Why won’t my chameleon eat?

Mmoreno1368

New Member
I’m new to the forum...let me give you a review of my situation... my wife and I purchased our first veiled chameleon as a baby about 2 years ago. After about a year he ended up living with my cousin. My wife and I recently took over the care of him as my cousin was going into a situation where she was not going to have somewhere to care for him. In the past month I have made him a much larger enclosure (48”x24”x24”). I have turned it into a bio active enclosure. He’s been in the new enclosure for roughly a week now. Since getting him back I’ve noticed that he does not move like he used to when I first had him...walks/climbs very slow. Also when he eats, he will not shoot his tongue. My cousin fed him super worms as far as I’m aware...Here’s my main concern...it’s difficult for me to get him to eat...he acts like he is afraid of me or doesn’t trust me if I ever try to feed him. I’ve tried switching up his food to entice him to eat but he still barely eats. (He’s always staring at me instead of eating). Does he not trust me yet?? Is he unhealthy?? I’m worried that he is exhibiting signs of MBD. I’m in the process of upgrading his lighting as the lights my cousin had were not adequate I feel...I upgraded the UVB to a compact fluorescent UVB 10 bulb...I don’t feel this is adequate so I just purchased a 24” T5 UVB 12% (should be delivered soon). I’m also going to be upgrading the heat lamps so he has a good place to bask... I’m doing my best to give this little guy the best I can and I still feel like he hates me! Lol
Any suggestions? Ambient temperature is around 80 degrees with humidity levels between 50-70%....
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m new to the forum...let me give you a review of my situation... my wife and I purchased our first veiled chameleon as a baby about 2 years ago. After about a year he ended up living with my cousin. My wife and I recently took over the care of him as my cousin was going into a situation where she was not going to have somewhere to care for him. In the past month I have made him a much larger enclosure (48”x24”x24”). I have turned it into a bio active enclosure. He’s been in the new enclosure for roughly a week now. Since getting him back I’ve noticed that he does not move like he used to when I first had him...walks/climbs very slow. Also when he eats, he will not shoot his tongue. My cousin fed him super worms as far as I’m aware...Here’s my main concern...it’s difficult for me to get him to eat...he acts like he is afraid of me or doesn’t trust me if I ever try to feed him. I’ve tried switching up his food to entice him to eat but he still barely eats. (He’s always staring at me instead of eating). Does he not trust me yet?? Is he unhealthy?? I’m worried that he is exhibiting signs of MBD. I’m in the process of upgrading his lighting as the lights my cousin had were not adequate I feel...I upgraded the UVB to a compact fluorescent UVB 10 bulb...I don’t feel this is adequate so I just purchased a 24” T5 UVB 12% (should be delivered soon). I’m also going to be upgrading the heat lamps so he has a good place to bask... I’m doing my best to give this little guy the best I can and I still feel like he hates me! Lol
Any suggestions? Ambient temperature is around 80 degrees with humidity levels between 50-70%....
Welcome could you add pictures and fill out the ask for help form when you have a moment.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/how-to-ask-for-help.66/ .
 

Mmoreno1368

New Member
(Original post)
I’m new to the forum...let me give you a review of my situation... my wife and I purchased our first veiled chameleon as a baby about 2 years ago. After about a year he ended up living with my cousin. My wife and I recently took over the care of him as my cousin was going into a situation where she was not going to have somewhere to care for him. In the past month I have made him a much larger enclosure (48”x24”x24”). I have turned it into a bio active enclosure. He’s been in the new enclosure for roughly a week now. Since getting him back I’ve noticed that he does not move like he used to when I first had him...walks/climbs very slow. Also when he eats, he will not shoot his tongue. My cousin fed him super worms as far as I’m aware...Here’s my main concern...it’s difficult for me to get him to eat...he acts like he is afraid of me or doesn’t trust me if I ever try to feed him. I’ve tried switching up his food to entice him to eat but he still barely eats. (He’s always staring at me instead of eating). Does he not trust me yet?? Is he unhealthy?? I’m worried that he is exhibiting signs of MBD. I’m in the process of upgrading his lighting as the lights my cousin had were not adequate I feel...I upgraded the UVB to a compact fluorescent UVB 10 bulb...I don’t feel this is adequate so I just purchased a 24” T5 UVB 12% (should be delivered soon). I’m also going to be upgrading the heat lamps so he has a good place to bask... I’m doing my best to give this little guy the best I can and I still feel like he hates me! Lol
Any suggestions? Ambient temperature is around 80 degrees with humidity levels between 50-70%....

Chameleon info:

“Your Chameleon”- veiled Chameleon, male, 2.5 years old, been back in my care for about 1 month (lived with my cousin for the last 1.5 years).

“Handling”- Never handle him.

“Feeding”- was eating just Super worms when he was with my cousin. Since getting him back I’ve been feeding super worms, crickets, (tried horn worms, just recently got some Dubia roaches in the mail today to try also). He doesn’t eat much...I try to feed him daily although he maybe eats 2 times per week. Gut I was gut loading the crickets with apples, zoomed cube.

“Supplements”- rep cal calcium without D3 or phosphorus. Been dusting every feeding.

“Watering”- enclosure is misted 4 times per day manually...yes I see him drinking. I also made a dripper that he drinks from as well.

“Fecal Description”- all I usually see is a larger whit section with a brown section connected. Never been tested for parasites.

“History”- Attached Above

“Tank Description”- Homemade screen enclosure 48”x24”x24”.

“Lighting”- ZOOMED daylight lamp and fixture (going to be upgrading to a better heat source). For UVB I’m using a ZOOMED UVB 10 compact fluorescent.. (just purchased a 24” T5 HO Fixture, and an Arcadia 12% UVB T5 reptile bulb).
Lights are in about 10-12 hours per day about 7am-7pm.

“Temperature”- ambient about 70-80 degrees. Overnight temp about 65-70 degrees. There is a temp/humidity gauge I installed in the enclosure.

“Plants”- “money tree”, devils ivy

“Placement”- corner of my room near a window, low traffic area, window closed, top of the cage is near the top of my room.

“Location”- Western Washington State
 

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JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
hello I will make corrects in red


I’m new to the forum...let me give you a review of my situation... my wife and I purchased our first veiled chameleon as a baby about 2 years ago. After about a year he ended up living with my cousin. My wife and I recently took over the care of him as my cousin was going into a situation where she was not going to have somewhere to care for him. In the past month I have made him a much larger enclosure (48”x24”x24”). I have turned it into a bio active enclosure. He’s been in the new enclosure for roughly a week now. Since getting him back I’ve noticed that he does not move like he used to when I first had him...walks/climbs very slow. Also when he eats, he will not shoot his tongue. My cousin fed him super worms as far as I’m aware...Here’s my main concern...it’s difficult for me to get him to eat...he acts like he is afraid of me or doesn’t trust me if I ever try to feed him. I’ve tried switching up his food to entice him to eat but he still barely eats. (He’s always staring at me instead of eating). Does he not trust me yet?? Is he unhealthy?? I’m worried that he is exhibiting signs of MBD. I’m in the process of upgrading his lighting as the lights my cousin had were not adequate I feel...I upgraded the UVB to a compact fluorescent UVB 10 bulb...I don’t feel this is adequate so I just purchased a 24” T5 UVB 12% (should be delivered soon). I’m also going to be upgrading the heat lamps so he has a good place to bask... I’m doing my best to give this little guy the best I can and I still feel like he hates me! Lol
Any suggestions? Ambient temperature is around 80 degrees with humidity levels between 50-70%....
Chameleon info:
have you always used compact bulbs?
50-70% humidity is to high for day time you want them at 30-40 during the day
You want night time humidity at 70% 100% is idea but only at night
I run my fogged from 12-5
If your temp aren’t under 70 at night be careful fogging because you can potently cause a respiratory infection



“Your Chameleon”- veiled Chameleon, male, 2.5 years old, been back in my care for about 1 month (lived with my cousin for the last 1.5 years).

“Handling”- Never handle him.

“Feeding”- was eating just Super worms when he was with my cousin. Since getting him back I’ve been feeding super worms, crickets, (tried horn worms, just recently got some Dubia roaches in the mail today to try also). He doesn’t eat much...I try to feed him daily although he maybe eats 2 times per week. Gut I was gut loading the crickets with apples, zoomed cube.
if he only ate super worm I’m wondering if he’s overweight?
“Supplements”- rep cal calcium without D3 or phosphorus. Been dusting every feeding.
are you not using a multivitamin if not I suggest repashy LoD it’s an all in one or Sticky tongue They just became a site sponsor
“Watering”- enclosure is misted 4 times per day manually...yes I see him drinking. I also made a dripper that he drinks from as well.

4 times a day is a little much. Try taking it down to two a day for 2 min at a time.

“Fecal Description”- all I usually see is a larger whit section with a brown section connected. Never been tested for parasites.

“History”- Attached Above

“Tank Description”- Homemade screen enclosure 48”x24”x24”.

“Lighting”- ZOOMED daylight lamp and fixture (going to be upgrading to a better heat source). For UVB I’m using a ZOOMED UVB 10 compact fluorescent.. (just purchased a 24” T5 HO Fixture, and an Arcadia 12% UVB T5 reptile bulb).
Lights are in about 10-12 hours per day about 7am-7pm.

“Temperature”- ambient about 70-80 degrees. Overnight temp about 65-70 degrees. There is a temp/humidity gauge I installed in the enclosure.
do you know the basking temp? I suggest a heat gun
“Plants”- “money tree”, devils ivy
in pretty sure devils ivy is poisonous and veiled are known to eat plants I would take that out
“Placement”- corner of my room near a window, low traffic area, window closed, top of the cage is near the top of my room.

“Location”- Western Washington State


I will link you some stuff

plant safe list
https://flchams.com/chameleon-safe-plant-list/#d

heat gun

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00837ZGRY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_NReHDbVGW8PSM


repashy LoD

Repashy Calcium Plus LoD 3 Oz JAR https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DLJRMV2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_MSeHDbH7YDCCA

Sticky tongue

https://www.stickytonguefarms.com/

veiled care sheet

https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

F9D5C1F9-8592-47CF-A1AC-FB44052CD7D9.jpeg1C1224D4-7315-41F6-B173-53CD1A2679C6.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
(Original post)
I’m new to the forum...let me give you a review of my situation... my wife and I purchased our first veiled chameleon as a baby about 2 years ago. After about a year he ended up living with my cousin. My wife and I recently took over the care of him as my cousin was going into a situation where she was not going to have somewhere to care for him. In the past month I have made him a much larger enclosure (48”x24”x24”). I have turned it into a bio active enclosure. He’s been in the new enclosure for roughly a week now. Since getting him back I’ve noticed that he does not move like he used to when I first had him...walks/climbs very slow. Also when he eats, he will not shoot his tongue. My cousin fed him super worms as far as I’m aware...Here’s my main concern...it’s difficult for me to get him to eat...he acts like he is afraid of me or doesn’t trust me if I ever try to feed him. I’ve tried switching up his food to entice him to eat but he still barely eats. (He’s always staring at me instead of eating). Does he not trust me yet?? Is he unhealthy?? I’m worried that he is exhibiting signs of MBD. I’m in the process of upgrading his lighting as the lights my cousin had were not adequate I feel...I upgraded the UVB to a compact fluorescent UVB 10 bulb...I don’t feel this is adequate so I just purchased a 24” T5 UVB 12% (should be delivered soon). I’m also going to be upgrading the heat lamps so he has a good place to bask... I’m doing my best to give this little guy the best I can and I still feel like he hates me! Lol
Any suggestions? Ambient temperature is around 80 degrees with humidity levels between 50-70%....

Chameleon info:

“Your Chameleon”- veiled Chameleon, male, 2.5 years old, been back in my care for about 1 month (lived with my cousin for the last 1.5 years).

“Handling”- Never handle him.

“Feeding”- was eating just Super worms when he was with my cousin. Since getting him back I’ve been feeding super worms, crickets, (tried horn worms, just recently got some Dubia roaches in the mail today to try also). He doesn’t eat much...I try to feed him daily although he maybe eats 2 times per week. Gut I was gut loading the crickets with apples, zoomed cube.

“Supplements”- rep cal calcium without D3 or phosphorus. Been dusting every feeding.

“Watering”- enclosure is misted 4 times per day manually...yes I see him drinking. I also made a dripper that he drinks from as well.

“Fecal Description”- all I usually see is a larger whit section with a brown section connected. Never been tested for parasites.

“History”- Attached Above

“Tank Description”- Homemade screen enclosure 48”x24”x24”.

“Lighting”- ZOOMED daylight lamp and fixture (going to be upgrading to a better heat source). For UVB I’m using a ZOOMED UVB 10 compact fluorescent.. (just purchased a 24” T5 HO Fixture, and an Arcadia 12% UVB T5 reptile bulb).
Lights are in about 10-12 hours per day about 7am-7pm.

“Temperature”- ambient about 70-80 degrees. Overnight temp about 65-70 degrees. There is a temp/humidity gauge I installed in the enclosure.

“Plants”- “money tree”, devils ivy

“Placement”- corner of my room near a window, low traffic area, window closed, top of the cage is near the top of my room.

“Location”- Western Washington State
Beautiful set up . I think it’s likely the change in homes . Super are very addictive to Cham they will often refuse other feeder . You may want to completely take them out of his diet for sometime . I will tag a few other people For input . @Beman @GoodKarma19 ?
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
hello I will make corrects in red


I’m new to the forum...let me give you a review of my situation... my wife and I purchased our first veiled chameleon as a baby about 2 years ago. After about a year he ended up living with my cousin. My wife and I recently took over the care of him as my cousin was going into a situation where she was not going to have somewhere to care for him. In the past month I have made him a much larger enclosure (48”x24”x24”). I have turned it into a bio active enclosure. He’s been in the new enclosure for roughly a week now. Since getting him back I’ve noticed that he does not move like he used to when I first had him...walks/climbs very slow. Also when he eats, he will not shoot his tongue. My cousin fed him super worms as far as I’m aware...Here’s my main concern...it’s difficult for me to get him to eat...he acts like he is afraid of me or doesn’t trust me if I ever try to feed him. I’ve tried switching up his food to entice him to eat but he still barely eats. (He’s always staring at me instead of eating). Does he not trust me yet?? Is he unhealthy?? I’m worried that he is exhibiting signs of MBD. I’m in the process of upgrading his lighting as the lights my cousin had were not adequate I feel...I upgraded the UVB to a compact fluorescent UVB 10 bulb...I don’t feel this is adequate so I just purchased a 24” T5 UVB 12% (should be delivered soon). I’m also going to be upgrading the heat lamps so he has a good place to bask... I’m doing my best to give this little guy the best I can and I still feel like he hates me! Lol
Any suggestions? Ambient temperature is around 80 degrees with humidity levels between 50-70%....
Chameleon info:
have you always used compact bulbs?
50-70% humidity is to high for day time you want them at 30-40 during the day


“Your Chameleon”- veiled Chameleon, male, 2.5 years old, been back in my care for about 1 month (lived with my cousin for the last 1.5 years).

“Handling”- Never handle him.

“Feeding”- was eating just Super worms when he was with my cousin. Since getting him back I’ve been feeding super worms, crickets, (tried horn worms, just recently got some Dubia roaches in the mail today to try also). He doesn’t eat much...I try to feed him daily although he maybe eats 2 times per week. Gut I was gut loading the crickets with apples, zoomed cube.
if he only ate super worm I’m wondering if he’s overweight?
“Supplements”- rep cal calcium without D3 or phosphorus. Been dusting every feeding.
are you not using a multivitamin if not I suggest repashy LoD it’s an all in one or Sticky tongue They just became a site sponsor
“Watering”- enclosure is misted 4 times per day manually...yes I see him drinking. I also made a dripper that he drinks from as well.

4 times a day is a little much. Try taking it down to two a day for 2 min at a time.

“Fecal Description”- all I usually see is a larger whit section with a brown section connected. Never been tested for parasites.

“History”- Attached Above

“Tank Description”- Homemade screen enclosure 48”x24”x24”.

“Lighting”- ZOOMED daylight lamp and fixture (going to be upgrading to a better heat source). For UVB I’m using a ZOOMED UVB 10 compact fluorescent.. (just purchased a 24” T5 HO Fixture, and an Arcadia 12% UVB T5 reptile bulb).
Lights are in about 10-12 hours per day about 7am-7pm.

“Temperature”- ambient about 70-80 degrees. Overnight temp about 65-70 degrees. There is a temp/humidity gauge I installed in the enclosure.
do you know the basking temp? I suggest a heat gun
“Plants”- “money tree”, devils ivy
in pretty sure devils ivy is poisonous and veiled are known to eat plants I would take that out
“Placement”- corner of my room near a window, low traffic area, window closed, top of the cage is near the top of my room.

“Location”- Western Washington State


I will link you some stuff

plant safe list
https://flchams.com/chameleon-safe-plant-list/#d

heat gun

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00837ZGRY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_NReHDbVGW8PSM


repashy LoD

Repashy Calcium Plus LoD 3 Oz JAR https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DLJRMV2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_MSeHDbH7YDCCA

Sticky tongue

https://www.stickytonguefarms.com/

veiled care sheet

https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

View attachment 246565View attachment 246566
Thank you Jox !!.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums, and thank you so much for including the help form in your first post! That's truly a rare treat.

Now on to your concern: Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors here that could be going on. The first and foremost is that one week is not nearly long enough to gain a chameleon's trust. So please, don't worry about him hating you! Veiled chameleons are known for hating...everything. It isn't personal ;) In all seriousness, though, it can take many weeks, if not months to get a chameleon used to you. He will never "like" you, but you can work towards tolerance!

So a lot of your husbandry looks up to par, but there a couple major points which need improving:

(1) Your supplements. I fear you are likely correct about MBD. Tongues not working is a key sign of MBD. You are missing a vital supplement for his longterm wellbeing and I think that might mean he hasn't been properly supplemented all that time he was in your cousin's care either. Which is a long time. While the supplement you are using is good for daily use, it is critical to include a calcium powder with Vitamin D3 twice a month. And a third supplement, which is a multivitamin for twice-a-month as well. Without D3, MBD is only a matter of time. Pair that with the probably incorrect UVB light he had living with them, I would be surprised if he doesn't have MBD. You are correct in thinking the compact bulb you ordered is insufficient. The T5 you ordered will be perfect, however!

(2) Gutload. Now I understand he hasn't been eating that much, but hopefully that will change. And when it does, you will want his feeders to have a more nutritious gutload. Apples are little more than sugar and water, and the zoomed cubes are actually no good at all for chameleons. Instead, I would use Cricket Crack as a pre-made gutload which you can order online. This is imo the easiest option. For fresh produce, better options include collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, sweet potato, etc. See the resources section for more healthier options. Oh, and keep in mind that he is an adult now and needs to eat significantly less than he used to. Eating only every 2 or 3 days is normal for them.

Could you please post more pictures of his body when you get the chance? Unfortunately, he will pretty certainly need treatment from a vet.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Can you please post a couple more photos so I can look at his arms?
I think they may be showing signs of MBD and the fact that he's not using his tongue could be an indicator of that too.

His eyes are shut in the photo...is it bedtime or do they stay shut during the daytime?

If you're going to dust with the powder I recommend you dust at most feeding lightly with the RepCal phos free calcium at almost every feeding...twice a month lightly with a phos free calcium /D3. Powder and twice a month lightly with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A . Vitamin A from preformed sources can build up in the system so this leaves it up to you to decide if/when your chameleon needs some prEformed vitamin A. Also D3 from supplements can build up so we don't dust more often and leave the chameleon to produce the rest of the D3 from its exposure to the UVB.

Many people use Relashy LoD but I can't speak for it since I haven't used it.

Gutloading....needs improving ...see chart ion the post by @JoXie411 above.

I have for years used the long linear ReltiSun 5.0 UVB bulbs and regular household incandescent bulbs for a basking area.

I hope this helps!
 

Mmoreno1368

New Member
Can you please post a couple more photos so I can look at his arms?
I think they may be showing signs of MBD and the fact that he's not using his tongue could be an indicator of that too.

His eyes are shut in the photo...is it bedtime or do they stay shut during the daytime?

If you're going to dust with the powder I recommend you dust at most feeding lightly with the RepCal phos free calcium at almost every feeding...twice a month lightly with a phos free calcium /D3. Powder and twice a month lightly with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A . Vitamin A from preformed sources can build up in the system so this leaves it up to you to decide if/when your chameleon needs some prEformed vitamin A. Also D3 from supplements can build up so we don't dust more often and leave the chameleon to produce the rest of the D3 from its exposure to the UVB.

Many people use Relashy LoD but I can't speak for it since I haven't used it.

Gutloading....needs improving ...see chart ion the post by @JoXie411 above.

I have for years used the long linear ReltiSun 5.0 UVB bulbs and regular household incandescent bulbs for a basking area.

I hope this helps!

His eyes were closed in the picture because he had just went to sleep.
 

Mmoreno1368

New Member
These were some photos of him several weeks again in his older smaller enclosure....he wasn’t very happy with me lol
I feel bad about him being in a bad situation before I took over care of him. I’m trying my darnedest to get him healthy and thriving. Worked by butt off building his new enclosure by hand lol
 

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Thatwizard420

Avid Member
These were some photos of him several weeks again in his older smaller enclosure....he wasn’t very happy with me lol
I feel bad about him being in a bad situation before I took over care of him. I’m trying my darnedest to get him healthy and thriving. Worked by butt off building his new enclosure by hand lol
His hind legs do not look all too muscular by his ankles. Does he have a strong grip? (I know you said you don't handle him at all)
I don't want to contradict a fellow forum Member but Devil's Ivy (Pothos) is not poisonous to a cham, Money Tree is though. (The white sap)
 

Mmoreno1368

New Member
His hind legs do not look all too muscular by his ankles. Does he have a strong grip? (I know you said you don't handle him at all)
I don't want to contradict a fellow forum Member but Devil's Ivy (Pothos) is not poisonous to a cham, Money Tree is though. (The white sap)

His grip appears to be fine as I have not seen him struggle much with climbing...
 
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