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Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11383
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My chameleon hasn't eaten a couple of weeks and is

Customer Question

My chameleon hasn't eaten for for a couple of weeks and is very weak is there anything I can do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear of this problem.
I'm going to start you out with a first aid measure to take. Buy some unflavored Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your chameleon for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent.Be sure to supervise closely.
Chameleons are one of the most delicate of reptiles, and are more difficult to keep in captivity than most species. Once they become ill, they seldom get well without the help of a good reptile vet. for that reason, I recommend that you schedule a vet appointment as soon as you can. This site has a directory of them:
http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist
Next you need to make sure all conditions in your chameleon's enclosure are optimal. Pet store personnel often give out incorrect information on care. In case that happened to you, I'll give you a summary. Chameleons are adaptable to temperature extremes in their wild habitat, but there they can move around to find warmer or cooler spots. In a cage they have no choice. After months of being too cold, illness often develops. The coldest part of the cage should be 82.5*F. There should be a warm basking area that is kept at 89*F to 113*F. That sounds hot to us, but to a chameleon, it is just right. at night the temperature can be allowed to drop to 72*F to 79*F. Use a good digital probe thermometer to measure the temperature. You can adjust the temperature by raising or lowering the fixture or by changing the bulb to one with higher or lower wattage. If you have to lower the fixture, don't put it so low that your chameleon can touch it and be burned. I suggest that you read the information on this site for more advice on care:
http://www.kingsnake.com/rockymountain/RMHPages/RMHveiled.htm
Prey should be dusted in plain calcium powder. Chameleons also need plant foods. One of the easiest ways to provide them is to grow live plants in the cage. Live plants also keep the humidity level up. This site has lists of safe and unsafe plants:
http://www.anapsid.org/resources/plants2.html
You can also feed collard greens and other purchased greens. This site has great information on what vegetables to feed, and how often:
http://www.repticzone.com/articles/lettuceandleavesstaples.html
Make sure you have a fresh light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand that does. If you choose another brand be absolutely certain it provides UVB rays. Don't take the word of pet store personnel, but read it for yourself. Full-spectrum, DayGlo, daylight, UV, and UVA are NOT the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to a reptile’s health. Without this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because they won't be able to produce vitamin D. Vitamin supplements are not a good replacement for the proper lighting. MBD causes a very slow and painful death. UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. Light that comes through a window isn't sufficient because the glass filters out the UVB rays.
In summary, begin Pedialyte soaks right away to combat dehydration, schedule a vet visit, and make sure all conditions are right.If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your chameleon will reach a full recovery.
Anna
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