Vet or No Vet?

skywes13

Member
Hello all. I recently rescued a veiled chameleon from a chain pet store, and yes I am aware that the pet store's number one priority is profit so essentially I'm giving them what they want by purchasing him but I was speaking to the employee there are she said that he had been at the store for over 2 months & after weighing the pros and cons for a while I determined if the little guy had any chance of a long, healthy life it would be with me & not with a child who would buy the chameleon kit and name him pascal. 🙄

I want to know if you guys think it would be worthwhile to take him to a vet, and if you have any further advice for me. The closest reputable chameleon vet is a 45 minute drive and I'm concerned it would cause an unnecessary amount of stress on the little guy considering I just got him ~48hrs ago & he's still uneasy in his new environment. Please give me some constructive criticism if you see anything I can improve upon.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Veiled, male (tarsal spurs present), 2 1/2 months~. I took him home friday night, so nearly 48hrs now.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Have only handled him once to move him into his enclosure from the box.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Currently feeding him medium crickets (yuck) gutloaded with collard greens, butternut squash, and apples. I offer him 5 bugs in a diy feeder run cup, leave the room for an hour, then take out the remaining bugs. Yesterday he ate 1 bug & today he ate 2.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Dusting daily with ZooMed repti calcium w/o d3, will be using Repashy calcium plus LoD 2x a month.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
I mist using a hand pump mister 2x during the day & 2x at night, once after lights go out and once in the morning before lights turn on. I have seen him drink a few times.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
He's only pooped once in my care & the urate was kind of an odd color, it was half dark yellow and half white. Is that because he wasnt getting enough hydration at the pet store & then when he came home with me he's been getting enough water indicated by the sudden contrast of colors?
He has not been tested for parasites. He isn't showing any symptoms & he survived for 2 months in those bad conditions store so I would assume not, but I want to take him to get a fecal float just incase.

  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
I'm temporarily housing him in a small reptibreeze 16''x16''x20'', which I acknowledge is way too small; however, I'm in the process of building him a custom enclosure right now.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Using a reptisun t5 5.0 24'' diagonally across & a 75w basking bulb. Lights turn on at 8:30am & turn off at 8:30pm.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Basking spot stays around 85-87F, bottom is around 73-75F. Haven't checked overnight temps yet, but I will know what they are tonight. I was using a temp gun, but today my govee hygrometer/thermometer finally came in the mail.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
During the day humidity stays around 55-40%. I have clear shower curtains on 3 sides of the enclosure, I mist and let the enclosure dry out completely then I mist again. I'm using a govee hygrometer/thermometer.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Right now I'm using only fake plants (cringe) because I have him temporarily setup in a quarantine type of enclosure in case he does have any sort of parasites; however, I do watch to make sure he isn't taking any bites out of plants (I did see him attempt to take a bite out of a branch, is this normal veiled behavior?)
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
His enclosure is in my bedroom on top of a nightstand and the top of his enclosure is 46'' above the ground which I know is quite low but I'm trying to either find or make a new stand myself.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
North Texas.
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
Mainly concerned about the possibility of parasites, especially since I'm about 95% sure my previous chameleon I got last year passed away from parasites. Also I've noticed he's quite shaky and a bit weak when reaching for branches, is this malnutrition from the pet store feeding him nothing but ungut-loaded mealworms and crickets? Or a sign of something worse?

Here are some pictures of him for reference, let me know if you see any signs of anything abnormal please!
wybie.jpg

(not edema, he was still pissed off at me for reaching in to put in the hygometer 🤣)
wybie.eyes.jpg
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Agree that a vet check and fecal needs to be done, sooner rather than later. As for your husbandry, just a few changes I’d suggest. I’m assuming you disinfected that enclosure before putting him in. He will need much larger…a 2x2x4’ is the minimum. Larger is always better if you can. Wait for a clean bill of health before putting him in though. As the current enclosure is short, I hope you have your lights lifted above it and not sitting on the top. You don’t want to bake him with them. Especially the heat bulb…little ones love to climb screen tops and he can easily get burned. Your temps are a bit high. Babies should be at around 80. Yes, the plastic plants need to be replaced by safe live ones, but again, wait for that clean bill of health. I know he’s just settling in and may not have much interest in food, but he appears to be around maybe 3 months old and will be needing around 15+ feeders daily. Lots of feeders besides icky crickets.
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Drop your basking temp back... Looking at a range of 80-85, with 85 being the very max end. So lift the fixture or get a 60 watt bulb.

Load the feeder you will more than likely have to include crickets. I am sure the only feeders he has seen are those and meal worms. So he may be hesitant about eating other feeders.

Personally if he were mine I would make the vet appointment. It may take a week to get him in there. But in the mean time get him eating and some time under UVB lighting. Get a fecal done. 2 months is a decent amount of time to pick up something at the store.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you dont want to do the vet check, a mail in fecal is $10-30. They can not prescribe meds, but i dont get much out of plain "vet exams". Joy i now know what the chameleon weighs, and the vet prys open the mouth for mouth rot, that was worth $75-100.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
There is nothing wrong with letting him settle in for a couple weeks before going to the vet. It will probably take that long to get an appointment. Find a vet jut in case anyway. This way you will have some observations to report to the vet. Do get a fecal done at that time or thru the mail but you will need a vet to prescribe any treatment. They won't prescribe meds without an exam.
 

skywes13

Member
Agree that a vet check and fecal needs to be done, sooner rather than later. As for your husbandry, just a few changes I’d suggest. I’m assuming you disinfected that enclosure before putting him in. He will need much larger…a 2x2x4’ is the minimum. Larger is always better if you can. Wait for a clean bill of health before putting him in though. As the current enclosure is short, I hope you have your lights lifted above it and not sitting on the top. You don’t want to bake him with them. Especially the heat bulb…little ones love to climb screen tops and he can easily get burned. Your temps are a bit high. Babies should be at around 80. Yes, the plastic plants need to be replaced by safe live ones, but again, wait for that clean bill of health. I know he’s just settling in and may not have much interest in food, but he appears to be around maybe 3 months old and will be needing around 15+ feeders daily. Lots of feeders besides icky crickets.
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I will definitely be scheduling a vet appointment ASAP. Yes, I disinfected the enclosure, plants, and branches with 3% hydrogen peroxide. The enclosure I'm building is 48''H x 24''D x 30''W. I do have the lights sitting on top, how do I lift them up off the top? A lamp stand? I definitely want to introduce him to new feeders, I just need to order them online. Thank you for all your advice!
 
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