Veiled Not Eating

peridot

Member
  • Your Chameleon - Male Veiled chameleon, had since August of last year.
  • Handling - Daily, he hates being in his cage and scratches to get out every day. When I open his door he immediately runs over and climbs onto me.
  • Feeding - Crickets, Super Worms, Coachs, Wax Worms, horn worms when available
  • Supplements - Repti Calcium Without D3, Repti Calcium with D3 and Herptivite multivitamin. Use Calcium without D3 daily, with d3 once a week. Use multivitamin several times a month.
  • Watering - I have a misting system that goes off twice in the morning and once in the afternoon. It runs for 2 minutes each time.
  • Fecal Description - He's been tested for parasites and it came back negative. Most recent fecal photo below.
  • History - Purchased from PetSmart.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Reptibreeze screen cage, size large. Photo below.
  • Lighting - 50w basking bulb , Reptisun 10.0 HO UVB Bulb
  • Temperature - Has one side with a basking light on. The other is his cool side. The tank stays about 80 in the basking side
  • What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp: 70 degrees. Our thermostat is set to never go lower then this.
  • Humidity - His mister goes off several times a day and it’s very humid after.
  • Plants - Umbrella plant, Dracaena fragrans 'Jade Jewel
  • Placement - He is located in my office in front of a window.
  • Location - North Carolina

Current Problem: Cucumber stopped eating about a month ago. I took him into the vet about 4 days into him not eating. They tested his fecal and did bloodwork. His fecal came back negative for parasites and his bloodwork came back with perfect levels. The vet honestly has no idea why he’s not eating. They gave him a b12 injection and prescribed Carnivore Care. I’ve been feeding him Carnivore Care every other day. The vet called a few days ago and told me to try to ween him off of it. He hasn’t has anything since Sunday and is still refusing to eat on his own. He’s not lethargic and moving all around. He’s very happy when I put him on his free roam tree. The only change would be the mister, that we installed back in February. I’ve also spotted him eating dirt a few times. Is there something here I’m missing? The vet suggested trying new feeders, but there aren’t many available locally. Is there anything else I should be looking for? I’m at a loss!

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peridot

Member
How are you offering the feeders? Sounds like a hunger strike but a month is a long time.

I would cut back on the D3 to every 2 weeks just to be safe. Overdosing D3 can cause loss of appetite and lethargy along with a host of other symptoms.
I've always cup fed him since he was a baby, but I have a cup I leave in there with him while I'm gone and one of those homemade bottle contraptions to keep crickets on the wall. I offer him worms in a cup morning and night.
How long would something like D3 stay in his system? He hasn't had any since he stopped eating.

Raise his basking temp up to 85-90 he may just be cold. Older males like it hotter. Go with a 75w or 100w. I personally use a 100w
I had a 75w in there previously and he seemed to be overheating. I would find him with his mouth gaping a lot, so I switched down to the 50w. So, you recommend I go back to my 75w?
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've always cup fed him since he was a baby, but I have a cup I leave in there with him while I'm gone and one of those homemade bottle contraptions to keep crickets on the wall. I offer him worms in a cup morning and night.
How long would something like D3 stay in his system? He hasn't had any since he stopped eating.



I had a 75w in there previously and he seemed to be overheating. I would find him with his mouth gaping a lot, so I switched down to the 50w. So, you recommend I go back to my 75w?
How are you measuring the temperature? Heat gun? Digital thermometer? How long ago was this?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
His urate has quite a bit of yellow orange to it. How are you measuring humidity. I would add in another misting session of 3-4 minutes in the middle of your other two sessions.
You want his basking temp at about 85 if he is under a year old. Bump to about 90 if he is 12 months or older. But it is important to know how you are measuring the temp at the basking level...
As already stated fix the D3 and Multivitamin schedule to two times a month for each.
 
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CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a heat gun. I changed him down to 50w about a week into his hunger strike.
Hmmmmm.... That's strange. I would say put the 75w back in but if he's gaping a lot that definitely means he's on the warmer side. I've found that no matter how full or how cranky my male veiled is he cannot and will not refuse hornworms or superworms. These are best used as treats but if he hasn't eaten in a month that's more concerning. I'd try some superworms.
 

peridot

Member
His urate has quite a bit of yellow orange to it. How are you measuring humidity. I would add in another misting session of 3-4 minutes in the middle of your other two sessions.
You want his basking temp at about 85 if he is under a year old. Bump to about 90 if he is 12 months or older. But it is important to know how you are measuring the temp at the basking level...
As already stated fix the D3 and Multivitamin schedule to two times a month for each.
I use a heat gun to measure his basking temp. Right now I have a cheap humidity gauge from PetSmart, but I don't think it's accurate.

Hmmmmm.... That's strange. I would say put the 75w back in but if he's gaping a lot that definitely means he's on the warmer side. I've found that no matter how full or how cranky my male veiled is he cannot and will not refuse hornworms or superworms. These are best used as treats but if he hasn't eaten in a month that's more concerning. I'd try some superworms.
Yeah, superworms were always his favorite and now he wont even look at them. I'm going to try putting his 75w back in and just see if he starts gaping again.
It's just so frustrating because I know it stresses him out to be force fed.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a very picky eater... He has now decided he only wants to eat from his branches and will not hand feed or cup feed anymore. I have moved him to silkworms because he stopped eating dubia, crickets, and superworms. He really enjoys them and they are very healthy. But he still only will eat them if they are crawling on the branches. If you are interested in trying silkworms @Spyro88 sells them. They have a little more daily upkeep and have to have special food but I have found it to be well worth it to keep Beman eating.

I wonder if yours could have a vitamin A deficiency and that is what is going on with him not eating the last month... I am still learning about this but I know it is seen with eye issues and lack of eating. I will tag a few more experienced people. @Matt Vanilla Gorilla @Brodybreaux25 @jamest0o0
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a very picky eater... He has now decided he only wants to eat from his branches and will not hand feed or cup feed anymore. I have moved him to silkworms because he stopped eating dubia, crickets, and superworms. He really enjoys them and they are very healthy. But he still only will eat them if they are crawling on the branches. If you are interested in trying silkworms @Spyro88 sells them. They have a little more daily upkeep and have to have special food but I have found it to be well worth it to keep Beman eating.

I wonder if yours could have a vitamin A deficiency and that is what is going on with him not eating the last month... I am still learning about this but I know it is seen with eye issues and lack of eating. I will tag a few more experienced people. @Matt Vanilla Gorilla @Brodybreaux25 @jamest0o0
Kinda surprised everyone completely missed that your not using a gutload. That would also explain why he’s eating dirt.

EBay has every feeder you could ever want. We tend to overfeed our captive Chams. If he isn’t acting funny I say just back off, throw some crickets in his cage for him to hunt and leave it at that.
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iMi

Established Member
It honestly sounds like a hunger strike. I am assuming he's eating the prescription food your vet gave him. It's possible he's holding out for what he wants. I would recommend you try a variety of different feeders. Is there one he particularly likes? Try different things. See if he starts eating. A few days without food is safe for him.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do you live somewhere cold? I’m wondering if this has anything to do with brumation at all? Is it possible kept chameleons go throw this in captivity due to unstable climates where there owners live? Seems weird that ppl keep posting about hunger strikes this winter. I know this isn’t a thing in chameleons but what if we have some how messed with the evolution chain and changed there habits a little. Maybe it’s far fetched but just an idea. Someone do correct me if this is at all not a possibility
 

peridot

Member
Kinda surprised everyone completely missed that your not using a gutload. That would also explain why he’s eating dirt.

EBay has every feeder you could ever want. We tend to overfeed our captive Chams. If he isn’t acting funny I say just back off, throw some crickets in his cage for him to hunt and leave it at that.
Oh! I guess I just forgot to mention that. I gutload all my bugs with dandelion, mustard greens, swear potato and repashy. Should he still be eating dirt with all of that? I've tried throwing crickets in there, but he wont hunt. They all literally end up dead at the bottom of his cage.

It honestly sounds like a hunger strike. I am assuming he's eating the prescription food your vet gave him. It's possible he's holding out for what he wants. I would recommend you try a variety of different feeders. Is there one he particularly likes? Try different things. See if he starts eating. A few days without food is safe for him.
He eats the prescription food because I'm force feeding him. I've been wanting to get silkworms to try, but haven't had any luck in finding them.
Edit: Finally sound a website that had silkworms in stock. So, I ordered them!
 
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peridot

Member
The vet called me back today and wants to try giving him metronidazole. Does anyone have any experience with this drug and chams?
 

peridot

Member
Asking again about the metronidazole. He had his first dosage on Friday. I also received silk worms and he wont look at those either.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Asking again about the metronidazole. He had his first dosage on Friday. I also received silk worms and he wont look at those either.
I would post a separate thread about the metronidazole that way people will see it in the subject line and be able to reply. As far as the silk worms just keep trying in different areas of his cage. He may go for it if he thinks he his hunting.
 
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