Veiled with open mouth

Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by kk1020man, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. kk1020man

    kk1020man New Member

    Okay so this is bothering me. My 2 month old veiled chameleon which I got on Friday, is walking around with his mouth open sometimes. He just does it for about 5 or so seconds at a time and does it several times a day. Everything else with the temp, humidity and lighting is correct. I just want to make sure this is not a sign of a problem. thank you for your help..
  2. Jordan

    Jordan New Member

    It is possible that it is to hot for the little guy. They will open their mouth when they are to hot, this allows the saliva to evaporate cooling the incoming air and thus cooling off their mid section.

    It could possible me a URI (upper respitory infection). Never actually had to deal with this but from what I have heard you can sometimes hear wheezing/popping when they breathe.

    Is he opening his mouth in the basking area?
    What are your temperatures?
    Little veileds can not handle the heat like the adults can.
  3. kk1020man

    kk1020man New Member

    The temp under the the basking is around 85 and away from the basking is about 78, humidity is around 50. What should the temps be for his age? I hope it is not upper respiratory infection. Has anyone had a chameleon with this, and what did you do to help yours?
  4. Tygerr

    Tygerr Avid Member

    It's very common for Veiled chameleons to gape when they are basking.
    Even if the temperature at the basking spot is in the right range, and even with the option of retreating to a cooler spot, the cham will remain in a warm basking spot, but simply open its mouth to allow evaporative cooling to take place.

    I'm not a scientist, so I can't say for sure why they do this, but I have a theory.
    Basking reptiles try to absorb as much heat into their body as possible, so that it dissipates slowly as they go about their activities away from their basking spot.
    It could be that they're still trying to store up heat in areas of their body that take more time to get warm, when their interal organs start to overheat, so they gape in order to allow the internal organs to cool down, but they still continue to bask to get those other areas to heat up.

    So just pay attention to your cham when it is gaping. As long as the gaping is occuring when the cham is basking, and as long as the temperatures continue to remain in the right range and there are cooler spots for the cham to retreat to should it choose to cool down, then the gaping should be ok.

    But if your cham is gaping all the time, even when it is in cooler areas, that's when you should start worrying about URI. URI often also presents with other symptoms, like the popping sounds that Jordan mentioned or thick mucous in the mouth.
  5. kk1020man

    kk1020man New Member

    He doesn't do it in the morning or at night before lights out, or while we are handling him while cleaning. He is usually around the basking lamp. I moved the basking lamp up higher so it will be cooler inside the cage. His mouth has no foam around his mouth, and when it is open it is very clean. I will keep a look out for the poping sound, and weezing. Is there any other symptoms of URI, and how serious it URI?
  6. kk1020man

    kk1020man New Member

    doing great

    Hey just an update lewis is doing great. The temperature in his cage was a little to high. Took care of that and he is doing great. No more opening of the mouth. No more worrying. Thanks for the help...
  7. DocFox

    DocFox New Member

    Funny thing...

    So my Little Josh did a lot of gaping today. I've seen him do it a few times on and off, nothing concernng. But a lot today- so did a google search and found this forum.

    I checked the temperatures, and everything seemed normal... but I turned off the light right above him, and he immediately shut his mouth- just like the light switch- off/closed. Period.

    Interesting. Thanks for the advice.

    I think maybe they are kind of set in their preferred sitting areas too, right? So maybe it is preferable to have to gap to cool off than to move to a cooler spot in the habitat.
  8. jannb

    jannb Chameleon Enthusiast

    85 is too hot for a two month old. I would lower the basking temps to 80.
    bridgofaith likes this.
  9. JohnnyD

    JohnnyD New Member

    I'll second that. My babies were kept at 82-83 degrees.
  10. missmorgan93

    missmorgan93 New Member

    im worried :/

    heyy there, reading through these comments, im getting abit worried that my veiled chameleon zazzoo has this uri.. cant here any weezing or popping but he has recently had his mouth open alot! all the temperatures seem right and hes been fine since i had him, two little lumps have appeared in the last few weeks, they are on either side of his mouth, looks like glads to me,:(
    what should i do?
  11. jannb

    jannb Chameleon Enthusiast

    You can fill out the Ask For Help Form here and I'd also recommend a vet visit with a good chameleon vet.

    My blog for new keepers.
  12. DocFox

    DocFox New Member

    I'm no expert on infections as I haven't had one. But suggest you try what I did- turn off the closest basking light. If he closes his mouth in a matter of a couple of minutes- then turn it on again- open his mouth again- that's a pretty good indicator that it's temperature. That doesn't mean he doesn't have an infection though- could be both...

    But if he's eating, his color is good, and everything else being the same... if he only gapes when the lights are on, it might be too hot.

    I find I have to change wattage often to keep the temps right...
  13. brooklynelizabeth

    brooklynelizabeth New Member

    I had recently encountered the open mouth with my Veiled, because i live in Maine i decided i would prep his cage with some higher watt bulbs, i figured i wouldn't see a huge jump in temp, however, he was gaping while basking, i lifted the light a little and have not seen it since. I have many thermometers throughout the cage, but i always use my laser one to be positive in his basking areas.
  14. RunCode3

    RunCode3 New Member

    I'm going to revive this so I don't start a new thread...

    So Tobias climbed upside down on the roof of his cage and got right under my 100watt ceramic basking light. Then he opened his mouth for 5 seconds..Twice. He looked a little dry (Misted 3 long times today, water still on leaves), and his eyes diddn't look right.. Thirsty? So i put some ice cubes on the roof by the metal heater guard to let them warm up and drip in.

    But I searched the forum and I guess a little gaping is normal for a veiled basking. as for the dryness... yesterday his poops looked very moist, and the white part was err, white.

    So I'm going to assume he is still mad / stressed from when I manhandled him earlier. Also since I'm at home with a cold, I woke him up at 6AM (His light turns on at 8) so that's another reason Im sure why he is a grumpy-grumperson

    Would it be OK to fill a large bowl with 1-2" of warm water and give him a bath? like 2x a month? I STILL haven't seen him drink.

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