URGENT! chameleon hanging upside down and lethargic

kiramcloughlin

New Member
I am a new chameleon owner and I have an 8 month old male veiled chameleon named milo. I URGENTLY NEED HELP I AM VERY WORRIED. I have had him since he was a baby. Today I looked over in his cage where he was hanging upside down and was holding onto a branch with all 4 legs. I was a little worried and then he started to try and move around and he was having a very hard time he was falling over and wobbling. I’ve never seen him in that type of condition before. He has a mister in his cage that drips 24/7 and I mist his cage at least twice a day but ever since he was a baby I’ve struggled to get him to drink. I think he may be dehydrated because his eyes look sunken in today as well. I tried to put him in the shower for about 10-15 minutes and it seemed to help a little bit. I don’t know if i maybe have too much heat and not enough UV in his cage. I also feed him crickets everyday or every other day (he hunts at his own leisure) He is also a big fan of meal worms and hornworms. I feed his crickets carrots but i think I might need something else that’s more nutritious. I also dust them with calcium and I did just purchase a vitamin powder. PLEASE help any feedback or advice will be appreciated i am very worried because i know that sunken eyes, not drinking, hanging upside down, and acting lethargic are all really bad signs and can be deadly. If this is to continue to occur tomorrow i will be looking at a visit to the vet. It was all just very strange because he was perfectly fine and eating one minute and then not doing too good the next. -Thanks
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. I have some questions...putting them in red.

I am a new chameleon owner and I have an 8 month old male veiled chameleon named milo. I URGENTLY NEED HELP I AM VERY WORRIED. I have had him since he was a baby. Today I looked over in his cage where he was hanging upside down and was holding onto a branch with all 4 legs. I was a little worried and then he started to try and move around and he was having a very hard time he was falling over and wobbling. I’ve never seen him in that type of condition before. He has a mister in his cage that drips 24/7 Can you explain this better? Do you mean that his enclosure is constantly wet? What are your humidity levels? and I mist his cage at least twice a day but ever since he was a baby I’ve struggled to get him to drink. Many chameleons are very secretive about drinking. What color have his urates been? I think he may be dehydrated because his eyes look sunken in today as well. I tried to put him in the shower for about 10-15 minutes and it seemed to help a little bit. Generally showers aren’t suggested as what temp we think of as Luke warm, can be scalding hot to a cham. Also, it is stressful for them. I don’t know if i maybe have too much heat and not enough UV in his cage. What are your temps? What type of uvb are you using? I also feed him crickets everyday or every other day (he hunts at his own leisure) He is also a big fan of meal worms and hornworms. I feed his crickets carrots but i think I might need something else that’s more nutritious. Attaching feeder and gutload sheets. I also dust them with calcium With it without vitamin D3? How often do you use? and I did just purchase a vitamin powder. What type? Have you given any yet? If so, how often? PLEASE help any feedback or advice will be appreciated i am very worried because i know that sunken eyes, not drinking, hanging upside down, and acting lethargic are all really bad signs and can be deadly. If this is to continue to occur tomorrow i will be looking at a visit to the vet. Sounds like a vet visit is most likely a good move, but let’s also try to figure out what may be wrong and correct it. It was all just very strange because he was perfectly fine and eating one minute and then not doing too good the next. Chameleons are very good at hiding that anything is wrong until they are quite ill. -Thanks
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just to add to what @MissSkittles said, his cage needs to be worked on as well. I’ll attach some links to enclosure set up and veiled care. I’d also recommend to read through the Chameleon Academy’s basic care and husbandry articles. What is the green light for on top of your tank? Is your UVB linear light fixture a T5 High Output or T8, and what is the strength, brand, and age of the bulb you have in it? The UVB linear fixture needs to go over the middle portion of his cage, aligning with his basking branch. The lizard hammock and fake plants need to come out. The hammocks aren’t designed for chameleons, and they make the chameleon sit uncomfortably on them. Veileds will try to eat everything, so a fake plant is an impaction risk.

https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html
https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, to reiterate, your cham needs an experienced chameleon vet to check him out, do bloodwork, x-rays, a fecal/parasite test, etc.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

kiramcloughlin

New Member
Hi and welcome. I have some questions...putting them in red.

I am a new chameleon owner and I have an 8 month old male veiled chameleon named milo. I URGENTLY NEED HELP I AM VERY WORRIED. I have had him since he was a baby. Today I looked over in his cage where he was hanging upside down and was holding onto a branch with all 4 legs. I was a little worried and then he started to try and move around and he was having a very hard time he was falling over and wobbling. I’ve never seen him in that type of condition before. He has a mister in his cage that drips 24/7 Can you explain this better? Do you mean that his enclosure is constantly wet? What are your humidity levels? and I mist his cage at least twice a day but ever since he was a baby I’ve struggled to get him to drink. Many chameleons are very secretive about drinking. What color have his urates been? I think he may be dehydrated because his eyes look sunken in today as well. I tried to put him in the shower for about 10-15 minutes and it seemed to help a little bit. Generally showers aren’t suggested as what temp we think of as Luke warm, can be scalding hot to a cham. Also, it is stressful for them. I don’t know if i maybe have too much heat and not enough UV in his cage. What are your temps? What type of uvb are you using? I also feed him crickets everyday or every other day (he hunts at his own leisure) He is also a big fan of meal worms and hornworms. I feed his crickets carrots but i think I might need something else that’s more nutritious. Attaching feeder and gutload sheets. I also dust them with calcium With it without vitamin D3? How often do you use? and I did just purchase a vitamin powder. What type? Have you given any yet? If so, how often? PLEASE help any feedback or advice will be appreciated i am very worried because i know that sunken eyes, not drinking, hanging upside down, and acting lethargic are all really bad signs and can be deadly. If this is to continue to occur tomorrow i will be looking at a visit to the vet. Sounds like a vet visit is most likely a good move, but let’s also try to figure out what may be wrong and correct it. It was all just very strange because he was perfectly fine and eating one minute and then not doing too good the next. Chameleons are very good at hiding that anything is wrong until they are quite ill. -Thanks

Question 1) His cage is constantly wet in some areas of the cage. I have a misting machine that I can set to go off for a certain amount of time every so often. I currently have it set to 60s every hour so it goes off and mists water out of these tubes set up in his cage. But the way I have set it up it also drips little water droplets 24/7. I also mist his cage with a water bottle at least twice a day. I do not know the humidity levels which is why I think I am going to purchase something that measures humidity. Do you have any recommendations?
Question 2) His pee varies sometimes it is healthy and all white and sometimes it’s fairly yellow/orange. Currently it is like an ombré of white and yellow.
Question 3) I don’t know for sure the temperature in his cage I need to buy something to measure it. But I have two 100 watt heat bulbs and I don’t remember the watt for the UVB one but it is a long looking bulb.
Question 4) The calcium powder I have does contain D3 I don’t use it every time maybe twice to three times a week. The vitamin powder I just purchased just says reproving and it also contains D3 I really haven’t used this one yet. They are both zoo med’s.
Thank you so much I appreciate the help! I will take any advice.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Thank you MissSkittles 🙏
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Changes need to be made to your husbandry. Also, filling out the ask for help form completely with tons of detail is extremely helpful! My feedback will be in red.
Question 1) His cage is constantly wet in some areas of the cage. I have a misting machine that I can set to go off for a certain amount of time every so often. I currently have it set to 60s every hour so it goes off and mists water out of these tubes set up in his cage. But the way I have set it up it also drips little water droplets 24/7. I also mist his cage with a water bottle at least twice a day. I do not know the humidity levels which is why I think I am going to purchase something that measures humidity. Do you have any recommendations? So his cage should completely dry out between mistings. I’d buy or make a dripper separate from his automatic mister, and let it drop onto leaves in one part of his cage 24/7. Each misting session should be a minimum of 2 minutes long for during the day. If your humidity allows it, only mist in the morning and late afternoon/night for during the day. Get a digital hygrometer to measure the humidity levels. It should be between 30-50% during the day and up to 100% at night. Live plants and wrapping the back, left, and right sides of his cage will help raise humidity (wrapping the cage if needed). Using a fogger/cool mist humidifier works great to raise the humidity levels at night, just make sure to thoroughly clean it a lot if you get one.
Question 2) His pee varies sometimes it is healthy and all white and sometimes it’s fairly yellow/orange. Currently it is like an ombré of white and yellow.
Question 3) I don’t know for sure the temperature in his cage I need to buy something to measure it. But I have two 100 watt heat bulbs and I don’t remember the watt for the UVB one but it is a long looking bulb. You need a digital thermometer to measure your basking level, mid cage, and bottom cage temperatures. This and humidity are both super important to be aware of! Why are you using 2 heat bulbs? I’ve already asked my questions about your UVB in post #5, along with enclosure changes and care links.
Question 4) The calcium powder I have does contain D3 I don’t use it every time maybe twice to three times a week. The vitamin powder I just purchased just says reproving and it also contains D3 I really haven’t used this one yet. They are both zoo med’s. You need to get phosphorus-free and D3-free pure calcium ASAP. Since you already use Zoo Med, get the Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3. Use that every feeding on your feeder insects right before you feed them off. Is your multivitamin Zoo Med’s Reptivite with D3? If so, use that once every two weeks. Don’t use your calcium with D3 at all wt it. If the Reptivite doesn’t have D3, then use that every two weeks and your ReptiCalcium with D3 every two weeks. So use the multivitamin without D3 once one week, then the next week use calcium with D3 once, and repeat.
Thank you so much I appreciate the help! I will take any advice.
 
Last edited:

Shanar808

Avid Member
Question 1) His cage is constantly wet in some areas of the cage. I have a misting machine that I can set to go off for a certain amount of time every so often. I currently have it set to 60s every hour so it goes off and mists water out of these tubes set up in his cage. But the way I have set it up it also drips little water droplets 24/7. I also mist his cage with a water bottle at least twice a day. I do not know the humidity levels which is why I think I am going to purchase something that measures humidity. Do you have any recommendations?
Question 2) His pee varies sometimes it is healthy and all white and sometimes it’s fairly yellow/orange. Currently it is like an ombré of white and yellow.
Question 3) I don’t know for sure the temperature in his cage I need to buy something to measure it. But I have two 100 watt heat bulbs and I don’t remember the watt for the UVB one but it is a long looking bulb.
Question 4) The calcium powder I have does contain D3 I don’t use it every time maybe twice to three times a week. The vitamin powder I just purchased just says reproving and it also contains D3 I really haven’t used this one yet. They are both zoo med’s.
Thank you so much I appreciate the help! I will take any advice.
The cage should be allowed to dry during the day because constantly wet will cause mold growth and foot sores (this is also not good for respiratory health) so that’s a possibility but a vet visit is going to be the best way to know for sure what’s wrong.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
The cage should be allowed to dry during the day because constantly wet will cause mold growth and foot sores (this is also not good for respiratory health) so that’s a possibility but a vet visit is going to be the best way to know for sure what’s wrong.
Yes, just make sure the vet you bring him to is a good and experienced chameleon vet. Make sure to bring a fresh fecal with you to the appointment. Also make sure the vet tests for parasites/does a fecal float, takes x-rays, tests his bloodwork, etc.
 

kiramcloughlin

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, male, 8 months. I have had him since he was a baby.
  • Handling - I handle him often. He will actually come to the front of the cage and climb near the latches on the cage door when he wants to come out. He will run into my hand which I know handling should be kept to a minimum but he absolutely loves to come out and explore. But he also loves being in his cage and is quite territorial of it at times so handling is only done when he allows for it and when I am cleaning his cage.
  • Feeding - I feed him mainly crickets but also occasionally meal worms, wax worms, horn worms, and dubai roaches. I have tried veggies but he did not care for them. Any recommendations on what types of veggies? I put about 10-15 large crickets in his cage at a time in the morning when i wake up and he hunts them at his own leisure. I feed him crickets either everyday or every other day. When i give him worms it’s more of a treat and I will give him 2-3 and i do this maybe 2-3 times a week. I don’t really know what I should be gutloading with but I feed his crickets carrots.
  • Supplements - I have a zoo med calcium powder that contains D3 and I will dust his crickets with this maybe 2-3 times a week. I also have a zoo med vitamin powder that also contains D3 that i have not really used yet.
  • Watering - I have a misting machine that I can set to mist his cage for a certain amount of time every so often. I usually have it set to 45 or 60 seconds every hour. There are two tubes the water mists out of. Also the way I have the tube set up little water droplets drip 24/7. I also mist his entire cage with a water bottle at least twice a day. When I first got the misting machine my cham would here it go off and run to the water and I would see him drink from it constantly. But now i have not seen him drink at all for a while and I am home a lot considering we are in a pandemic.
  • Fecal Description - His poops look quite healthy to me they aren’t too hard or gooey. His pees though have been an ombré of yellow and white and sometimes are fairly yellow/orange. He has never been tested for parasites.
  • History - Ever since he was a baby I would sometimes struggle to get him to drink. I can always tell when he hasn’t been drinking enough by his sunken in eyes. Compared to some of the people I have talked to who also have chameleons it sounds like mine is very active and moves and climbs constantly.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - His cage is all screen. It is 2ft by 2ft and 4 ft tall.
  • Lighting - I am not sure of the brand of bulbs I have. I just know I have 2 100 watt heat bulbs. I have a third but i don’t turn it on. I also have a long UVB bulb I’m not sure the brand or watt for that either but I think i still have all of the boxes somewhere. My lighting schedule is the two heat bulbs and the long UVB bulb are on for 12 hours straight and then they all are off at night.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I am unsure of these questions I need to purchase something to measure this. Any recommendations??
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I am unsure of these questions I need to purchase something to measure the humidity. Any recommendations??
  • Plants - There is one big live plant in his cage and the rest are fake. I don’t know the exact name for sure but when I purchased this plant I googled it and made sure it was animal and chameleon safe. Any plants your chams love??
  • Placement - His cage is located in my room. Where my dog and no one else really comes in. He is very comfortable and familiar with my room. It is not near any fans, air vents or high traffic areas. At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room? The cage is 4ft tall but it also sits on a 2ft tall stand I hade made for a drainage system so it sits fairly close to the ceiling.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Upstate New York.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
I looked over at his cage and found him upside down. he was on a branch with all four legs holding on to it upside down. Then when he tried to move I noticed he was moving very weird and was shaking. He was wobbling and kept falling over and tipping to one side. He was acting strange and sorta lethargic. his eyes were also sunken in. So, I took him out of his cage because I really thought he was going to fall which is not good. He was extremely clingy to me and the only other time he was this clingy was when he accidentally saw his reflection. When he is distressed he clings to me. So, I held him and he seemed to do a little better but he did not want to leave my hand and when I finally got him too he started to walk and he fell over again. Due to his eyes being sunken in I tried putting him in the shower just to let to humidity and mist help him. He seemed to respond well to it he walked a little better and brightened right up. I put him back in his cage where he didn’t move too much but he did walk around and did better. He is sleeping now but I will keep an eye on him and possibly plan a vet visit because i know sunken eyes, yellowish pee, hanging upside down, and acting sorta lethargic is not good at all.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

kiramcloughlin

New Member
The cage should be allowed to dry during the day because constantly wet will cause mold growth and foot sores (this is also not good for respiratory health) so that’s a possibility but a vet visit is going to be the best way to know for sure what’s wrong.
Is it okay for only a certain area of the cage to be constantly wet? I have moved everything so that nothing can get moldy from it. I had that issue before when I first got him it was too wet and I had mold. His cage is technically always wet but only a small portion. The rest and majority of his cage does entirely dry throughout the day. But definitely planning a vet visit anyways. Thanks again! :)
 

kiramcloughlin

New Member
Yes, just make sure the vet you bring him to is a good and experienced chameleon vet. Make sure to bring a fresh fecal with you to the appointment. Also make sure the vet tests for parasites/does a fecal float, takes x-rays, tests his bloodwork, etc.
I hope I can find a good vet for him around me!! How do you know if the vet is experienced enough?
 

kiramcloughlin

New Member
Just to add to what @MissSkittles said, his cage needs to be worked on as well. I’ll attach some links to enclosure set up and veiled care. I’d also recommend to read through the Chameleon Academy’s basic care and husbandry articles. What is the green light for on top of your tank? Is your UVB linear light fixture a T5 High Output or T8, and what is the strength, brand, and age of the bulb you have in it? The UVB linear fixture needs to go over the middle portion of his cage, aligning with his basking branch. The lizard hammock and fake plants need to come out. The hammocks aren’t designed for chameleons, and they make the chameleon sit uncomfortably on them. Veileds will try to eat everything, so a fake plant is an impaction risk.

https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html
https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/
I’m not sure why that light looks green it’s just a heat bulb but it blew so i don’t have it anymore. And for the UVB i will have to find the box and look at it tmr and i will move it to the middle like you said but i am fairly positive it is a T8 i remember seeing that on the box.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Is it okay for only a certain area of the cage to be constantly wet? I have moved everything so that nothing can get moldy from it. I had that issue before when I first got him it was too wet and I had mold. His cage is technically always wet but only a small portion. The rest and majority of his cage does entirely dry throughout the day. But definitely planning a vet visit anyways. Thanks again! :)
Yeah no worries! I was doing the same thing for the first couple weeks (before I joined the forums) and I swapped to the night fog hydration and found that helpful because the dripper doesn’t need to run all day and my plants stopped getting root rot. 😉
 

kiramcloughlin

New Member
Changes need to be made to your husbandry. Also, filling out the ask for help form completely with tons of detail is extremely helpful! My feedback will be in red.
Question 1) His cage is constantly wet in some areas of the cage. I have a misting machine that I can set to go off for a certain amount of time every so often. I currently have it set to 60s every hour so it goes off and mists water out of these tubes set up in his cage. But the way I have set it up it also drips little water droplets 24/7. I also mist his cage with a water bottle at least twice a day. I do not know the humidity levels which is why I think I am going to purchase something that measures humidity. Do you have any recommendations? So his cage should completely dry out between mistings. I’d buy or make a dripper separate from his automatic mister, and let it drop onto leaves in one part of his cage 24/7. Each misting session should be a minimum of 2 minutes long for during the day. If your humidity allows it, only mist in the morning and late afternoon/night for during the day. Get a digital hygrometer to measure the humidity levels. It should be between 30-50% during the day and up to 100% at night. Live plants and wrapping the back, left, and right sides of his cage will help raise humidity (wrapping the cage if needed). Using a fogger/cool mist humidifier works great to raise the humidity levels at night, just make sure to thoroughly clean it a lot if you get one.
Question 2) His pee varies sometimes it is healthy and all white and sometimes it’s fairly yellow/orange. Currently it is like an ombré of white and yellow.
Question 3) I don’t know for sure the temperature in his cage I need to buy something to measure it. But I have two 100 watt heat bulbs and I don’t remember the watt for the UVB one but it is a long looking bulb. You need a digital thermometer to measure your basking level, mid cage, and bottom cage temperatures. This and humidity are both super important to be aware of! Why are you using 2 heat bulbs? I’ve already asked my questions about your UVB in post #5, along with enclosure changes and care links.
Question 4) The calcium powder I have does contain D3 I don’t use it every time maybe twice to three times a week. The vitamin powder I just purchased just says reproving and it also contains D3 I really haven’t used this one yet. They are both zoo med’s. You need to get phosphorus-free and D3-free pure calcium ASAP. Since you already use Zoo Med, get the Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3. Use that every feeding on your feeder insects right before you feed them off. Is your multivitamin Zoo Med’s Reptivite with D3? If so, use that once every two weeks. Don’t use your calcium with D3 at all wt it. If the Reptivite doesn’t have D3, then use that every two weeks and your ReptiCalcium with D3 every two weeks. So use the multivitamin without D3 once one week, then the next week use calcium with D3 once, and repeat.
Thank you so much I appreciate the help! I will take any advice.
Yeah no worries! I was doing the same thing for the first couple weeks (before I joined the forums) and I swapped to the night fog hydration and found that helpful because the dripper doesn’t need to run all day and my plants stopped getting root rot. 😉
I actually had the like fogger humidifier machine but I found it created too much mold and for some reason my cham hated the fog he was like terrified of it haha but i’m thinking of getting one again. My dripper i have set up so that it drips directly down onto the plastic bottom so that nothing is effected.
 
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