Urgent Very sick cham!


New Member
Hello, I am a new member to this site seeking help. Im a known reptile lover by my local pet store, and today the owner gave me a very sick baby veiled chameleon maybe 3-4 inches SVL. She was fine a few days when I saw her there previously.
when I got her today She was very dark and cold, and she just lays on her belly waving all limbs about, her joints look swollen. She appears to try to climb but just cant grasp, and rubs face a lot. The owner said she eats still (haven't witnessed this). Since in my care shes lightened in color but not as she should be. I gave her a water dripper but hasn't attempted to drink. Still trys to move but she can't like she has no control over her limbs or they were broken. Any help would be appreciated, I don't want to lose her in the night.

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.

Can you fill this out for us? It will help us in helping 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?


I didn't think it could be MBD, can it really happen that sudden in three days? I live in Maine nearest rept. vet is three hours away. I don't have a lot of info, like I said it was given to me for free. Has been feeding on crickets and calcium fluid for reps has been in its water.
The Metabolic Bone disease does not happen overnight so it is not something you did but what the prior owner DIDNT do. His back legs look like MBD to me. The front I am not sure about, but they sure don't look right. I have never seen a front leg with a joint so close to the body.
They are, I am so puzzled as we speak its moving and rotating all limbs to the point where the inner leg is exposed and I can see the whole under side of the feet. Im really frustrated, a Vet is an impossible choice right now. Anything I could try, other then caring for it til death?
They are, I am so puzzled as we speak its moving and rotating all limbs to the point where the inner leg is exposed and I can see the whole under side of the feet. Im really frustrated, a Vet is an impossible choice right now. Anything I could try, other then caring for it til death?

They can move their legs with mbd they just cannot hold themselves up and grasp vines and branches which appears to be the case with your cham. I am sorry for you that you inherited this sick cham. I feel sorry for the cham too that it never got the proper care. Unfortunately there is alot of damage that is done that cannot be completely reversed. A vet could give your chameleon liquid calcium injections that would be absorbed immediately in the bones, but if you cannot go that route there is no quick fix for MBD. There is no cure, you cannot reverse the damage, just stop it from getting worse and try to somewhat correct the damage the MBD has caused. Is your chameleon drinking? I have another question for you, where did the pet store acquire this chameleon from? Was it in their care for long? If so, they really need to be taught the proper care of these amazing animals so something like this does not happen again.
This is just to get you by until you can see a vet! Get that baby out of the wood chips or what ever it is. Put it in a container at least 12" deep and at least twice the size of that one, with a warm towel for it to lay on. Get an eye dropper or syringe and drip water on the babies face to try to get it to drink. Do you have a UVB bulb? Place the fixture about 10" above the cham, try to get the long tube type. UVB. A reptisun 5.0 is the brand I use. You will also need a digital gage to measure temps & humidity It will be really easy to over heat the little one, temp should not be above 70 to 75.

You will need to take the baby out and mist it at least 3 times a day for 3 or 4 minutes each time. Take the baby out so it doesn't end up sitting on a cold wet towel.

Get plain calcium and dust the crickets lightly and see if the cham will eat.

You need to see a vet as soon as possible, you might try calling the one several hours away and offering to send pictures to see if the vet can help until you can get there. let us know how it goes.
I got it to drink from a dropper that I mixed a little water with zoo med calcium and vitamins. Thats all I can do for tonight I guess, try to call a vet tomm. Thanks for all the help.
personally looks like mbd to me also. back legs look like the bones are soft. hopefully you have a chameleon vet near you. if your vet does not know anything about chameleons, take a few numbers from the vet by locations thread and have him call them for info. personally that poor thing needs some nutrients and nutrients fast, she looks like rubber. if a vet cant see her tomorrow go to the pet store and get some liquid calcium, plain pedialyte, some bug guts, syringe w/no needle and force feed it. get a good uvb/uva tube over her and get temps around 78 if she is immobile. watch her you may need to adjust the temps to her. with her being immobile she will depend upon you to help her regulate temps.

draw 1.0ml pedialyte, 6-8 drops of liquid calcium and 4-6 cricket guts. put all of it in a container and mix it all up. you will probably have left overs but it should be a good start. take your time force feeding drop just a few drops in her mouth at a time. you should see her drink it down. once she has stopped drop a few more down.
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