SPIKE & His Bright Yellow Smudge

Hannah1966

Member
WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?!!
HE DIDN'T HAVE A BRIGHT YELLOW SMUDGE ON HIS HEAD LAST NIGHT!

I actually tried wiping it off with a very soft cloth and water to no avail.. I think Golda the Leopard Gecko tagged him with a teeny tiny can of bright yellow spray paint in the middle of the night while he slept. At least I hope that's what happened! If she didn't do it then one of the birds did it and if they didn't do it, it was a fish. You know those GloFish can get a little kra-kra when the lights go out!

BUT SERIOUSLY... THE FACTS ARE:

The "bright yellow smudge" just appeared this morning. The room he is in stays at 80 degrees and about 80% humidity because of the heat emitters and the humidifiers.

Yes he finished shedding about 3 days ago.

And yes he does like his mercury vapor bulb, it is on 10-12 hours in the daytime.. and the ceramic heat emitter is on at night. But he is about 6-8" away from it at least.

I took him to the vet about 10 days ago right after PUFF passed away and we did fecal tests blood work and nothing came back as something to worry about. (Insert sigh of relief here.)

I told the doctor that even as a very young juvie when I got him as a rescue critter, either he has been dehydrated all his life or genetically he is predisposed to having slightly sunken eyes.

To test that theory I am giving him SQ fluids, 12cc Norm-R with vitamin B, everyday for 14 days. It is day 10, and he still continues to act/eat/drink?/poop & urates all normal and his eyes still look as sunken in as the day I rescued him.

Back to the bright yellow smudge on the top of his casque...

When he is in a good mood and happy the surrounding colors incorporate that same bright yellow smudge pigment. But when he is not happy and his colors go dark, that bright yellow smudge is still there on the right side and it crosses over the front ridge of the casque and just barely to the left side as well.

PHOTOS:
All photos were taken today. The first three show SPIKE'S "bright yellow smudge." The last one shows SPIKE'S "happy colors" and the smudge seems to disappear in the "happy pigment."

All questions welcome, but true, correct answers & advice are more welcome!

Blessings and SHALOM!!
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Hannah1966

Member
THANKS GOES OUT TO KING GOODMAN FOR ADVICE TO ENCLOSE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION. KUDOS TO YOU, SIR!

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Veiled Chameleon, Male, Unsure (rescue). 8 months
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • Daily
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • Crickets as his staple feeder insect, Hornworms, Wax worms, Superworms on occasion
    • He can easily snatch 10-12 med-lg crickets a day
    • He is offered food daily, but is removed from his separate feeding enclosure in 30 minutes.
    • Enclosure is 16x16x32, and is a replica of his living quarters, complete with lights, heat, and misting.
    • I am a fan of FLUCKERS, so the crickets are fed their cricket food. They also get carrots, greens, etc.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • ExoTerra products: Calcium+D3 (2-3 days), Calcium w/o D3 (2 days), Multi Vitamin (2 days)
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • Humidifier (warm mist) I have a piece of plexiglass that covers 1/2 of the screen top that allows a surface for the mist to condense and then it drips over the whole surface replicating a soft natural rain through the screen.
    • I mist the live, cham-safe plants 2-4 times a day until the leaves are dripping, and I have a small misting bottle with warm water that I mist him with at least twice a day at the same time I do the plants.
    • I have not seen him drinking...ever. But he must be when I am not watching because his defecation is normal
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • FRESH Stool: brown, slightly soft and moist. FRESH Urates: formed, mostly off-white with a slight beige-yellow tinge with a watery base.
    • Tested 10 days ago for parasites; Negative.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • Recent Exotics Vet visit included a small blood panel.
    • CBC: Normal
    • Blood Chemistry Analysis: showed an elevated uric acid level of 14.8 (norm 2.9-10)
    • Fecal Analysis: Negative

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • I have two cages; Both are ReptiBreeze brand: One for Living quarters, One for Feeding. Each are replicas of the other.
    • Living quarters: 24"x24"x48" Feeding enclosure: 16"x16"x32"
    • Each are surrounded on 3 sides with plexiglass walls (removable) to aid in regulating heat/humidity.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • Lucky Rep, Mercury Vapor Bulb, housed in a ZooMed Double Deep Dome fixture. (other side of fixture is a ceramic heat emitter.)
    • ZooMed 12" Linear UVB 5.0 placed vertically within the plexiglass shield for suggested penetration.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • DAY TEMPS: Cage floor 75*; Mid area with resting area 80*; Basking area: 85-90*
    • OVERNIGHT TEMPS: Cage floor 70-72*; Resting area 75*; Basking area with ceramic heat emitter 80-82*
    • Measured with 3 ZooMed electronic thermometers; also checked with an electronic laser temp meter.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • DAY HUMIDITY: 80-85%;
    • NIGHT HUMIDITY: 70-75%
    • Created mostly by humidifier; some misting, maintained with plexiglass surrounding at least 2-3 sides of enclosure.
    • Three hygrometers; one at basking level, one at enclosure floor, one in the room.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • All plants are live and Chameleon Safe including: Dracaena, Jade, bare Succulents, Pothos and Spikes [cordyline (Dracaena) indivisa]
  • 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?
    • In front of a southern exposure, double-paned window with wooden blinds that are open, during the day and closed at night.
    • Ceiling fan is used on low speed to circulate air as needed, usually 1-2 hours a day during the daily chores in the Critter Room.
    • Living quarters are on the opposite side of the room from the floor air vents.
    • Not at all near a high-traffic area.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
    • Moncks Corner, SC, about 45 minutes from Charleston, SC.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
  • SUDDEN appearance of a bright yellow smudge on the top right side of SPIKE's casque.
  • When he is sporting his "Happy Colors" the smudge is perfectly blended into the natural yellow pigments.
  • When he is displaying his "Badass Colors" a.k.a. his "Desert BDU" brown tones, the Yellow Smudge is highly visible.
  • It appears to be young skin/scales when examined with a high-powered lighted magnifying glass, the ridges are clean and clear without any sign of a foreign growth pattern.
  • The coloring barely crosses the bridge of the casque to the left side. (SEE PHOTOS IN INITIAL POST)
  • It appeared within 12 hours of SPIKE's last enrichment play time, and has not progresses in the last 24 hours.
  • No incident during play time; no change in SPIKE's Living Environment, no changes in his eating, or demeanor.
I will attempt to attach photos once again..

--------------

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

Attachments

Deo32

Member
I wouldn't keep the humidifier itself inside the enclosure. It is surely not needed in the case of a veiled chameleon. You're much better off getting a lot of live plants and misting more efficiently.

If you insist on the humidifier, putting it next to the cage would create essentially the same effect (humidity wise) and it won't be occupying space inside the cage. Misting 3-5xday for 2-5 minutes each time should be more than enough to keep your chameleon hydrated, and investing in an automated mister (mistking) is a great idea if you find this difficult. (So you don't need to really have that condensation on the top of your encolsure)

On the topic of enclosures, I also have never heard of separate enclosures for feeding and living; I don't think it's necessary, especially considering it's a relatively old chameleon in a 2x2x4 foot enclosure. Additionally, try putting more horizontal branches on your cage, especially in the top half.

Temperatures can drop below 60 overnight—you don't need a ceramic heat emitter.

For supplements, the recommended schedule is calcium without D3/Phosphorpus every feeding, D3/Vitamin biweekly. Providing the latter too often can your chameleon to develop issues.
 
Last edited:

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
THANKS GOES OUT TO KING GOODMAN FOR ADVICE TO ENCLOSE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION. KUDOS TO YOU, SIR!

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Veiled Chameleon, Male, Unsure (rescue). 8 months
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • Daily
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • Crickets as his staple feeder insect, Hornworms, Wax worms, Superworms on occasion
    • He can easily snatch 10-12 med-lg crickets a day
    • He is offered food daily, but is removed from his separate feeding enclosure in 30 minutes.
    • Enclosure is 16x16x32, and is a replica of his living quarters, complete with lights, heat, and misting.
    • I am a fan of FLUCKERS, so the crickets are fed their cricket food. They also get carrots, greens, etc.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • ExoTerra products: Calcium+D3 (2-3 days), Calcium w/o D3 (2 days), Multi Vitamin (2 days)
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • Humidifier (warm mist) I have a piece of plexiglass that covers 1/2 of the screen top that allows a surface for the mist to condense and then it drips over the whole surface replicating a soft natural rain through the screen.
    • I mist the live, cham-safe plants 2-4 times a day until the leaves are dripping, and I have a small misting bottle with warm water that I mist him with at least twice a day at the same time I do the plants.
    • I have not seen him drinking...ever. But he must be when I am not watching because his defecation is normal
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • FRESH Stool: brown, slightly soft and moist. FRESH Urates: formed, mostly off-white with a slight beige-yellow tinge with a watery base.
    • Tested 10 days ago for parasites; Negative.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • Recent Exotics Vet visit included a small blood panel.
    • CBC: Normal
    • Blood Chemistry Analysis: showed an elevated uric acid level of 14.8 (norm 2.9-10)
    • Fecal Analysis: Negative

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • I have two cages; Both are ReptiBreeze brand: One for Living quarters, One for Feeding. Each are replicas of the other.
    • Living quarters: 24"x24"x48" Feeding enclosure: 16"x16"x32"
    • Each are surrounded on 3 sides with plexiglass walls (removable) to aid in regulating heat/humidity.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • Lucky Rep, Mercury Vapor Bulb, housed in a ZooMed Double Deep Dome fixture. (other side of fixture is a ceramic heat emitter.)
    • ZooMed 12" Linear UVB 5.0 placed vertically within the plexiglass shield for suggested penetration.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • DAY TEMPS: Cage floor 75*; Mid area with resting area 80*; Basking area: 85-90*
    • OVERNIGHT TEMPS: Cage floor 70-72*; Resting area 75*; Basking area with ceramic heat emitter 80-82*
    • Measured with 3 ZooMed electronic thermometers; also checked with an electronic laser temp meter.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • DAY HUMIDITY: 80-85%;
    • NIGHT HUMIDITY: 70-75%
    • Created mostly by humidifier; some misting, maintained with plexiglass surrounding at least 2-3 sides of enclosure.
    • Three hygrometers; one at basking level, one at enclosure floor, one in the room.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • All plants are live and Chameleon Safe including: Dracaena, Jade, bare Succulents, Pothos and Spikes [cordyline (Dracaena) indivisa]
  • 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?
    • In front of a southern exposure, double-paned window with wooden blinds that are open, during the day and closed at night.
    • Ceiling fan is used on low speed to circulate air as needed, usually 1-2 hours a day during the daily chores in the Critter Room.
    • Living quarters are on the opposite side of the room from the floor air vents.
    • Not at all near a high-traffic area.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
    • Moncks Corner, SC, about 45 minutes from Charleston, SC.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
  • SUDDEN appearance of a bright yellow smudge on the top right side of SPIKE's casque.
  • When he is sporting his "Happy Colors" the smudge is perfectly blended into the natural yellow pigments.
  • When he is displaying his "Badass Colors" a.k.a. his "Desert BDU" brown tones, the Yellow Smudge is highly visible.
  • It appears to be young skin/scales when examined with a high-powered lighted magnifying glass, the ridges are clean and clear without any sign of a foreign growth pattern.
  • The coloring barely crosses the bridge of the casque to the left side. (SEE PHOTOS IN INITIAL POST)
  • It appeared within 12 hours of SPIKE's last enrichment play time, and has not progresses in the last 24 hours.
  • No incident during play time; no change in SPIKE's Living Environment, no changes in his eating, or demeanor.
I will attempt to attach photos once again..

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Don’t handle him daily unless he wants it (comes over and tries to climb on you, not when he’s all colorful-that means he’s pissed). Always reward handling with his favorite feeder, going to a free range set up, going outside (when warm enough), etc. Waxworms should only be fed as treats. Try black soldier flies and larvae, silkworms, and roaches, too (dubias, red runners, orange headed, and ivory headed cannot climb or fly)! Fluker’s is a crap gutload, get either a quality commercial gutload, like Pangea, Cricket Crack, Repashy, Mazuri, and/or use organic fresh fruits and vegetables (there’s a gutload list in food and nutrition in the resources tab here). Exo Terra supplements are crap, get either Zoo Med (calcium without D3 every feeding, Reptivite with D3 every two weeks), Repashy (Calcium Plus LoD every feeding), Arcadia (follow the insectivore supplement schedule on their website), or Sticky Tongue Farms (Minerall every feeding and gutload feeders with Vitall the night before). Use room temperature water, not warm water. Mist for at least 2 minutes each time. Get rid of the mercury vapor bulb and get either a basking bulb or regular white light incandescent heat bulb from the hardware store instead, mercury vapor bulbs emitt uvb and heat, and you already have a uvb source. Put the linear uvb fixture on top of the cage and get a 10.0 (Zoo Med) bulb. Get rid of the ceramic heat emitter, chams need a temp drop at night. Read the veiled care sheet here, lots of great info, including proper humidity levels! Humidity is way too high! His happy colors are called fired up, which happens when they’re pissed or angry. His badass colors are when he’s stressed. When he has normal colors, not overly bright or dark, that is when he’s the happiest, aim for that.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
And add more branches and vines, mostly horizontal, everywhere throughout the cage, along with more plant cover
 

Hannah1966

Member
I wouldn't keep the humidifier itself inside the enclosure. Keeping it like that—creating that "condensation on top of the cage" that you are describing—does not enable the cage to dry in between misting sessions. This can cause a host of issues with bacteria formation, respiratory infections, etc.

Putting it next to the cage would create essentially the same effect (humidity wise) and it won't be occupying space inside the cage. Misting 3-5xday for 2-5 minutes each time should be more than enough to keep your chameleon hydrated, and investing in an automated mister (mistking) is a great idea if you find this difficult.

On the topic of enclosures, I also have never heard of separate enclosures for feeding and living; I don't think it's necessary, especially considering it's a relatively old chameleon in a 2x2x4 foot enclosure. Additionally, try putting more horizontal branches on your cage, especially in the top half.

Temperatures can drop below 60 overnight—you don't need a ceramic heat emitter.

For supplements, the recommended schedule is calcium without D3/Phosphorpus every feeding, D3/Vitamin biweekly. Providing the latter too often can your chameleon to develop issues.

Thank you for your input, however, SPIKE is not yet a year old, I have had him for 8 months, as a rescue.

The humidifier is not on constantly. Most natural habitats of Veiled Chams allow them to drink the morning dew from the plants foliage that they live in. I replicate this by running the humidifier during the evening so that I can create a more natural response of drinking from the "dew" on the plants. That is why during the day I also mist. And putting the humidifier outside of the cage only creates condensation on the sides of the enclosure, which quickly run down the mesh and onto the floor.

I HAD a MistKing Ultimate system...with enough tubing, attachments,etc more than enough for the 4 enclosures I have. However, due to health circumstances beyond my control, I am having to consider relocation of my beloved chams, and so before I set up the system, I returned it.

Separate feeding enclosures allows for one to remain more dry and less crowded, and therefore less chances of SPIKE overlooking a mealtime munchie.

There are no less than 8 pathways, from top to bottom, and that does not include the basking area, and the midway hangout. plus SPIKE enjoys the foliage as well at the lower levels.

I will consult with my Exotics vet on the supplements schedule you have recommended, as it applies to the chemistry and blood work that SPIKE shows.
Each of our beloved Creatures and Critters are different, even within the same species, and further within the same sex of the same species.
These wonderful charming delights are not "one-size fits all" when it comes to supplements' type or schedule. It is a delicate balance that only blood work with an iCA+ level used in concert with other blood properties that will allow us stupid humans to try to sustain them and provide for their needs.

Again, I thank you for your reply to my posting, and will take all that you have provided, "under advisement."
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for your input, however, SPIKE is not yet a year old, I have had him for 8 months, as a rescue.

The humidifier is not on constantly. Most natural habitats of Veiled Chams allow them to drink the morning dew from the plants foliage that they live in. I replicate this by running the humidifier during the evening so that I can create a more natural response of drinking from the "dew" on the plants. That is why during the day I also mist. And putting the humidifier outside of the cage only creates condensation on the sides of the enclosure, which quickly run down the mesh and onto the floor.

I HAD a MistKing Ultimate system...with enough tubing, attachments,etc more than enough for the 4 enclosures I have. However, due to health circumstances beyond my control, I am having to consider relocation of my beloved chams, and so before I set up the system, I returned it.

Separate feeding enclosures allows for one to remain more dry and less crowded, and therefore less chances of SPIKE overlooking a mealtime munchie.

There are no less than 8 pathways, from top to bottom, and that does not include the basking area, and the midway hangout. plus SPIKE enjoys the foliage as well at the lower levels.

I will consult with my Exotics vet on the supplements schedule you have recommended, as it applies to the chemistry and blood work that SPIKE shows.
Each of our beloved Creatures and Critters are different, even within the same species, and further within the same sex of the same species.
These wonderful charming delights are not "one-size fits all" when it comes to supplements' type or schedule. It is a delicate balance that only blood work with an iCA+ level used in concert with other blood properties that will allow us stupid humans to try to sustain them and provide for their needs.

Again, I thank you for your reply to my posting, and will take all that you have provided, "under advisement."
Having that much humidity is too much for a veiled, they're from a semi arid environment. A drainage system is a must. A cage should not be less crowded, but filled with plants, vines, and branches to where seeing your cham is a gift. And you shouldn’t need a dryer set up, fix the humidity in your cage. You are oversupplementing with your schedule right now, which could lead to more health problems
 

KingGoodman

Member
I am no expert but when I saw the first picture you posted of the problem I wondered if he was starting to burn. Then you posted photos of the basking bulb (heat bulb) sitting directly on the screen. I would encourage you to raise that off the cage at least an inch or two. I see there are no branches high enough for him to sit close to it but he can still hang from the screen at the top and do damage. What do you think?

The problem with those deep bulb domes is that they direct a very intense and narrow cone of light, which leaves a small gradient from hot to cold for the cham itself to try to find the ideal spot to warm up and they aren’t the best at that.

As others have said it doesn’t appear he has burned himself but these things made me concerned about the future.
 
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