weird posture


New Member
for the past day or so my baby panther has been sitting near the top of his enclosure in a vertical position. he was just doing it now, so i snapped a pic. he has been more vertical than this previously. also, his eyes are closed during this, but he will open them to look around if something startles him. he seems to be easily bothered lately. when i mist the leaves he gets much more scared than normal and puffs out his lower jaw area. why should this be?


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Cage Info:

* Cage Type - Screened Enclosure
* Lighting - UVA light, 10 hrs
* Temperature - 89-83 degrees
* Humidity - I don't havea gauge, I mist 2-3 times a day
* Plants - Ficus, organically grown
* Location - It is near a desk, so somewhat high traffic

Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - baby ambanja panther
* Feeding - gutloaded crickets, one-two a day
* Supplements - all his cricks are dusted with vit suplement
* Watering - misting, i have seen him drink recently. well, not today because he has just been in that same position most of the day
* Fecal Description - normal black/white
* History - n/a
* Current Problem - weird posture/eyes closed

The crickets that he has been eating over the past day or two have been bigger than normal. could it just be that he is overly full and just lethargic?
Does your light put out UVB at all? I learned from reading on here that UVB is very important to Chameleons.
I would suggest a trip to your local exotics vet.....

From the pic, your little one seems very small, how old is he/she? SVL?

Well a few things jumped out at me.... Like Ofsthun asked, does your light put out UVB? This is very important...

A baby of that size could easily down 20 + or - appropriately sized crix in one day. 1-2 a day just isn't enough. He should be ok with pinheads or even 1 week old crickets, but nothing larger as this can cause problems like choking and impaction.. This is what your pic makes me think... choking....the prey is too large.
I have witnessed an adult do this "neck stretch" after they have taken too much water too fast or a bug that is too large.

Also, dusting with vitamins every day is too much, weekly at the most. Are you supplementing with calcium?
I think it might be the choking thing :(

Will it pass or should I go to a vet?

Also, the crickets that I have been letting loose in his cage are fairly big. He hadn't had any problem at first, so I figured he could handle them. Apparently not.

SVL is about 1.25 inches. Also, I checked my light and it is both UVA and UVB.

As far as supplements, I am using this:


so, only dust once a week?

he is kinda miserable right now, just staying in one or two spots, eyes closed, body vertical. i feel so bad.
Are you supplementing calcium. This should come in the form of phosphorus-free powder with vitamin D3 also. This helps them properly metabolise the calcium. I have seen a similar choking position as mentioned by Jamie but it passed as soon after the food was down. Taking it to the vet is an option but I really do not think they can do anything with a chameleon that size. Sleeping and lethargic behavior is not good.

Is your chameleon still eating?
If so I would obtain a calcium supplement like I mentioned above.
I do not keep panthers but assume you will do this daily tell they are about six months. Then every other day. At least that is what I do with veileds.
What percentage is the UVB bulb?
Some say 2.0, 5.0 ...etc this means percentage 2%, 5% ...etc.
When he is resting does his spine "S"?
Basically when you see him back towards you.

I am a little unclear as to the exact make up of the product you are using for supplementation. Most of the supplements I see on the market are for weekly uses containing a lot of vitamins and basically stuff that maybe missed in a diet. The calcium supplements I refer to only have calcium and D3 it may say three to five other things but that is it. These other ingredients are usually for the metabolic process.

Impaction may have occured but I have never really had a problem with that so do not really have anythings to tell you to do in that area.
i have been feeding baby sleepy big crickets for her age i think i might use smaller ones after seeing this picture. the crickets she's been eating are as big as her bowel movements .

maybe if its food it will breakdown in a few days and he will be ok.
I don´t now whats wrong with your cham. Just that the supplements i right. You could also buy the Vit-all to get the vitamins for your cham.

Jordan: Here´s Sticky Tounges website if you want to check that supplements are fine:

I hope your little one gets all right!
Impaction can occur a couple of ways. The one that is relavent to this situation would involve a large prey item. The smaller chameleons can not produce enough stomach acids to break down the prey item properly. This leaves with a hard insect part in the intestine. The intestines are made to absorb nutrients not to break down the food. This creates a blockage in the digestive tract where food can not pass by. When it is just food that is creating the blockage the surplus of stomach acids on the back side will usually take care of liquifing over a little time.

The spinal kinking could be associated with MBD. As fiberiod start to form there it can be very painful. The spine is filled with nerves. Some will stretch in a similar fashion to reduce pressure on these points to relieve the pain. I would not jump to this conclusion yet. With the supplements you are providing and the proper uvB this seems unlikely, although, I suppose a possiblility.

Like I said vets at your chameleons size may not be as helpful as someone with an adult. I would think about calling around and seeing if one would see your chameleon. A number of other problems could be present. A vet could do an x-ray and determine what is going on or at least take a more educated guess.
i am taking him to the vet on friday. this is the only time they can see him. i gave him some water today off of my finger and he drank that, but he doesn't have any interest in food. the last time i saw him eat was about 3 days ago. do you think he will be able to hold out until the vet?
You said...."for the past day or so my baby panther has been sitting near the top of his enclosure in a vertical position. he was just doing it now, so i snapped a pic. he has been more vertical than this previously. also, his eyes are closed during this, but he will open them to look around if something startles him"...does he gape at all when he's doing this "head's up" thing?

Do you use a substrate in the cage? Did you wash the plant well (both sides of the leaves) before putting it in his cage? Is the poop moist or dried looking with bits of insects still in it?

You said..."he seems to be easily bothered lately. when i mist the leaves he gets much more scared than normal and puffs out his lower jaw area. why should this be?"....I have seen this occasionally in chameleons that are ill.

Could he have aspirated something (taken something into his lungs)?

Regarding the spine...does he sort of sway it from side to side as if uncomfortable or is the shape always the same?

I'm glad that you are taking him to the vets. We can only suggest possibilities here for the most part....hopefully the vet will have some answers.

The following comments are not concerning his behaviour...
You said..."Feeding - gutloaded crickets, one-two a day"...a baby should eat a lot more than that of the appropriate sized crickets per day.

You said..."Supplements - all his cricks are dusted with vit suplement"...if you are talking about Minerall...its a mineral supplement...not a vitamin supplement (aside from vitamin D3 if its Minerall I. If its Minerall O, then it lacks vitamin D3...of course. Is the mineral I or O?

I gutload my insects with an appropriate nutritious diet before feeding them to the chameleons.

I dust at almost every feeding with a phosphorous-free calcium powder. Most insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phos. so this helps to balance it.

Twice a month, I dust with a vitamin powder (with a beta carotene source of vitamin A). Beta carotene can't build up in the system, but preformed sources can.

Because my chameleons don't get sunlight, I dust lightly with a calcium/D3 powder. Vitamin D3 from supplements can build up in the system, so caution is advised.

Concerning lasting until depends on what's wrong with him.
I hope he will make it!
So, Klaus has pneumonia :( He was also dehydrated (because he had no interest in food or water for since the illness started) He had some fluid in his lungs and some crust around an eye. The vet gave me Baytril to give to him . 2ml a day out of a dropper. I hope he will pull through but the vet said he isn't sure :( :( :( :(
so very sorry to hear about your cham, but it's good that you got him to the vet. Atleast he'll have a fighting chance ince the meds start working.
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