Stressed Veiled Stressing me out! Help please!


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This is my first post, although I have been a lurker for some time. I have a sub adult (exact age unsure) male veiled that is exhibiting stressful colors, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. I have had him since Christmas Eve (gift to myself), and for the first few weeks, he seemed fine. He has shed one time since I have had him. He does not look dehydrated - his feces looks normal, and his eyes are not sunk in, but I have yet to see him drink. I put him in the shower one time, and had the shower mist spray the plant that he was on, but he got so mad, I kind of thought doing that to him was causing more stress than just leaving him was causing.

He is housed in a 4x2x2 screen cage with live ficus, pothos, and ivy. There are branches throughout the enclosure for basking, and walking around. He gets a manual drip twice per day, into alternating plants. The basking temps range between 82 and 97 degrees, and the temps in the lower portion of the cage go as low as 72 degrees. He has an all in one bulb - 100W Powersun UV for heat and UVB. He is fed once per day, usually 8-10 medium crickets dusted with Indoor Miner-All. Every third day he is given a different insect - roaches, wax worms, or superworms. All insects are gut loaded with alternating organic greens (Kale, Beets, Carrots). He is fed differet ways each day - one day his crickets will be in a cup, one day they will be on the screen, and one day they will roam free, so he can hunt. He is taken outside and put in a patio tree that is half in the sun, half in the shade a few times per week, for about 2 hours. When he is in the patio tree, the hose sprays a light mist to try to get him to drink.

So - please tell me what I am doing wrong? I have had Jackson's and Veileds before, but it has been about 8 years, so I am afraid I am missing an important component in his care. Please help!
Thanks for your time.

I'm not big on the lights you are using. a normal household bulb about 40w-60w should do it for basking. a reptisun 5.0 tube light for UVB is normaly best for his UV needs.

as for the drinking, he's just shy around you. if you are seeing normal white urates, he is drinking behind your back. he will be fine.

Could it just be something easy? Have you moved his cage, put another animal where he can see it, maybe he was frighten while outside? Could you post a picture of him, his cage and his outdoor area? I can't see anything that jumps out at me.

Had another idea, since you are in so cal, there is a group of keepers who meet the last Tuesday of the month. It is in downtown LA but you will have lots of great people right there to talk about the problem. Send a PM to Dave Weldon, he will give you the info.
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Hi, why is there such a big variation in your basking temps, they should be pretty constant? Also 97 seems a bit too hot, shouldnt really be over 90.
Thanks everyone for helping me figure out what might be wrong.

Harry: I was kind of feeling uneasy about the light. I used the Repti-sun 5.0 bulb when I had chameleons before, so I will go back to that. I do see normal white urates, so that makes me feel better about the water. Thanks for that!

Laurie: I had a few fake ficus branches with leaves in the cage to cover up the sides, but they weren't strong enough, so I had to take them down. So, I wonder if he is feeling too exposed now?

Here is Rango when held:

Here is Rango when in his patio tree:

Here is Rango's indoor cage:

Itwas: The range in basking temps are the temps at the different locations. There are 4 different basking branches for him to choose from.

Thanks again for your help!
Are you sure it's a boy? Does he/she have a tarsal spur? It looks like a girl to me. Could be egg laying time :)
I struggle with this too, for me I think the problem is not enough cover. All three of your pictures of rango looks like yoshi when he is outside, in his cage, and being held. My veiled, Yoshi is really shy and once you get him out of his cage hes ok but until then he is nervous.
No, Rango is definitely a boy - tarsal spurs are present. :)

The top of his cage is screen, so I can't hang a plant from up there, but maybe I can pull up a few branches from the pothos or ivy, and put it through a loop of thread at the top? Thoughts?
There is one thing that I caught that is incorrect, but should have nothing to do with his stressing. You are using Minerall indoor and although your cham is indoors, and it sounds like it makes sense to use the "indoor" but that Minerall contains d3. The outdoor Minerall doesn't and that is what you want to be dusting your feeders with on a daily basis. The indoor should be used a couple of times a month. You live in California and it looks like your chamelon is getting natural uvb and I am sure all year long you are able to take it outside. you don't want to overdo the d3. Get the minerall outdoor, keep the indoor for the twice monthly dustinig and also get yourself a multivitamin like Repcal Herptivite to be used twice a month as well.
Thanks so much Carol - I will implement those changes asap!

oh you are so welcome! Glad I could hlep. I live in Florida and my cham gets sunshine almost everyday unless it is cloudy outside. I could probably just do away with the d3 supplementation altogether but twice a month is not too much.

With a little luck, his "stressed" look may be a phase, but just in case, another thing that you could try is raising his enclosure up high enough so that his basking spot is well above the tallest person in the household. It is also often noted that humans wearing the wrong color clothing can stress a chameleon to the point that they'll hide for hours (avoid red...). A change in his enclosure interior could leave him upset for days too. More foliage and more horizontal branches, including in the basking area, may get him to relax too. Is his enclosure kept in a low traffic area? Is he getting a ~6am-~6pm awake time with an uninterrupted (zero lights on and at least a very dark ambient) sleep cycle?

I don't know what part of SoCal you are located but our "Humans with Chameleon Dependents" support group :)rolleyes:) otherwise know as the South Bay Chameleon Keepers group (SBCK) is meeting tomorrow night in the Santa Monica area: Brownies will be served along with silkworms, Dubias and crickets with side orders of Cricket Crack :).
Thanks for the response Dave.
I am about an hour south of you, so unfortunately I won't be able to make the meeting tomorrow - one day maybe. :)
Horizontal branches - that he is definitely lacking. There are several on the lower end of the enclosure, but none in the upper area. Should I add those tomorrow, or wait until his stress look is gone? Not really sure if it would be wise to stress him out more, or do it again.
Thanks again!
...Horizontal branches - that he is definitely lacking. ...Should I add those tomorrow, or wait until his stress look is gone?...
Howdy Donna,

I'd be tempted to add the horizontal branches sooner than later. As a sanity check, stick the back of your hand right at the basking spot and hold it there for a minute or so. It shouldn't feel much more than just a little bit warm. If it is much more than that then it is likely too hot and the heat source will need to be moved farther away.

Hope you are able to make it to a meeting sometime :).
Okay guys - good news, and bad. Rango's colors brightened up a bit today - he doesn't look nearly as drab as he has for the last few weeks, and I finally saw him drinking off the leaves - yeah!!

The bad news - at 2:45, I found him on his sleeping branch, with his eyes closed. :( So, I know a trip to the vet is in order, with a fecal float to follow. Any other ideas, suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
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