Chameleons - Little Critters Veterinary Hospital - Gilbert, AZ
I love chameleons and personally find them to be the most fascinating of the reptiles. However, I typically don’t recommend them as pets because they have very specialized needs and can be very frail in captivity with sudden death not uncommon.
-Their feet have toe bones fused into a specialized foot that allows them to climb & grasp.
– They have the ability to change skin color and will often change color when stressed.
– Their eyes can rotate independently.
– The chameleon family includes both egg bearers and live bearers.
– They spend their lives in the trees and foliage
– They drink rain drops off of leaves
– They have a long projectile tongue enabling them to catch prey
– They are solitary animals.
– Males often have head ornamentation.
– They require live food – insects.
– They must be housed with plants to provide them with a feeling of security.
- A drip system must be implemented to water them. There are several commercial products available but a drip system can easily be home made by placing a bowl on top of the cage with a pin hole on the bottom to allow water to drip through the foliage and into a receiving bowl. They will not drink out of a bowl so the water must drip over the plant material. Alternatively, the plants can be misted several times daily.
Each type of chameleon will have special needs, but generally speaking they all require a source of sunlight, humidity, varied insects that have been supplemented, and a heat source.
One of the best things you can do for your chameleon is to provide them with regular sunlight. The sun should not be filtered through glass because this limits the absorption of UV rays.
Problems Requiring Medical Attention ASAP:
- – Refusal to feed
- – inability to open eyes
- – swollen eyes
- – inability to grasp or climb
- – oral lesions
Sick chameleons tend to become critical in a short period of time and should be examine by a veterinarian at the first sign of trouble.