I just got it. Thank you. I'm reading up on that brand of crickets now, and then will type up your answer.
Thank you for waiting. 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. You are probably right that Juicy Fruit is dehydrated, but I suspect something more is going on. I'll explain. Your chameleon has symptoms of Metabolic Bone Disease. Being wobbly and weak are symptoms. It can take months to 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 from too little vitamin D, lack of calcium, too much phosphorus, or an imbalance of these and other nutrients. In Juicy Fruit's case, a combination of factors is at work.
It's extremely important that you buy a new UVB light.A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand. 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. UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. The lights give off both visible light and UVB rays, which humans cannot see. After 6 months, almost no UVB is emitted. Visible light continues to be given off for years, so the lights look fine.
The crickets you have may be healthy, but being gut loaded doesn't guarantee adequate calcium. Most of the gut loading nutrients are eliminated in the cricket's droppings within 48 hours. It's important to dust the crickets with 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:
Temperature is also a factor, so it's important to get a good thermometer. 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:
If you hope to save Juicy Fruit, there are immediate steps you must take. Get the new UVB light. Check the temps and adjust if need be. We need to get some calcium into him. Since he won,t eat, I'll give you another way, which will also help with dehydration. I'll be right back with that.
Now for first aid.
Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Mix in a big scoop of calcium powder. Soak Juicy Fruit 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.
Juicy Fruit is in critical condition at this point. Wobbliness indicates that. I suspect the vet you saw previously didn't really know much about reptiles. If you want to consider seeing a different one, this link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:
In summary, buy a new UVB light, check and adjust temps, begin Pedilayte/calcium soaks, and consider a vet viist. If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope Juicy Fruit will be able to recover.
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