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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11466
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My chameleon is 8 months old and last week I have noticed

Customer Question

My chameleon is 8 months old and for the last week I have noticed her being weak, she stays on the ground. I gave you calcium and vitamin gut loaded crickets, make sure she gets enough humidity, and 12 hours each of light and dark. She gets around 7 hours of natural uv sunlight. I don't know what I'm missing or how to help her.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear that Chamie is not doing well. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take. What do you mean by natural UV sunlight - does she go outdoors? What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of her enclosure? Thank you.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. It appears you went offline without seeing my request for more information. Because I don't want you to have to wait any longer, I'm going to go ahead and answer the best I can without knowing those things.

The most common cause of the kind of weakness you are seeing is Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). MBD can result from too little vitamin D, lack of calcium, too much phosphorus, or an imbalance of these and other nutrients. That's why I asked about the source of the sunlight. If that light is coming through a window, absolutely no UVB rays are reaching Chamie. Window glass is manufactured to filter out all UVB rays. If that's where the sunlight has been coming from,it's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 in the straight tube style 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. If Chamie actually goes outdoors each day for seven hours, something else is likely to be wrong.

Because chameleons are among the most fragile of lizards, and seldom recover once they become ill without veterinary help, I also recommend that you 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. Here is a site that has a directory of reptile vets:

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope Chamie 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!

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Chamie. How is everything going?
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Do you need any additional information?