Is it possible for a chameleon who has recently seizured to pull through? he has lost his ability to balance and wont

Expert's Assistant chatimg
Customer: is it possible for a chameleon who has recently seizured to pull through? he has lost his ability to balance and wont eat. he will drink and is being force fed through a syringe. his color looks great its just he has lost his coordination and stays at the bottom of the cage. thanks so much

hes a 2 yo mellers cham, currently eating grasshoppers and crickets, poop is normal, drinks a lot (no surprise) relatively healthy, he did get an infection at the end of his tail that rotted off. he seems to be doing fine other than that. then this past weekend he had 10 seizures turned grey like he was about to die. he came out alive after all that. his color is perfect and everything. hes just not all there mentally. his eyes wander and he leans over and loses coordination. is this permanent damage? and is there any chance at all he can regain control and live a decent life?
Answered by Anna in 13 mins 12 years ago
30+ years of experience

17,026 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary


Whether he can recover will depend on the cause of the seizures. some additional information will be useful.

What size and brand of UVB light do you use? Is the bulb a spiral type or a straight tube? how old is the bulb?

Do you use a calcium supplement? If yes, doe sit also contain vitamin D3? How often do you use it?

What are the temperatures on the warm and cool sides of the cage?

Thank you.


i forget the brand of the uv bulb, but its definitely 10w. i understand 10 may be too much but its not that close to him... it is a straight bulb and i have been using it since i have had him so just about 2 yrs. i do use calcium but not as much as i should. i heard this could be the cause of the seizure too. maybe 1 or 2 feedings every month i will use the powder with D3.


temp stays 75-79 on cool and 82 ish on warm side. i use a repti fogger to keep humidity up. he loves that thing he will sit in front of it and fall asleep in the moisture.


i dont always have the heat lamp on for him because its been so hot out the house is so warm. i dont want to fry him


in all honesty im not sure what is causing it. we moved him into a newer and bigger cage so he is definitely happier with more room. hes got 2 live umbrella plants. everything was fine until last month he got an infection on the tip of his tail which caused him to lose it. he remained healthy his color vibrant and he seemed unaffected. well the tip of the tail fell off and its still healing but he seems fine. then this weekend my fiance found him seizuring.


he hasnt been eating much the past 2 weeks. usually he takes from my hand. but im not sure if hes just grumpy or being fussy?


anyways, thats what has happened leading up to this


please let me know if you need more info.


By the way, ever since yesterday i have been mashing up crickets with calcium powder and water and feeding it to him via syringe. he doesnt open his mouth to eat so i have to force it. but he definitely takes water without any forcing

Thank you for getting back to me. seizures, weakness, and in-coordination-ordination are all signs of Metabolic Bone Disease. that's the first thing I suspected when I read your post, but i needed to know about the UVB light to rule out other conditions. MBD is caused by imbalances in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. The most common cause is a lack of UVB light. second is lack of calcium. Both are probably factors in your chameleon's problem. While we can't be certain without a physical exam, your chameleon probably has MBD.

You need to buy a new UVB bulb as soon as possible. The lights are only good for 6 months, so your chameleon has been without UVB light for 1 1/2 years. I'll explain. UVB rays are not visible to the human eye. UVB bulbs give off both visible light and UVB rays. After 6 months, almost no UVB light is emitted, even though the visible light makes us think the bulb is still working. A light with an output of 10.0 is not too strong. If it actually says watts, the light never did give off any UVB light. UVB output is measured in percent output. I recommend a Reptisun 10.0 in a straight tube. 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. The prey animals you feed should be dusted with calcium.

Tonight, you should prepare a special soak for your chameleon. Buy some unflavored Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Add a good-size scoop of calcium powder, and mix it in as well as you can. Soak your chameleon for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents, so make the water deep enough to cover the vent.

Also buy the UVB light tonight if you can. It should be on your chameleon for 14 hours per day. These two steps are the minimum that must be done. If the MBD is not too advanced, that may be enough. However, because chameleons are so delicate, I recommend that you make an appointment with a reptile vet. This link will take you to a directory of them:

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your chameleon will reach a full recovery.


i cannot get a UV bulb until tomorrow evening. every place that would sell them are closed by now. i can get pedialyte and try that. also, i did try putting calcium in water in a spray bottle and soaked him. is that better than nothing?


thanks so much i had NO idea UV bulbs are only good 6 months wow!!!

One more day without the UVB won't make much difference. Reptiles can absorb fluids and nutrients through their vents, and that's why the Pedilayte and calcium in the water will work. Not much is absorbed through the skin. Be sure to supervise the bath closely to keep his head out of the water.

I hope the condition isn't too advanced and he will respond to treatment.


(If you've found my answer helpful, please click once on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)MsAM40407.0410952546
Read less
17,026 satisfied customers
30+ years of experience
+ years of experience

17026 satisfied customers



Licensed veterinarians

31,131 satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Pearl Wilson, Veterinarian's Assistant
116 Veterinarians are online right now.
Related Veterinary Questions
I believe my juvenile crested gecko has tail rot and would
Dr Adrien
1,648 Satisfied Customers
I have a chameleon who refuses to eat looks bloated and is
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
327 Satisfied Customers
My chameleon is dark and weak. T. Yesterday he was fine. He
Pet Specialist
8,414 Satisfied Customers
My chameleon is laying on the ground and seems weak4. He ate
Reptile Expert, Biologist
14,866 Satisfied Customers
I recently got a 10-month-old Jackson's Chameleon. Her
Veterinary Technician
9,649 Satisfied Customers
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
Sarahesq and 87 other Veterinarian specialists are ready to help you.
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.
Why you’ll love JustAnswer
JustAnswer is the best way to get expertise on-demand from doctors, lawyers, vets, mechanics and more. Since 2003, we’ve helped more than 9 million people in 196 countries and have an A+ rating with BBB and a 9.6/10 rating with TrustPilot.
Highly rated, verified Experts
We pride ourselves in our 8-step verification process including license and credential checks. Vetted by us and rated by customers, like you.
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like ...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
JustAnswer, Professional Services  General, San Francisco, CA
Google reviews
TrustPilot Reviews