veiled not eating

danm5411

New Member
i have a 3.5 month old male veiled and for the last 5 days he has either eaten very little or refused to eat altogether,i took him to a nearby reptile vet yesterday and he said there was nothing wrong with him,i would get a second opinion from another vet but the drive is over an hour and a half and i dont know if it would stress him out too much or not.

i also noticed today that when i misted his cage he wouldnt extend his tongue to drink with but instead walked up close to the leaves and licked them from about 1cm away. he usually eats between 10-12 small crickets a day and a couple of locusts on top,he also gets a butterworm every day or two as a little treat but he seems unwilling to eat any of them at the moment,he wont eat any mealworms either and im starting to get very worried and thinking my vet may have missed something.

The only thing i have seen him eat today was a bite of his ficus plant which he has never eaten up till now,i tried feeding romaine lettuce but he was uninterested
the temperature in the basking spot is 85-89f and the humidity ranges between 60-70%
is it possible he isnt eating because he has a problem with his tongue?as i said the vet said nothing is wrong but why else would he refuse to eat anything?he has a good choice so i would doubt he is on a strike from all his feeders!
 

lele

Avid Member
we need a lot more info. A 3.5 month old should have a decent appetite. Has he pooped lately? How did it look? You might consider getting a fecal done to check for parasites. Here are some questions for you (just paste your answers in between if you want, or quote each one). The vet should have asked at LEAST the basics - did he?

If your chameleon is having problems and you want input from other chameleon owners, be sure to include as much information as possible:

1. Cage type: What size and type of cage (screen, glass, etc.)?

2. Temperatures: What is the basking temperature? How do you measure the temperature in your setup? What is the temperature in the warmest spot? The coolest spot? At night? During the day? You should measure the temperature of the chameleons' skin or the surface of its current branch to get a more accurate reading. Do you leave any heat on at night? What is the temperature in the room at night?

3. Lighting: What brand is your UVB light? How long have you been using it? How long are your lights on each day? Do you leave any lights on at night? Where are the lights? on top?

4. Humidity: Do you have a humidity gauge? What is the range of relative humidity (RH) from lowest to highest? How long does it take to go from high to low? Do you use a humidifier? Do you live in the north or south (or other)?

5. Water: Have you observed your chameleon drinking? How often do you mist? Do you have a dripper?

6. Food: Have you observed your chameleon eating? What is the chameleon's diet? Where do you get your live feeder prey? What are you feeding the feeders? Fresh veggies? Gut load? If you use a commercial gut load what is the brand? If you make your own what are the ingredients?

7. Supplements: What type of supplement(s) do you use? Brand name(s)? How often do you use supplements?

8. Plants & branches:
What plants do you have? Are your plants alive or fake? Do the plants provide lots of coverage where the chameleon will feel safe? Can you see your chameleon most of the time or can it hide from your view?

9. Chameleon facts: How old is the chameleon? Do you know if it is wild caught or captive born? Did you get the chameleon at a show? Breeder?

10. Handling: Do you handle your chameleon? How often and how long? What is its reaction to you? Is the cage in a quiet part of the house or is it in a busy or noisy area? Any big stereo speakers near the cage? Is your chameleon alone in the cage? Can your chameleon see any other herps or pets from the cage?

11. Veterinarians: Do you have a veterinarian who KNOWS chameleons?

One last thing: As great as everyone is here (and they are), if there is a medical problem there is no substitute for a trip to the veterinarian.
 

chrisandpugs

New Member
Suggest an Emergency Aid fluid!

Hi!
This happened to my 7 month old Male Chameleon one month ago where he just ceased eating but still drank water.
Long story short, Heika on this forum suggested a Reptile Emergency fluid supplement called Repta-Aid Insect/Carnivore Emergency Aid that you can get thru www.flukerfarms.com.
What a difference that made on the health of my Chameleon! I rushed order the stuff and gave it to him immediately once I got it! He actually liked the taste immediately and I would say in just 1/2 hour time , I can tell that he felt so much better and even looked that much more stronger. The next day, he started eating again and now, 1 month later, he's eating like a hourse and healthier than ever!! You don't know how greatful I am to Heika that she recommended this "maricle" stuff!
I think he got a severe gastric intestinal stomach problem from eating silkworms that were fed on mulberry mash that was over 1 month old even though there was no sign of mold which caused his anorexia so my suggestion, think back at what he was eating to make sure that's it's not from a contaminated food source!

Christine
 

danm5411

New Member
1.exoterra flexarium measuing 16.5"width 16.5" length and 30" in height

2.i use a digital thermometer to measure the temperatures and the basking temp is between 86-89f and the ambient temperature ranging between 75-85f,with the coldest point near the bottom of the cage at 75f,at night the temperature in the room and his cage is between 75-80f

3.i use a 18"arcadia d3 striplight and a 60w bulb for my basking lamp placing both just above the top of the enclosure and they are on for 12 hours a day

4.i use the humidity gauge in the cage which i move around,the humidity ranges from 60-70% in the day and about 45-50% in the night, i live in the uk

5.i have seen him drinking hence how i noticed he wasnt using his tongue,i mist 3-4 times a day and use a dripper twice a day for 10-20mins at a time

6.i have not seen him eat today but over the last few days he has been eating sparingly,maybe one or two crickets and one locust a day, i get my feeders from a mail order company livefooduk.co.uk and am currently gutloading my crickets with eurorep cricket diet and my locusts with grass and romaine lettuce

7.i use repton powder for my supplement also sold by eurorep.co.uk and dust once a day as instructed by the breeder who sold him to me.

8. i have two ficus benjamina plants and one hibiscus plant/twig in his cage,there are many hiding places created with the use of the plants i have found and he can wander in and out of view as he chooses

9.3.5 months old and i brought him at 8weeks from a breeder in the uk

10.i only handle my chameleon once a week at most as i dont want to stress him out too much,usually when i clean the cage he will try to climb onto me as i take him out on his plant.theres no other chams in his cage and i have no other pets
11.the vet i saw specialised in reptiles but he seemed to avoid me when i questioned him about how many chameleons he had treated,hence why i was unsure of his judgement, thats why i asked on here before i went to make a trip to the next nearest reptile vet who is a couple of hours drive from where i live,i was due to make this trip today but when i rung the surgery they told me the vet who usually deals with chameleons is away and not back till monday,i booked an appointment for then but i was wondering is there anything else until then to stop his condition from worsening
 

danm5411

New Member
Hi!
This happened to my 7 month old Male Chameleon one month ago where he just ceased eating but still drank water.
Long story short, Heika on this forum suggested a Reptile Emergency fluid supplement called Repta-Aid Insect/Carnivore Emergency Aid that you can get thru www.flukerfarms.com.
What a difference that made on the health of my Chameleon! I rushed order the stuff and gave it to him immediately once I got it! He actually liked the taste immediately and I would say in just 1/2 hour time , I can tell that he felt so much better and even looked that much more stronger. The next day, he started eating again and now, 1 month later, he's eating like a hourse and healthier than ever!! You don't know how greatful I am to Heika that she recommended this "maricle" stuff!
I think he got a severe gastric intestinal stomach problem from eating silkworms that were fed on mulberry mash that was over 1 month old even though there was no sign of mold which caused his anorexia so my suggestion, think back at what he was eating to make sure that's it's not from a contaminated food source!



i have looked into buying the Repta-Aid Insect/Carnivore Emergency Aid but there are no companies who deliver to the uk or based in the uk that sell this product,i am finding it hard to find anything similar also so if anyone in the uk or who knows anywhere who delivers in the uk could help i would be very grateful
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
i also noticed today that when i misted his cage he wouldnt extend his tongue to drink with but instead walked up close to the leaves and licked them from about 1cm away.
In my experience, that's how they usually do it - licking leaves to get water. The other way would be to allow the water droplets that form on their casque and face roll down onto their lips, at which point they'll lick it off.

the temperature in the basking spot is 85-89f
Those temps are probably adequate given the age of your cham. However, the last time my cham went on a hunger strike, the remedy seemed to be replacing an old bulb that wasn't generating as much heat as it used to. Once the basking temps increased, his appetite seemed to return.
Just a thought - although they are quite susceptable to overheating at a young age, so be careful with the basking temps.

he has a good choice so i would doubt he is on a strike from all his feeders!
You'd be surprised. Veileds are notorious for this sort of behaviour. I still have a theory that it is a seasonal thing, or brought on by periodic climate/environmental cues that they would have received in their natural habitats. But I haven't had them long enough, nor do I know enough about the middle east ecosystems to confirm this.

i use repton powder for my supplement also sold by eurorep.co.uk and dust once a day as instructed by the breeder who sold him to me.
I have no experience with this powder, but from a quick Google, it seems to be a multivitamin supplement. Many keepers will suggest that you should use a multi-vitamin more sparingly, and that only pure calcium should be dusted once a day (with additional dustings of calcium containing D3 less regularly if your cham is not exposed to direct sunlight). Do a search through the forums for advice on dusting regimes, or check out the advice on The Chameleon's Dish about supplements.
Over-supplementation can lead to lots of complications, which could in turn affect appetite.

As Lele said, Veileds are usually voracious eaters at that age, and so I wouldn't dismiss the problem. Try set up that second vet consultation. It is entirely possible that the first vet missed something. Reptiles are not easy to diagnose because they tend to hide their ailments (it saves them in the wild where the weak don't survive). Lele also mentioned parasites - that is another possibility. Make sure the Vet does a fecal test for parasites (mention that you want it done when you schedule the appointment).
 

Julirs

New Member
At 3 months my Veiled stopped eating much-he was going on like 2-3 crickets a day. After a week + of stressing and calling the breeder, I upped his basking temp to a bit over 90 and he started eating like crazy again. Not sure if it was the increase in temp, or if he was having an "episode". Good Luck.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
At 3 months my Veiled stopped eating much-he was going on like 2-3 crickets a day. After a week + of stressing and calling the breeder, I upped his basking temp to a bit over 90 and he started eating like crazy again. Not sure if it was the increase in temp, or if he was having an "episode". Good Luck.

I was thinking about this after I posted something similar above, and how it tied into that theory about the seasonality of Veileds' eating habits. Is it possible that when it becomes cooler, ie. winter they go into a slightly more dormant state, like brumation in some reptiles? And so when their basking temps decrease they tend to eat less?

It may even be possible that they actually need this cooler period. I remember reading a post (ages ago, possibly even on another forum) where someone said that if you keep them at slightly temperatures (rather than keeping them too hot) they tend to grow slower and live longer. Maybe heating them up to keep up their appetites isn't necessarily a good thing.

I'd love to hear Kinyonga, Chris or Will's (or any of the more experienced keepers - where is Zerah?) opinions on this...
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."when i misted his cage he wouldnt extend his tongue to drink with"...does your chameleon shoot the tongue out to catch the insects? Its natural to lick the water up without shooting the tongue out...but if this carries over to catching insects, then I would suspect a problem with the tongue or even the mouth. Have you looked inside the chameleon's mouth?

Although my veileds (and other chameleons) cut down the amount they eat in the cold weather, they never go on a complete hunger strike.

Here is one site that lists repton....but doesn't say how much (if any) calcium, D3, Vitamin A or phosphorous is in it...it does say that it has calcium and D3 though. I don't dust with a powder that contains D3 more than twice a month. Don't know if this would have anything to do with your chameleon's hunger strike or not...unless some nutritional imbalance is causing it issues.
http://www.robharvey.com/reptiles/vitamins.htm

Tygerr said..."someone said that if you keep them at slightly temperatures (rather than keeping them too hot) they tend to grow slower and live longer"...I don't know if it is me you are referring to or not...but my chameleons are grown slower than most and seem to live long lives....but they still don't go on complete hunger strikes.
 

ydktdborg

New Member
the only thing i can add is that i did read that if you cham eats too much ficus leaves it could be toxic to it. I dont know how true this is but it could be one of the reasons.
I also read that it depends on your cham, my one seems to love ficus leaves and its never affected him!

maybe just a thought to consider! hope you solve it.
 

danm5411

New Member
Thnaks for all the responses guys,it has got pretty chilly here in goold old england so maybe this is the case,i managed to find a vet about 2hours away on friday and he took an x-ray and asked to keep him in for the weekend just to make sure he was ok,the x-ray showed his bones were pretty strong apparently so theres no mbd problem so far but the vet mentioned they could probably be a bit stronger and suggested an extra calcium supplement every couple of days,the vet phoned me this morning and said he had performed a fecal exam too and there are no signs of parasites etc so he put it down to a general hunger strike,but gladly he told me my cham is well and very active,and even said that he was one of the best young chams he had seen in years,so not only did he allay my fears but he also made me quite chuffed!
thanks again for all the input

and the repton powder formulation per kg is
vitamin a 630,000iu
vitamin d3 126,000iu
calcium 220,000mg
phosphorus nil

theres many other vitamins and minerals in the powder but i would think these are the main ones,if anyone wants to know anymore just let me know
 

danm5411

New Member
also i was using the repton powder as a reccomendation from the breeder i got him from,as i said my vet suggested getting a purely calcium based supplement with no extra vitamins or minerals is there any in particular people suggest?i am in the uk and thus far the only one i have seen beeing sold in the shops is herpcare calcium pellets which i would obviously have to break down into a powderany suggestions on whether this would be an adequate calcium supplement or are there any better ones i can order in?
 
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