What is happening?


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We have a male veiled chameleon, solo, in an 80 gallon glass aquarium with a screen top. We had purchased him after being told that the micro ecosystem we were going to create for him in the glass enclosure would work. After the purchase, we heard glass was not good. This was about 8months ago, Pepe the cahmeleon has grown considerably, as food, and any possible light and heating need were addressed, (as far as I can tell).

Our problem is this; Pepe was doing great, shedding and growing, shedding and growing, no problems. He was eating crickets and mealworms as offered, and drinking water, both from the waterfall and dish above it.

All of a sudden, Pepe is lethargic, and does not eat as much as before. He is currently shedding, but is now not moving much, and just hiding under a bridge in his environment. His eyes are open, and if picked up, will attempt to slowly crawl to higher ground. His coloring is bright, his tail is plump, and when reached for by hand, he "leans out".

While there is no obvious cause or visible injury, but we are concerned, as he is acting completly different.
My wife just reminded me. The tank humidity was low, and the temp ranged from 103 in under the basking light, to 80.5 in the opposite side of the tank. Even with the elevated temp, (first thing I did was secure the blinds behind the tank), Pepe feels cold to the touch. I was worried that Pepe was possibly dehydrated, so we have him in a steamy shower, (Out of the spray).

Pepe is not moving his eyes to follow stimulus, where as he used to follow every movement. My wife feels that his eyes appear sunken, although I don't see that.

We are planning to keep Pepe in the shower, and supplement with Pedialyte in a dropper. Any advice would be much appreciated.
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The cause is probably the aquarium. They are no good for chams. You got bad advice from where you bought it.

Pepe is not moving his eyes to follow stimulus, where as he used to follow every movement.

That does'nt sound good. You should probably take him to a vet asap. If he survives:( you should get a new cage for him. There are some on ebay. Do you have pics of him? Some of the other forum peeps might beable to help more. I am still kind of new to chams.
Hi Moose, welcome to the chameleon forums.

Sorry to hear about Pepe.:( It does sound like something is wrong and you should be worried. The symptoms you mention sound very serious. It could be many things, but it sounds like dehydration plus problems caused by the dehydration. It could also be some kind of lung infection ultimately caused by the aquarium's stagnant air. Whatever the cause, Pepe is in trouble. The lack of response to stimulus is not a good thing at all and is what makes me think something very serious is going on. A picture would help. As Mr. Green said above, I would recomend taking him to the vet as soon as possible. Make sure the vet is experienced with chameleons (not always an easy thing to find). What does his poop look like? Are there any colors besides black and white? Is he alone in the aquarium?

Showers and pedialyte can help, but he might be beyond the point where those things would be of any use by themselves. Showers are more of a preventative routine instead of a cure. Chameleons are good at hiding problems they might be having. By the time the problems surface and you become aware of them, it is usually serious and could be too late.

He is currently shedding, but is now not moving much, and just hiding under a bridge in his environment.
Could you please describe your enviroment. Aquariums should not be used with chameleons. They cause all sorts of problems. I dont have time to list all the problems they cause, but stagnant air, reflections, bacteria are a few things. Where did you buy your chameleon? A local pet store? They really gave you some bad advice as mr green said. If they knew anything about chameleons they knew the advice they gave you would lead to this. :mad: It is really sad what some people will do for a few extra dollars.

Please keep us updated and we will do our best to help.
Thank you for your responses.

We are keeping up with the pedialyte, and mashing up mealworms inot it as well. He appears to be responing well, his color is a little beighter, he is moving a little quicker, and he is "plumper", even when gently picked up.

We are having outside temps of approx 80-90 degrees right now, humidity approx 50%. we are putting him outside, in a screen enclosure, and monitoring him closely. Also no unusual stool, except not much solids as he hasn't been eating much, other than crushed mealworms in pedialyte the last couple of days.

I appreciate not only your responses, but this site. This condition took me by complete surprise. After getting Pepe, we found out that glass aquariums were not recommended. We found that he thrived in his environment however, with the large screen top. I think what may have made the air go bad was the oak top for the aquarium. My wife had put it on, over the screen top, and this allowed approx 8" between the top of the screen and the bottom of the wood. I feel that there was not enough air exchange at that point, because no air moving across the top to facilitate air exchange.

I will keep you posted as to his condition, thanks again,

It is really good to see that you guys are trying hard to help Pepe :)
A screened cage outdoors is great. Is he climbing around? How is he responding to stimulus? Do you notice anything unusual with his breathing (signs of lung problems)? It would still be a good idea to visit a herp vet if possible. He could have a problem that is curable now, but will be too severe later on. When you try and introduce live food again, you might want to try some different things to try and catch his interest. I suggest silkworms, flies or roaches :eek: . You can search these forums for more info on silkies.
Sounds like you might need to clean your cage. When you use glass instead of mesh or wire the air collects bacteria. After a while I would assume that he will start opening his mouth and coughing and swaying! You must change out the cage, veiled require alot of humidity and heat. When it is in glass cage the levels are very hard to achive. If you see sunken eyes you know that dehydration is the facter as well as others. Make sure you have proper levels! When in glass cage the humidity stay nice but creates mold and bacteria. Are you using 100 watt basking bulb with reptisun 5.0 bulb?
How often do you mist and how much? Is there any kind of mold smelling fungus when you smell your cage? As these good folks said before. I would say trip to vet would ensure his life better than any!

Good luck NEVER give up.
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