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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11546
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I have a veiled chameleon and he is laying on the ground I

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I have a veiled chameleon and he is laying on the ground I am reading articles to see what could be wrong
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the chameleon. What is the chameleon's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** I've had him for about months
JA: How old is Pascal?
Customer: I got him when he was a baby so maybe 6 months or so
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Pascal?
Customer: I dont think so

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear that Pascal is having this problem. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take.

What brand of UVB bulb do you have?

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

Is Pascal able to walk?

How is his appetite?

What do you feed him? Any supplements?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I use zilla i think its a 5.0 bulb uvb
His hot spot is usually 80-90 cool spot is 65-75
He is walking but seems really weak and tired
He has been eating pretty regular not as much as he use to but he eat a few bugs a day
I feed him crickets and they are calcium dusted

Thank you for getting back to me.

I’ll start with a first aid measure that will help strengthen him no matter what is wrong. Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak Pascal 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.

I'll be right back with some more.

The next thing to do is adjust the temperatures. You have been given incorrect information on that, probably by a pet store or a less-than-reputable website. 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:

My first suspicion was that Pascal is suffering from Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). There is no way to be certain based only on an online description. You have done the right things to prevent that by having a UVB light and providing calcium. However, what pet stores don't tell you is that UVB bulbs with a 5.0 output are only good for 3 months. The bulbs put out both visible light and UVB light, which the human eye cannot see. After about 3 months, almost no UVB rays are emitted, but visible light continues for years. So, if your bulb is moire than 3 months old, Pascal could have MBD even though you've done everything to prevent that.

Chameleons are one of the most delicate of reptiles, and are more difficult to keep in captivity than most species. To complicate that, pet owners trust pet store personnel to give them good information on care, and that doesn't often happen. As a result, many chameleons die young. And, once they become weak or ill, they almost never recover without veterinary intervention. I recommend that you make an appointment. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

In summary, I would begin Pedialyte soaks right away, adjust the temperature, and get a new UVB light if yours is over 3 months old. Also give strong consideration to a vet visit. If you have more questions, just let me know. I can tell you care very much for Pascal. I hope he will quickly return to good health.


My goal is to provide you with excellent 5 star 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!

Hello again. I'm checking to see how Pascal is doing. do you have any additional questions about him?


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He seems a bit better but I haven't seen him go to the bathroom for about 4 days how can i maybe get him to poop? I'm worried his belly isn't breaking down what he's eating
Thanks for the update. The most important thing to do to keep the digestive system working is to make sure the temperatures are right. If they are, there are some steps you can take that might help. When you give Pascal a Pedialyte soak, add an extra step. After he's been in the water for the first ten minutes, gently massage his stomach from front to vent for ten minutes. Many times that will be enough to get him go. You can repeat this twice a day.Because of the fragility of chameleons, I would try to see a vet soon if possible.If you have more questions about Pascal, don't hesitate to ask. Even after you rate my service, you can still ask follow-up questions at no additional fee. Just keep the link to this question and post here. I'm happy to help.Anna
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Alright I will try thank you very much

You're very welcome. I wish you success with him.

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