Very Frustrated

Hello everyone, I recently got a chameleon 24 days ago. Since the time period I have had him, he has only eaten I would say about 10-15 bugs. I have done everything to get him to eat. I have done it where I put a bowl hanging in his enclosure (with a non-reflective surface), I have put a feeder run in his cage, and I have tried to cup feed him where I hold a container of bugs and then he eats it. The only time when he has eaten was once in the feeder run and a couple of times when I cup fed him. Yes, the bugs are moving. Yes, the bugs are the right size. Yes, everyone has given the thumbs up to my husbandry. Yes, I give him a lot of privacy. I see him multiple times a day climbing up the stick to the feeder run, look at the bugs, and then walk away without eating them. The last time he ate was about 4 days ago when I cup feed him, but since then when I try to cup feed him he gets too scared and refuses to eat. He does drink though, which I am happy about. I am honestly just so frustrated and feel so defeated. I'm constantly worrying about him, and the worst part is I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I have taken literally everyone's advice yet none of it has worked, or I have already done it. Is this normal when you recently get a chameleon? They don't eat consistently? Please answer these questions in the replies, and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'll post photos below of him from today, does he look too skinny? He is a male panther chameleon and is 3 1/2 months old. (You might have to look closely in the photos to find him!) Also please keep in mind I am 13 years old so I can't really buy anything more for him unless it is 100% necessary. He is not consistently eating, has this happened to you guys when you first got your chameleon?
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andrea67

New Member
Hello everyone, I recently got a chameleon 24 days ago. Since the time period I have had him, he has only eaten I would say about 10-15 bugs. I have done everything to get him to eat. I have done it where I put a bowl hanging in his enclosure (with a non-reflective surface), I have put a feeder run in his cage, and I have tried to cup feed him where I hold a container of bugs and then he eats it. The only time when he has eaten was once in the feeder run and a couple of times when I cup fed him. Yes, the bugs are moving. Yes, the bugs are the right size. Yes, everyone has given the thumbs up to my husbandry. Yes, I give him a lot of privacy. I see him multiple times a day climbing up the stick to the feeder run, look at the bugs, and then walk away without eating them. The last time he ate was about 4 days ago when I cup feed him, but since then when I try to cup feed him he gets too scared and refuses to eat. He does drink though, which I am happy about. I am honestly just so frustrated and feel so defeated. I'm constantly worrying about him, and the worst part is I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I have taken literally everyone's advice yet none of it has worked, or I have already done it. Is this normal when you recently get a chameleon? They don't eat consistently? Please answer these questions in the replies, and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'll post photos below of him from today, does he look too skinny? He is a male panther chameleon and is 3 1/2 months old. (You might have to look closely in the photos to find him!) Also please keep in mind I am 13 years old so I can't really buy anything more for him unless it is 100% necessary. He is not consistently eating, has this happened to you guys when you first got your chameleon?View attachment 292720View attachment 292719.
What do you feed him? He appears to be really skinny (I don’t mean to scare you). How often do you mist him?
 
What do you feed him? He appears to be really skinny (I don’t mean to scare you). How often do you mist him?
Right now I am only feeding him BSFL because that is the only thing he is eating, and I mist him 3 times a day manually until all the leaves in the enclosure has water droplets on them.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok I'll do my best to convince my mom! Besides the slight chance he may have parasites, what else do you think could be wrong with him?
I have no idea, but since he hasn’t been eating a lot, he hasn’t been receiving enough supplements to help him grow healthily, which could cause Metabolic Bone Disease. The best starting place is an experienced chameleon vet so you and the vet can start ruling stuff out and figuring out what’s wrong and how to fix it. Make sure to bring a fresh fecal sample for the vet to check, along with dropping off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples afterwards to make sure no parasites were missed.
 
I have no idea, but since he hasn’t been eating a lot, he hasn’t been receiving enough supplements to help him grow healthily, which could cause Metabolic Bone Disease. The best starting place is an experienced chameleon vet so you and the vet can start ruling stuff out and figuring out what’s wrong and how to fix it. Make sure to bring a fresh fecal sample for the vet to check, along with dropping off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples afterwards to make sure no parasites were missed.
Thank you. I am going out of town for 2 nights but I have told my cleaner all of the care she needs to give him. If I take him to the vet in 3 days from now will that be too long??
 

Taylor81

Established Member
Have you tried free ranging some crickets. Some chameleons do not like to eat from cups or bowls etc. and prefer to hunt. What size are you offering him? Or are you only offering the bsfl?
 

Mendez

Avid Member
Hey, I went back to some of your old threads and found your form filled out. I'll just go through it one more time to make sure nothing was missed in the past. I figure that if I don't bring up anything new, it won't really have an impact on your time.
  • Handling - I do not handle my chameleon since I just got it
Off to a good start.

  • Feeding - I feed my chameleon dubia roaches, BSFL, waxworms, and hornworms. 8 dubias, 3 BSFL, 1 hornworm and 1 waxworm everyday. I gut load my feeders with collard greens and carrots.
From what I have heard, you can't go wrong with crickets. Crickets move a lot and super easy to gutload. You may have already switched to crickets, but if you haven't, I would strongly recommend them. Crickets are always on the move which stimulates the chameleon. You can either put them in a feeder run or let them run on the sides of the cage. My jacksons chameleon was kind of picky growing up, but he never missed an opportunity to shoot a cricket. Over time I switched him to dubia roaches.

  • Supplements - I use calcium without d3 6 times a week, and then calcium with d3 once every other week. I use a multivitamin once every other week.
I agree with what @ERKleRose stated above, at this point in time, your cham has missed a lot of feedings which would provide the calcium needed to grow. Since your cham still isn't eating, I would try to take him to an experienced vet.

  • Watering - I use the mistking misting system and I mist my enclosure 3 times for 2 minutes every day. I have seen my chameleon drink once but I know he has probably been drinking more but they are shy eaters and drinkers.
Does your chameleon run away from the mist? And are you also misting at night? If you are misting at night, then it isn't necessary to mist during the day (only when the lights turn on for the day and off for the night).

  • Fecal Description - My chameleon has never been tested for parasites. His stool is dark brown and has a slimy substance over it.
Do you happen to have a picture of his poop? If you don't, no worries.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - My cage is a 2 x 2 x 4 screen enclosure
Your cage looks very good and well planted--nice job here!

  • Lighting - I use a T5 HO 5.0 Linear UVB light. I use a basking light and another light for the plants to grow.
How far away is the uvb light from the branch directly underneath it?

  • Temperature - The ambient temperature during the day is 70 degrees, its basking temperature is 80 degrees. I measure these temperatures with a temperature gun and the lowest the temp goes is 65 during the night.
  • Humidity - The humidity levels in the cage are 45% so I ordered plastic shower curtains to put on the sides of the enclosure to retain more moisture. I use a hydrometer to measure the humidity.
The temps look good. Do you ever see him basking under the uvb or basking light? Did you get the shower curtain? Have you seen a difference in humidity? What is the humidity in the cage at night? Estimates are fine.

  • Plants - I am using all live plants- A money Tree, a Hawaiian Ti Plant, a Pothos plant, an Umbrella Tree, a Calathea Plant, a Wandering Jew, a Weeping Fig, a Spider plant, and a Prayer plant.
The plants you have are really good.

  • Placement - My cage is located in my room, very low traffic.
And his cage isn't under an air vent or anything or near a window that he can look out of? Also, if he is near a window, temperatures are very variable so one second your temps could be perfect and a couple minutes later, once you put the temp gun down, the temperatures a very different. Do you have a cat or pet bird? I'm grasping at straws here in hopes of uncovering something new.

I just read that free-ranging didn't work. Did you try this with crickets? I'm sorry that I can't be of much help to you. I think the vet is the best option. If you can, I suggest you go as soon as possible. This will increase the chances of survival. If you wait three days, I think he will still be alive, but his chances will get lower as he weakens each day.
 
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