When to introduce new foods??

niese4pigs

Member
Hi everyone!! I will be gettting a new male veiled cham in a few months. I had to put my other one to sleep in December:( but anyways back to my question. I only fed crickets to my first cham until he was abou 7-9months old. Should I wait that long? Any problems with offering silkworms or phoenix worms when younger? What are everyone's thoughts on this.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Not at all. Variety is always good, Just sometimes, the chams seem to favor the worms over crickets but not always. Just make sure if your cham is young that the feeders are not too big. No harm in changing up the feeders.
 

niese4pigs

Member
We had been battling swollen joints & lack of appetite for about 3-4 months and he just was geting worse & worse. He had been on antibiotics off/on nutritional supplements to help boost his immune system but not much was helping. My vet is a great herp vet & she consulted with two other vets that work with Antech laboratories & they aggreed we were doing everything we could. Toward the end his feet & legs were so swollen & painful we needed some answers so we lanced the swollen areas & it was pure puss. We sent samples to lab they came back unconclusive & they wanted biopsy of joint. We had culture pending so we decided to do supportave care which meant just force feeding. At this point he could not even grasp anything so I decided to end his suffering and had him put to sleep. We did send his entire body off for neocropsy & it came back he had gout caused from a sudden increase in protein. Which I forgot to mention here my husband watched him for me while I was out of town for 5 days & he over fed him. He gave him 15 Large crickets instead of 4-5 daily. After that we noticed swelling on one foot & thought it was cellulitis from crickets biting him. I have never told my husband he is the cause of his decline he felt bad enough watching me cry. My husband is not a reptile fan & doesn't understand them much but He tried to take care of him the best he could despite my detailed instructions he still screwed it up. But I don't blame him Shit happens but next time I will have my vet watch my cham.
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Not at all. Variety is always good, Just sometimes, the chams seem to favor the worms over crickets but not always. Just make sure if your cham is young that the feeders are not too big. No harm in changing up the feeders.

agreed - variety from the start

be careful about your gutlolading
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
What do you use for gutloading? Gout usually doesn't happen just from feeding too much in a short time, it's usually an imbalance with gutloading that builds up. Feeding a lot suddenly can push that imbalance over the edge, but it may have been something that was already building up without you knowing. Maybe we can pinpoint some gutloading problems to help your new cham. :)
 

niese4pigs

Member
It was a commercial gut loading diet looks like saw dust?? unsure what brand I no longer have container:( Never thought about a food gut load problem. I know there are many different things to gut load with including naturae foods.
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Most commercial gutloads arent any good for chameleons
Better to make your own, based primarily on vegetables and fruits that are higher in calcium than in phosphorous. Avoid animal fat/protein in the gutload.

Good options include: dandelion leaves, papaya, butternut squash, yam, carrot, romaine, mustard greens, alfalfa, spirulina, bull kelp (well rinsed fresh or dried and powdered), plus occassionally sunflower seeds or walnuts.
more info:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/sandrachameleon/75-feeder-nutrition-gutloading.html
 
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