Sudden weight loss: Juvenile Veiled

sunpure

New Member
NAME: Marty McFly (Back To The Future!)
AGE: 4-5 months, owned 2-3 months.
HANDLING: Only when necessary.

FEEDING: 5-7x crickets daily, gutloaded with commercial cricket feed, bread, small slices of gold potatoes on occassion and veggies when I can get my hands on them.
SUPPLEMENTS: Calcium w/o D3 every feeding. Calcium w/ D3 once a week.
WATERING: Cup drip system, hand misting 1-2x daily.

FECAL DESCRIPTION: 04/25/2011: Solid brown feces, semi-yellow urate.
CAGE TYPE: All screen, 18x24x12.
LIGHTING: Reptisun 5.0 Compact UVB; 50W HeatGlo Infrared -- Would not be using a compact UVB, but the cage top is a tiny bit too narrow to allow for a tube's correct fixture. He will be getting a larger enclosure after he's better, and then his lighting will be upgraded.
TEMPERATURE: 85 at highest point (6-8inches from light), 72 at lowest (floor). Measured on an analog thermometer.
HUMIDITY: Analog humidity meter recently broke, was reading 50-60%.. not sure if it was accurate or not, replacing soon.
PLANTS: Fake plants only.

PLACEMENT: Side of living room, not much traffic.
LOCATION: Central Florida.

PROBLEMS: Sudden weight loss and dehydration. When we took him to the vet, he checked out fine other than said problems. No worms, parasites, etc. Can't remember exact weight.

Me and my boyfriend are currently living in a sour roommate situation (hopefully moving out soon, within a week). When I go to work, I will mist Marty and put water in his drip cup so he can drink the drip for the next hour-ish. We think that my roommates may be removing/emptying the cup to be vindictive, and that the weight loss is due to dehydration..

Here are the things I am putting in place to right the situation:
- Obviously, moving him into my room, which is locked when I'm not home.
- I have ordered the Habba automatic misting system, and will be setting up a larger drip system (water bottle with pricked holes) so he can drink more throughout the day.
- Cricket gutload was lacking, I do admit.. my roommate would always eat all the veggies and fruit I'd buy for gutloading, and being a college student, I'm skim on too much extra money.
- Adding multivitamin/reptivite/herptivite to dusting schedule once every 1-2 weeks.
- Replacing the humidity meter.
- Maybe add a live plant?

* What is all of y'alls experience with gutloading? I know apples, collard greens, carrots, etc are good for gut loading, but have you had any experiences with other stuff that worked out?

* At around Marty's age, what is the IDEAL weight I should push for?

* To combat dehydration and weight loss, what is the most effective method y'all have used? Anything I'm missing?

* Would adding a live plant (with the pot meshed off so he can't much on the substrate) benefit him? I've heard hibiscus is a good option, but I may have to rotate between two - one outside in the sun, and one in the enclosure.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Yes you are correct, the room mates may be part of the problem. Get your cham away so they can't hurt or torment him. If he is dehydrated then mist, mist and more misting. live plants will help raise the humidity. just be careful to wash the leaves and cover the soil with rocks. If you can get some different feeders that might perk him up. I would just try to get him to east and drink and go from there. good luck.
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
in the end he depends on you and you soley. taking away the dripper should not interfere with his hydration and should not be his main source of hydration. you say 1-2 times a day mistings...he really needs once in the morning and atleast once more in the evening. a drip system is good support only. if he is not getting hydration his appetite will suffer from it.

at this age he needs a stable way of care and it needs to be right.
 

sunpure

New Member
@ Laurie: Thank you, I'll definitely look into other feeders!

@Ataraxia: The drip system wasn't his only source of hydration, but he doesn't seem to like misting too much.. he won't drink during the handmisting sessions I give him. He seems to get very stressed when I approach the cage (which is understandable, they're easily stressable), so instead of drinking, he just moves away.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
If your room mate is also annoying him the stress may be causing his weight loss...so its good that you are getting him out of that situation.
 

sunpure

New Member
@ Kinyonga: Wouldn't surprise me, sadly :/

@ Laurie: Definitely, had no intentions of stopping! Just wanted some input on if I'm missing anything in the regime update I plan on doing/am doing. I'm also not sure what exact weight I should shoot for... all I have now to tell me is the vets word when I do go visit him for checkups (although I would like to weigh him as often as possible).
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think 5-7 crickets is not that much or enough to feed to a 4-5 months old. I fed my chameleon atleast a dozen at that age if not 15-20 a day. They were 1/4 inch to 3/8 max in size. I dont know what you are feeding but I am assuming for as young as he is they are not that big? I would kill those people if I found out they were messing with my animal to cause it harm!!! Put a Video tape in your house and see if you can catch them doing anything!
 

sunpure

New Member
@carol5208: I've actually upped it to 10-12 in sep sessions now to see if that stimulates his appetite any more. What would end up happening with Marty I think is he'd go to grab crickets when I fed him, and get 2 or 3 at once and then immediately go for another round without swallowing much - and he'd end up losing his appetite around the 7-9th cricket.
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
like laurie said if he is not drinking from direct spray as many young ones wont. he will lap it off the leave, vines or screen.

not all chameleons eat the same amount. i have two 5 month old sisters from the same clutch. one will literally eat me out of a house but the other will only eat 3-6 prey. size difference is staggering.
 

sunpure

New Member
@ Ataraxia: I took that into consideration, definitely, so I kept up the misting sessions. I'm also misting him now every 4-5 daylight hours (unless his cage isn't dry from the last session) and just invested in buying a digital thermometer and hygrometer.
 

sunpure

New Member
Marty passed away last night. As distraught as I am and despite how much I wanted to bury him.. I've saved his body and will be bringing him to the vet for an autopsy very soon.

The thought that my roommates may have done something to him makes me happy to all heck that I'm completely moving this sunday.. and sickens me. Not only because that's cruel and heartless.. but because I didn't think about it and bring him into our room sooner.
 

Kansascity

New Member
Gee so sorry for your loss people can be cruel, and do crazy things. Again sorry for you loss. Please KUP about the autopsy results.:(
 
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