Stunted Growth Panther... Questions

Fawnmisty

Member
Hello,

We have a female panther cham that we hatched in January. She is thriving and happy, but small!!!! Like REALLY small. At birth the breeder that we got the egg from told us to keep her in a rubbermaid tub. It was about 15"wide by 12" tall by 20" long (this is a guesstimate). Also he told us to feed it flightless fruit flies for a few months and not to handle her. We followed his rules to a "T". We had a 5.0uvb clamp light, also I do not recall the wattage of heat lamp at this time but it was specifically what he provided. He provided everything with the egg. So we followed all of his instructions with the exception of the D3 and vitamins he gave me a list for that to get on my own. Everything else we received as a package deal with the egg. Our girl hatched January 24, 2019. It was a very stressful situation as it hatched later than expected and we were really scared we did something wrong. Once she came out everything was perfect. She was perfect.
About 3 months in she seemed like the fruit flies just weren't enough so we went to the local reptile store here where we live and they gave us soldier fly larva and pinheads. She loved the pinheads, refused the soldier flies. All was going well but she didn't seem to grow as big as others that we were seeing in the reptile store. The man who we dealt with there asked us to bring in photos of everything we had, and he told us we needed to change the set up even though the breeder told us not to do it yet as per the handout we were given. We felt more confident with the reptile expert in the store because he had really started helping us and was just as concerned with her size as we were. I had contacted the breeder multiple times, he offered to come by and look at the set up and see what was going on and then backed out last min. Which made us lose confidence in him.

As recommended by the local reptile store we switched out her cage first off. Moved her into a Reptibreeze medium, got the zoomed hood lamp set up, got a humidity gage and temp gage. Switched to a stronger heat lamp and provided a better basking area. She was thriving and so happy. This was from April 2019- current. She is still happy, and thriving and the vet (reptile store again recommended the vet) says she is just small. I am having a hard time believing that. We really LOVE her. She doesn't get handled much because the breeder told us not to handle her too much to stress her out. We are trying our best to keep her happy.

Here is her current set up, daily routine etc. Can anyone offer any advice? If she is just small that is ok. As long as we aren't making a mistake, I can live with small.

Reptibreeze Med enclosure lights on 12 hours and off 12 hours
Humidity between 70-80% at night when lights are off drops to 65% roughly- Temp is roughly 65 degrees throughout and 75 at basking spot, which is about 10" below lights
Eating roughly 10 small crickets a day
Large pee and Poops
We mist her ourselves 3 times a day Morning, afternoon, night- We have the reptirain (the auto mister), but it seems to keep things too wet even on the lowest setting felt like she was getting over watered. Oh distilled only water breeder said no tap water.

I use the D3 to dust crickets and gutload them on a cricket food that I got at the local reptile store. Smells like apples, you mix powder with a little water and microwave until it becomes gel like and then cool down to feed to crickets.

Here is a mistake I made, I accidentally bought multivitamin without d3 and the first few months in addition to the Vitabugs fruitflies that she was eating she was getting multi vitamin dust instead of d3. I have since corrected this about 3-4 months ago.

What am I doing wrong? She is the happiest little girl. Just LITTLE! I hope that I provided all the information. I have attached a few photos. She loves to explore. One is of her with my son. He is a 12 year old. So you can see the size difference. This is during a cage cleaning. So we do handle her when we take her cage out and clean it. I can't find a pic with the whole cage for some reason. I will keep looking and attach later if I find it.
 

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Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
You should have run for the hills as soon as he said “Rubbermaid”! Lol

Yes she is absolutely tiny for 10months old. Could be genetics but if the others have left her behind in growth it’s likely due to insufficient nutrition. Change her feeders up, offer a wide variety also switch to a real gutload like Repashy Bug Burger or Cricket Crack. Both available on Amazon.
 

Fawnmisty

Member
Ok. I just looked online at my receipt from the reptile store to see what I am feeding the crickets. It is Repashy Bug Burger. I mix the powder with water an then heat it in the microwave as per the instructions. Then cool it down and put the gel in the cricket enclosure. I am unsure if the others from the clutch are similar in size because I only have the one. Any suggestions on feeders? She doesn't eat from a bowl. She only will hunt. Can I change that? The local reptile store knows the breeder, apparently he shops there too, however they said they do not buy his reptiles. They never say anything bad about him, but they do say they do not buy his animals. Does she look ok in the photos? Obviously other than size. No obvious MBD right?
 

Fawnmisty

Member
Not needed, maybe if it had been on like July or so... hmmmmm
What if I switched to a liquid calcium? I also thought of adding liquid calcium to the mist container? I just feel like maybe I am missing something. I just switched to a new UVB from 5.0 to 10.0. I read on here that since there is less sunlight here now to give more uvb.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."I use the D3 to dust crickets" and
"Here is a mistake I made, I accidentally bought multivitamin without d3 and the first few months in addition to the Vitabugs fruitflies that she was eating she was getting multi vitamin dust instead of D3"..all the way along you should have been dusting the insects with a phos free calcium at almost every feeding lightly...twice a month with a phos free calcium/D3 powder lightly and a vitamin powder with a beta carotene source of vitamin A lightly. some people also provide a preformed source of vitamin A every once in a while.

She should have been fed as much as she would eat in a couple of minutes at every feeding until she away about 6 months old.

Her small size could be just genetics but not enough food and proper nutrition could also be part of the problem.
 
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CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Dang your 10 month old female looks like a 3-4 month ready to go home for the first time... I have 2 male panthers and one is noticeably larger than the other. Like by a lot! Both hatched the same week from completely separate parents and completely separate ends of the country. Not even same locale. But I digress.... Gutloaded with the same ingredients, same UVB, same temps, same cage size, different feeders though. One is addicted to crickets the other to dubias. The one with the dad bod loves his dubias. However 1 dubia is like 3-5 crickets depending on size. Both were allowed to eat as much as they wanted until age 9 months where they were brought down to 5 feeders a day. Which was fine because naturally they were cutting themselves back as well. Obviously genetics take a huge roll. My mom is short and overweight, my dad is tall with a Dad bod. And I'm in between skinny as a toothpick (minus my beer belly off course) Nutrition content and how much we intake of that also plays a huge roll. Everyone's different is all I'm saying, but this girl is tiny!!!
 

Fawnmisty

Member
Yes. I know she is tiny! I've never offered Dubias. I was told only to offer items no larger than her head. One time a medium cricket got in with the others and she ate it, but it took a while. I didn't want to offer again bc I didn't want her to choke and then not like crickets anymore. I did take a pic of her tonight and I swear she looks bigger today than yesterday. Changing the uvb light can't make them grow that fast right? The breeder once told me she will grow before my eyes. Which I found really hard to believe. These are pics of her enclosure and her tonight!


Dang your 10 month old female looks like a 3-4 month ready to go home for the first time... I have 2 male panthers and one is noticeably larger than the other. Like by a lot! Both hatched the same week from completely separate parents and completely separate ends of the country. Not even same locale. But I digress.... Gutloaded with the same ingredients, same UVB, same temps, same cage size, different feeders though. One is addicted to crickets the other to dubias. The one with the dad bod loves his dubias. However 1 dubia is like 3-5 crickets depending on size. Both were allowed to eat as much as they wanted until age 9 months where they were brought down to 5 feeders a day. Which was fine because naturally they were cutting themselves back as well. Obviously genetics take a huge roll. My mom is short and overweight, my dad is tall with a Dad bod. And I'm in between skinny as a toothpick (minus my beer belly off course) Nutrition content and how much we intake of that also plays a huge roll. Everyone's different is all I'm saying, but this girl is tiny!!!
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
What vitamin A has she been getting? PrOformed (beta carotene) or prEformed (retinol, palmitate, retinyl, etc)?
How much/often?
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
Without a linear uv light your chameleon will not absorb calcium causing stunted growth, those compact bulbs are garbage
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
i feed/gutload crickets, roaches, superworms, locusts with an assortment of greens and veggies and a bit of fruit such as dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, escarole, carrots, squash, zucchini, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, berries, apples, pears, melon, etc.

Only doing the calcium once a week (depending on what's in your gutload) is not enough. I can't read your container to see whether it says with or without D3 on the one and you didn't tell me what the vitamin A was in any of those...so here's the story...prEformed vitamin A (retinol, retinyl, palmitate, etc) can build up in the system and lead to health issues. PrOformed (beta carotene) sources won't build up. A lack of vitamin A can slow growth but so can an imbalance in other nutrients or amount of food given or genetics. Vitamin D3 from supplements can build up in the system and lead to health issues....but there should be no danger in using it as I told you in my previous post. That's why we only dust twice a month,. D3 produced by exposure to the UVB won't build up in the system as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it at will...so that's why we leave it to produce the rest of the D3 it needs through the UVB exposure.. You need to make sure your UVB is good and changed when it needs to be. I have for years used the long linear reptisun 5.0 UVB bulb. Vitamin A, D3, phos and calcium need to be in balance...imbalances lead to health issues....like MBD, muscles issues (that show up in the tongue issues, egg binding, growth and skin issues, eye issues, organ damage, etc).

I hope this helps.
 

Fawnmisty

Member
i feed/gutload crickets, roaches, superworms, locusts with an assortment of greens and veggies and a bit of fruit such as dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, escarole, carrots, squash, zucchini, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, berries, apples, pears, melon, etc.

Only doing the calcium once a week (depending on what's in your gutload) is not enough. I can't read your container to see whether it says with or without D3 on the one and you didn't tell me what the vitamin A was in any of those...so here's the story...prEformed vitamin A (retinol, retinyl, palmitate, etc) can build up in the system and lead to health issues. PrOformed (beta carotene) sources won't build up. A lack of vitamin A can slow growth but so can an imbalance in other nutrients or amount of food given or genetics. Vitamin D3 from supplements can build up in the system and lead to health issues....but there should be no danger in using it as I told you in my previous post. That's why we only dust twice a month,. D3 produced by exposure to the UVB won't build up in the system as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it at will...so that's why we leave it to produce the rest of the D3 it needs through the UVB exposure.. You need to make sure your UVB is good and changed when it needs to be. I have for years used the long linear reptisun 5.0 UVB bulb. Vitamin A, D3, phos and calcium need to be in balance...imbalances lead to health issues....like MBD, muscles issues (that show up in the tongue issues, egg binding, growth and skin issues, eye issues, organ damage, etc).

I hope this helps.
Thank you. I'm going to screenshot this info and go to the reptile store to get the right stuff. Also switching the bulbs asap! Thank you so much. I really appreciate kind advice rather than harsh mean responses. I'm really trying here and willing to do what ever it takes to help her grow and thrive more. She really is an amazing pet! We love her!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You're welcome! Good luck with her! If you have more questions just ask! There are lots of knowledgable people on here although there are times when we don't have an answer.
 
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