Would really appreciate some help with our "Boy George"

eddlott

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled. Male. Age : NO IDEA. In my care 4 days.
  • Handling - very little these past 2 days. Aside from trying to help him get on his vines or coaxing his mouth open to eat.
  • Feeding - Crickets and Meal Worms. Dusted. Day 1 he nabbed a few on his own. Hasn’t eaten on his own in 2 days but fed 5 MW’s yesterday and 5 Medium Crickets today. All dusted. Crickets are fed carrots and kale.
  • Supplements - ZooMed ReptiCalcium (no D3). ZooMed’s Reptivite with D3. Alternate now with each feeding.
  • Watering - Mist in morning and evening.
  • Fecal Description - No droppings in 4 days. Parasite check : N/A.
  • History - he was found in a tree in a park in Sarasota, FL(?). The family brought him to the local PetCo. The manager is a friend so she contacted my wife and I. He seemed mostly healthy and wasn’t “cranky”. Stayed at PC 1st night, friends garage 2nd night, my house 3rd night inside. 4th night outside and he’s been outside since. We keep our temp at 77-78 inside, outside goes 88-95 days, 75-80 night with 60-96% ambient humidity… so seemed wiser to keep him in a “natural” environment.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Reptibreeze 16"x16"x30"
  • Lighting - uva/uvb bulb and 100w basking bulb / 50W halogen red at night. Try to mimic natural conditions. Sun up / Sun down we follow nature closely.
  • Temperature - Tampa, Florida summertime. 88-95 days, 75-80 night
    Basking spot slightly higher, but not over 91-92 day. 87-88 night. Have a digital therm near basking spot.
  • Humidity - Tampa, Florida. Summertime. 60-96% daily. Have hygrometer on cage and also mist 2x day.
  • Plants - So far, all fake. Vines to climb, leaves for shade.
  • Placement - Outside on our West facing balcony. Gets sun from mid-day till slightly before sunset.
  • Location - Tampa, FL. Super tropical this time of year.

Current Problem -
Described how we got him in the history section above. A few more points.. He’s got strong grip, but seems to have weak muscles - also seems to be getting weaker.

We have NO idea of his history, age, or anything. Pics provided… he looks pretty healthy as far as I can tell EXCEPT I found him “gaping” yesterday, and he doesn’t seem to be as strong as he should be.

We think he might be starting a URI.. or have a pretty good one. Although from what I’ve read, he doesn’t seem too severe - no regurge, little mucus, with no poop and no eating however.. He’s def. Not 100% healthy.

Saying that the family that brought him to PC found him in a park.. That was their story… it’s also completely possible that he got sick and they just wanted to dump him.

The flip side of that possibility is that he was released by someone, sometime and he was honestly found. There’s just no way for us to tell. But we are going to try to get this guy healthy as he is surely beautiful when he’s all fired up!

I also suppose he could be a wild South Florida Veiled. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t think a healthy one would be easily caught by a family in a park.. Hmmm…

Another thought is that he may just be OLD. From his size and his casque.. He’s got a few years on him.. If he’s in his twilight days, I’ll simply try to make him comfortable.

My main reason for joining here is for some advice. We are planning on starting a Baytril course tomorrow and hope it’ll clear up any URI.

He seems to have trouble releasing his grip on the fake vine and he also seems to have trouble locating a good new foothold.

His eyes are moving and alert. He’s aware when we come near the cage - and he only hissed at me once (although he may have just been wheezing). He doesn’t seem to mind being handled as he’s been handled a lot over the past week.. He does darken when handled which is stress (i’ve been reading).

Going to continue to offer food (crickets and meal worms - both loose in cage and on feeder tongs) and will also continue to “force” some crickets and worms if he’s not taking them on his own.

Any help, thoughts or advice are greatly appreciated. We’d love to be able to get him healthy and happy soon, but in all honesty without knowing a thing about his history, we are worried about big vet bills for an imminent lost cause.

Also concerned about his enclosure… the Reptibreeze is nice, but seems really small for this guy. If the too small enclosure is also stressing him out.. Then it’s going to be tough to get his URI cleared.

Finally - everyone is talking about MBD.. he doesn’t seem to have any leg deformities or breaks. His casque is a little “twisted” but from my reading to date, I’d bet more on the URI than MBD.. but again.. Without any info on history.. It’s all just really a guess.

Photos of our “Patient” attached. Thanks for your help new friends!
E

PS - wifey calls him George (as in “Boy George” an homage to Karma Chameleon)
 

Attachments

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Honestly, he could just be adjusting to the cage, it's not uncommon for a cham to do a hunger strike when put in a new environment. As for the weak muscles, can you elaborate on that more as you said he has a strong grip. My Panther Chameleon will death grip if in unfamiliar territory, but if he's comfortable, like when I hold him, he holds on with just enough strength to be secure. If possible, get a look inside his mouth, a healthy veiled should have a pink mouth if the mouth is healthy.
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, couldn't help but notice you say you alternate between calcium with d3 and calcium without d3 daily. Ideally you should be giving calcium without d3 daily, and then one feed a week should be alternated between a multivitamin and calcium with d3. Also get rid of the red light at night as it will disturb his sleeping pattern. As for the having difficulty releasing and finding a new grip, if he is moving his feet in a jerky fashion, that's normal behaviour, I personally call it the jiggy dance. It's thought to basically help them camouflage in their environment.
 
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eddlott

Member
Really appreciate your input Jevin! Thanks!

The most recent pic of him just laying on the vine is where I'm talking about him not really being strong.. he seems to slowly slide off the vines over the course of a day.. again my sample size is small, only a few days, but 1st day here (after he was inside overnight) he was hanging with one arm then wound up on cage bottom... that's when I decided to put him outside.. Tampa summer has to be closer to normal for him than my 77degF Living room...

Most of the other pics I've seen have them with all four "hands" on vines or branches or at least 2 sturdy and their legs supporting their weight.

I hope I'm simply being a paranoid new parent, but don't want to miss something that could make a huge difference.

Thanks again!!!!
E
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Could be laziness depending on what area he does it in, my Panther Chameleon discovered a vine area once where he didn't need to hold on at all, so he'd just relax.
20171114_174551.jpg

Here he is lazing.
downloadfile-2.jpg

Proof that he found an area that he could just sit.
 

eddlott

Member
Will get out there now and turn off the red light. (maybe he's completely exhausted.. we only put the red on last night). Will also start the calcium daily with Cal+D3 next Saturday.

Again.. with him being so new to us and no history.. I'm preparing for the worst and hoping everyone here will help me get him settled.

Appreciate the input! Thanks so much!
 

cham_urchin

Established Member
Hello! Take him to a qualified reptile vet soon, preferably one who knows chameleons specifically. He needs a good going over. I know he must be very stressed so try to keep things as quiet and undisturbed as you can. Adult veileds do not need to eat every day, and his weight looks ok, so don't force feed for a day or two and let him rest. Watch the poop and urates, urates should be white not yellow to indicate he is getting enough moisture. Misting should be at least 2 minutes in duration so that he can rev up to drinking and eye washing...which can take a minute. And take a fresh poop sample with you to the vet.

You are correct- the cage is too small. He needs a 2' x 2' x 4' minimum. Also your lighting is inadequate. See care sheets in the Resources section of this site and search field for prior threads on lighting. Lots of smart folks to help you here...I'm a semi-newb but I can tell you this much.
 

eddlott

Member
I'm feeling a lot better about it all now. The no poop/no eating has me concerned, but I can completely understand that he's been thru some tremendous stress this week. He's been removed from his previous home, taken to a pet store, then to someone's house.. then to another house.. then to an outside balcony in a cage that he's not used to..

Little Buddy needs to get his bearings. If you're thinking he looks overall healthy from the pix, then I'll stick to the caresheet instructions and ask again when I have questions.

A new larger enclosure will be in the works soon.
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, in my experience with my Panther Chameleon, if he got a little bit bunged up, which he might be, is I noticed a bit of weakness in his hind limbs. A warm misting or warm rain shower in the shower was enough to get things moving again. You need to make sure that he has a basking area that gets to the correct surface temperature. That turned out to be the issue with my cham. Now he's fine and acts tough, but he's always bluffing he's really a sweetheart.

Sidenote related to @cham_urchin's point, be sure to still offer food, preferably from a feeder bucket, not free range, as you want to remove them overnight to prevent him from getting chewed on.
 
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eddlott

Member
A good night sleep may have done the trick... woke up to an awesome present this morning!
(now will scour the resource section to check out more pix of poop.)

He seems to be moving around better today.

(note: Deleted the red-light poop pic... don't want to confuse things. New, accurate pic a few posts down.)
 
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eddlott

Member
Just checked out the full poop thread. Feel pretty good that after all of George's stress, moving and new environs, he let loose. Going to calcium dust a few crickets and put them in his enclosure hopefully he's got an appetite and will get back to hunting for dinner.

Going to be sure to not pester him much over the next few days. Let him get used to his new digs and establish sound schedules.

Thanks @Jevin and @cham_urchin for your input. Much appreciated!
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
A good night sleep may have done the trick... woke up to an awesome present this morning!
(now will scour the resource section to check out more pix of poop.)

He seems to be moving around better today.
Oh yikes... It looks like he may be bleeding internally
 

eddlott

Member
Oh yikes... It looks like he may be bleeding internally
Yikes 2x! Being hopeful, I was simply happy he finally pooped. What are you seeing @Syreptyon that gives you that thought? From the other poop pix in the Poop101 thread, it seemed to me that he may have been bound up as @Jevin said earlier.

If you're seeing blood.. then I would guess parasites or something worse.

Also wondering, as we have no idea of his background... any one have any guess as to his age?
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yikes 2x! Being hopeful, I was simply happy he finally pooped. What are you seeing @Syreptyon that gives you that thought? From the other poop pix in the Poop101 thread, it seemed to me that he may have been bound up as @Jevin said earlier.

If you're seeing blood.. then I would guess parasites or something worse.

Also wondering, as we have no idea of his background... any one have any guess as to his age?
It looks like it's covered in red to me. I can't imagine what else that would be other than blood.

The only normal colors it should be are brown, white, and orange/yellow
 
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