Tiny veiled, female (I think) Not feeling well, or just adjusting?

I got a chameleon set up (ZooMed Medium Chameleon kit) and baby veiled chameleon as an early bday present (I wasnt there when the little "girl" was purchased by my father in law). She's from petco 🤦‍♀️

She's about 2.25 inches from tip of nose to vent. I've had her for 48 hrs, and after being accepting into this amazing resource of knowledge forum, I've realized She's not acting "normal" for a baby veiled cham.

I wasn't aware (Until now) that the lights that came with the kit are not suffice at all. So I ordered the proper uvb I've seen you guys suggest all the other new keepers to purchase. Unfortunately we are in the middle of the hurricane...so the delivery will be delayed by a couple of days, if not weeks.

The guy who sold her to my father in law said she was a HE (No spurs from what I can see) and told him to feed her medium sized crickets ... I offered some to her, pressuring they fed her them at the store....she ate 5 dusted in calcium without D3 in the first day I had her. Today she ate about 10 tiny crickets that were gutloaded. And she drank from the droplets from the vines after misting.

Her basking temp stays in the 80-85 range (lowered her perching to achieve this) the low spots stay in the low 70s. At night I shut out all lights, and Temps stay in the low 70's. Her set up is no where near drafts, and is located in the corner next to a tinted sw facing window that gets filtered for my plants.

I've only handled her twice, once to put her from the box she came in, into the enclosure. Then once to adjust the basking area once learning further info from this forum.

Lights come on at 6am. And shut off at 6:30pm.

Heavily planted set up. Only one fake plant, and one fake vine. The rest are plants from my plant addiction.

I miss the enclosure 3-4 times daily, and made a Diy drip cup until my dripper comes in the mail. Also added a 1/2 a shot, shot glass into a floating planter next to where I put the offered baby crickets. I've seen her drink from the drip, but not the glass.

As for traffic: I have kids but they respect her space and only view her when she's eating (if I allow) other then that, she's free to feel safe/hidden. I haven't seen her change super dark in color either. After misting she has got a few light stripes and small fleck like dark spots, then she turns back green.

As for vitamins. I'm looking into which vrand seems best for calcium that contains D3 for 1-2 times monthly dosing. Also ordered some vitamin A, for super light dosing.

What worries me:

From the start I noticed she always keeps her left eye closed, except when being misted or feeding and drinking. Then I noticed her basking strangely. By this I mean, from all the post/pictures I've seen on here and YouTube suggest she's not basking correctly. She sort of lays on her side, with the closed eye usually facing the light, while her good eye would survey her surroundings. But she doesn't do it all the time... Then I noticed when she'd drink and eat, she'd swallow like she hadn't had a drink since she's hatched. She also would point her nose up after eating and drinking...but not really while basking. (She clings tightly to the vine while basking.) She's active, from what I presume, I try not to look at her too frequently so she could adjust. But every time I do check (which is a little more today since I noticed her napping during the day around 1-2pm) she's in a different spot, either eating the free range crickets or the ones from the dish, or just doing a small lap of exploration I guess. I've never seen her at the bottom of the enclosure. Or the middle...she mainly stays in the top vines.


Sorry for the long post. And thank you for accepting and having me here.

Almost forgot! Humidity is in the 60s during the day, and drop to the 50s at night, my plants do a decent job at keeping it stable.
 

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Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
Hate to say this, but she should be returned to the store. More than stress going on here. Especially for a new keeper, you should be starting off in a better situation. Perhaps do some preparation to improve the enclosure and pick an animal that is in better shape. Not saying you can’t get one from a pet store, but know what you are looking for.

Hate to see this as a first experience for a chameleon owner. Not saying you can’t turn things around for her, but you shouldn’t have to. If you decide to keep her, there will undoubtedly be a ton of great advice.
 
Hate to say this, but she should be returned to the store. More than stress going on here. Especially for a new ea starting off in a better situation. Perhaps do some preparation to improve the enclosure and pick an animal that is in better shape. Not saying you can’t get one from a pet store, but know what you are looking for.

Hate to see this as a first experience for a chameleon owner. Not saying you can’t turn things around for her, but you shouldn’t have to. If you decide to keep her, there will undoubtedly be a ton of great advice.
Is my enclosure not suffice? I included pictures of it in the post, did they not go through? The new light will/should be here after the hurricane....
I was thinking the same...but I'd hate for them to take her back, just to sell her to the next person while she's sick...knowing their rep, I doubt they would treat her... and wouldn't have a problem making their money back on the next unsuspecting person. I have receipt for her, but it tears me up inside to think I'd actually have to return her/use it because/if she passes. 😔😔😔😔🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺

If she does start to decline (even with me following the proper guidance) how much time would you say I have with her?
 
Also, her first 3 poops were normal (based on your guys poo thread) I can get a picture of it tomorrow. She decided her poo spot would be directly over my pearl and jade pothos, so the poo is super easy to see.
 
The lights could be bothering her eyes. I’d turn the light off for a day or two and see if that helps. I’m linking my blog below for how I keep young veileds.
Thank you. Will she be alright if I shut off both the lights? If I did, the general temp of her enclosure would stay between 75-78.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. We can most definitely help you get things set up to ideal standards for your little cutie, but we can’t necessarily ‘fix’ what is causing her to be sick. It’s difficult with babies and young chameleons, as they have no resources in their tiny bodies to fall back on. They need everything to be as close to perfect as possible in order to grow and thrive. I understand that to return her will be a heartbreak, but I hope that you understand that keeping her may still result in a heartbreak. It’s never a good situation to be in. :(
While we have a hurricane going on, there’s no choice in that you have to keep her for now. Unfortunately it also means that you can’t get the things that she needs asap if she’s to have any chance. Do you still have the chameleon kit? We can work to make that ‘fit’ her needs as best as possible. The biggest thing is the uvb light. The screw in light that comes with the kit provides the needed uvb levels at only about 2-3” directly below it. So, in order for it to be of any use, you’ll need to use the bendy vine that came with the kit and place it about 3-4” below only the uvb bulb. Actually, you don’t even need to use the basking bulb at this point. We like to keep babies and our girls on the cooler side at around 78-80F. The minimal heat coming from the uvb should be just enough. Of course, this is the sunshine state and once the storm passes you could take her outside on a small plant for about 15-20 minutes for some natural vitamin D. You’ll have to sit with her and get a dose too though.
For supplements, you’ll want to lightly dust at every feeding with a phosphorus free calcium without D3. You don’t want the bugs to look like snowmen. Then for one feeding every other week, you’ll want to lightly dust with either ReptiVite with D3 OR Repashy calcium plus LoD. The kit usually comes with small samples of a good calcium and the ReptiVite with D3. For her feeders, since she’s a baby you’ll want her to eat a lot. Usually you’ll offer her as much as she can eat in about a 10-15 minute time, twice a day. Very important that the feeders be no larger than the space between her eyes. Crickets are good. You could also add some bsfl (calciworms) if they are small enough. Most pet stores lack a decent variety so we usually have to order on line. Do check out the forum sponsors for feeders. Also, http://lindasgonebuggie.com/ has a nice variety and is based in Florida.
This is just a start of info and I realize that at some point I assumed you’ll be keeping her. Pardons please.
Do stay safe with the storm.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Did she just shed recently?

I agree with @jannb about the possibility of the lights bothering her...but if she just shed recently she could have shed in her eye too.

@MissSkittles has given you lots of good advice/info too.
 
Hi and welcome. We can most definitely help you get things set up to ideal standards for your little cutie, but we can’t necessarily ‘fix’ what is causing her to be sick. It’s difficult with babies and young chameleons, as they have no resources in their tiny bodies to fall back on. They need everything to be as close to perfect as possible in order to grow and thrive. I understand that to return her will be a heartbreak, but I hope that you understand that keeping her may still result in a heartbreak. It’s never a good situation to be in. :(
While we have a hurricane going on, there’s no choice in that you have to keep her for now. Unfortunately it also means that you can’t get the things that she needs asap if she’s to have any chance. Do you still have the chameleon kit? We can work to make that ‘fit’ her needs as best as possible. The biggest thing is the uvb light. The screw in light that comes with the kit provides the needed uvb levels at only about 2-3” directly below it. So, in order for it to be of any use, you’ll need to use the bendy vine that came with the kit and place it about 3-4” below only the uvb bulb. Actually, you don’t even need to use the basking bulb at this point. We like to keep babies and our girls on the cooler side at around 78-80F. The minimal heat coming from the uvb should be just enough. Of course, this is the sunshine state and once the storm passes you could take her outside on a small plant for about 15-20 minutes for some natural vitamin D. You’ll have to sit with her and get a dose too though.
For supplements, you’ll want to lightly dust at every feeding with a phosphorus free calcium without D3. You don’t want the bugs to look like snowmen. Then for one feeding every other week, you’ll want to lightly dust with either ReptiVite with D3 OR Repashy calcium plus LoD. The kit usually comes with small samples of a good calcium and the ReptiVite with D3. For her feeders, since she’s a baby you’ll want her to eat a lot. Usually you’ll offer her as much as she can eat in about a 10-15 minute time, twice a day. Very important that the feeders be no larger than the space between her eyes. Crickets are good. You could also add some bsfl (calciworms) if they are small enough. Most pet stores lack a decent variety so we usually have to order on line. Do check out the forum sponsors for feeders. Also, http://lindasgonebuggie.com/ has a nice variety and is based in Florida.
This is just a start of info and I realize that at some point I assumed you’ll be keeping her. Pardons please.
Do stay safe with the storm.
I have the vines positioned to where her basking spot is about 5-6 inches from the basking light (tweaked it until I got a temp read of 80-85) the uv side has a small vine that allows her to get about maybe 4 inches from the UV. If I must, I will return her when storm clears. :/
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I would keep the basking area a little lower ...80F is high enough IMHO.
Have you tested it to make sure it won't burn her?
 
I would keep the basking area a little lower ...80F is high enough IMHO.
Have you tested it to make sure it won't burn her?
I have a probe positioned just under her favorite basking vine. But I'm currently using the blue bulb that came with it, found out today from this forum that using a normal household bulb might be suffice for a female... but assumed it'd be super blinding for her maybe?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know that this was redone and added to the Chameleon Academy website, but I’m being too lazy to go hunt for it. Anyhow, this may help to show you how to set up and use the chameleon kit for now. I would just turn the basking light off completely. It’s more important for your little one to get the benefit of the uvb bulb. Also, as I said before, we keep babies cooler. 80 is ok, but 85 is too warm.
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
For years I've only used regular household incandescent white bulbs for basking lights...not LED ones though.
I know it's said on here that the blue lights are ok...but I'm still not sure about them...just my own questioning mind...time will tell.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said...."As for vitamins. I'm looking into which vrand seems best for calcium that contains D3 for 1-2 times monthly dosing. Also ordered some vitamin A, for super light dosing"...Reptivite can be bought with both D3 and prEformed vitamin A in it.
 
For years I've only used regular household incandescent white bulbs for basking lights...not LED ones though.
I know it's said on here that the blue lights are ok...but I'm still not sure about them...just my own questioning mind...time will tell.
Other than the light issues...is how I have my set up (plants ect) okay/enough for her?
 
She's looking a little better today, not as skinny/dehydrated looking. Gave her a morning mist, and this time she didn't itch or favor her eye...I turned her basking light on for 30 minutes, just to get her going...and switched on the UVB...she went to her basking place for a good 15 minutes, then started to explore a little. I noticed her start to slow again, so I flipped off the basking bulb, and repositioned the UVB to where her tallest vines give her ample room to absorb the rays from different angles...also have her cricket bowl just under the uvb a little to the right. She perked back up and is now "hunting" some free range crickets that escaped the feeder. Waiting on Amazon to update delivery times for my new light and vitamins.


If her health is still questionable by the end of the storm, I will return her, and give petco one HELL of a husbandry lesson.
 
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