Veiled cham walking oddly(shaking and swaying) and white buildup on nose

vinpremium4

New Member
Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - Female Veiled, 4-5 months, in my care since Thanksgiving 2010
* Handling - Handle her about every other day.
* Feeding - About 20 crickets a day, gut loaded with broccoli, carrots, romaine lettuce, and cricket cubes.
* Supplements - I was dusting about 10 crickets every other day with Fluker's Calcium + D3 until about 2 weeks ago because of white buildup on her nose. Herptivite once a month.
* Watering - Really good misting 2 or 3 times a day. She drinks from the leaves.
* Fecal Description - Brown and white moist droppings.

Cage Info:

* Cage Type - Exo-Terra Terrarium 18x18x24 WxDxH
* Lighting - Exo-Terra Lamp system that came with the terrarium for two bulbs. 5.0 and a 2.0 Full Spectrum. They are on 14 hours a day. Also have a red heat lamp for basking which stays on 24/7 because my room gets very cold.
* Temperature - The middle of the terrarium stays in the low 70's during the day and drops to just above 60 at night.
* Humidity - between 30 to 50%.
* Plants - All fake but plenty enough for her to have a few choices to hide.
* Placement - On my dresser next to a window. The curtain stays closed.
* Location - New Jersey.


Current Problem - First, it's the white buildup around her nose. I tried taking her off supps. two weeks ago and it actually made the buildup go away after a week but two days ago it came back.
Second, I noticed she's been walking oddly so thinking it could possibly be from not having enough calcium I dusted about 10 crickets with the Fluker's Calcium +D3 today. She ate them quickly in one sitting. I know I have to get just plain calcium without D3. My local pet store doesn't have it. I'm going to order it online. I do give the crickets broccoli every day so I'm hoping that provides a fair amount of the needed calcium. By walking oddly I mean when she walks most of the time her claws shake. Not trying to be funny but it can be compared to a human with advanced Parkinson's Disease.This is only when she's just calmly walking around her cage. If I open the cage or try to reach for her she darts away quickly without issue because she hates me. She also walks like she's extremely over-cautious. She'll reach a claw out then pull it back then reach out and pull it back over and over again, each step. Each step takes 5-7 seconds. At the same time she'll walk with her whole body swaying side to side. She sometimes sits with her body swaying side to side. All this only happens when she is calmly navigating around the terrarium. Once I open the cage she runs like the wind. Because she hates me :( The shaking and the swaying really concern me. Is this normal? I'm trying so hard to do everything right.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
The swaying could be her way of showing her displeasure with your presence.

Your supplements do need to be changed though. Here's some information to start you off.......
Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects before you feed them to the chameleon with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200604210...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
 

Elizadolots

New Member
From my experience chameleons often seem "visually impaired" because they grope for their footholds. I suspect that's because their eyes have developed for long range clarity (that whole eye turret thing) they don't see well close up. In fact, when you look at their eyes, it's entirely possible they can't see their feet at all. Their eyelids are not open enough to allow them broad vision.

they seem to "feel" their way along and that can look pretty disabled.

Kinyonga is really knowledgeable so I would take her words to heart.

I know that when I've seen actual "swaying" it has been in extremely stressful situations involving something or one they didn't want in the cage.

If she's sitting in the cage swaying when she shouldn't be able to see you, then there might be something that's bothering her outside the cage. Is there a mirror? Or maybe even a TV? Look at the room with the idea "what could seem like a predator or competitor?"

While typing I had this thought...is there another chameleon in a cage nearby she can see?
 

vinpremium4

New Member
I've read many of Kinyonga's responses to other people's questions and definitely take her words to heart. Thanks Kinyonga for the quick response! My cham is in my room and it's really low traffic. It's pretty much just me that's ever in the room and I don't bother her much. There is no television or other animals in the room. The curtain is always closed. I can't think of anything that would make her feel so threatened. Could swaying possibly mean something else other than irritation? Do your cham's claws ever shake? I'm going to be doing some more research tomorrow on these questions but I was wondering if anyone else has ever noticed shaking and unexplained swaying from their chams? I really appreciate your responses, thanks.
 

Elizadolots

New Member
Could you maybe post pictures of your set up? Maybe the expert eyes that are around here could find something important
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
What you are describing is perfectly normal. They do start to take a step forward and then move the foot jerkily back and then move forward again...its said to be trying to imitate a leaf...trying to move without being noticed. I'm sure that's what you are talking about. Is this what you are talking about??
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdbSikEtjDQ&feature=related


I still do think that you need to dust with phos.-free calcium at most feedings and with the D3 and vitamins twice a month. I also think that broccoli is not a good thing to use to feed the insects. Although it has quite a bit of calcium, it also contains things that are not good. Se the list I included in my previous post.
 

Stanly

New Member
Chameleon Info:

* Feeding - About 20 crickets a day, gut loaded with broccoli, carrots, romaine lettuce, and cricket cubes.
* Supplements - I was dusting about 10 crickets every other day with Fluker's Calcium + D3 until about 2 weeks ago because of white buildup on her nose. Herptivite once a month.


Cage Info:

* Lighting - Exo-Terra Lamp system that came with the terrarium for two bulbs. 5.0 and a 2.0 Full Spectrum. They are on 14 hours a day. Also have a red heat lamp for basking which stays on 24/7 because my room gets very cold.
First off I'm a new keeper so most of this is just repeating what I've read on here and else where, but there are a few things you might want to look into.

First off I'm not sure if your aware (and I can't recall what it is) but there is something in broccoli that inhibits calcium absorption so try not to over do it in your gut load. There's a few good blogs about gut loading on this site you should check out if you haven't (and maybe you already knew this?).

Next the red light, I'm not sure if it bothers chameleons (I've heard some say absolutely no lights at night) maybe some one else can chime in here? I know they make ceramic heat bulbs that put off heat but no light if this is a problem. Also most suggest 12 on 12 off for lights, not sure if losing 2 hours sleep is a biggie or not, just putting that out there.

The other thing is calcium with out d3 but I read on down and seems like your working on that, I know most who use reptical only use the one with d3 around 2x a month and use the one with OUT almost every feeding. You should probably check how much d3 the flukers has compared to the reptical.
 

AESara

Member
Unless the room gets cold at night, you don't need a light. I would suggest that you don't use a light, especially one of the red ones as I've read that the red lights keep chams awake and may even damage their eyesight. If the room gets too cold at night, it would be better to use a ceramic heat emitter since they do not put off light.
 

vinpremium4

New Member
Kinyonga, that's exactly what it looks like. Thanks for the vid and the laugh it gave me! Those links were a good read and helpful to me.
I'm definitely going to cut back on the brocolli and get on schedule with the phos-free calcium. I'm also going to look into the ceramic heat emitter. Thanks everyone for your responses, I appreciate them.
 

Maurer3D

New Member
The white stuff around the nose are salts. Chameleons have salt glands, which help them get rid of extra salts and other things like chlorine.
 
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