Tongue Shooting Problem


New Member
For the past couple months my ambanja has had a tongue-shooting problem where if he shoots his tongues more than a couple inches it will jut up an inch before hitting the prey and he misses. any thoughts on why this is happening?
In general, I think of mbd, dehydration, or a very weak chameleon when I hear these symptoms. This does not mean your chameleon falls into one of the above categories. Some more details might help narrow down the possible reasons for your cham's condition. A couple months is a long time; you might want to think of visiting your veterinarian.
my cham expierenced the same about 2 mnths ago. i took him to the vet and had four fractures and had mbd. i wasnt giving him enough calcium so the vet gave me liquid calcium and required that i took zeus out in the sun in the mornings for an hour and to give him liquid calcium. i had to hand feed food like veal is good for protein...but anywho zeus is doing a whole lot better, no more fractures and he eats on his own and is stronger than ever. i suggest you take your cham to a vet asap.
my nosy be panther is doing the same thing, it has been about a month now. I took her to the vet and he said that it might be a nerve problem. he gave her a shot of some vitamins, including E and said that might help. but it has not helped at all. i have been trying to give her showers. i have not seen her catch her own pray for some time now, because she keeps on missing. so i have to quickly put the food inside her mouth just to get her to eat. and now she is becoming lathargic... i am starting to get worried!
At this point I would forego feeding by hand and provide them with a shallow feeding station. Chameleons that have lost use of their tongue will bite at prey items, if they can reach them.
Tongue shooting problems are usually from MBD or dehydration as Brad said....but they can also be caused by an injury or an infection.

For those of you who are having that problem with their chameleon, once you have ruled out infection or injury, I would recommend that you review your husbandry.

Is the basking area within the appropriate temperature range? Digestion and thus absorption of nutrients hinges on the chameleon being warm enough.

Does your chameleon have a full spectrum?UVB light or direct sunlight (the light from either should not pass through glass or plastic)?

Do you gutload your insects with a suitable diet?

Do you dust your insects most of the time with a phosphorous-free calcium powder before you feed them to your lizard? Insects have a poor calcium/phosphorous ratio and it needs to be corrected.

Do you dust with a vitamin/mineral powder a couple of times a month lightly? (I always use one that has its vitamin A from a beta carotene source because it can't be overdosed like preformed vitamin A can.)

If your chameleon gets only artificial light, do you dust the insects with a D3/calcium powder lightly a couple of times a month? Caution is needed....vitamin D3 from supplements can build up in the system. Vitamin D3 produced from exposure to UVB lights or sunlight can't because the chameleon's system doesn't allow it to happen.

Is your chameleon well-hydrated?

MBD can not only cause the hyoid bone (the bone that the tongue sits on) to be weak, it can cause the muscles to be weak too. Calcium. phosphorous, vitamin D3 and vitamin A all play a part in bone health. If your chameleon has MBV then its important to bring back the balance....and then with the proper husbandry it should stay.
Top Bottom