My panther chameleon (furcifer Pardalis), is about 2 1/2 years old. Lately I've been noticing he wasn't gripping with

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Customer: My panther chameleon (furcifer Pardalis), is about 2 1/2 years old.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your panther?
Customer: Lately I've been noticing he wasn't gripping with his back feet all the time. I became concerned and realized I had been forgetting to dust his feeders for a while. He seemed better, then I noticed he's missing when he shoots his tongue. Then this morning he had a very runny fecal. All that being said, he's been eating, drinking and moving around normally.
JA: Where does your panther seem to hurt?
Customer: What? I would have no way of knowing if he's in pain. He's a reptile.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your panther?
Customer: This is a chameleon. A reptile.
Answered by Anna in 1 hour 4 years ago
30+ years of experience

17,046 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello and welcome. I apologize for the confusing me niter action you had when you posted your question. You were dealing with a "virtual assistant" - a bot. I'm a real person. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with great st with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles. I'm sorry to hear your panther chameleon is having some problems. You're probably right that this is related to lack of calcium, but some information about the UVB light will also be useful. What brand is it, and how old is the bulb?Thank you.
I regularly change out his UV bulbs about every six months.
He's currently free ranging on a new set up using a mega ray bulb.100w.
He gets regular outdoor time to get real sun when the weather permits.
I don't know why his fecal is suddenly runny. Should I get him in for bloodwork?
Thank you for getting back to me. The first step with runny feces is to take a sample to your vet in a clean plastic bag. By examining it, the vet can often figure out the reason. If blood work is then needed, the vet will recommend it.I'm working on some information for you on the other problems, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
Since you can't call me will you please issue a refund?

Thank you for waiting. It is very likely that your chameleon has developed Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) as a result of insufficient calcium. Common symptoms in chameleons include loss of grip strength and problems using the tongue.Without calcium, UVB lights don't do any good. Also, a lizard needs to be exposed to the UVB for 12 to 14 hours per day in order to metabolize calcium. The UVB light you now have is a good one, but if he isn't actually exposed to it, that doesn't matter. We often see MBD develop in free range lizards. Natural sunlight is also great, but a few hours here and there isn't adequate.

I'll give you a first aid measure to take right away.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 your chameleon for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes, nutrients, and fluids through their skin and vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely. I would also make sure he is in an area where the UVB light reaches him.

With most reptiles, we can reverse MBD with proper calcium and UVB exposure, but chameleons are among the most fragile of lizards, and can quickly deteriorate. For that reason, when ever they develop any health concerns, it's best to schedule a vet appointment. This site has a directory that will help you find a reptile vet:

If you have more concerns, just let me know. I hope your chameleon will be fine.


I just saw your request for a phone call. I am not set up for phone calls, and if I were able to call, all I could do is repeat the information I just typed up for you. However, another expert can respond to your request. Perhaps someone else will have other ideas for you.

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