I have a Veiled Chameleon that has been keeing there eyes closed and not been very active or eatting much. Hasnt been

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Customer: I have a Veiled Chameleon that has been keeing there eyes closed and not been very active or eatting much.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long has the chameleon been lethargic? Any changes in appetite?
Customer: Hasnt been eating for about a week or so and eyes have been clsed for about the same amount of time
JA: Could the chameleon have eaten something unusual?
Customer: We provide mealworms and crickets
JA: And what's the chameleon's name and age?
Customer: PASCAL and we believe about 9 to 10 monthes old the pet store didnt know we are just judging on size
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Has also been exipiting different black and vibrant colors
Answered by Dr. Ellen D. in 28 mins 1 year ago
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Dr. Ellen D.
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358 satisfied customers

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

Hi there! Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is***** a cool pet you have! Veiled Chameleons are such interesting creatures. Many of the health related problems chameleons experience in captivity are due to some sort of husbandry issue. They have a lot of specific needs that are sometimes challenging to achieve.

How long have you had Pascal?

I think we should talk about caging first. Vertical space is very important for these guys, so you want to make sure his enclosure is at least 36 inches to 48 inches tall (the bigger and taller the better!). He should have ample climbing surfaces inside his enclosure. It should be kept clean to prevent bacteria and mold buildup. Temperature and humidity are essential. I recommend getting a digital temperature and humidity monitor to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity of the cage. A daytime temperature range between 74-80F is ideal, and he should also have an additional basking spot at around 85F. All heating should come from outside**** the cage to prevent burns.

All veiled chameleons need a full spectrum UVA/UVB light source and it must be on for at least 10 hours a day. This is incredibly important for good chameleon health. The bulbs need replacing about every 6 months.

Humidity levels should hover around 50% and this can be accomplished in various ways.

I am very happy to hear that you are offering Pascal mealworms and crickets. I would caution you to feed live prey like crickets right now if Pascal is not feeling well, since crickets can actually attack him and give him wounds that can be painful and become infected. You may want to try varying his diet with butterworms, waxworms, superworms, and offering fruits and veggies such as blueberries, kale, collard greens or thin slices of apple.

Addressing the above can often alleviate many of the health problems chameleons experience, such as stress, poor nutrition, calcium and vitamin A deficiency. Metabolic bone disease (also another common problem with chameleons) is preventable with adequate UVB lighting.

I would try those modifications first, and see how he does. Hopefully if caught early enough, we can help him feel better!

Customer
his living conditions are adequate to what you have described. We feed the crickets and there food contains calcium and vitamin A.
Customer
He has not been eating anything weather it be live or stationary at this time. We are believing this to be more of an internal issue.

Hi there! Do you notice anything on the outside, like crusted eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing, any wounds or changes to his skin?

Have you tried offering something different other than the mealworms and crickets? Like any of the other insects I mentioned or any fruit or vegetables?

Customer
The only other change we have seen is he is developing more colors, squinted or closed eyes and not very active.

Does he have a UVB light available?

Customer
We have not introduced anyother food at this time, how would we introduce strawberries?
Customer
we have uvb light

That may be a good place to start, offering him something different like fruit and vegetables. You can slice them into smaller pieces and place them in a shallow dish. If he is sitting all the way at the top of his enclosure (as they tend to do), you may need to place him on a lower branch so he can sense the fruit and veggies. Alternatively, you can try offering him small, cut up pieces on the branches he is on.

I would definitely try different insects as well. Changing up his diet may spark his interest in eating.

Did you recently bring Pascal home from the pet store or have you had him for a while?

Customer
We have had pascal for a few monthes now
Customer
Would strawberries be ok for him or do we need a differant fruit

some veiled chameleons will eat strawberries. You can try them and if that doesn't work you can try kiwi, apple or cut up banana.

Customer
In addition would something like lettuce and tomatoes be ok for him

I think it would be a bit off for him to be feeling ill from something like a parasite infection. But it isn't impossible and he may have had a parasite infection from the pet store. Signs of illness in chameleons can sometimes take a longgggg time to see visually so he may have been feeling unwell for longer. If adding different items to his diet doesn't help, my next recommendation would be to take a fresh fecal sample to your vet to look for parasites that may need treatment. Chameleons can have roundworms, pinworms and a variety of other intestinal parasites.

Customer
In addition would something like lettuce and tomatoes be ok for him

Yes you can try lettuce. Other veggies to try are broccoli, zucchini, and kale. I don't think he would be crazy about tomatoes though unfortunately.

Customer
Ok i will give that a try. Should i be sprinkling the food with the calcium supplement?

I would ensure the lettuce is romaine lettuce, not iceburg lettuce or spinach.

I would feed the fruit and veggies fresh, just to see how he does with those. But continue to dust any insects offered with calcium powder!

I am really impressed. It sounds like you have all of the husbandry issues covered that most chameleon owners don't do! So that is wonderful.

One more question, has anything about his environment changed? Playing loud music lately? Other pets bothering him? Moving his enclosure?

Customer
Do to the holidays there has been a change to where he is but the issues started before then

Hm okay. I hope the strawberries and romaine (not iceburg!) lettuce spark his appetite. Also, I forgot to mention before UVB light is blocked by plastic and glass so must be able to reach him through whatever lid you have on his enclosure. So just bare that in mind. Reduced UVB light exposure is a common cause of lethargy in chameleons.

I think we at least have a starting plan. Changing up his diet and making sure it is accessible to him is a good place to start. If that doesn't turn him around I would consider bringing in a fecal sample to his vet to ensure there are no intestinal parasites that are making him feel unwell.

How are things going? Do you have any additional questions?

Customer
Ok we will start there and see what happens. Thank you

No problem, I hope Pascal perks up with some new diet items. Thank you for being such a diligent chameleon owner!

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Dr. Ellen D.
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