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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11548
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My chameleons my chameleon is a male and the past few days

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My chameleons my chameleon is a male and the past few days he has been sitting on the floor and I don't know why and I am getting a bit worried his feet don't look very good they look like his body is to heavy for his feet and he is sheading at the moment so he is not eating but I love him and I don't want him to die what shall I do?

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 XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. Some additional information will be helpful.

What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of the enclosure?

What brand and size of UVB light do you have? How old is the bulb? Is it a straight tube or a coil/spiral type?

Do you give Roy any calcium supplements?

What is the humidity level in his home?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


The tempreture is about 65 degrees the brand of the light is a reflector light it is 60 w I don't give him any calcium and I don't know what humidity level it is and the bulb is about 2 months old

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Oh and it is a tube light

Thank you for getting back to me. I’m working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. (I am not a fast typist). Please don’t respond to this post as that can lock me out of the question. I’ll be back shortly.
Thank you for waiting. I suspect you got your information on care from a pet store. Most people do. While we should be able to rely on such information, unfortunately, it is often wrong. They sell people the wrong lighting, advise the wrong foods, and often don't know the correct temperatures for the various reptiles. After months or years of things not being quite right, the animal becomes ill. Almost everything you have been told is wrong, and i suspect that is why Roy is having so much trouble. Even though you have been trying so hard to keep her healthy, when you didn't have correct information to begin with, things are going wrong. I'm going to give you some measures to take.

As a first aid measure, Buy an electrolyte solution.In the UK, it would be a product called Lectaid, which is sold in pet stores. Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Lectaid. Stir in a big spoonful of calcium powder. Soak Roy 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.

Roy has symptoms of Metabolic Bone Disease. It can take years for MBD to progress to the point where it causes symptoms, and once it does, it's very difficult to treat. MBD can result form too little vitamin D, lack of calcium, too much phosphorus, or an imbalance of these and other nutrients. The most common cause is a lack of UVB light. Most reflector lights do not provide UVB. UVB output/size is measured in percent output, such as 10.0, not watts. It's extremely important that you buy an additional 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. It's also essential that Ray be given a calcium supplement. His prey insects should be dusted with plain (that means no vitamin D3 or phosphorus) calcium powder .

You have been given incorrect information on temperature. At 80*F, the cage is cold, and that alone will result in illness. 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:

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:

You can also feed collard greens and other purchased greens. This site has great information on what vegetables to feed, and how often:

Finally, you should make an appointment with a reptile vet. The vet can make a certain diagnosis of the problem, which of course is impossible with only an online description. Then, if MBD is present, the damage will have to be assessed, followed by proper treatment. If it turns out MBD is not the problem, the vet will be able to determine what is wrong, and treat that. This link will take you to a directory of UK reptile vets:

Once a chameleon gets sick, it almost never recovers without veterinary care. I recommend that you correct all the conditions in your chameleon's habitat, start giving Lectaid soaks, and schedule a vet appointment.

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


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!
Anna and other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So if it is mbd will the vet be able to recover Roy and I am of on holiday on Friday and the reptile shop is looking after Roy will they be able to do anything to help him

Vets have extra strength calcium formulations that can help, but you have to take care fo everything at home, too. The vet visit, the UVB light, calcium supplementation, and proper temperatures are all essential for a recovery. The reptile shop can provide UVB lighting, Lectaid/calcium soaks, proper temperatures, and calcium supplementation, just as you cna t home. From what you have described, Roy is very ill, and treatment must begin quickly if you hope to save him.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Bit I don't have any of that stuff that you said and I don't have time to go and get any of it so what can I so what can I do he is sat on the floor with his mouth open and hos eyes closed so what cam I do I want to save him

I wish I could tell you some magical way to save him, but I won't lie to you. The very best thing you can do is make a vet appointment today. Now that you've mentioned is mouth is open, it sounds like he may have a respiratory infection, as well as his other problems. Perhaps you have a friend or relative who can go to the shop and buy the things you need, and take Roy to the vet. The vet visit is most important. I'm afraid there are no shortcuts or miraculous cures. I hope you can figure out a way to do what needs to be done.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok but I tryed to ring the vets but they did not. Answer tho

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

His mouth has closed again now

Wait a few minutes and try again. Also, look and see if there is another vet in your area. Sometimes vet offices get very busy and they will let the phone ring. All you can do is keep trying.

It doesn't matter if his mouth is closed again - he is very sick. Just keep trying to reach a vet - the same one or a different one.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok if I can't get one do u think he will be alright till Friday morning

My honest opinion is that no, he won't. He's just lying there, he can't move properly, and he isn't breathing correctly. Chameleons are frail, and they often don't last very long once they get sick. I wish I could reassure you, but I feel you deserve honesty.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

But he is breathing fine and he has been like this since yesterday

He's your chameleon, and you are the only one who can make the decision about what to do. I can only tell you that if he were mine, I would get him to the vet. Since Roy is yours, you'll need to decide what to do.