Veiled Chameleon randomly closes one eye while basking.

Cameron_G24

New Member
Hi everyone,

I have a male veiled chameleon that I have had for a little under a month. This past week he has been randomly closing one of his eyes periodically. He does this with both eyes and it is usually the one closes to the light. He also does it when I am out of the room so I feel that it isn't stress related. He eats about 5 crickets daily that are dusted with calcium every feed and I leave some meal worms and wax worms in his bowl for him to eat throughout the day (Usually they aren't finished). Calcium with D3 once every week or so and multivitamins about once every 2 weeks. He is pretty active as well. I could be overthinking it but I know closed eyes is a no no.

Any Thoughts?


Enclosure Details
Cage - 18"W 36H
Lighting - 75w Repti Basking spot lamp about 8-9 inches away from basking spot, and a 11" reptisun UVB fluorescent hood around the same distance away.
Misting and dripping about 4 times daily. I see him drink pretty often.
Yes I have a substrate and I know its not optimal but it's reptibark.
 
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Cameron_G24

New Member
Can you post some pics of your chameleon and his enclosure?
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I went ahead and changed his heat light after taking this picture because his temperature in his basking spot was too high.

I also have a new reptisun UVB 10.0 coming in to replace his current UVB.

Do you think that could’ve been the cause of this?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
What is your current uvb strength? A 10.0 is a bit strong so will need to be at least 12” away from basking area. The standard is either Arcadia 6% or ReptiSun 5.0. Has he shed recently? Lights are off/on a 12 hour schedule? How long are you misting for? The black Exo Terra vine that you are using has a tendency to shed off tiny particles that can make their way into eyes if an itchy shedding cham rubs it’s face on it. It’s possible that the lights are too strong for him. Try keeping basking light on for only part of the day and see if that helps. If not that, you could try the same with uvb. Of course, the best action is always a vet visit as we can only guess the problem and can very easily be very wrong.

Not related to the eye, but are you sure he’s a he? You’ve seen the prominent nub (tarsal spur) on the back feet? For supplements, use the calcium without D lightly dusted on every feeding except one per week. Then every week alternate between using the multivitamin and the calcium with D3, so that each is given once every other week. He’ll need a larger enclosure as he gets older. The minimum for an adult is a 2x2x4’ or equivalent. As an option to having to fully replace your current enclosure, you could get another of the same size and attach them together to make one large enclosure.
You’ll want/need to remove and replace all of the artificial plants with safe live ones. Veileds like to nibble their plants and it only takes on bite of a fake one to cause a bowel obstruction, which is very serious. I would get a large center plant like a weeping fig tree or schefflera and put some vining plants like pothos around it. Then fill in the empty spaces with branches and vines. To hang branches, you could attach garden trellis to your frame.
 

Cameron_G24

New Member
The current UVB strength is a 5.0 but it’s an older bulb that needs replaced anyway. I got it with the enclosure when I bought it.

He’s only shed once since I got him. I got him on October 17th of this year.

I do a 12 hour on and off lighting schedule.

Sorry I didn’t mention this in the original but I use calcium without d3 with every feed but I will start doing one feed without it a week from now on.

So with my current set up you think the 10.0 is too strong? I am still able to take it back. I read somewhere that a 10.0 was recommended. But since it’s def not 12 inches away I definitely can replace it with the 5.0 instead.
 

CalamityCrow

Established Member
I'd personally replace it with the 5.0 light fixture, it allows more usage of the cage space.

If there's something in the eye, a few extra misting sessions might do the trick to help flush the eye out. How often do you mist? Those sort of fuzzy vines you have in there should be replaced too. Real sticks from outside (From non-sappy trees), washed and dried in the sun are a great choice. Alternatively, flukers makes some small/med/large vines that you can buy for pretty cheap on amazon that are smooth and not at risk of shedding small debris that can get stuck in eyeballs.

I'll second the concern on gender - that looks very much like a girl to me. Folks here are great at telling if a veiled is a boy or a girl. If you can post some in-focus pictures of the back of the feet, they'll be able to tell you for sure. Males have a pretty prominent bump on the back of their heels, and females do not. Males also tend to have banding in their coloration while females are more... splotchy? Also the casque on a male is usually REALLY tall. If you DO have a female, you'll want to put a lay bin in the enclosure very soon.
 

Cameron_G24

New Member
I'd personally replace it with the 5.0 light fixture, it allows more usage of the cage space.

If there's something in the eye, a few extra misting sessions might do the trick to help flush the eye out. How often do you mist? Those sort of fuzzy vines you have in there should be replaced too. Real sticks from outside (From non-sappy trees), washed and dried in the sun are a great choice. Alternatively, flukers makes some small/med/large vines that you can buy for pretty cheap on amazon that are smooth and not at risk of shedding small debris that can get stuck in eyeballs.

I'll second the concern on gender - that looks very much like a girl to me. Folks here are great at telling if a veiled is a boy or a girl. If you can post some in-focus pictures of the back of the feet, they'll be able to tell you for sure. Males have a pretty prominent bump on the back of their heels, and females do not. Males also tend to have banding in their coloration while females are more... splotchy? Also the casque on a male is usually REALLY tall. If you DO have a female, you'll want to put a lay bin in the enclosure very soon.
I replaced the 10.0 with the 5.0 yesterday thank you all for the advice on that. The new hood comes in tomorrow. I also replaced his heat lamp with a regular 60w house bulb and he seems to be closing his eyes way less but he still does it periodically.

He does have very prominent spurs on the back of his feet. I will send a picture of them as soon as I am home.

I mist usually about 4 times a day and drip about the same.
 

Cameron_G24

New Member
I'd personally replace it with the 5.0 light fixture, it allows more usage of the cage space.

If there's something in the eye, a few extra misting sessions might do the trick to help flush the eye out. How often do you mist? Those sort of fuzzy vines you have in there should be replaced too. Real sticks from outside (From non-sappy trees), washed and dried in the sun are a great choice. Alternatively, flukers makes some small/med/large vines that you can buy for pretty cheap on amazon that are smooth and not at risk of shedding small debris that can get stuck in eyeballs.

I'll second the concern on gender - that looks very much like a girl to me. Folks here are great at telling if a veiled is a boy or a girl. If you can post some in-focus pictures of the back of the feet, they'll be able to tell you for sure. Males have a pretty prominent bump on the back of their heels, and females do not. Males also tend to have banding in their coloration while females are more... splotchy? Also the casque on a male is usually REALLY tall. If you DO have a female, you'll want to put a lay bin in the enclosure very soon.
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Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
The new one is t8 but the current I believe is t5
What do you mean by this? The reason I am asking is that the fixture type makes a big difference in the coordinating bulbs that go with them. T8 fixtures have a much lower output distance than a T5HO fixture and bulb does. So we would need to know exactly which fixture type your using and the bulb strength to give you approximate distance to the closest branch below it for the correct UVI level.


You have a little boy. There are tarsal spurs.
 

Cameron_G24

New Member
What do you mean by this? The reason I am asking is that the fixture type makes a big difference in the coordinating bulbs that go with them. T8 fixtures have a much lower output distance than a T5HO fixture and bulb does. So we would need to know exactly which fixture type your using and the bulb strength to give you approximate distance to the closest branch below it for the correct UVI level.


You have a little boy. There are tarsal spurs.
I’m sorry about the confusion. The current is actually a t8 fixture. I was under the impression that T5 and T8 was the thickness between of the bulb prongs.
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
I’m sorry about the confusion. The current is actually a t8 fixture. I was under the impression that T5 and T8 was the thickness between of the bulb prongs.
Your fine. It is a lot of weird words when your new to the hobby. This may be part of the issue. A t8 fixture and a 5.0 bulb has a much more shallow output depth. The cham would need to be up about 3 inches below it to get the right uvi level. This may be why baby is closing its eyes. You want to upgrade to a T5HO fixture and a 5.0 bulb for it. This would put the distance to the branch below it at 8-9 inches to achieve the correct UVB level.
 

Cameron_G24

New Member
Your fine. It is a lot of weird words when your new to the hobby. This may be part of the issue. A t8 fixture and a 5.0 bulb has a much more shallow output depth. The cham would need to be up about 3 inches below it to get the right uvi level. This may be why baby is closing its eyes. You want to upgrade to a T5HO fixture and a 5.0 bulb for it. This would put the distance to the branch below it at 8-9 inches to achieve the correct UVB level.
So the T8 Repti Zoo Terrarium hood isn't optimal? Because of the fixture?
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
So the T8 Repti Zoo Terrarium hood isn't optimal? Because of the fixture?
So it is an older tech...
T8 can be utilized but better for hatchlings since they like to screen climb the top. The issue is how far it can push the correct UVB Index down. So with a 5.0 bulb the branch below needs to be about 3-4 inches below the fixture. With a 10.0 bulb the branch below needs to be about 6-7 inches below the fixture. This in turn puts the cham very close to the top screen. Not advisable with a maturing veiled due to potential rubbing of the casque on the screen top but also high risk of thermal burn when a dome heat fixture is placed on the screen.

T5HO fixtures are a high output fixture. So the depth it pushes out the UVB is farther away from the bulb. So with this fixture and a 5.0 bulb you want the branch below it to be 8-9 inches away for the cham to get the proper UVB level. With a 10.0 bulb you want 11-12 inches to the branch to get the same UVB level since this is a stronger bulb distance is farther. Which is why we do not recommend people use this strength of UVB bulb because you can over expose a chameleon if it is not done properly. Also you loose much more of the top of the enclosure due to the distance to basking needed.

Both of these fixtures take their own bulbs. A T8 has a fatter bulb than a T5HO fixture does. So you can not cross and try to use a T8 bulb with a T5HO fixture or vice versa. Both come in the same strength bulbs which can be confusing to new keepers.

We recommend the T5HO fixture and the 5.0 or 6% Uvb bulbs. This fixture and bulb strength would mean it would sit on the screen top and then the closest branches below or anything the cham would climb on would be a measured 8-9 inches. This then puts the cham in the optimal 3 UVI level. This is the recommended level of exposure for a cham to thrive.

Using a T8 and having the distance too far away puts the cham in a position to not get the correct exposure. This in turn results in failure to thrive issues, closing an eye or both eyes, MBD (metabolic bone disease) etc. This is why our UVB lighting and distance for fixture/bulb must be spot on. Additionally the fixture length should be the total width of the enclosure.

This is a great husbandry program that will teach you about cage set up and it has in depth info on UVB. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 

Cameron_G24

New Member
He climbs to the highest points in his cage quite a bit, not on the metal though. Would I ever have to worry about overexposure with the T5 in that case?
 
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