Veiled Chameleon’s “Cone”

#1
New to Chams. Just bought a 6 - 8 month old male veiled chameleon several days ago from a local reptile shop. Took him to an exotic pets vet. She thought he was dehydrated because his head “cone” was concave and not puffy. Never read anything about that anywhere.

She recommended soaking him for an hour - didn’t say how often.

He seems to be eating all his live crickets and having daily formed tic-tac like black droppings and a few daily white unrates the size of a dime.

Thoughts?

I have a cage mister going every hour for 60 seconds during the day and a dripper that goes constantly for a few hours every morning.
 

Attachments

#3
Could you fill out this form and post a better picture of his head a body?

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.
 
#8
Thanks! Looks like Fort Lauderdale would be a good opportunity for a reptile vet since none are listed in that area!
I live in Weston. @jannb suggested Dr. Strauss and I really liked him. He printed a bunch of care sheets for me upon arrival, and sat with me for about 15-20 mins to talk about chameleon care before even asking to look at my chameleon. He was great and gentle with my boy, very charming and looked like he knew what he was doing. I’d take the 20min drive to Weston :)
 

Angelwolf

Chameleon Enthusiast
#9
Yes. What @jannb said. Your vet, while probably trying to genuinely help, have you there wrong advice. Never soak a chameleon. They do not absolu moisture through their skin like other reptiles do, so it would only be detrimental to his well being by causing him A LOT of stress. Your misting schedule is off, too. You want 2-3 good long misting sessions (5+ min) throughout the day, and you want to allow the cage to dry out between sessions. What size is the cage he is in now? You have it set up very nicely, however he will outgrow that one in just a few months. I can tell you did your research before getting him, but you're still a little behind the eight ball, simply because of where he came from. Pet stores don't care for them properly. Also his "cone" (it's actually called a casque) isn't puffy because he probably wasn't eating due to the stress of being in the pet store. They keep fat stores in their casque, so as he gets back to better health, he will begin to replace those fat stores and it will be nice and plump again. Good luck with him. You're on the right track, but have a little work to do.
 
#10
Yes. What @jannb said. Your vet, while probably trying to genuinely help, have you there wrong advice. Never soak a chameleon. They do not absolu moisture through their skin like other reptiles do, so it would only be detrimental to his well being by causing him A LOT of stress. Your misting schedule is off, too. You want 2-3 good long misting sessions (5+ min) throughout the day, and you want to allow the cage to dry out between sessions. What size is the cage he is in now? You have it set up very nicely, however he will outgrow that one in just a few months. I can tell you did your research before getting him, but you're still a little behind the eight ball, simply because of where he came from. Pet stores don't care for them properly. Also his "cone" (it's actually called a casque) isn't puffy because he probably wasn't eating due to the stress of being in the pet store. They keep fat stores in their casque, so as he gets back to better health, he will begin to replace those fat stores and it will be nice and plump again. Good luck with him. You're on the right track, but have a little work to do.
Thanks. His enclosure is 3’ H x 3’ W x 18” deep. It’s the largest commercial screen enclosure I could find. If he gets very much bigger and seems too cramped I’ll just make my own from window screens.

He seems to be eating every cricket I give him (around a dozen medium a day). I’ve also made small super worms available. Does not appear to be eating them. I just installed a dish at the top of the enclosure so I’ll see if that motivates him to also eat them. I also put chopped raw collard greens and chopped strawberries in the dish too.

His poop is black and thick like tar and his urates are white. He seems to be going one or twice a day.

He’s also very active - moving around the enclosure - possibly hunting crickets...
 

Angelwolf

Chameleon Enthusiast
#11
All signs are pointing to him improving. Do you have a UVB light on him? That's very important. The poop should return to normal soon. What you are seeing is most likely attributed to the stress he has recently been subjected to and probable poor nutrition. You would be wise to have a fecal test done (by a different vet) just to make sure there are no worms.
 
#12
I do! Went up to a UVB 10 vs 5 per the vet but he gets a few hours of direct sunlight every morning since his cage is outside in the SOFLO humidity. He also has a full spectrum heat lamp at 95 degrees.

The vet did a fecal test and found mild pin worms. Being treated 1 time a week for 3 weeks.
 
#13
Could you fill out this form and post a better picture of his head a body?

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Veiled Chameleon, male, 6 - 8 months, owned 7 days
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Only handled him day 3 of ownership for vet health visit.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Feeding around 10 medium crickets daily. Mornings. Gut loading with flukers gut load, collard greens and strawberries.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Dust crickets with:

Zoo Med with Reptivite with D3 once a week,

Zoo Med Repti calcium twice a week
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
Drip bottled a few hours a day - mornings
Mist system hourly 6 am - 6 Pm, runs a minute each time.

Don’t see him eating or drinking - he’s well hidden
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
Dark black, large tic tac sized - tar like. Tested Poz for whip worms. Being treated once a week for 3 weeks.
  • 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?
Screen - 3’ x 3’ x 18”
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Zoo Med repti sun 10 uvb

Exo Tera day light basking lamp 75 watt

Above 6 am - 6 pm daily

Outside morning sun 3-4 hours a day
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Basking 95

Upper 70s / low 80s night
80s and 90s day

Fort Lauderdale outdoor temps and humidity
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
60 - 80 Fort Lauderdale outside
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Hibiscus and Dracina vine
  • 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?
Outside in screened lanai - north east side of house - under over hang


  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
Thin casque
Black formed stools
White urates
 
#16
Could you fill out this form and post a better picture of his head a body?

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.
Done
 
#17
May be wishful thinking but I think his casque is filling out. Seems like the base is fuller. His droppings have nearly doubled in size and length from 7 days ago.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
#18
Details are above.

Mainly looking for others who keep theirs outside in south Florida and any warning signs / conditions to monitor.
It’s really hot here in South Florida. Be sure to keep his outside enclosure in the shade and make sure there’s plenty more shade inside the enclosure. The enclosure should not be made of screen or the wildlife here can tear right through screen and so can dogs and cats. We use plastic coated hardware cloth. My guys go outside for 3 to 5 hours almost daily. I misted for 3 to 5 minutes twice and keep a dripper going the entire time they are outside. You can see my outside enclosures below.

CFC0E875-1023-45BA-A036-11C70D93A5B8.jpeg
E527E588-6430-4D3A-9530-A6536025F3EB.jpeg
6628CE7F-7A63-4D08-8A4B-B954461D1CB1.jpeg
2397FB12-96E3-4F7A-8AAA-3BAAA913AF3A.jpeg
87A35C27-8973-47C7-BA77-A61F1E10292F.jpeg
5895CF19-2C27-47C4-9A0E-564AA2233065.jpeg
4E8A3C03-C8B9-48E6-802C-B87DE5163767.jpeg
 
#20
It’s really hot here in South Florida. Be sure to keep his outside enclosure in the shade and make sure there’s plenty more shade inside the enclosure. The enclosure should not be made of screen or the wildlife here can tear right through screen and so can dogs and cats. We use plastic coated hardware cloth. My guys go outside for 3 to 5 hours almost daily. I misted for 3 to 5 minutes twice and keep a dripper going the entire time they are outside. You can see my outside enclosures below.

View attachment 209039 View attachment 209040 View attachment 209041 View attachment 209042 View attachment 209043 View attachment 209044 View attachment 209045

Stanley is beautiful!!! I definitely tried zooming in as much as I could to get a better view lol :rolleyes: Awesme setup. Out of curiosity.. what’s the last, longer enclosure for?
 
Top Bottom