The Petshop instructs me to feed the chameleon by force

Perla Adams

New Member
Hello:

I live in Saudi Arabia. Three weeks ago we bought a Veiled Chameleon in the local PetShop (I don’t know his age, he measure like 4 inch without the tail). The Chameleon was healthy and very bright green in the store, but a couple days after we bring it home, he started to change color and look dark and sad.

In the Pet shop, they sell me a bottle of pellets (Aquafin food for all kind of iguana) and a tube of fruit paste. They told that each day, I need to wet few pellets; make a little ball and then, open the chameleon’s mouth and put the ball inside.

I try that method once but my poor chameleon was very unhappy and I feel that I was hurting him. So, there were few days when he was not eating anything (I placed vegetables in a bowl but he never touches them). One day, l we catch a fly and he immediately ate it. We started to look for flies but it is not easy to find them since we are in the summer, here is very hot. In general, there are not many insects in my house. Occasionally we found some small cucarachas (3 or 4 in a week), he eat those.

Since he looks very thin, I tried again with the force feeding method. After I feed him that way, he looks very upset, very dark. After I feed him by force, he does not want to eat the flies or cucarachas ( we have a closed tank so he can hunt the live cucarachas inside there).

My local pet shop does not sell crickets. I order a bottle of dry crickets online but it will take few weeks before they arrive, in the mean time I need to do something to keep the chameleon alive.
Can some of you with more experience give me some tips? I bought a book about chameleons, I investigate online, and I never find anything about force feeding.

Just as addition information, I want to mention that I do I spray the cage (wire cage) 3 times per day, I also have a dish with water (sometimes he visit the dish and lick some water, In the pet shop they told me that I should put water in a dish butt I read in several places that they do not drink from dishes)). Two days ago, I placed one of those rodents’ water bottles (the one with the metal ball), yesterday, he licked from there, but not today. Sometimes, I take the chameleon to an outdoor bush, and spray water, he lick the leaves. At night, I turn on a reptile light in his cage, so he can be warm. In the day, I have the cage in a place where he can receive indirect sun light and is warm.

Bye for now
 

Attachments

Yak

New Member
I am not saying this will work because the cage, but it won't hurt to try.

This worked for me once,
Let a ripe fruit near his cage, and when the fruit matures it will create fruit flies. Try worms and any type of insect. Making sure they have not been exposed to pesticides or fertilizers.
The force feeding might be hurting his throat.
 

djfishygillz

Established Member
Okay so there are a lot of things that need change with your setup.

First the chameleon has no lighting, uvb or heat it appears. So first off you need that.

Second he will not drink standing water, you need a spray bottle with water and need to spray his entire cage.

Three veileds will not eat iguana food or vegetables. They need live insects. At this point I would just catch anything that moves and isn't a worm, have a stinger, or vibrant colors because he needs to eat something now. Take the risk that the bugs could be contaminated because he has to eat something. Just rinse the bugs off at least then try to get him to eat them.

If you have a vet I would go to them. It looks like the pet store has no clue what they are doing and they set you up for a very bad start. I am sorry.
 

JeffJo

Member
IMO you should NEVER force feed a chameleon because you could seriously harm them, you shold also probably trash those pellets, chameleons are mostly insectivores. And it's sorta good that he ate a fly but you for the most part not feed your cham wild caught insects and should look into breeding dubia roachs / crickets/ silkworms or something so you won't have to worry about feeders. It is very rare that a chameleon would drink from a water dish and even if they do it is better to have a dripper(some kind of container that drips droplets of water). You could poke a small hole in some kind of plastic container that will slowly drip water onto one of the plant's leaves so your cham always has something to drink, and try to have the water just drip into the soil of your plant. You will eventually(actually sooner rather than later) need a larger cage and keep it screen. Here is a video that will help you with a basic set up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrwzGgb_Neg
A smaller cage will do but it is best to have a cage that big. Here are some more links that will help you out: http://www.the-lizard-lounge.com/content/species/veiled-chameleon.asp
http://zoomed.eu/veiled-chameleon-care-sheet/
There's more than that and other people on the forum can help you out more too. This took forever for me to type so there are probably a post or too above mine that will be helpful as well. I wish you the best of luck caring for your new little friend :).
 

ChamMan15

New Member
oh it makes me so sad to see a chameleon in this condition :(:(:( your husbandry is no doubt better than what that petshop was providing but you need to know a couple things. do not feed him any more fruit paste pelet balls, it is no doubt very harmful for him to eat. chameleons eat live insects like crickets, mealworms, waxworms, superworms, etc..... you can order these by the hundreds from some of this sites sponsors. as for how much you need to feed him each day, i feed my chameleon 4 to 6 crickets a day with 2 to 3 mealworms and maybe a waxworm or superworm. you also need some special lighting, you`re going to need a 5.0 UVB bulb and a daytime heat lamp witch can be a household bulb. next you need a thermometer an hygrometer for his cage the temp at the top of my cage is at a constant 80 to 81 and the humidity is at a constant level of 53 to 57%. your on the right track with spraying leaves, chameleons get their water from the drips that fall of of leaves and branches which is why you must spray the foliage in his cage multiple times a day. you`re also going to need some vitamins to dust the insects with: calcium to be used at nearly every feeding and my favorite vitamin, reptivite with D3 to be used once every 2 weeks. these are essentials, if you have any questions about anything just ask me.
P.S. you might want to get a bigger cage chameleons like to climb
hope this helps :)
 

djfishygillz

Established Member
oh it makes me so sad to see a chameleon in this condition :(:(:( your husbandry is no doubt better than what that petshop was providing but you need to know a couple things. do not feed him any more fruit paste pelet balls, it is no doubt very harmful for him to eat. chameleons eat live insects like crickets, mealworms, waxworms, superworms, etc..... you can order these by the hundreds from some of this sites sponsors. as for how much you need to feed him each day, i feed my chameleon 4 to 6 crickets a day with 2 to 3 mealworms and maybe a waxworm or superworm. you also need some special lighting, you`re going to need a 5.0 UVB bulb and a daytime heat lamp witch can be a household bulb. next you need a thermometer an hygrometer for his cage the temp at the top of my cage is at a constant 80 to 81 and the humidity is at a constant level of 53 to 57%. your on the right track with spraying leaves, chameleons get their water from the drips that fall of of leaves and branches which is why you must spray the foliage in his cage multiple times a day. you`re also going to need some vitamins to dust the insects with: calcium to be used at nearly every feeding and my favorite vitamin, reptivite with D3 to be used once every 2 weeks. these are essentials, if you have any questions about anything just ask me.
P.S. you might want to get a bigger cage chameleons like to climb
hope this helps :)
He is in the middle east. So no he can not order them from the sponsors.
 

djfishygillz

Established Member
I am not saying this will work because the cage, but it won't hurt to try.

This worked for me once,
Let a ripe fruit near his cage, and when the fruit matures it will create fruit flies. Try worms and any type of insect. Making sure they have not been exposed to pesticides or fertilizers.
The force feeding might be hurting his throat.
Fruit flies are to small for a chameleon that size to gain any nutrition from a feeder as small as a fruit fly. A piece of old meat such as fish would attract flies, but those will not be clean flies. Honestly he is in a predicament being where he is located because no pet stores carry insect feeders like they should nor know the proper husbandry.
 

Perla Adams

New Member
Thank you guys:

You confirm my suspicion that force-feeding was a bad idea. As Djfishygillz said, the pert shop set me up with a bad start.

I do have a 50W Red Lamp that is suppose good for reptiles (they sell it to me in the Pet Store). I know they have one call Moon Light (50W dark light, incandescent). I am planning to get that one since is more attractive than red light. I am moving the cage to a place where he can have the lamp on 24/7.

As your recommendation, I will throw away the pellets and the fruit paste. Recently, I bought the calcium and dust some cucaracha with it. Since, I force feed him today, he is not eating the cucarachas, perhaps I need to wait until he relaxes from the last traumatic experience.

I am planning to get a large tall cage, Today; I will build the drip system.

Question:

When I get some cucarachas or flies, I froze them few minutes to be able to put them in the tank (if not, they escape before I can close the tank). They awake inside the tank, and my chameleon eats them, but the other day, I over freeze the cucarachas and they die (they never awake), my chameleon eats them anyway.

It is something wrong with frozen cucarachas? AI friend is collecting cucarachas in his house and bring it to me, but I cannot give them all at once, so I am planning to frozen them and give them few per day. In my house there are not insects. The compound where I live, has a company that spray the gardens with pesticides each week.

I did order a bottle of insects online,(Fluker Bearded Dragon Medley Treat Food) but still it did not arrive. I don’t know if it will work. I bought a bottle of dry millwoms but he did not eat them.

Thank you for the links and recommendation. I will travel to USA this month, so I will bring all necessary (except live crickets because they will not pass customs). I hope my chameleon survive. I will leave him in the vet clinic during my vacation.

Thank you again
 

Attachments

italian chameleon

New Member
hey wait a minute!
chameleons live wild in saudi arabia!! just put him outside in a screen cage
throw some fruit near the cage or a bit of meat and plenty of insects will come
don't use any artificial lights use the SUN, the best light there is!!! just give your little cham plenty of water and a big screen cage wiith lots of live plants and branches and he ll be fine outside ALL YEAR ROUND!!! the light you have in the cage could actually kill your chameleon by burning him ( he looks a bit burnt on his head already!!! :( )
dont freeze the insects and try to not feed him dead insects just put the bugs in the fridge for a few minutes before offering them to your cham! he should only eat LIVE insects and small vertebrates!

P.s have you got somebody who can take care of your cham while you're away??
 

Tyaeda

Member
Having a heat lamp inside the enclosure is bad. Your chameleon may burn himself and not even know it until serious injuries occur.

If weather permits, you should keep him outside in a tall screened enclosure. (Making them with wood and aluminum screen is a great option if your pet store does not sell the proper type of enclosure).
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes, I agree the Veilds come from Yemen so outside would be your best bet. Put him outside, but make sure he has plenty of shade as well as sunny spots in the cage to bask. Cover one side with a towel or something for shade if your cage does not provide shade naturally. Run a dripper all day. Mist the cage the down periodically. The roaches (cucarachas) as you call them... make sure you feed them nutritionally before you feed to your chameleon by providing them fruits and vegetables. Veilds will eat some fruits and veggies also. I don't own one but have seen many members feed them dark leafy greens, like kale, romaine, and fruits like strawberries. I don't know what is available in your area. Do you have hibiscus plants over there? They also like to eat the flowers that grow on these plants.
 

camimom

New Member
D you have any wild bugs there?

Such as locusts?

any way you could get access to some roaches?


what about praying mantis?

caterpillars? if so, what kind?

painted lady butterflies?
 

Perla Adams

New Member
I am very upset with the petshop! They give me a bunch of bad recommendations. I am removing the lamp right now.

Usually, I have the cage near the back door. When is not too hot and we have a good shadow, I place the cage outside for 30 minutes. We are in the middle of the summer, the temperature outside is 105 F. I notice that if I leave him outside for more than 30 minutes, he turns very yellow and sometimes he hides in the pot, near the dirt, I think there is fresh.

Today, I will buy an outdoor tree in a pot. And then build a cage around it. I am afraid of the neighbor’s cats, that is why I am not sure if is a good idea leave him outside without supervision. But for sure, I need to make some changes. I will try to get an hibiscus.

My house temperature is around 75F. Is that too cold for him? Should I get an additional heat lamp and place it outside the cage?

Thank you
 

camimom

New Member
If temps get to 105, then that is too hot for him.

I suggest keep him inside, but get a heat lamp and a uvb bulb for him.

these are essential for his health.

but he does need live insects.
 

italian chameleon

New Member
I am very upset with the petshop! They give me a bunch of bad recommendations. I am removing the lamp right now.

Usually, I have the cage near the back door. When is not too hot and we have a good shadow, I place the cage outside for 30 minutes. We are in the middle of the summer, the temperature outside is 105 F. I notice that if I leave him outside for more than 30 minutes, he turns very yellow and sometimes he hides in the pot, near the dirt, I think there is fresh.

Today, I will buy an outdoor tree in a pot. And then build a cage around it. I am afraid of the neighbor’s cats, that is why I am not sure if is a good idea leave him outside without supervision. But for sure, I need to make some changes. I will try to get an hibiscus.

My house temperature is around 75F. Is that too cold for him? Should I get an additional heat lamp and place it outside the cage?

Thank you
no lamps just a lot of plants to make shade, lots of mistings like 4 times a day and a "cat-proof" screen cage. Sorry camimom but I think it's silly to suggest to keep a veiled indoors near the country where veileds and arabicus come from :) !
 

camimom

New Member
no lamps just a lot of plants to make shade, lots of mistings like 4 times a day and a "cat-proof" screen cage. Sorry camimom but I think it's silly to suggest to keep a veiled indoors near the country where veileds and arabicus come from :) !
No whats silly is roasting a chameleon in 105 degree weather.

the fact that the cham turned bright yellow and hid in the pot means he was too hot outside.

so lights inside is better than roasting a chameleon.
 

italian chameleon

New Member
No whats silly is roasting a chameleon in 105 degree weather.

the fact that the cham turned bright yellow and hid in the pot means he was too hot outside.

so lights inside is better than roasting a chameleon.
IMO plenty of shade and water is better than keeping the cham indoors, how do you think they thrive in the wild? :rolleyes:
that's why I asked if she had somebody who could take care of the cham while she is away! don't worry nobody likes roasted chameleon! :)
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
I don't think we can assume that the climate/biome in Perla's part of Saudi Arabia is the same climate/biome that chamaeleo calyptratus lives in in Yemen just because they are both on the Arabian Peninsula.

I would suggest putting him outside in the morning and evenings and bringing him inside during the hottest hours of the day. Try to collect some wild caught insects until you can secure a source.
 

Perla Adams

New Member
Hello:

The chameleon is Saudi. Saudi Arabia is mostly dessert but here is a large area (like a big Oasis) calls Al Asir. In that part is rainy and there is much vegetation. I will investigate about the temperature over there.
I have an extra stand lamp in the house, I will place the lamp near there with the UV lamp I will take him when is not too hot.

My local pet shop does not have the large cages, but I can bring one from USA or build one.

I will be one month away. Usually, when we go in vacation, I have a person that came to my house each day to take care of my turtles-terrapin (They are seven years old). That person is very diligent, and good to follow instruction. if I set the chameleon correctly, he can take care of it in coordination with the person that bring me roaches (cucarachas in Spanish).

Other options is the “pet’s hotel” from the same Petshop's company. They told me that they can take care of it for a price, but after all the bad information, I do not trust them. I saw how they manipulated the chameleons, the employee pick them from the cress, poor creatures. I don’t know what the Chameleons looks nice and healthy there after all the bad treatments.

Again, thank you for the advice,

Bye for now
 

Dgood

Member
First off I want to say thank you for trying your best to take care of your Cham, pet stores are very misleading, I was mislead by mine as well.everyone has given you pretty good advice, and looks like your on the right track to to get him healthy, and in my opinion, it wouldn't hurt to mist a couple more times a day and make sure it dries out before you mist again. And chameleons need complete darkness at night to sleep. So unless your house gets under 60 or 55 degrees farenheight you won't need a light on a night.
Thank you guys:

You confirm my suspicion that force-feeding was a bad idea. As Djfishygillz said, the pert shop set me up with a bad start.

I do have a 50W Red Lamp that is suppose good for reptiles (they sell it to me in the Pet Store). I know they have one call Moon Light (50W dark light, incandescent). I am planning to get that one since is more attractive than red light. I am moving the cage to a place where he can have the lamp on 24/7.

As your recommendation, I will throw away the pellets and the fruit paste. Recently, I bought the calcium and dust some cucaracha with it. Since, I force feed him today, he is not eating the cucarachas, perhaps I need to wait until he relaxes from the last traumatic experience.

I am planning to get a large tall cage, Today; I will build the drip system.

Question:

When I get some cucarachas or flies, I froze them few minutes to be able to put them in the tank (if not, they escape before I can close the tank). They awake inside the tank, and my chameleon eats them, but the other day, I over freeze the cucarachas and they die (they never awake), my chameleon eats them anyway.

It is something wrong with frozen cucarachas? AI friend is collecting cucarachas in his house and bring it to me, but I cannot give them all at once, so I am planning to frozen them and give them few per day. In my house there are not insects. The compound where I live, has a company that spray the gardens with pesticides each week.

I did order a bottle of insects online,(Fluker Bearded Dragon Medley Treat Food) but still it did not arrive. I don’t know if it will work. I bought a bottle of dry millwoms but he did not eat them.

Thank you for the links and recommendation. I will travel to USA this month, so I will bring all necessary (except live crickets because they will not pass customs). I hope my chameleon survive. I will leave him in the vet clinic during my vacation.

Thank you again
 
Top Bottom