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Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17307
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I found my chameleon on the bottom of the cage and can not

Customer Question

I found my chameleon on the bottom of the cage and can not lift his stomach he tries to move but can not lift ... The color is brown
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the chameleon's name and age?
Customer: Hamm and is around 6 minths
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Hamm?
Customer: I tried to lift him but gets too stressed, how can I help
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 1 month ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in reptiles and reptile rescue.

Can you tell me about the set up?

UVB light, how old, linear tube or compact coil. strength and brand?

Basking light?



How long has he been like this?

State to locate a Herp Vet if needed?


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Has a wired cage, with a dripped and a sprayer, I feed him crickets that eat carrots, the last feeding was from petco those already packed .. The light has the two basking light a red and a bright white .. Zoo med brand
We noticed him last night too dark in color on the branches at the bottom of the cage .. And right now is at the bottom and can not lift
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Reno Nv
Expert:  Joan replied 1 month ago.

Do you have one light the is a long tube or a coiled bulb? I need to know if you have a UVB and the age. Very important as this may be part of the problem.

Do you use any calcium or Vitamins on the prey?


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Coiled bulbs the red and the white/
He was shedding since yesterday
Some days I supplement with calcium not every day
Expert:  Joan replied 1 month ago.

What the problem sounds like is Metabolic Bone Disease; This causes weakening of the bones and lack of strength to lift the body. This can be a result of not enough calcium and the UVB light not being effective to metabolize the calcium into D3 in the body. A chameleon sitting at the bottom of an enclosure is very ill and beyond home treatment. He needs to be seen by a Herp Vet hands on. If I am correct about MBD, then they will need to start some calcium supplementation and a different bulb may be recommended. I suggest a Reptisun 5.0 liner tube vs a coiled bulb as it is more effective for metabolizing calcium. Chameleons need calcium 5 days a week and 2 day a week vitamins.

I am going to give you a link for Herp Vets in NV. I feel it is very important that he be seen asap: The first Vet on the list is in Reno NV. I am truly concerned for him. Please let me know what the Herp Vets find after examination. Reptiles hide illness because they are prey for other animals, so when they show it becomes a serious issue. Please hit reply for questions and concerns.


Expert:  Joan replied 1 month ago.

I am checking in on your Chameleon to see if you have had him seen by the Herp Vet. I was very concerned about how he was doing.