toenail loss?


Avid Member
I noticed that Cyrus has lost several toenails mainly on front feet. No bleeding, swelling, etc. I will occasionally climb the screen (more so when he was younger) but so did Luna and she never lost any. Can this be caused by any sort of vitamin deficiency? We go to the vet today for the eye so of course I will ask him about it, but figured I'd try to get some input here first.

Btw, do they grow back? I know I have seen this on many threads but honestly never paid attention!:eek:
Unfortunately metal screens are the cause of this. Sometimes they grow back sometimes they don't. Next time around i would just make sure this is more plant and vines to climb on so they avoid the screen.
Yes, I know that metal screening is the likely cause but since we have been batting around thoughts on his eye trouble I was wondering if a lack of certain vit or mineral would cause it to happen more easily - just like with people.

As for his setup, he is chock full from stem to stern;) Anytime I found him climbing on screen I would put a bio-vine, branch or other means for him to get around.

Anyway, off to the vet...

Once again this is bucking my gut instincts to have a discussion of any import with an anonymous entity, who coincidently happens to be about my age, but your questions have always been good, and you logic likewise.

I can't tell you that vitamin deficiencies are not possible. From what I have seen with thousands of critters, and all the non-fiction that I read (sailing ships of old, etc), I would also say its unlikely. My educated guess is that deficiencies necessary to allow loss of nails would manifest in other obvious and debilitating ways first. As fragile as they are, I can't see it as having much likelihood in chameleons. I have never seen it, where I could even hint at it being due to a deficiency.

As mentioned above, fine metal screen is a long-time known culprit of nail damage and loss. I have often described watching a larger chameleon walk screen vertically as akin to watching a chameleon act as if it has velcro feet walking on counterpart velcro. You are fortunate in that there has not been any secondary infection. If one chameleon is more prone to falling or releasing from screen, it would have a higher incidence of problems than another cham, as you would likely surmise. Sharp claws do not always disengage from fine screen, causing them to snag and be torn out as the chameleon spins or twists unnaturally, rather than a clean release. In the wild, they don't encounter any such surface, and to jump or release is a natural thing. As I mentioned, it is somewhat remarkable that there have been no complications, and the only legitimate excuse I can offer for that is luck !

Wish some of you folks would use the signature option to get a real full name in. I guess I'm old school.
Hi Jim,

The vet looked closely and said they are are there (toenails) just some are "nubbed" and smoother rather than sharp. It does make his climbing surfaces (like up my back, which he will sometimes to in his haste to get to his exercise jungle gym;)

As for names, lele is my nickname, it is how people in the herp world have known me since I began using forums nearly 4 years ago. Personally, I don't see it as an anonymous entity; Using my name, lele, keeps me from being anonymous. I think what is more important is getting questions asked and answered. As for you being a bit "old school" (regardless of the closeness in our age ;)) you are entitled, but just as much as any member preferring to use an actual nickname or a made up username - hey, half the time we can;t even be sure of gender, but again, unimportant (in my book).

Thanks for your help - I posted an update from the vet visit:)

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