What more can I do for my little guy?

skywes13

Member
Taking the vinyl wrap off one or both sides will help lower humidity. Also only use room temp water for misting. Don’t be hesitant asking questions or wanting more info on someting, it’s how you learn (and you’re doing an awesome job so far)!
Thank you so much!! I'm really trying my best, I just want to give my little guy the best possible life he could have.
 

Mendez

Avid Member
The wattage doesn’t matter as long as the bulb is far enough away and the temps are correct. As long as it’s 80% humidity only right after misting, you’re fine. Panthers need 50-60/70% during the day and up to 100% at night
Definitely, the watt doesn't matter. The only reason I asked is that new people sometimes have problems measuring the basking temp or they take someone else's word from youtube.
 

skywes13

Member
Hi everyone. I recently took home my very first cham after researching and following the hobby for several years. Initally he was doing well and acclimating to his new home well, but around maybe around two weeks ago he began to refuse food. I double and triple checked my husbandry and did tons and tons of extra research via this forum, neptunethechameleon on youtube, and chameleon academy. I didn't understand what I could possibly have wrong, so I came to the conclusion that he didn't have enough variety in his diet and he was being picky. I ordered small black soldier fly larvae and silkworms from josh's frogs bc thru my research those seemed to be the most nutritious and best fit for my little man. I ordered it earlier in the week, a tuesday, and chose 2 day shipping assuming it would come (last) thursday or friday. i waited and waited and still by friday they hadn't even sent them out (i'm assuming bc of covid or the cold weather or behind on shipments). the week went on and my guy, Jupiter, was still mostly refusing food eating maybe 1 cricket every other day or so. I didn't act fast or urgently enough because I had heard that sometimes chams will go on hunger strikes and thought it might be okay as long as I got the food soon enough ): . unfortunately I didn't realize the urgency of the situation because I wasn't aware that my guy was only a little hatchling (currently 2 mo old), I thought he was closer to 4 mo old. On monday I decided I couldn't wait any longer for the order from josh's frogs so i drove out an hour away and picked up some bsfl and more crickets from a local insect breeder. talked to the man there and he gave me lots of good info, and i figured out the issue wasnt the variety but the food i had originally been given at the repatrium was beginning to grow too big for my guy and thats why he was refusing. now that I have the right size and slightly more variety I've been offering my guy the new food, but I think it may be too late. he still only eats maybe 1 or 2 or 3 bugs each day, and he's deteriorating fast. 3 days ago the worst issues were that he was refusing food and sometimes i would catch him with his eyes closed during the day (my guess is he probably has lack of vit a due to barely eating). today, he has bad motor skills, wobbling all around, and has his eyes closed a lot more often (currently as I write this he's been sitting on the same branch w both eyes closed for the past 2 hours), so I think he was hiding it before (also why I didn't completely understand the urgency of the situation) and now it's gotten so bad that he can't mask it ): i tried picking him up bc he was hanging upside down on a vine and when I did he couldn't even hold himself up while in my hand. first thing tomrorrow morning i will be making a vet appt for asap. my heart is so broken for my little guy, i'm not sure what more to do, i feel like the worst cham mom for not acting with more urgency )): do any of you more experienced keepers have any advice for me? is there something wrong w my husbandry? do you think my little jupey is dying? ):

& here's his info filled out for some extra context...
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? 2 month old panther, not 100% sure about sex but I'm assuming he's a boy. I got him Dec. 31st 2020 so nearly a month now.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? As little as possible, held him maybe a total of 4? times since i first got him, once getting him into his new home and then only ever when i was super concerned and was checking to see that he was still breathing (ex: today came home and he was hanging upside down so i nudged him onto my hand to make sure he was still alive).
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Feeding (more like offering) him a mixture of gutloaded 1/8" crickets and small dubias (i gutload with majority carrots, some apple and orange) and small black soldier fly larvae which i feed w only oatmeal to delay their growth. i put 5 worms and 5 crickets and maybe a couple dubias into a feeder run cup i made myself and put it in his enclosure twice a day for 30 mins to give him a large window of oppurtunity to eat and i watch from my bed, but he tends to only eat 1-3 bugs a day ):
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? repticalcium w/o d3 and repashy calc plus LoD. i normally dust w the repticalcium w/o d3, but i suspect that he may have a vit a deficency so i've been dusting mainly w the repashy. (if that assumption is wrong pls tell me and i'll only dust w the calcium)
  • 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 3/4x a day for around a minute and a half or two minutes. (i live in tx so its pretty dry and cold rn hence the more frequent mists). i also made my own dripper out of a plastic water bottle w a tiny hole at the bottom and in the cap, i refill it 2/3x a day and it normally will drip for 10-15 mins when full. i used to see him drink nearly everyday but now i haven't seen him drink or even interested in watching the water droplets at all and instead hiding away when i fill the dripper or spray, so i'm also extremely worried ab dehydration, but at the very least his eyes dont look sunken in.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? i used to see new ones daily and they looked not too dry not super moist w a white or slightly beige-ish urate. recently they have been few and far between, w them being more shrivled/dry and a more yellowish urate, not quite orange though. (could it be from his lack of eating? or is it bc he hasnt been drinking?)
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. i purchased him from a local reptarium (dfw reptarium for any texas keepers that may be familar w the name), and i was told that he was 3 months old. when he was brought out to me to take home he was in a plastic container w the numbers 11/9 on it and didn't think much of it initally, but now i'm assuming that was his actual hatch date I can't believe I didn't catch that earlier. very disappointed w them, they could've at least told me the truth so i could've been more prepared and known that circumstances are slightly different considering that he was actually a hatchling.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? small reptibreeze for now, i believe the dimensions are 16x16x20 (only temporary enclosure, will upgrade once my guy grows, rn he's probably 3 inches long)
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? for uvb i have the reptisun t5 5.0 24'' sitting on top diagonally, basking bulb i have a normal home light thats 75w (recommended by neptune the chameleon on yt)
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? basking stays around 82-85 F, bottom stays around 73-75 F. i'm actually not sure what the overnight temps are, but i will check tonight. I measure using a temp gun.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? humidity stays between 50-80%. after i mist it'll go up to 75 or 80% then as times goes on and the water begins to evaporate it'll drop to around 50/60% and i'll let it stay there to create that drier period. i have taped vinyl shower curtains to 3 sides of the enclosure and i hand mist w lukewarm water every 4/5 hours.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? unfortunately not, using mainly silk plants to decrease chance of impaction if he decides he wants to have a little salad.
  • 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? located on top of a desk in the corner of my room (which is in the back corner of my grandparents house so it's nice and quiet and calm).
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? North Texas

If it's helpful, I can attach some pictures later in the thread of him or his enclosure or whatever else is necessary. Please help me out, I'm so worried tomorrow morning I'm gonna wake up to him laying on the floor of his enclosure ):
Hi everyone. I'm devasted and heartbroken to share that my little jupiter passed away tonight ))): For a few hours after i shut his lights off he was sleeping in his little "chameleon pjs" with his light tan/pinky color. Every hour or so I was going back and misting his enclosure, trying to keep the humidity around 80 or 90% and a little bit ago I went back again and when I was misting I noticed he wasnt in his pjs anymore, so I nudged his little body slightly and he was limp and his long tongue was out of his mouth. I'm so heartbroken, I was staying awake all night until the vet opened at 6am to get the first poosible appt in hopes that there was something that could be done ): I can only hope that my little guy didn't suffer and passed on peacefully as he was sleeping.
Thank you all so much for all your helpful advice and kind words, they really helped so so much. <3
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh no! 😢 I’m so very sorry. Poor little one is at peace now. He passed in his sleep, so no suffering.
This is one of the reasons that good breeders don’t sell chams under 3 months old...they are very fragile and some are just destined not to survive. If you choose to try again, I’d suggest going with Kammerflage https://chameleonsonly.com/ You may pay a bit more but they are IMO one of the most conscientious breeders and have the most gorgeous chams.
Again, my heart goes out to you. 💗
 

skywes13

Member
Oh no! 😢 I’m so very sorry. Poor little one is at peace now. He passed in his sleep, so no suffering.
This is one of the reasons that good breeders don’t sell chams under 3 months old...they are very fragile and some are just destined not to survive. If you choose to try again, I’d suggest going with Kammerflage https://chameleonsonly.com/ You may pay a bit more but they are IMO one of the most conscientious breeders and have the most gorgeous chams.
Again, my heart goes out to you. 💗
Thank you so so so much for your kindness, and all your helpful advice. At least now my little guy isn't in pain anymore. Yes, their chams are absolutely stunning, maybe in a few months from now I'll be ready to consider the possibility of trying again. Thank you again ❤️
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So sorry for your loss. I just read through the thread to see if there was anything I could add...

The UVB exposure was too high for a baby in a tiny cage. If you get another one you will want to lift the fixture up off the cage 4 inches then have the closest basking branch 5 inches below the screen top for a total distance of 9 inches. This will put the uvi level at the branch in a safe zone and if they screen climb the top panel it will not be too high.

Additionally getting a wired temp gauge to put at the basking branch below the heat. Babies should be no hotter then 75-80max end. You also have to lift this fixture up off the top as well. exo terra makes a light bracket you can modify to attach to a screen cage to raise the fixture up. This ensures if baby gets too close they don't get a thermal burn.

Live plants are pretty important as well. Panthers will not eat them. Veileds do that.

Additionally for a baby that small you would be feeding tiny feeders fruit flies and crickets. And as much as they will eat. Then add a few of the other feeders your trying to work in most breeders do not use other feeders so most have never seen them before. Using a feeder run can be better as well because the food stays in one place and the cham sees it constantly moving.

I am going to recommend this link before you get another one. It will fill in the blacks and explain things in a much deeper way. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 

skywes13

Member
So sorry for your loss. I just read through the thread to see if there was anything I could add...

The UVB exposure was too high for a baby in a tiny cage. If you get another one you will want to lift the fixture up off the cage 4 inches then have the closest basking branch 5 inches below the screen top for a total distance of 9 inches. This will put the uvi level at the branch in a safe zone and if they screen climb the top panel it will not be too high.

Additionally getting a wired temp gauge to put at the basking branch below the heat. Babies should be no hotter then 75-80max end. You also have to lift this fixture up off the top as well. exo terra makes a light bracket you can modify to attach to a screen cage to raise the fixture up. This ensures if baby gets too close they don't get a thermal burn.

Live plants are pretty important as well. Panthers will not eat them. Veileds do that.

Additionally for a baby that small you would be feeding tiny feeders fruit flies and crickets. And as much as they will eat. Then add a few of the other feeders your trying to work in most breeders do not use other feeders so most have never seen them before. Using a feeder run can be better as well because the food stays in one place and the cham sees it constantly moving.

I am going to recommend this link before you get another one. It will fill in the blacks and explain things in a much deeper way. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
Thank you so much for your condolences, and your advice. If I do decide to get another cham in the future I’ll definitely not be getting one younger than 4 months old, but that knowledge is very good to know. I actually made my own feeder run cup and it did help make feedings easier and make it easier for me to be able to watch him from afar and see if he was eating/how much/if he was able to accurately shoot his tongue, so that makes me feel good that I got that part right. I will definitely check that link out, I love chameleon academy and their information. Thank you so much for your extra input and your kind words :)
 
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