veiled on the ground

Kali11

Established Member
#1
My veiled chameleon has been staying on the ground. This is day 3. I've had her for about 1 1/2 months. She's never shed. I guess she's to young? She's just a baby from what I can gather. She's been mad towards us. But she's never much liked being held. She stays her pretty green color until I stand in front of her cage. Then she starts turning a dark color like she's mad or scared. She hasn't been digging, so I don't think she's trying to lay eggs. I copied and pasted the questions:

  • Your Chameleon - veiled chameleon. had her 1 1/2 months. female. I don't know how old she is.
  • Handling - we handle her maybe 4 times a week. she doesn't seem to like it
  • Feeding - she eats crickets and superworms. ive tried some different veggies/fruits but she doesn't touch them. I haven't gut loaded anything.
  • Supplements - all ive used is calcium powder from petco
  • Watering - she has a dripper that falls on leaves. I mist the tank by hand from a water bottle every morning
  • Fecal Description - her poop is normal. never been tested. we got her from petco
  • History - she came from Petco. I don't know anything about where she came from

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - she is in a 10 gallon tank that is glass with a metal screened top. she will be moved to a 55 gallon long when my ball pythons new enclosure is finished.
  • Lighting - I have a night time bulb that stays on during the day. she is in front of a big window for UV. when we get her moved to the 55 gallon she will have different bulbs etc
  • Temperature - she has one side that the light is on. the other is her cool side. her tank stays about 80 in the basking side. we have a little circle thermometer
  • Humidity - I don't have any way to measure humidty. I didn't think of that. she has the dripper and I mist everyday
  • Plants - no live plants. I have plastic leaves. a branch. a hidy hole log. she has aspen wood "chips" things as the substrate. they aren't really wood chips. its fine shredded. same as I use for my snake
  • Placement - tank is in front of a window. on a tiny dresser. about belly high. its a regular 10 gallon. not very tall. its the 2nd bedroom. air vent is in the floor to the right of the dresser.
  • Location - northwest alabama
 

Jesspete

Established Member
#4
Ouch! I am still new, and I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will chime in, but there are a LOT of problems with your current setup, and all of them could be harming her. Lack of nutrition, proper lighting, proper ventilation, impaction from substrate, etc. While you are waiting for an answer, I suggest checking out the care sheet here for veiled chame. It gives very specific instructions for their care.
 

Kali11

Established Member
#6
we don't have a lot of money. so I cant get one these fancy tanks I keep seeing on here. I will take a pic of her tank. I know it needs a lot of work.
 

Kali11

Established Member
#9
I was looking for advice. Not negative comments. Thanx. As I said, once we get my ball python moved, she will be in a 55 gallon long tank with different lights etc. how about giving me some useful advice, instead of putting me down? I can't just return her to petco. I've had her over a month. She's been fine until recently. I don't see why she needs an expensive tank. Thank you!
 

Jesspete

Established Member
#11
I was looking for advice. Not negative comments. Thanx. As I said, once we get my ball python moved, she will be in a 55 gallon long tank with different lights etc. how about giving me some useful advice, instead of putting me down? I can't just return her to petco. I've had her over a month. She's been fine until recently. I don't see why she needs an expensive tank. Thank you!
Advice:

1. She needs a screen/mesh tank for proper ventilation, not for expense. It isnt about the size of your tank right now. Glass tanks create stagnant air and encourage respiratory infections that very often kill chameleons.

2. She needs proper USB lighting to absorb the calcium you are giving her. Otherwise she will develop metabolic bone disease, and possibly die. Proper ones will run you at least $54 for the smallest plus 18 or more for the bulbs.

3. Chameleons require high humidity and frequent meetings for drinking and cleaning. Dehydration kills many chameleons.

4. Substrate of just about any type, I'm not well versed on the biosystems, can be ingested by your chameleon and cause impaction meaning it cant poop. This can and will kill it.

5. Gutloading your feeders helps provide your cham with proper nutrition. Crickets are not the most nutritious choice, so should be properly gutloaded. I'm not sure about the superworms, they are ok, but I believe too many can also risk impaction and death.

You dont want me to be negative, but you want help with your chameleon. How do we provide that without pointing out what you are doing wrong. You have already stated you didnt have much money to invest in fixing the issues which is why I suggested giving her back, or even passing her along to a more experienced keeper.

Her being on the ground is not natural for her, is very unusual behavior for healthy cham, and means something is likely very wrong. however, there is so much going on, I can't begin to pinpoint it. I'm sure a veteran will chime in, but I am regurgitating what I have read on 93 other threads just like this one.
 

Kali11

Established Member
#12
thank you for the advice. pointing out what I'm doing wrong is not negative. saying to give her back and get a crested gecko was. I was looking into the carpet last time I bought crickets from Petco. I will get rid of the substrate and get that. I will also look at the different uv bulbs they have.

I have been reading other threads and none answered my questions. that's why I made one of my own. I really do appreciate the advice.

we had a pygmy one a while back. it never had this problem so I was stumped.
 

Jesspete

Established Member
#13
No go on the carpet either. Just keep it bare bottom. But you really NEED a uv light. I dont know what the most important change you need is. I think football must be on but someone else will chime in. she really needs lots of things to climb, and height to the cage.

I meant no harm by suggesting a crested, but that cage would work well, on its side, for a crested, and they need no heat or light. Right now your new baby needs a lot of correction very quickly, and that will require some spending.
 

Kali11

Established Member
#14
I will go to Petco tomorrow (that's the only pet store we have) and get a uv light. even with her being on the ground, she will be ok laying on the glass?
 
#16
One thing that you can do that is free is to get more sticks in there for her. You can get them from outside but make sure you wash them. The reason she is on the ground is because there is really nothing to climb on. Her tank should have sticks going in all directions. If u can, post a picture when u do get the sticks in there and I can help you some more with your set up and give you some tips on how to set up the sticks u have.
 

Kali11

Established Member
#17
One thing that you can do that is free is to get more sticks in there for her. You can get them from outside but make sure you wash them. The reason she is on the ground is because there is really nothing to climb on. Her tank should have sticks going in all directions. If u can, post a picture when u do get the sticks in there and I can help you some more with your set up and give you some tips on how to set up the sticks u have.
she is normally on the one main stick. that's why I was worried. I will get some more sticks from outside tomorrow, since its night time here. thank you :)
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
#18
Gutload, tall screen cage with lots of branches/vines/etc. to climb and thermoregulate, and proper uvb light are most important to get immediately. Also, get a multivitamin, humidity sensor, and lose the substrate. If I’m not overstepping my boundaries here, I suggest you do some extensive research for proper care and/or responsibly rehome your chameleon if you’re not willing to spend hundreds of dollars immediately.
 
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