Understanding the death of a chameleon

The Dave

New Member
Hello, Chameleon Forums. I'm new here, as you've no doubt gleaned from my join date, and my registration at this board is not for a happy reason, as you are undoubtedly aware from this thread's title.

A friend of mine, about a month ago I believe, acquired a chameleon of her very own (color changed to indicate links; I see links are the same color as other text on this board). I was very excited about this, as was she. As she is a person who is very fond of animals and has raised many of them in the past, no one that knew her (nor she herself) could scarely believe that Slick had passed away this morning.

The account below are all I know of the circumstances surrounded Slick's parting:

I don't know. He was doing great last night. And then this morning I got up and turned on his UVA bulb and he was lying at the base of his tree with one of his arms not grasping anything, crossed under him...
His skin was greyish and dry, but he was still alive...
I checked for injuries, found none, decided he felt too cold. Put him under his basking lamp. He held on fine to the basking branch and even lifted his chin the way he usually does so the heat hits his throat.
I thought he was better, so I turned around and started getting dressed. I should've known better than to let it off like that.
And then there was that awful noise. I knew he'd fallen. I guess my heart broke before I even turned back around. Chams don't fall.
And so I started eyedropping water into him, and he was drinking. And once I thought I'd hydrated him a bit, I put him in a bunch of leaves so he'd feel safe and started making the pedialyte formula you're supposed to give them for emergencies like this.
But it was too late, I guess. He started changing colors really fast. I started crying, and when I picked him up to start eyedropping the formula, he died.

Needless to say we're all very shocked by this, and while I've been trying to find information on what could have caused his death, I've yet to find any chameleon illness that seems to match up with the spontaneous deterioration of health my friend described. Any information that might shed some light on Slick's sudden departure would be greatly appreciated. (He was four months old at the time.)
I'm terribly sorry to hear about they death of your friends chameleon...It's a difficult subject to deal with. From the symptoms you described, there could be a variety of complications that led to his passing.

Often times, Respitory infections seem to be of high mortality rate, but those usually develop over time, not instantaneously. It could have been organ failure (Kidneys, intestines, internal bleeding) Could you please describe her set up? Did they chameleon seem to display any whitness or blotches on his body? Was she using a UVB bulb?

Once we get all those variables narrowed down, the diagnosis will be much easier. Again, so sorry... :(
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