Stuck Shed on Tip of Tail

Calavera

Established Member
Hi, all!

So I know this is a relatively familiar topic, but I’m wondering if my fellow keepers can SHED some light on the issue…pun totally intended!

I have a 4-month-old Ambanja male who has a a stuck piece of shed on the tip of his tail. His last molt was three days ago, and was completely successful, aside from this small piece at the tip of the tail. I’ve been misting him regularly, and have placed him in the bathroom with the shower on, in an attempt to break it loose with some higher humidity sessions. In addition, I’ve soaked the tip of his tail in warm water for several minutes, three times a day.

In short, I’m beginning to worry that the circulation to the tip of his tail is being constricted, and that it may become necrotic and fall off. So far, it does not look discolored, aside from the white appearance of the stuck shed. As always, thanks so much for the help! :)

-Cala

022AA92D-FE36-45AA-ABD8-87EBB97C208C.jpeg
06BE268A-236B-4D81-BB18-14C5FFE0FB62.jpeg
F101C7C9-0F76-4B38-B060-0F2DDD816448.jpeg
Here are the facts:

Your Chameleon - 4-month-old F. pardalis Ambanja male.
  • Handling - Never. Only recently, when soaking tail tip.
  • Feeding - Dubia and crickets, daily.
  • Supplements - Repashy Calcium Plus
  • Watering - Hand misting 4 times a day, for 1 minute sessions, until plants are dripping.
  • Fecal Description - Firm and well-hydrated.
  • History - Very healthy little guy. Eating and drinking regularly. Arrived healthy and active from breeder. I’ve had him for about 10 days now.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Reptibreeze all-screen cage (18x18x36)
  • Lighting - Reptisun 5.0 UVB 18” T5 linear. Zoomed basking lamp.
  • Temperature - 75 degree ambient daytime, 65 degree nighttime, 85 degree basking spot.
  • Humidity - 50% daytime, 70% nighttime.
  • Plants - Ficus benjamina, Schefflera, Dracaena.
  • Placement - In front of West-facing window, on 4’ shelf.
  • Location - East Bay Area California

Current Problem - Stuck shed on tip of tail.
 

MzLaurie11

Established Member
Remove thst shed immediately. The only areas you should assist are tail and legs as it will cut off circulation and that area will die or deform.
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey there! They are dry shedders so your misting and showers are actually impeding any shedding progress.

I see a couple other things that you'll want to address. One is supplementation. Repashy Calcium Plus every feeding is over supplementing vitamins.

You want to dust with a calcium supplement without phosphorus every feeding. Then multivitamin and D3 less frequently (usually once a month alternating between the two or every two weeks if combined). I do Reptivite with D3 every two weeks and reptical for any other feedings.

You'll want to upgrade him to the minimum cage size of 24x24x48 pretty soon, they grow fast, and you'll want to get a longer UVB bulb for the bigger cage so it spans the entire length.

He's a cutie!! Glad you're keeping an eye on him and troubleshooting your husbandry 😁
 

Calavera

Established Member
Thanks for the feedback, all! So, after literally an hour of soakin’ and pokin’, I was able to remove the band of dead skin. I used the blunt end of a sewing needle and a q-tip to gently rub away the stuck shed. Here are the results:

6D92268B-B21B-4C9F-97F4-3203237E5A0A.png
BC3C7303-53B9-493B-8A45-A6AFC9285C0C.png
90C6BE9E-F3DC-4ED9-B415-743B84697281.png

Once the skin was removed, the portion of tail below may have appeared slightly darker, but this morning it seems to be the same color as the rest of the tail. Also, it appears to be alive and functional, as he’s able to curl it up. :)
Based on these facts, I think I got to it soon enough to avoid necrosis, but I guess only time will tell. What do you all think? As always, thanks so much for the help! :)

-Cala
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the feedback, all! So, after literally an hour of soakin’ and pokin’, I was able to remove the band of dead skin. I used the blunt end of a sewing needle and a q-tip to gently rub away the stuck shed. Here are the results:

View attachment 315723View attachment 315724View attachment 315725
Once the skin was removed, the portion of tail below may have appeared slightly darker, but this morning it seems to be the same color as the rest of the tail. Also, it appears to be alive and functional, as he’s able to curl it up. :)
Based on these facts, I think I got to it soon enough to avoid necrosis, but I guess only time will tell. What do you all think? As always, thanks so much for the help! :)

-Cala

Tail movement is a great sign. I see a very small white piece at the end in the pic with the tail curl - might just be a trick of the light? Always good to keep a close eye on our chameleons.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know we’re not supposed to remove shed because it could damage their skin but in this case I think it was necessary. Great job!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Soaking it was what made it worse. Makes it stick even more and restrict. So in the future no soaking any part of the chameleon. You need to keep an eye on the tip of the tail. If it starts turning black then you need a reptile vet asap.
 

MzLaurie11

Established Member
Tail movement is a great sign. I see a very small white piece at the end in the pic with the tail curl - might just be a trick of the light? Always good to keep a close eye on our chameleons.
Great job. The skin color looks fine so no necropsy! As explainedby another member they are dry shedders so taking them into steamed up bathrooms is not good. Also you have to use hot water to get it steamed up and taking them back and forth from a hot steamed up bathroom to say your hallway can cause respitory issues as it can shock their system. Many people think that a steamed up bathrooms can take the place of lack of misting or low humidity levels to help a cham but it can actually hurt them because theydont sweat like we do. so glad youcame to the forum for advice.
 
Top Bottom