Two Chameleons Died within a week

chamnewbie80

New Member
I purchased a 6 month old Jackson's Chameleon in early April from a small pet store near my home. This was my first mistake, because it was an impulse buy and I didn't know a lot about the lizard. He seemed to be doing fine with the setup recommended to me by the store plus some outside time

So three weeks ago, on another whim I purchased a panther chameleon at a reptile convention. This was my second mistake, because I still hadn't researched much about chameleons. I made numerous mistakes with this guy, including no quarantine and temporarily putting him in the same enclosure as the jackson.

I also left both of them in the rain for a couple of days. The panther passed last Saturday. I had him euthanized because he was really sick.

My jackson's died today. I dropped his body off at the vet for a necropsy.

After the panther died, I decided to really learn about these animals. I got a book, started lurking here, and started listening to a chameleon breeder podcast. I realized that my husbandry needs a lot of work, so I purchased more appropriate lights, a fogger, hydrometer, etc.

So I have all this equipment coming. I would like to try again with another Jacksons. Where are some reputable breeders of Jackson's? Also do you think it would be worth it to try again?

Here was the Jackson's setup at time of death.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would not rush into getting another.... I would do much much more learning first. Jackson's require very very specific husbandry and are harder to keep. If you really want another take the time to truly learn what is needed. The fact that within 3 weeks both died to improper husbandry means you really need to figure out what you need to correct. Also if you never got fecals to rule out parasites you could be dealing with contaminating any future chams by putting them in the same enclosures.
 

MrsM

Avid Member
From what I’ve heard Jacksons def aren’t for beginners. How is it that they were in the rain for a couple of days? That bothers me Were you keeping them outside? Are you planning on keeping your next pet inside or outside? Based on that alone I’d say don’t do it. This is coming from someone who had really bad luck as a new owner.
I’d suggest going for an easier type of creature.
But if you’re still going to do it maybe a way to start would be even keeping a bioactive vivarium with all the same lights and water for several several months, logging your temperatures and humidity, then maybe raise feeders, get a few reviews and feedback. Get that under tight control. Then start saving for vet visits. Then maybe but still that would be after a lot of prep and not a Jackson’s.
 

chamnewbie80

New Member
Thanks. I've had good luck with iguanas and red eared sliders. I have a red eared slider now who is around 5 and happy. I had an iguana for 15/16 years. I have had luck with all sorts of mammals and fish.

I am not happy about this, which is why I am reaching out to this community. I know its easy to pile on and act self-righteous. I am just as hard on myself. So while I understand your outrage/concern, please be aware that I am NOT taking this lightly.

Like I said, I have been researching a lot and learning a lot. I do not plan to keep the new lizard in the old enclosure, because I suspect it was parasites.

Where would you recommend I find a mentor? I think that's a wonderful idea.
 

Joshie

New Member
Thanks. I've had good luck with iguanas and red eared sliders. I have a red eared slider now who is around 5 and happy. I had an iguana for 15/16 years. I have had luck with all sorts of mammals and fish.

I am not happy about this, which is why I am reaching out to this community. I know its easy to pile on and act self-righteous. I am just as hard on myself. So while I understand your outrage/concern, please be aware that I am NOT taking this lightly.

Like I said, I have been researching a lot and learning a lot. I do not plan to keep the new lizard in the old enclosure, because I suspect it was parasites.

Where would you recommend I find a mentor? I think that's a wonderful idea.

I’m glad you are seeking out help/info! You will learn from your mistakes and make many more like the rest of the human race (hopefully none that are detrimental to your animal’s health.) I recommend looking for local clubs or groups on Facebook or other social media. Look for people nearby that have experience with Chams or reptiles in general. If you can’t find anything like that- these forums have a great community from what I can tell, look for someone on here who can “mentor” you. I’d update your profile info if you haven’t already and who knows? You might find your neighbor has been breeding Chams for 10+ years and you had no idea! Good luck and keep up with the research.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks. I've had good luck with iguanas and red eared sliders. I have a red eared slider now who is around 5 and happy. I had an iguana for 15/16 years. I have had luck with all sorts of mammals and fish.

I am not happy about this, which is why I am reaching out to this community. I know its easy to pile on and act self-righteous. I am just as hard on myself. So while I understand your outrage/concern, please be aware that I am NOT taking this lightly.

Like I said, I have been researching a lot and learning a lot. I do not plan to keep the new lizard in the old enclosure, because I suspect it was parasites.

Where would you recommend I find a mentor? I think that's a wonderful idea.
I do not think you have gotten any comments of outrage or anyone being self-righteous... Honestly I am pretty shocked you haven't. Everyone is simply stating the obvious... You had two and within months both died. While it could have been parasites the fact that you had multiple issues that you have even said you did wrong shows that you need to do more research. Putting them in the cage together even temporarily shows the lack of basic understanding of these animals.

While none of us are saying don't get another one we are urging you to put forth much more time into learning about their husbandry. Otherwise any future chameleon you get can easily die as well. Which I know that is not what you are wanting or you would not have made this thread. There is nothing wrong with being patient and getting the enclosure dialed in perfectly while you are learning more and more. You will find chameleons are much more involved than keeping a turtle or an iguana.

Good luck with your quest to find knowledge. You have found a good start with the forum and being able to search old threads along with the chameleon breeder podcast.
 

chamnewbie80

New Member
I would like another Jackson's , but I think the idea of keeping my vivarium active and stable is what I will do for starters.

Right now, I have a potted abocola schefflera (sic) in a screened vivarium. I plan to remove the plant, clean the enclosure and restart correctly. Obviously, with help now.

I also found a very reputable reptile vet in the area (the one doing the necropsy). My plan is to talk to him too.
 

Harley510

Established Member
I would do weeks even months of more research before buying your next chameleon. If you want a easy reptile to care for get a pac man frog or a leopard gecko. extremely easy to care for, decently cheap to set up, and they don’t require too much attention.
 

chamnewbie80

New Member
At this point, I am not ready to try again until I've done more research. I can use the extra T H0 light I just got for my turtle and just store the other equipment.

I think I am going to volunteer with a local reptile wildlife sanctuary. I want to be close to animals but not kill them out of ignorance.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
They were not housed in the same enclosure. They had separate screened cages.



Your words


“So three weeks ago, on another whim I purchased a panther chameleon at a reptile convention. This was my second mistake, because I still hadn't researched much about chameleons. I made numerous mistakes with this guy, including no quarantine and temporarily putting him in the same enclosure as the jackson.”
 

chamnewbie80

New Member
Your words


“So three weeks ago, on another whim I purchased a panther chameleon at a reptile convention. This was my second mistake, because I still hadn't researched much about chameleons. I made numerous mistakes with this guy, including no quarantine and temporarily putting him in the same enclosure as the jackson.”


I made a mistake of putting them in the same enclosure for about 10 minutes while I cleaned one of the enclosures. Other than that they were housed separately. I had read that you shouldn't keep two chameleons in the same enclosure, but like I didn't yet realize just how stress affects these guys.

So like I have pointed out before, this was borne out of ignorance and I don't think I am in the right. I am being honest for two reasons - to learn more and to possibly help any other dummies like me who may be lurking.

Sorry if I come off like I know what I did was right.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well it's in the past. You're being honest, which most people aren't. I'm sure we've all done some pretty stupid things at some point. Before I had access to internet I had many critters that died probably before they should have.

Chams are just a reptile that shouldn't be available in stores. People that get them should probably have years and years experience with reptiles, feeders, etc. So that when they get one, it just takes some learning on the specifics and the rest comes natural. Now there's a new wave of people involved with them that have never had much or any experience so it's a steep learning curve. If you're one of these people, by all means jump into the cham world, but definitely do extra reading and be cautious. If you've never kept anything, chameleons/bugs/plants are going to be a shocking and probably stressful experience until you settle in.

I'm sure it's confusing hearing about how delicate chams are, but then wait... others are feeding WC bugs, putting them outside even through storms, having chams hang around the house with them, using all sorts of exotic plants, and all other sorts of things, but they're still thriving with no issues? This is what you learn to do safely with time and experience keeping reptiles. Some of this can't be accurately read about and you just have to start with the correct basics and inch towards trying new things as you learn your animal.
 

chamnewbie80

New Member
I agree with you wholeheartedly on the pet stores. My ignorance was coupled with arrogance in that I figured I could make it work. After all, I've had reptiles..etc etc. I couldn't, because my toolset and knowledge were lacking.

I have a tendency to do impulsive stuff and then learn as I go. This doesn't work for chams and I have realized that.

I may try raising dubias cause they are cute and see how I do.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
I made a mistake of putting them in the same enclosure for about 10 minutes while I cleaned one of the enclosures. Other than that they were housed separately. I had read that you shouldn't keep two chameleons in the same enclosure, but like I didn't yet realize just how stress affects these guys.

So like I have pointed out before, this was borne out of ignorance and I don't think I am in the right. I am being honest for two reasons - to learn more and to possibly help any other dummies like me who may be lurking.

Sorry if I come off like I know what I did was right.

Sorry if I seemed rude. I understand that you know you did the wrong thing and feel bad about it. I have made my share of mistakes as well.

I had never owned a reptile before I got a Cham. I somehow kept a pair of budgies alive for like 7 years even know I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t take that good of care of them.

Before I got my Cham I had lurked on here for a few months reading as much as I could until I felt i was ready for a Cham.

Boy was I wrong. I started with all the wrong stuff. The crappy chameleon kit. Got it the same time I got Lennon so I had to set it up fast and get him in there. It was terrible. But I started talking to people on here and doing wayyy more reading and research. Spent thousands getting all the right stuff. Made many mistakes along the way and kept reading and learning as much as I could.

I am still learning everyday about these guys. There is just soooo much to know. While they definitely aren’t a beginner reptile I think if you are willing to put in the time money and research you can be successful at keeping them.
 
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