Worried Cham mom

JordanDip

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, about 3 to 4 months, female. I’ve had her for a little over a month
  • Handling - maybr once or twice a week
  • Feeding - About 40 small crickets(two champs in cage), every couple days. Guy loading with calcium
  • Supplements - Dr flukers of some form, I’m not at home and don’t remember
  • Watering - I have a mister set to mist every two hours for 30 seconds. I just started hand misting every morning and night as well a couple days ago
  • Fecal Description - Seems normal, I was told they were 100% healthy at purchase from reptile shop

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Medium size screen cage
  • Lighting - 150 if day light I believe and then a red night light
  • Temperature - There’s a basking spot mid height in cage, thermometer is at bottom of tank, usually sits about 77
  • Humidity - I don’t have anything tracking humidity level
  • Plants - I have plenty of plants, but they are not live
  • Placement - The cage is currently sitting on the floor, not a high traffic area
  • Location - Colorado
I came home from work last night and she was laying on her side on the bottom of the tank. I judged her and she stood up. She eventually started moving extremely slowly. I’ll attach a photo of her from last night after she started moving and of her tank set up
 

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Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
You have a lot of issues here so get ready to make a lot of changes and spend a lot of money. Your cham looks like it has MBD or is developing MBD so you're going to need to go to a vet. Dr Willems at Aurora Animal Hospital is where you need to go, she is an experienced chameleon doctor and will be able to help you.
Your first issue is that you have 2 chams in one enclosure that is too small for one cham. I assume your "medium" cage is the 18x18x36 which is the bare minimum for a single juvenile cham. You're going to have to get an entire second enclosure, plus a new first enclosure. 2x2x4 minimum so that you can fit a permanent lay bin in your enclosure. Chameleons lay infertile eggs just like chickens do, even without the presence of a Male.
Your next issue is your lighting. Do you even have a UVB light? You mentioned a basking light and a night light, no UVB. Your cham needs a UVB light or it will die.
http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/24...-arcadia-6-and-6-5k-day-light-bulbs-included/
You will need 2 of these fixtures, one for each enclosure. You also need to get rid of the night light. Chams need complete darkness to sleep, as well as a drop in temp at night just like in the wild. Yes your household temp will be fine, even in Colorado. I'm in Colorado. It's fine.
You said you're gut loading your crickets "with calcium." What does that mean? Are you just using one of those stupid calcium blocks? You need to gut load with fresh vegetables. Leafy greens and fruits. See the attached images for examples.
Your misting schedule needs to be fixed. You need to mist for at least 2 minutes to trigger their drinking and eye cleaning reflexes. You also need to get a hygrometer to track the humidity. You're in Colorado, this should have been your first purchase tbh these are tropical creatures and we have an unbelievably dry climate. Veileds require a lower humidity than other Panthers, but still enough that you're going to have a hard time keeping it up here. I would recommend wrapping 3 sides in a shower curtain to retain the humidity in the enclosure. I'll tag a couple other keepers from CO who are used to dealing with this who may be able to help. @Rst_Cham @CamoChameleonsHuman
You need to figure out what supplements you are using, it's very important. You will probably just need to get new supplements tbh. You should purchase the Repashy LoD, it's an all in 1 that you can use every feeding. It makes things very easy, fool proof.
If you dont have any live plants then you definitely do not have "plenty of plants." Live plants help provide humidity as well as a more natural environment for your cham. I dont think you would want to live with just a bunch of plastic furniture and neither does your cham. Get a large pothos at least so they can use the vines as pathways to walk the enclosure.
Your basking branch is far to low to be of any use to your cham, you need to raise to to 7-8 inches below your lighting. It's not really important right now because you dont have a UVB light, but it will be when you get one.
What shop did you get these chams from? If they told you they were 100% healthy when you got them then you should be concerned because that means that your husbandry of these animals is causing them to be ill. You need to make these changes, all of them. Theres no wiggle room.
 

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JordanDip

New Member
You have a lot of issues here so get ready to make a lot of changes and spend a lot of money. Your cham looks like it has MBD or is developing MBD so you're going to need to go to a vet. Dr Willems at Aurora Animal Hospital is where you need to go, she is an experienced chameleon doctor and will be able to help you.
Your first issue is that you have 2 chams in one enclosure that is too small for one cham. I assume your "medium" cage is the 18x18x36 which is the bare minimum for a single juvenile cham. You're going to have to get an entire second enclosure, plus a new first enclosure. 2x2x4 minimum so that you can fit a permanent lay bin in your enclosure. Chameleons lay infertile eggs just like chickens do, even without the presence of a Male.
Your next issue is your lighting. Do you even have a UVB light? You mentioned a basking light and a night light, no UVB. Your cham needs a UVB light or it will die.
http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/24...-arcadia-6-and-6-5k-day-light-bulbs-included/
You will need 2 of these fixtures, one for each enclosure. You also need to get rid of the night light. Chams need complete darkness to sleep, as well as a drop in temp at night just like in the wild. Yes your household temp will be fine, even in Colorado. I'm in Colorado. It's fine.
You said you're gut loading your crickets "with calcium." What does that mean? Are you just using one of those stupid calcium blocks? You need to gut load with fresh vegetables. Leafy greens and fruits. See the attached images for examples.
Your misting schedule needs to be fixed. You need to mist for at least 2 minutes to trigger their drinking and eye cleaning reflexes. You also need to get a hygrometer to track the humidity. You're in Colorado, this should have been your first purchase tbh these are tropical creatures and we have an unbelievably dry climate. Veileds require a lower humidity than other Panthers, but still enough that you're going to have a hard time keeping it up here. I would recommend wrapping 3 sides in a shower curtain to retain the humidity in the enclosure. I'll tag a couple other keepers from CO who are used to dealing with this who may be able to help. @Rst_Cham @CamoChameleonsHuman
You need to figure out what supplements you are using, it's very important. You will probably just need to get new supplements tbh. You should purchase the Repashy LoD, it's an all in 1 that you can use every feeding. It makes things very easy, fool proof.
If you dont have any live plants then you definitely do not have "plenty of plants." Live plants help provide humidity as well as a more natural environment for your cham. I dont think you would want to live with just a bunch of plastic furniture and neither does your cham. Get a large pothos at least so they can use the vines as pathways to walk the enclosure.
Your basking branch is far to low to be of any use to your cham, you need to raise to to 7-8 inches below your lighting. It's not really important right now because you dont have a UVB light, but it will be when you get one.
What shop did you get these chams from? If they told you they were 100% healthy when you got them then you should be concerned because that means that your husbandry of these animals is causing them to be ill. You need to make these changes, all of them. Theres no wiggle room.
Thankyou so much! I’ll definitely be making a run to the shop tomorrow and reaching out to the vet, that one is a little far from me but I’ll call one closer.
Also, autocorrect messed up my lighting, and I just got home to double check, it’s a reprisun 5.0 uvb. Do you recommend a higher one or is that alright? And I’ll be picking up a basking light.
As for the calcium, it’s a powder with d3. I’ll be looking into the one you suggested as well as adding veggies and live plants.
With all of these changes think she’ll be ok??
 
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KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thankyou so much! I’ll definitely be making a run to the shop tomorrow and reaching out to the vet, that one is a little far from me but I’ll call one closer.
Also, autocorrect messed up my lighting, and I just got home to double check, it’s a reprisun 5.0 uvb. Do you recommend a higher one or is that alright? And I’ll be picking up a basking light.
As for the calcium, it’s a powder with d3. I’ll be looking into the one you suggested as well as adding veggies and live plants.
With all of these changes think she’ll be ok??
Which vitamin with d3? Those pictures with correct supplements is a nice tool, use it. I recommend repashy personally. Dust every feeding. If you have a basic calcium with d3 that should only be used once every two weeks with a seperate calcium without d3 every feeding. Theyre young enough you should be feeding every day and as much as theyll eat at this point. Gutload gutload gutload. Your basically feeding them cheerios every day if you dont. Other than that @Daesie11 covered everything you need to fix. These arent guidlines theyre rules and we arent pirates. If you dont follow the suggestions your chams wont make it very long. Keep us updated as you fix the problems! :)

Edit: Something to keep in mind with Vets is that if theyre not specialized in exotic reptiles you could be wasting your time. Even so, they can usually treat symptoms, they cant fix husbandry thats up to you. Also another rule of thumb, pet stores are generally full of poop. This forum is a good source of info, id ask anyone here for advice before listening to a pet store.
 
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JordanDip

New Member
Which vitamin with d3? Those pictures with correct supplements is a nice tool, use it. I recommend repashy personally. Dust every feeding. If you have a basic calcium with d3 that should only be used once every two weeks with a seperate calcium without d3 every feeding. Theyre young enough you should be feeding every day and as much as theyll eat at this point. Gutload gutload gutload. Your basically feeding them cheerios every day if you dont. Other than that @Daesie11 covered everything you need to fix. These arent guidlines theyre rules and we arent pirates. If you dont follow the suggestions your chams wont make it very long. Keep us updated as you fix the problems! :)

Edit: Something to keep in mind with Vets is that if theyre not specialized in exotic reptiles you could be wasting your time. Even so, they can usually treat symptoms, they cant fix husbandry thats up to you. Also another rule of thumb, pet stores are generally full of poop. This forum is a good source of info, id ask anyone here for advice before listening to a pet store.
Apparently I can’t read today ‍♀ It’s Zoo med Repti calcium withOUT d3. The shop I go to is specifically a reptile shop but I’ll definitely be asking you guys for help when I need it, I was super excited to find this.
So are there three bulbs total I should have on my cage? A night light, uv light, and basking light? Or just get rid of the red night light?
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Apparently I can’t read today ‍♀ It’s Zoo med Repti calcium withOUT d3. The shop I go to is specifically a reptile shop but I’ll definitely be asking you guys for help when I need it, I was super excited to find this.
So are there three bulbs total I should have on my cage? A night light, uv light, and basking light? Or just get rid of the red night light?
Get rid of the night light completely. You need a UVB bulb and Basking bulb.
chameleon-uvb-light.jpg
chameleon-non-uvb-light.jpg
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Apparently I can’t read today ‍♀ It’s Zoo med Repti calcium withOUT d3. The shop I go to is specifically a reptile shop but I’ll definitely be asking you guys for help when I need it, I was super excited to find this.
So are there three bulbs total I should have on my cage? A night light, uv light, and basking light? Or just get rid of the red night light?
My local Reptile store hear in Portland OR keep about 10 juvenille vieleds in a tiny cage together with zero plants. They know a lot about snakes and bearded dragons, but they dont know about chameleons. Its unfortunate that this happens but its hard to find a store that knows every husbandry detail for every reptile they keep.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Apparently I can’t read today ‍♀ It’s Zoo med Repti calcium withOUT d3. The shop I go to is specifically a reptile shop but I’ll definitely be asking you guys for help when I need it, I was super excited to find this.
So are there three bulbs total I should have on my cage? A night light, uv light, and basking light? Or just get rid of the red night light?
Right now focus on the linear uvb and heat bulb. See the attached images for reference. NO night lights ever.
These girls will need permanent lay bins when they reach 6 months old. They lay infertile eggs like chickens but in much larger quantities. Please read through the attached thread. I also recommend bookmarking it for future reference.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/posts/1237499/
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thankyou so much! I’ll definitely be making a run to the shop tomorrow and reaching out to the vet, that one is a little far from me but I’ll call one closer.
Also, autocorrect messed up my lighting, and I just got home to double check, it’s a reprisun 5.0 uvb. Do you recommend a higher one or is that alright? And I’ll be picking up a basking light.
As for the calcium, it’s a powder with d3. I’ll be looking into the one you suggested as well as adding veggies and live plants.
With all of these changes think she’ll be ok??
It’s hard to tell at this point but the faster things are fixed the better chances. I would also look into the vet @Daesie11 recommended.
 

JordanDip

New Member
Right now focus on the linear uvb and heat bulb. See the attached images for reference. NO night lights ever.
These girls will need permanent lay bins when they reach 6 months old. They lay infertile eggs like chickens but in much larger quantities. Please read through the attached thread. I also recommend bookmarking it for future reference.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/posts/1237499/
Thankyou!
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there! I second what @Daesie11 recommended, especially that particular vet since she specializes in chameleons which is rare, we are lucky to have her here in Colorado. I don't know where you are at in Colorado though. I'm in Denver.

Maintaining humidity here is a challenge, so definitely get two hygrometers (since you need two separate enclosures.) I have this one:
https://www.amazon.com/ThermoPro-TP-60S-Hygrometer-Thermometer-Temperature/dp/B06XKH666P

I have three of the sides on my screen 2'x2'x4' reptibreeze Xlrg enclosure covered. I use Plexiglas but you can use something as simple as a shower curtain. Here's the size enclosures you need:
https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiBreeze-Screen-48-Inches/dp/B001PHABI8

UVB is extremely important, I would either order one long 48" to go over both enclosures if you plan to set them up next to each other (make sure to put a barrier between them, like a board or sheet, so they can't see each other) or two 24" fixtures:
http://www.lllreptile.com/products/22470-zoo-med-48-t5-high-output-terrarium-hood
http://www.lllreptile.com/products/22467-zoo-med-24-t5-high-output-terrarium-hood

Please Note that you will need to replace the bulbs every 6-9 months since they stop producing enough UVB even though they still output light. Put a reminder in you calender so you don't forget, it's that critical.

No night light, like mentioned.

For Gutloading, use fresh fruits and veggies like the graphic above and for dry gut load, you can use bug burger or cricket crack:
http://www.lllreptile.com/products/31040-repashy-bug-burger-6oz
https://www.amazon.com/Cricket-Crack-Pound-Bag-Gutload/dp/B00BMX4O7O

Definitely gets some nice live plants, pothos or an umbrella plant to start. natural dead branches from outside is fine (I find mine on the ground hiking), just make sure to scrub down and hose off to make sure no bugs, no sap producing trees like pine though.

Have you read the care sheet yet? Please do and pay particular attention to the section on females and lay bins:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

You'll need a night time fogger here in Colorado since its so dry. Don't run during day though. Mist during day and fog at night. How often will depend on your humidity levels.
https://www.amazon.com/Reptile-Humidifier-Fogger-Ultrasonic-Humidifying/dp/B07FKDGKFN

You need to either increase duration for hand misting or use an automated system. Here's my mist system that I use, you just need one extra nozzle to run both enclosures plus a five gallon bucket with lid or similar for water reservoir, it works great! I also have my enclosure up on a stand with a hole drilled in bottom and a bucket underneath for drainage since you don't want standing water in the cage ever.

http://www.joshsfrogs.com/mistking-starter-misting-system.html
http://www.joshsfrogs.com/mistking-value-t-misting-assembly.html

Here's a picture of my enclosure for reference (attached)

I buy most of my feeders online through Rainbowmealworms.com, you'll need variety and they have great pricing and quality. I buy crickets, fly larvae, dubia, phoenix worms, superworms from them. Silkworms through Morifeeders.com, and hornworms locally as treats.

Definitely follow supplementation recommendations, you don't want your babies getting MBD, it's awful. Use the Repashy calcium plus LoD every feeding.
 

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Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thankyou so much! I’ll definitely be making a run to the shop tomorrow and reaching out to the vet, that one is a little far from me but I’ll call one closer.
Also, autocorrect messed up my lighting, and I just got home to double check, it’s a reprisun 5.0 uvb. Do you recommend a higher one or is that alright? And I’ll be picking up a basking light.
As for the calcium, it’s a powder with d3. I’ll be looking into the one you suggested as well as adding veggies and live plants.
With all of these changes think she’ll be ok??
So I think it's already been mentioned, but I wanted to answer as well. The UVB you have is probably not enough, if it is in a dome fixture then it is no good. You need to get a linear one like the one I linked you.
Where in CO are you? If you like you are more than welcome to PM me. I think that if going to the Aurora Animal Hospital really is too far, then I would call them and ask Dr Willems what other vets she trusts around the area. Like weve said, we are VERY lucky to have her here and she is worth the drive. I drove 40 minutes to take my boy to her for a wellness checkup.
You've been given a LOT of information that you need to correct, and I know it's probably overwhelming. I can tell by your questions that while you do want to make improvements, you've missed a lot of things that were said. But that's totally ok, like I said it's overwhelming. The first things you need to focus on are 1 Vet, 2 Lights, 3 Cages. All of those things need to happen asap. Once you have those done, come back here and ask us where to go next. Like I said you're also welcome to PM me if it is easier, but I'm not all knowing. It's always better to be able to get the input of the whole community :)
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Apparently I can’t read today ‍♀ It’s Zoo med Repti calcium withOUT d3. The shop I go to is specifically a reptile shop but I’ll definitely be asking you guys for help when I need it, I was super excited to find this.
So are there three bulbs total I should have on my cage? A night light, uv light, and basking light? Or just get rid of the red night light?
What shop did you go to? Just out of curiosity
 

JordanDip

New Member
So I’m not sure which vet I looked up originally but the one @Daesie11 and @Rst_Cham recommended is only 20 minutes from my home so I called and set up an appointment there and am taking both of my girls in for a checkup in a couple days. I also picked up new lights, supplements, and a bunch of veggies today. And I’m picking up a new cage from a friend on Monday, so hopefully everything is good soon.
Oh! I also picked up a pothos plant to put in the cage as well
Thanks again everyone!
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
5280 Reptile Room. Everyone there is super friendly
That's the only one I havent been to lol. I bought a cage and some supplies from them at the show at the national western complex but I havent actually been to their shop. Based on their booth at the show they dont really know much about chams, so take their advice with a grain of salt. It's always better to get advice from experienced keepers than any shop.

I'm glad you were able to get in with Dr Willems, she is a great vet. She was very helpful with me when I brought Pesto in for his wellness checkup when he was a baby.

Keep up updated with vet results and pictures of your new setups when you get it all done so we can keep supporting you along the way!
 
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