Veiled Chameleon Biting own tail

So I am a new owner of a Veiled Chameleon his name is Nismo and I noticed yesterday he was hanging upside down or anyway he could to attack his tail. At first it didn’t freak me out I thought maybe he was shedding (I haven’t seen this yet) I have only had him for a month bought him from Petsmart. Now today I come home from work and he’s attacking his tail till bleeding and the tip of his tail is black (now about an inch long.) So trying to be wise yet I know I’m not at this point. (Being new to chameleons) I turned his lights off so maybe he would stop he did for a bit then went back at it then stopped and went to sleep. I’m worried thought I’m trying to make sure he survives the night. So I’m not sure how old he is he’s about Nose to tail 8” long. His diet includes gut loaded crickets (fluckers high-calcium cricket diet, fluckers cricket quencher, plus organic fruits and veggies.) I lightly dust crickets once a day (morning) with Repti calcium without calcium then feed (night) non dusted crickets or super worms. Once a week I feed repti calcium with d3 and zoo med reptivite. He has a manual dripper but also has an auto mister system that drips for 12 seconds every 2 hours until sleepy time. Heat stays at 86 degrees in basking area. If you see anything wrong please help.
 
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome to the forum. I’m afraid I‘m inexperienced and haven’t any idea why your cham is doing this. While waiting for the experienced members to see your post, if you could fill this out as best you can it will help them to help you. You will most likely need a vet visit, so if you need help with finding one in your area do say so.

Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. By providing this information you will receive more accurate and beneficial responses. It might not be necessary to answer all these questions, but the more you provide the better. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person can only guess at what your problem may be. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who can directly examine your animal can give a true diagnosis of your chameleon's health.


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.

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Please Note:
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  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Only heard of a chameleon doing this once before and I don't know if the reason was ever figured out.

It's going to be hard to get him to stop I think. I'm trying to think of what you could cover it with that he couldn't do it because you can't put tape on the skin.

It needs some antibiotic cream on it too IMHO.
 
I turned his lights off and he went to sleep but I’m afraid to turn them back on in the morning. I have a full screen cage and his humidity is correct I think 65 percent he is in my living room so people 3 of us are in and out ever day part of the day. There is a ceiling fan but barely used we have a cat and a dog they don’t seem to mind him any attention.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Only heard of a chameleon doing this once before and I don't know if the reason was ever figured out.

It's going to be hard to get him to stop I think. I'm trying to think of what you could cover it with that he couldn't do it because you can't put tape on the skin.

It needs some antibiotic cream on it too IMHO.
Could it be caused by external parasites? I’m thinking maybe it itches or hurts?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
@MissSkittles im feeding twice a day once lightly calcium dusted without d3 and I mean light dusted then at night 10 hours later.
Is best to feed once early in the day so that they have time to digest properly. But that doesn’t seem to be the cause. You do have a couple of husbandry items to correct, but can address that later.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I am a new owner of a Veiled Chameleon his name is Nismo and I noticed yesterday he was hanging upside down or anyway he could to attack his tail. At first it didn’t freak me out I thought maybe he was shedding (I haven’t seen this yet) I have only had him for a month bought him from Petsmart. Now today I come home from work and he’s attacking his tail till bleeding and the tip of his tail is black (now about an inch long.) So trying to be wise yet I know I’m not at this point. (Being new to chameleons) I turned his lights off so maybe he would stop he did for a bit then went back at it then stopped and went to sleep. I’m worried thought I’m trying to make sure he survives the night. So I’m not sure how old he is he’s about Nose to tail 8” long. His diet includes gut loaded crickets (fluckers high-calcium cricket diet, fluckers cricket quencher, plus organic fruits and veggies.) I lightly dust crickets once a day (morning) with Repti calcium without calcium then feed (night) non dusted crickets or super worms. Once a week I feed repti calcium with d3 and zoo med reptivite. He has a manual dripper but also has an auto mister system that drips for 12 seconds every 2 hours until sleepy time. Heat stays at 86 degrees in basking area. If you see anything wrong please help.
Did s/he just shed? Is there a layer of skin on the top of its tail that hasn’t come off?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
@MissSkittles what should I correct and what’s wrong then?
Supplements: calcium without d every feeding, then calcium with D3 and multi vitamin alternating once every other week OR Repashy calcium with LoD every feeding and no other supplements needed.
Auto misting should be for about 2-3 minutes three times daily -just before lights on, mid day and just before lights off.
Crickets are ok, but they do like variety. Bsfl (Phoenix worms), roaches, silkworms and the occasional hornworm or super worm.
If you fill out the help form, someone can go thru and make sure all else is correct.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm only guessing here but I believe the Chameleon, whom others have confirmed to be a female, was possibly bit by another tank matesl or even more possible a feeder bug causing an infection. Do to you feeding late in the evening before lights out I doubt she had time to eat all the feeders you put in before her lights go out. Most of our feeders are nocturnal and when the chameleons asleep the bugs will play. She's obviously in a lot of discomfort. Possibly flight or fight instinct to stop the discomfort and stop the infection she's trying to remove her own tail? This is all speculatory obviously as I do not know or ever heard of another chameleon doing such a thing. Definitely bring her to the vet. Petsmart also has a 30day health guarantee I believe but don't quote me on that.
 
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