squeaking chameleon


New Member
i have a 5-6 week old male chameleon
i have recently noticed that he has been squeaking occasionally, and he has started making hissing noises when i come near or pick him up.
he needs to be picked up at the moment because he got an eye infection and the vet gave me eye drops, which he needs 2-3 times a day, every day,
i was not too worried by this squeaking problem, but now it is slightly noticable. the other day he ate a cricket that was too large for him, the antena got stuck in his mouth, i used tweezers to pull it out and i think he has digested the stuck cricket and he is eating again. i not so long ago cleaned him out. i just use bottled water to clean the bottom of his flex - take out the plant on the floor, remove the newspaper, get rid of the poop, let the floor dry and then put fresh paper down and put the plant back. (any one know a better way of doing this?)
he lives in a 38gallon flexarium until he gets bigger, eats crickets and locusts, the occasional waxworm, i mist him twice a day until the whole flexarium is dripping. i do not gut load the crickets as they come from a pet shop, and the pet shop crickets are readily gut loaded.
he has mostly fake plants and vines, but one live plant, which is a coleus plant bought from homebase. he has had this a while now, this morning i noticed him munching on a leaf. i assume this is ok as the plant was down on a "safe for chameleons" list.
so does anybody know why he might be squeaking/hissing. the squeaks, when i do hear them are usually a good half hour appart, never in any particular pattern, he squeaks when he is trying to get away from me, when he was smaller he never did hiss or squeak, it started after his first hiss when the vet insisted on holding him "firmly" which i have never done before. i cannot wait for the eye drops to be done with because i know he hates them.
thanks for any opinions and advice,

(about my set up)

Pascal is a male yemen chameleon, not very old, probably not quite one month, his body is the length of my index finger, and i brought him home 4 weeks ago (just measured roughly 7cm)

he is handled twice a day for his eye drops, which were givven to me by the vet. normally i catch him, (difficult, i try to be gentle and usually wait until he mistakes me hand for a branch and then lift him out) wait for him to finish being frightened, put in the eye drops, maybe take a photo or let him wonder around, he never goes darker than his usual happy green, and then put him back.

im feeding him small crickets at the moment, the occasional locust or wax worm no more than once every 2 weeks if i have some

i gave up using the drip system as there is no evidence of it being any use, it just floods the bottom of his flex. i mist him until the whole flex is dripping, every leaf is wet, and mist from above the flex so it drips from the top as well, i do this twice a day.

he doesnt poop much, his most recent was dark brown, had a white bit, white bit is occasionally next to some yellow liquid goo

pascal came from a small but tightly packed reptile store, kept in a terrarium with other babies, bred in captivity

i have the exoterra flexarium 38, i hope to get the 100 gallon version when pascal is a bit bigger

i have a reptiglo 5.0 uvb bulb, it goes on at 7am, and off at 7am. when it is not on, i keep the entire room as dark as it will go.

i use a pro rep 100w basking spot lamp for lighting, it is often not enough and i cannot get the room above 26degrees until the afternoon, so he tends to bask a lot, but he will go to the bottom to eat.

i use an unreliable hygrometer to measure humidity. i have been told by countless people on reptile forums that they dont use them because they're abit rubbish (£7. *sigh*)

i have a small but wide coleus plant, he had a much loved lilac tree, it is still recovering in the greenhouse, i should be able to put it back for a short time in a few weeks, i know he likes that one. he also has some fake plants hanging from his vines.

my flex is in my room, which is the only room at the top of the house, no one really goes in except me and my friend, sometimes my reptile loving sister or my mom, but not often (the art of yelling up the stairs when they need me), it is near a window, but not next to one, kind of between the two, so during the day there is always natural light and heat coming in, and the windows are usually open, even when it is cold, theyre open a bit. the top of my flex is 1.5 metres from the floor. i dont live near any busy roads, although you can hear the soft noise of the bigger road a few houses away from my road, never any sirens, the occasional drunken group of teenagers taking a stroll, but that is it. i live on the south coast of england, about a 2 minute walk from the sea, so you get the occasional waft of low tide, regular drizzle and the incredibly rare "heat wave"


New Member
It could be a respiratory infection or a broken rib. Perhaps the eye drops are getting in his nostril? Just a guess. What happened to the eye?

Your setup sounds good but the watering situation sounds bad. First off I would clean the cage with regular tap water. The tiny bit of chlorine in there will help sterilize. Aside from that a very diluted amount of some chemicals may help -- you will need to ask others what ratio but let it air out after cleaning.

As for the dripper you should really get that set up. You either need a drain hole in the bottom of the cage or a catch inside the cage just make sure he can not drown in it. Use tap water too for now. Because of your location I think humidity should be fine but any central air or heat could negate that so let us know.

I actually think 26 degrees is too hot for the ambient temp.


New Member
Can you post pics of him? it does sound like he has a breathing problem to me. my male veiled has hissed at me once, and he fired up at the same time, so i knew it was a "get out of my space" kinda hiss, but if yours is sqeaking regularly its indicative of a problem.
is he producing any mucus or nasal discharge? this is usually a good indicator of a URTI (Upper Respiratory Tract Infection) but its not always present.
also, do you have a water bowl or any standing water inside his enclosure? this can be very bad for chameleons as they have a tendency to defecate in the water and it will stagnate.

On a side note, you didnt mention anything about supplements. are you using any calcium, D3 or multivitamin supplements on his food? this is so important for chameleons, more so than other reptiles. in my opinion, without the proper lighting, gut-loading, AND supplementation, chameleons stand a VERY high chance of developing MBD or other vitamin deficiencies. you mentioned that you dont gut-load as your insects are pre-gutloaded from the pet shop. im afraid this just isnt good enough. usulally, when they say insects are gut-loaded, it just means they put some bran flakes in with the circkets, and tell you thats good enough. its not. there are lots of gut-load recipies on here, but as your in the UK, i would recommend a very simple soloution. go to www.reptilecentre.com and buy some Pro Rep Bug Grub, and some Pro Rep Bug Gel. putting these two things in a small enclosure with your crickets will make a huge difference to their health, and therefore your chams health. also, id buy some Vet-Ark Nutrobal powder, and dust ALL his crickets with a small amount of this, every time you feed him. there are better supplementation routines out there, but not many of the US based companies sell their products over here, and ive used this routine with no problems.

Keep us posted on his progress and please try to get some pics of him and his enclosure. all the best.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Cage temperatures? Basking temperature? Supplements? Gutloading/feeding insects?

He may be getting a draft from the window that is causing his problems. Even though he isn't right at the window, you said you have it open all the time.


New Member
i'm kind of hoping it is not a broken rib, he is perfectly happy to wonder around on the hunt for locusts, bask, explore, try and escape from eye drop time etc.

his eye had a small infection, the vet said it was caught at an early stage and the eye drops are helping, it is open all the time now and it has started to get back to its healthy size and shape.

the window has not been open a lot recently as i have been trying to keep the temperature up.

his crickets are dusted with t-rex chameleon dust, which was highly recommended by the guys in the store, and my vet approved of it, ive been told that so long as all his crickets have this, no other supplements are necessary.

as far as i know he does not have any gunk on his mouth or nostrils, the day after i got the cricket out of his mouth i tried to peek inside his mouth when he hissed at me, i dont see anything out of the ordinary. nothing appears to be in his nose, his nostrils are white, but they have always been white so i assume that is normal and it hasnt developed since he has been with me.

i do not have any water dishes or standing water. i did at first but now the newspaper in the bottom soaks up the water, i dont use the dripper so nothing builds up at the bottom.

his lighting is fine i have been told, 5.0 uvb compact lamp and i checked with the vet, he said it is fine so long as it is replaced after 9-12 months. i also like to let in as much day light as i can, particularly on sunny days i will take down the curtains and open the windows a crack.

also, he never squeaks in his sleep. he only ever squeaks when he is wondering around or pooping. but when he is wondering around on my arm or exploring i dont hear him squeak, even though he is moving a lot more when he is exploring my arm etc. so far today i have not heard him squeak and he has not hissed at me.
it might just be nothing :/
i will probably take him to his non-emergency vet for a check up anyway,
if it is something, or develops, i will have to take him to his specialist
(i feel so posh having multiple vets for him xD )


New Member
I do recommend more supplements, since you need at least three - one that is plain calcium, one that is calcium PLUS D3, and a multivitamin. One dusting thing won't cover all his needs - it may hit one or two...but not all of them. Also, gutloading is extremely important. Whatever the crickets eat, your chameleon also eats. I use a hibiscus leaf/flower and kale mix dusted with spirulina. It works wonders and doesn't smell at all.

The white around the nostrils - do you mean his scale color? Or do you mean that there is actual white around his nostrils? Like white gunk? That could be a sign of a respiratory infection.

However, it's hard to tell without any pictures. Do you have any pics?

It could also just be his aggression noise. I had a male Jackson's that would squeak instead of hiss when he got mad. Nothing wrong with him - he was just a squeaker.


New Member
My little veiled lets out a like coughing noise sometimes when I open my cage door. I though it might be some kinda infection but I see no other symptoms, and it only happens sometimes when I open the cage.

I think it might be a leave me alone noise.


New Member
My little veiled lets out a like coughing noise sometimes when I open my cage door. I though it might be some kinda infection but I see no other symptoms, and it only happens sometimes when I open the cage.

I think it might be a leave me alone noise.
mine does that too. tbh, id say if he's doing everything normally, that it probably is nothing. keep us posted. hope all is well.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Regarding the eye...some of the compact lights have been causing eye/health issues. They were supposed to have all been corrected but there could still be a few "old" lights on the shelves.i

You said..."the window has not been open a lot recently as i have been trying to keep the temperature up"..even being near the window in winter can result in a chill (not saying that has happened yet...just making you aware of it) that can lead to respiratory issues and even fungal infections.

You said..."his crickets are dusted with t-rex chameleon dust, which was highly recommended by the guys in the store, and my vet approved of it, ive been told that so long as all his crickets have this, no other supplements are necessary"...Here's some information I hope will help you with things like supplements, gutloading, etc....
Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects we use in captivity have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects just before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite which has beta carotene.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.
Please note that various supplements have various amounts of D3 and vitamin A and so some can be given more often than others. The idea still is not to overdo the fat soluble vitamins like D3 and prEformed vitamin A.

Here are some good sites for you to read too...
If you can't access the sites above that have the word "archive" in you can do it through the WayBackMachine.
Top Bottom