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Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 116
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Yemen chameleon not eating or drinking. Female. Currently in

Customer Question

Yemen chameleon not eating or drinking. Female. Currently in shed
JA: I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice this decrease in the chameleon's appetite? How is her energy level?
Customer: Decrease in eating just as she went into shed. Energy isn't too bad
JA: Does the chameleon seem to be in any pain?
Customer: No
JA: And what's the chameleon's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** is about 10 months old
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Storm?
Customer: Only that all temps are correct, set up is mesh, supplemented with correct supplements. No faecal sample been done whilst I've had her but as soon as she next poops I will do a sample
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Vet
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
She appears to be eating her skin as she is shedding but I'm worried she isn't getting the required calcium
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 15 days ago.

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Expert:  JakeC415 replied 9 days ago.

Hi there, you are through to Dr. Jake, Im a UK based vet. im sorry to hear of your concerns with your chameleon, Storm.

a chameleon of her age should be eating daily, we occasionally see lack of appetite related to shedding but this should only be transient for a 24 our period until the majority of their shed has been removed by them eating it or them rubbing it on decoration within the enclosure.

Inappetence in reptiles can be caused by a wide variety of reasons, husbandry reasons are common, its good to know that her set up is adequate though it would be a good idea to double check basking temps are correct, UV bulbs arent out of date ( generally last for 6 months), humidity is correct and that supplements arent out of date also.

female chameleons if well fed can often become reproductively active at a young age, as early as 6 months old, this causes the body to start producing egg follicles within the abdomen. this can often lead to follicular stasis where the egg development halts, one of the common signs seen in female chameleons related to this condition is lack of eating.

if she doesnt eat over the weekend i would recommend making an appointment with a local vet who has experience with reptiles, they may wish to do imaging ( x rays or ultrasound) to check she hasnt been producing follicles which have led to the inappetence. If this is the case, surgery may be required to remove the follicles, if this is clear they may recommend a blood test to check all the organs are functioning correctly and a faecal sample to check no parasites are within the gastrointestinal tract.

i would recommend increasing the humidity for the next 48 hours to aid the shedding process, if livefood is gut loaded with nutrient rich food such as salad and fruit and dusted with supplements then she should be getting enough calcium along side a UV bulb which will aid calcium absorption and vitamin d3 production. i always recommend female chameleons to have a large 6 inch deep tub available to lay eggs if they are reproductively active- they are able yo lay eggs even without a male chameleon around.

i hope all this information helps

Kind regards

Dr. Jake

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
My uvb lamp is brand new.
Chameleons are dry shedders so I would have thought upping humidity wouldn't help much.
I cannot get a faecal sample as she doesn't done a poo but I am waiting on this occurring.
I spray her enclosure twice a day. She has a lay bin at the bottom of her enclosure as well as large plant pots.
Obviously she isn't getting the calcium she requires as she isn't eating so can't get the nutrients from her bugs.
I have got some reptoboost which I gave her yesterday which has perked her up a little.
Obviously she isn't eating because she is shedding and not doing a very good job of this.
I am really looking for advice on how to get nutrients and calcium into her. I'm not sure how to open her mouth or make her open her mouth to get fluid/nutrients into her.
I'm considering mushing some bugs up and syringing them into her mouth maybe
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 9 days ago.

hi there correct gut loading and dusting of live food should allow for adequate provision of nutrients and minerals alongside UV light provision- its good to hear your UV light is new, i would recommend seeing a vet with experience with reptiles for further examination of your chameleon, in the 15 years ive been keeping chameleons, if one is anorexic, this generally means something underlying is occurring to cause this- the most common is the husbandry isnt 100% correct - make sure your basking temperature is adequate as incorrect basking temperatures can reduce metabolic rate and affect shedding, with regard to shedding, incorrect humidity can result in dehydration which affects the cleavage zone- this is where fluid is used by the body to separate the old and new layers of the skin - this happens in all reptiles

chameleons arent animals that tolerate handing well and restraint to open her mouth for assist feeding is generally quite stressful so i would advise against doing this unless absolutely necessary, if this needs to be done, i personally use emeraid for this.

as mentioned in my previous message, young females are prone reproductive conditions which should be investigated.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
How can I raise humidity in a mesh enclosure?
3 sides are covered but the door is full mesh. Maybe spray extra times through the day?
I am giving her reptoboost to help get her hydrated and give her energy. I've been told to not give this more than 3 times a week so my plan is to give it today and then again on maybe Thursday or Friday as I gave her some on Friday this week.
Thank you for your help and advise. If she doesn't pick up and start eating once I've done everything else I will look at getting a vet appointment, problem is the vet I used to take my reptiles to has shut down and don't think we have a reptile vet anywhere close to me
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 8 days ago.

yes you are right that a mesh enclosure is difficult to raise the humidity, if 3 sides are enclosed this helps, increased frequency of spraying will also help. your reptoboost plan sounds fine though i have used this more regularly if required.

no problem at all. if you tell me your general location i might be able to help you find a reptile vet. there arent many vets that are keen to deal with reptiles so you may need to travel a bit further- this is always worth it especially if the vet is an advanced practitioner in exotics or specialist rather than a regular vet who is happy to see reptiles