Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear Junie B. is not well. Some additional information will help me determine what steps you should take.What brand and size of UVB light do you have? How old is the bulb?How often do you give calcium?What temperatures do you maintain under the basking ligh and on the cool side of the enclosure?If you are asked to rate my service, please don't do that just yet since we are just beginning. Thank you.
We buy lights from pet smart that are for chameleon, of which staff have directed us to use. Temperature is about 72, there is ano air vent next to her cage. The cage is wire and not enclosed tank. She has lots of room to climb on the limbs. Use a water fountain for chameleon from pet smart. Calcium is provided 2-3 times a week. Looks like a rib is poking in her left side. Bulbs maybe about 4 months or less old.
Thank you for getting back to me. PetSmart is known for selling people the wrong lights, and given Junie B's symptoms, I suspect they did not sell you a UVB light. This is extremely important. Can you look at the bulbs themselves? They usually have the brand and size printed on them.
Because I don't want you to have to wait any longer, I'm going to go ahead and answer as best I can without knowing about the lights.I suspected 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. Many of the employees are well-intentioned, but are not very well informed. They sell people the wrong lighting, advise the wrong foods, and often don't know the correct temperatures for the various reptiles. After months of things not being quite right, the animal becomes ill. Some of what you have been told is wrong, and I suspect that is why your chameleon 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. Junie B has classic symptoms of Metabolic Bone Disease. It can take months for MBD to progress to the point where it causes symptoms, and once it does, it's very difficult to treat. MBD can result from too little UVB light, lack of calcium, too much phosphorus, or an imbalance of these and other nutrients. I suspect lack of UVB is the problem. I'll explain. If you don't already have one, it's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 in the straight tube 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. If you have a UVB light but it is of the coil/spral type, that may be the problem. That type is very inconsistent in its output. 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. You have also been given incorrect information on temperature. 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. Being too cold slows the metabolism, and makes it harder to properly utilize calcium. I suggest that you read the information on this reputable site for more advice on care:http://www.kingsnake.com/rockymountain/RMHPages/RMHveiled.htmBased on your description, the illness is quite advanced. I'm even afraid she may have broken bones. Chameleons are among the most frail of lizards. Once they get sick, they seldom recover without the help of a vet. for that reason, I recommend that Junie B see a reptile vet. This link will take you to a directory: http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist In summary, you need to make sure you have an appropriate UVB light, adjust the temperatures, and strongly consider a vet visit. If Junie B were mine, I would see a vet tomorrow. If you have more questions, just let me know. You can still give me the brand/size of your light, too, if you want me to check on it. I hope Junie B will be able to recover. Anna 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 after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!
Laying eggs takes even more calcium out of a female's body. You need to correct all the conditions in her habitat as I described above. As a first aid measure, give her a special soak.Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. add a big scoop of calcium powder and mix it in. Soak Junie B 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 so frail that once they develop a health condition they almost never recover without a vet's help. I still recommend seeing a reptile vet - today if possible. I hope she will be all right. Anna