Weak tongue

tyco49

New Member
I've had my male, veiled chameleon for 6 months now (making him about 9-11 months old), and he seems not to be able to stick his tongue out all the way(only about 3-4 in.) Any suggestions?
-Matt

Cage type: Screen enclosure
UVB
80-90
Humidity: 60%-70% mist only
Plants: No live, fake vines and leaves

Feeding: Superworms 2 or 3 /day
Watering: Spray/drip
Supplements: Repto-Cal in dish
 
Last edited:

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
From what I've read/learned dehydration, injury or MBD are three of the things that can cause the tongue not to fully extend...
Is your chameleon getting enough to drink?

Is the UVB light passing through glass or plastic? What do you use for UVB light? Does he ever get any direct sun?

Does your calcium product contain phosphorous (it shouldn't)? Vitamin A from a preformed source (beta carotene sources are safe...don't build up in the chameleon's system)? Do you gutload the insects properly?

Phosphorous, calcium, vitaminD3 and vitamin A are the main "players" in bone health. Calcium also plays a part in muscle health...and chameleon tongues, of course, use muscles to propel them.

This article mentions the tongue dysfunction....
http://www.adcham.com/html/veterinary/mbd-fractures-kramer.html
"Other symptoms of MBD in chameleons include a soft, pliable, rubbery jaw, a bendable casque, and tongue dysfunction."

There are some good articles about the part those things play on this site...
http://www.chameleonjournals.com/vet/
 

tyco49

New Member
He drinks regularly.The uv (10.0) is passing through almost nothing, its a hemit crab cage with fairly large spaces in between bars. He doesn't get any direct sun. My vitamins do contain phosphorus (6%??), is that bad? Its reptocal, came highly recommended by several sources.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Most people say that chameleons need a 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorous. Most insects have a poor ratio...so we dust them with calcium. If your product has phosphorous in it, then you have to compensate for that phosphorous too....so its easier just to use a product that is phosphorous free IMHO. If you read the chameleonjournal vet information on calcium/D3 and vitamin A it gives you a good explanation.

Here is a site that with some information...
http://www.seavs.com/case_studies/lizards/chameleons.asp
"Due to their diet, captive chameleons are prone to problems involving metabolism of calcium and its association with phosphorous. A calcium: phosphorous ratio of 2:1 is adequate, but since most insects are high in phosphorous and low in calcium (inverse ratio), the insects must be supplemented with calcium. Several feeding methods can be used to minimize nutritional problems:"
"Some of the most promising results have come from routine daily use of phosphorous-free, calcium-only supplements with occasional use of vitamin D3 (e.g., three to four times weekly for juveniles, twice weekly for adults) and multi-vitamin supplements (e.g., one to two times weekly for juveniles, every other week for adults)."
 

Sean

New Member
Has he always had a short tongue? If so, this is sometimes caused by inbreeding. Otherwise he might have sprained his tongue from undershooting at prey items. I've also observed specimens that developed weakend tongues from feeding out of cups. If this just happend recently, I would suggest not testing his tongue length for a couple of weeks, in case it is sprained. A method I use on an animal with a weak tongue is to hold the cricket at different angles around
it's head, so that the trajectory is switched up. In the wild, insects come at them from all directions, therefore working different parts of the same muscle.
As for feeding only superworms, that's not a good idea. Crickets (or roaches) are a chameleons bread and butter. With crickets, you control what they and your animals eat. Superworms are usually raised on only bran.
 
Top Bottom