Research is the most important first step in keeping any animal. Chameleons are no exception. If you can understand their wild habitat and behaviours, and try to recreate this in captivity, combined with the correct husbandry techniques, you will reap the rewards for you and your chameleon.
If an animal is not thriving in your care there will be something wrong. Whether it is the ill health of the animal or husbandry issues, it is your duty as a keeper to rectify it. This could be as simple as repositioning your enclosure or it could be that a trip to your nearest qualified exotics vet will be needed. What ever the problem, their care is in our hands.
We will cover the four main topics to guide you through basic husbandary then it’s for you to adapt these for your individual animal.
Chameleons have the ability to mask illness so that they appear less vulnerable to predators in the wild. Therefore illnesses can be difficult to recognise until problems have become quite advanced. As responsible keepers we have to read the signs. Get to know your animal, what is normal behaviour for them? This will be vital information for an early diagnosis, and should always be done by a qualified exotics vet. Just for information we have listed below some of the conditions we have encountered and researched from various sources but as stated we are not qualified to give advice regarding the health of your pet.
You must ALWAYS consult a professionally qualified vet for diagnosis and treatment.
The illness’s and infections you may have to treat are down to many things whether it’s bad breeding, incorrect husbandry or just lack of understanding of the species itself. Observe your animal, an early diagnoses can be a life saver.
As well as the more common conditions such as stress and dehydration, you may enounter other problems such as eye infections, thermal burns, upper respiratory infection, dystocia, mouth rot (stomatitis), edema, renal disease, metabolic bone disease (MBD), gout and parasites.
Give your chameleon the right environment, a well thought out care routine, choose the right breeders, and the common problems mentioned above will be observed as less frequent.