct. He has live and fake plants in his habitat. Also just recently changed heating lamp.
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
My veiled chameleon is around 3 years old. With the last week he’s stopped eating. I noticed a few months ago when he would eat, his tongue didn’t shoot out. Instead he’d dip his head low enough to let the worms touch his tongue. My routine for feeding has fallen short. He like blue horned worms, meal worms and wax worms. He doesn’t like crickets, I’ve tried that before. The last time his eaten was last Week on Wednesday. I’m getting concerned because he’s sleep all day, always has one arm or leg hanging. He doesn’t have sullen eyes and his color is bright and green. When he is scared from movement he’ll turn brown quickly. He also fall from the top branch tonight. He wouldn’t let me help him, he puffed up immediately. But it took him some time to get back up. I’m thinking I go to the vet to see what’s wrong. But I also have been researching to help understand. If anyone has suggestions pls do help

Before I get asked his lighting and cage is correct. He has live and fake plants in his habitat. Also just recently changed heating lamp.
Welcome to the Forums. There are lots of helpful people here that want your Cham to thrive

I know it seems like a lot, but it really helps to understand his situation when there is more information.
You said he’s not eating, his tongue isn’t shooting out and hasn’t been for a while, he sleeps all day, he always has an arm or leg hanging, and he recently fell. These are all concerning symptoms.

If you fill out this form in as much detail as possible, someone may notice something that could help

How to ask for help

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your 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:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful. Include pictures of the entire set up, your chameleon, and the lighting system
We all want to help, and I can tell you want to get your chameleon healthy
 

Shordy Mom

New Member
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male and 3 years. I’ve had him since 6 months.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I handle him at least once a week, I stoped doing it so often. I work a lot now.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I mostly feed him meal worms, wax worms and blue horned worms. I fine at like 5-10. I feed him every two day and use flukers repta calcium with vitamins d and phosphorus free. I dust one a week. I cut load with apples, sweet potatoes and potato.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? use flukers repta calcium with vitamins d and phosphorus free. One a week.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I have an automated misting system every two hours for 20 seconds. I also do mist with a separate bottle, because there’s live plants in there. I do see him drinking.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? His fecal is small and brown. He hasn’t eaten in a week so not much fecal. His droppings today were small, I know he’s drinking watch by his urine. It’s white with a yellow core. If that makes sense.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you I just got a new cage for him. never had any issues with him before. He’s not aggressive. He used to be very active.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? I have a zoom med mesh screen 24x24x48
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I have zoo med lighting. I forget the exact model. But it’s the ubv lamp and the heating lamp 75watts. I just got a new bulb for the heating lamp.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Ranges typically from 90 f to 96f at his basking spot. The lowest over night is around 80 f. The cage floor is 75. I use a digital zoo med thermometer and hydgro-thermo
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? The cage is opened screen so I don’t really measure the humidity.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a pothos and snake plant.
  • 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? it’s on tops of a table in the corner of my room. Not fans or air vents are near there. No traffic either. It’s relatively higher from the floor since it’s on the table. I haven’t measured the hugely different from floor to table
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Im in Northern California


Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
As stated before he hasn’t been eating. His tongue isn’t shooting out to get his food. His arm was hanging off the branches and his grip isn’t strong. He also feel tonight. He is currently at the bottom of the cage where is plants are holding on the the side of the cage.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. I can go thru your husbandry…just need a little time. Can you post pics of your entire enclosure, including the lights? Also, in the pic, were his eyes closed with the lights on?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I do see some things that need to be changed. Putting my feedback in bold.

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male and 3 years. I’ve had him since 6 months.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I handle him at least once a week, I stoped doing it so often. I work a lot now.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I mostly feed him meal worms, wax worms and blue horned worms. I fine at like 5-10. I feed him every two day and use flukers repta calcium with vitamins d and phosphorus free. I dust one a week. I cut load with apples, sweet potatoes and potato. None of those are good staple feeders. The wax worms and horn worms are just for occasional treats as they are equivalent to reptile candy. Crickets, roaches, silkworms, bsfl, etc are all much better. Attaching both feeder and gutload graphics.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? use flukers repta calcium with vitamins d and phosphorus free. One a week. While I’m not a vet, I do think this is most likely the main source of your guys problem. He needs phosphorus free calcium without D3 at every feeding. One feeding every other week he should be getting the calcium with D3. He also needs a multivitamin (that doesn’t contain D3) one feeding every other week, alternating with the D3. Reptivite is a good multivitamin as it has preformed vitamin A for eye health. He’s not getting enough calcium and getting no multivitamins. This combined with less nutritious feeders is IMO the most likely cause for your cham being sick.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I have an automated misting system every two hours for 20 seconds. I also do mist with a separate bottle, because there’s live plants in there. I do see him drinking. It would be mush better to mist for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day…just before lights on and lights off and you can add one mid day too.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? His fecal is small and brown. He hasn’t eaten in a week so not much fecal. His droppings today were small, I know he’s drinking watch by his urine. It’s white with a yellow core. If that makes sense.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you I just got a new cage for him. never had any issues with him before. He’s not aggressive. He used to be very active.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? I have a zoom med mesh screen 24x24x48 Very good!
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I have zoo med lighting. I forget the exact model. But it’s the ubv lamp and the heating lamp 75watts. I just got a new bulb for the heating lamp. Do you mean the heat and uvb are both provided by one bulb? If so, that would be a mercury vapor bulb. Those aren’t recommended unless you have a solarmeter to monitor the uvb output as it can vary. If you have a screw in uvb bulb separate from your heat bulb, those are unable to provide the levels and gradients chameleons need. The standard is a linear T5 fixture with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. It should be long enough to span the width of your enclosure (so 24”) and then basking area needs to be about 8-9” below the light. This will provide optimal UVB index of 3.0.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Ranges typically from 90 f to 96f at his basking spot. This is too hot. This used to be the recommended temp range, but since then it’s been learned that keeping our chameleons cooler, around 82-85 at basking) is not only more natural but prolongs their lives. The lowest over night is around 80 f. If you can get a good temp drop at night, that would be ideal. Chams like cool nights. The cage floor is 75. I use a digital zoo med thermometer and hydgro-thermo
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? The cage is opened screen so I don’t really measure the humidity. Even with screen, you should be measuring humidity to maintain levels between 30-50% during the day. With such frequent misting I’m going to guess your humidity is too high.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a pothos and snake plant. I don’t think snake plants are suitable for chams, especially veileds which nibble their plants. Because they nibble their plants, you should only have safe live and washed plants and no fake. Just one bite of a fake leaf can cause impaction/obstruction. Attaching safe plant list too. Many of the plants will need a special plant light.
  • 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? it’s on tops of a table in the corner of my room. Not fans or air vents are near there. No traffic either. It’s relatively higher from the floor since it’s on the table. I haven’t measured the hugely different from floor to table The higher your chameleon is, the safer he’ll feel.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Im in Northern California

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
As stated before he hasn’t been eating. His tongue isn’t shooting out to get his food. His arm was hanging off the branches and his grip isn’t strong. He also feel tonight. He is currently at the bottom of the cage where is plants are holding on the the side of the cage. So these are signs of metabolic bone disease (mbd). You need to correct your supplementation ASAP and if you don’t have the correct uvb, you need to change that ASAP too. Your guy isn’t getting enough calcium and this effects not just the bones, but muscle contraction and nerve conduction too. A vet visit is definitely a great idea and they may need to prescribe supplements for him to help him recover better. It doesn’t appear that he’s fractured any bones yet, so that is very good. If his grip is weak and he’s falling, you may need to safeguard him so he won’t get hurt from falling. If he’s very weak and not moving much, you would be best to place him in a hospital bin. If he is still somewhat active, you may need to rig up some little ‘safety nets’ for him in case he falls. I’m hoping all has been caught early enough that he’ll make a full and complete recovery. I also hope you’ll keep us updated on him and stick around the forum. This is a great place to share our mutual nuttiness for our chams.
If you are wanting to learn more about general husbandry and all things chameleon, https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/ It is the most current, correct and comprehensive source for chameleon info. I hope I’ve been of some help.

E78329A9-462D-458A-AD17-12768CA9F2E4.jpeg
17284131-8BFA-4488-A108-7BE4CE12FD19.jpeg

A79FFA8E-79C1-4BC4-92A3-7D7D0E7171CF.jpeg
 

Shordy Mom

New Member
I do see some things that need to be changed. Putting my feedback in bold.

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male and 3 years. I’ve had him since 6 months.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I handle him at least once a week, I stoped doing it so often. I work a lot now.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I mostly feed him meal worms, wax worms and blue horned worms. I fine at like 5-10. I feed him every two day and use flukers repta calcium with vitamins d and phosphorus free. I dust one a week. I cut load with apples, sweet potatoes and potato. None of those are good staple feeders. The wax worms and horn worms are just for occasional treats as they are equivalent to reptile candy. Crickets, roaches, silkworms, bsfl, etc are all much better. Attaching both feeder and gutload graphics.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? use flukers repta calcium with vitamins d and phosphorus free. One a week. While I’m not a vet, I do think this is most likely the main source of your guys problem. He needs phosphorus free calcium without D3 at every feeding. One feeding every other week he should be getting the calcium with D3. He also needs a multivitamin (that doesn’t contain D3) one feeding every other week, alternating with the D3. Reptivite is a good multivitamin as it has preformed vitamin A for eye health. He’s not getting enough calcium and getting no multivitamins. This combined with less nutritious feeders is IMO the most likely cause for your cham being sick.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I have an automated misting system every two hours for 20 seconds. I also do mist with a separate bottle, because there’s live plants in there. I do see him drinking. It would be mush better to mist for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day…just before lights on and lights off and you can add one mid day too.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? His fecal is small and brown. He hasn’t eaten in a week so not much fecal. His droppings today were small, I know he’s drinking watch by his urine. It’s white with a yellow core. If that makes sense.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you I just got a new cage for him. never had any issues with him before. He’s not aggressive. He used to be very active.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? I have a zoom med mesh screen 24x24x48 Very good!
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I have zoo med lighting. I forget the exact model. But it’s the ubv lamp and the heating lamp 75watts. I just got a new bulb for the heating lamp. Do you mean the heat and uvb are both provided by one bulb? If so, that would be a mercury vapor bulb. Those aren’t recommended unless you have a solarmeter to monitor the uvb output as it can vary. If you have a screw in uvb bulb separate from your heat bulb, those are unable to provide the levels and gradients chameleons need. The standard is a linear T5 fixture with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. It should be long enough to span the width of your enclosure (so 24”) and then basking area needs to be about 8-9” below the light. This will provide optimal UVB index of 3.0.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Ranges typically from 90 f to 96f at his basking spot. This is too hot. This used to be the recommended temp range, but since then it’s been learned that keeping our chameleons cooler, around 82-85 at basking) is not only more natural but prolongs their lives. The lowest over night is around 80 f. If you can get a good temp drop at night, that would be ideal. Chams like cool nights. The cage floor is 75. I use a digital zoo med thermometer and hydgro-thermo
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? The cage is opened screen so I don’t really measure the humidity. Even with screen, you should be measuring humidity to maintain levels between 30-50% during the day. With such frequent misting I’m going to guess your humidity is too high.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a pothos and snake plant. I don’t think snake plants are suitable for chams, especially veileds which nibble their plants. Because they nibble their plants, you should only have safe live and washed plants and no fake. Just one bite of a fake leaf can cause impaction/obstruction. Attaching safe plant list too. Many of the plants will need a special plant light.
  • 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? it’s on tops of a table in the corner of my room. Not fans or air vents are near there. No traffic either. It’s relatively higher from the floor since it’s on the table. I haven’t measured the hugely different from floor to table The higher your chameleon is, the safer he’ll feel.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Im in Northern California

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
As stated before he hasn’t been eating. His tongue isn’t shooting out to get his food. His arm was hanging off the branches and his grip isn’t strong. He also feel tonight. He is currently at the bottom of the cage where is plants are holding on the the side of the cage. So these are signs of metabolic bone disease (mbd). You need to correct your supplementation ASAP and if you don’t have the correct uvb, you need to change that ASAP too. Your guy isn’t getting enough calcium and this effects not just the bones, but muscle contraction and nerve conduction too. A vet visit is definitely a great idea and they may need to prescribe supplements for him to help him recover better. It doesn’t appear that he’s fractured any bones yet, so that is very good. If his grip is weak and he’s falling, you may need to safeguard him so he won’t get hurt from falling. If he’s very weak and not moving much, you would be best to place him in a hospital bin. If he is still somewhat active, you may need to rig up some little ‘safety nets’ for him in case he falls. I’m hoping all has been caught early enough that he’ll make a full and complete recovery. I also hope you’ll keep us updated on him and stick around the forum. This is a great place to share our mutual nuttiness for our chams.
If you are wanting to learn more about general husbandry and all things chameleon, https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/ It is the most current, correct and comprehensive source for chameleon info. I hope I’ve been of some help.

View attachment 319528View attachment 319529
View attachment 319530
My lights are separate. One ubv light that’s the width of the cage and the heating lap is right above his basking area.

Can you provide examples of which supplements for dusting is best !? That would be great.

I’m also booking a vet visit for this coming week. Hopefully I’ll get even more answers.

Thank you so much!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
My lights are separate. One ubv light that’s the width of the cage and the heating lap is right above his basking area.

Can you provide examples of which supplements for dusting is best !? That would be great.

I’m also booking a vet visit for this coming week. Hopefully I’ll get even more answers.

Thank you so much!
How often have you been changing your uvb bulb? What strength is it? It should be written in the end of the bulb. Do you know if it’s a T5 or T8?
There’s so many different supplements and regimens to go with them. Since you already have a calcium with D3, you need a calcium without D3 for use at every feeding and a multivitamin. As I said, I like Reptivite - just make sure to get the one without D3. Your guy may have a deficiency of vitamins as well as calcium. Your vet can/should do some blood work to better determine this as well as organ function. If you can get a fecal to test for parasites, that would help rule that out as a problem too. I would suggest either printing out the help questions from above or copying the info and give to the vet when you go. It saves a lot of time for both you and the vet.
 

Shordy Mom

New Member
08E9357A-33B0-46FC-85A6-EC47AC8FB8D7.jpeg

I feed him today, with the new supplements. He didn’t eat anything, but he tried to. I believe his food blow is too deep. I’ll hand feed him tomorrow morning. But this is him tonight asleep
 

Shordy Mom

New Member
Hello everyone,
Thank you for the help with Shordy. I was able to take him to the vet today. Unfortunately it looks like the issue with him is far deeper than I expected. The X-rays show small tumors in his little stomach. I’m not sure what to do now. I’ll have these sent to a radiologist to determine the next steps.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I almost mentioned that I didn't like the look of his belly just in front of his legs...but I wasn't sure if it was anything or not. I'm not a vet so sometimes I hesitate to say.

Hope there's something they can do for him.
 
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