Veiled Chameleon Health Concerns

memeisnumber

New Member
I've been really concerned on the overall look of my chameleon, Spock(male). He looks very unhealthy, ribs showing sometimes. I feed him about 20 mealworms and a few crickets everyday, both coated in Fluker's calcium products. Is he healthy, or am I doing something wrong? :confused:

http://s1363.photobucket.com/user/memeisnumber1/media/Spock/20130603_204355_zpsbdcd56f3.jpg.html

Also, I've noticed that he won't drink his water because it's in a bowl, rather than a drip system. I have yet to find any online or at Petco and Petsmart. To keep him from becoming dehydrated, I put him on a non-poisonous houseplant and put him into my shower. I turn on the water to room temp. , making sure it hits the wall onto the plant instead of directly on him. How often should I do these "chameleon showers" and where can I find a better way of getting him to drink his water? :eek: (I'm on a budget, so if you find a good way for him to drink his water, please make sure it's at least $150 or under!)
 

creep

New Member
Get a spray bottle and mist him a few times a day so that he can drink from the leaves in the enclosure.
He will not drink from a water dish so just remove that.
You need some type of misting system to keep him hydrated, whether its done by hand or on a timer.

Cheap - Spray bottle
More efficient- System on timer(such as Aquazamp)
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can make your own drip system by simply taking a cup and poking a small hole in it. You can order drippers online. LLL Reptile carries them or do a search. Get a cheap spray bottle(the kind you spray plants with) and you can spray down the cage a two or three times a day for about 3-4 minutes each time. Your chameleon does not look dehydrated in that picture. He looks pretty good to me. How old is he? I would be feeding more crickets and less mealworms.
 

memeisnumber

New Member
I tried misting him but he still seems to get dehydrated after awhile. Since I'm watching him for the summer and this is my first chameleon, he is in an aquarium rather than an enclosure. We have him out during the day, except for when he needs to warm up, eat, etc.. How much does a chameleon shed? Spock seems to be shedding a lot this month. I've been using this aloe skin spray for reptiles to prevent problems, but is there something else I should do?
 

memeisnumber

New Member
Honestly, I don't know how old he is. My school claims that the previous owners got him at the beginning of last year. And every time we feed him crickets they go to the bottom of his tank and he ends up eating the stuff at the bottom rather than the crickets.
 

ChamMan15

New Member
Honestly, I don't know how old he is. My school claims that the previous owners got him last year. And every time we feed him crickets they go to the bottom of his tank and he ends up eating the substrate rather than the crickets.

Substrate!? you dont put that stuff in there if he keeps eating it he will eventually choke on it :(
everyone here will tell you the same thing as well - take it out
 

memeisnumber

New Member
Maybe I used the wrong word!!
We use a type of reptile like bedding (some sort of dirt?)

It's called EcoEarth by Zoomed
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
The chameleon doesn't look like it's in bad condition in the photo. It shows no outward signs of MBD or other health issues.

Also...water bowls are frowned upon. Although some chameleons will drink from them they can harbor germs if not kept very clean. It's more natural for them to drink water droplets from a dripper or from water droplets on the leaves of plants created by misting the cage. A dripper can be as simple as a deli container with a tiny hole in it so it drips at the rate of one or two drips a second.

Most of us recommend using no substrate.
It can often lead to impaction.
 

ChamMan15

New Member
hmmmmm... post a picture, if its compressed it may be ok but if not he could still choke. i dont put anything in the bottom of my cage, its just a white pvc bottom.
ok eco earth ill look it up :)
 

memeisnumber

New Member
I didn't mean substrate everyone! I'm really sorry, I used the wrong word!

We use EcoEarth by ZooMed at the bottom of his tank. Also, we clean the water bowl everyday.

Thank you for your suggestions on how to get him to drink water everyone!
 

ChamMan15

New Member
look at the mist king system by the way, i have one and it is so awesome. i probably got it for 140 something. you can set the amazing timer however you want!. its one of the site sponsors you should really check it out.

hope this helps! :)
 

vgaines

Member
I made a dripper out of a 1/2 gal milk jug. I made sure it was clean and poked a tiny hole in the bottom. I set it on top of the cage and let it drip into his cage onto a plant. I also hand mist. When I leave for work (6am) I fill my dripper up with ice. That way it can drip while I am gone.

From what I have learned on this forum, 20 mealworms a day is too many. Look under resources and find the care guide for Veileds and follow the recommendations.

Clean bottom (no substrate of any kind) is best.

It would be better if you fill out the How to ask for help form found under the health forum tab.

Hope this helps..
 

memeisnumber

New Member
Thanks for your suggestions everyone!
I will get to work on his water tomorrow, and I will feed him a little less mealworms too.
Thank you for all of your help, I really appreciate this!
(How do I delete this thread? :eek: )
 

Juancito

Member
I tried misting him but he still seems to get dehydrated after awhile. Since I'm watching him for the summer and this is my first chameleon, he is in an aquarium rather than an enclosure. We have him out during the day, except for when he needs to warm up, eat, etc.. How much does a chameleon shed? Spock seems to be shedding a lot this month. I've been using this aloe skin spray for reptiles to prevent problems, but is there something else I should do?

take him out of that fish tank. Never bring him outside in the tank!! Also mealworms are very fatting they should be used as a treat. Are you using a uvb bulb and basking bulb? Buy a mister and mist him 2-4x a day also get a dripper. Hell drink from that
 

memeisnumber

New Member
I NEVER said we leave him outside!
I meant that we take him out of his enclosure INSIDE of my house.
And yes he has a uvb bulb and basking lamp.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Some of you might want to rethink how you suggest things. While I know you only have the best intentions in mind you are being very abrupt and practically yelling at them that they're doing everything wrong rather than trying to educate them on why other methods are better. Do you respond well to someone yelling at you for how you're doing things, especially when you don't know to do it differently? I certainly don't. A little sympathy goes a very long way in helping someone correct deficiencies in care, especially when they didn't even know there were deficiencies. Everyone starts off with things to learn.

If you are still watching the thread memeisnumber there are some things you can change in your setup to help chameleon be healthier and live longer. Aquariums are not ideal as chameleons need more vertical space and better ventilation than aquariums provide. The resources section has many tips and guidelines to optimize care before any problems start. Please let us know if you have other questions we can (kindly) help you with. Please see the links below for more info.
 

Juancito

Member
I didn't mean substrate everyone! I'm really sorry, I used the wrong word!

We use EcoEarth by ZooMed at the bottom of his tank. Also, we clean the water bowl everyday.

Thank you for your suggestions on how to get him to drink water everyone!

Use paper towels or newspaper. He can die by eating the dirt
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for your suggestions everyone!
I will get to work on his water tomorrow, and I will feed him a little less mealworms too.
Thank you for all of your help, I really appreciate this!
(How do I delete this thread? :eek: )

Mealworms are not a great feeder insect. Many chams like them, but there are much better ones that are easier to "gutload" so they are more nutritious. Mealworms have a lot more chitin (shell) that is hard to digest. You should look into other feeders such as crickets, superworms, roaches, hornworms, silkworms. The mealworms could be a treat, but should not make up most of his diet. All insects you feed him should be allowed to fill up on healthier foods themselves. If you don't have $ to buy a good gutload you can make it yourself by feeding them fresh dark leafy greens (kales are good), trimmings from veggies you are cooking, chunks of fresh fruit, a ground up fortified cereal grain like Total.
 
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