Reptiles/Chameleon

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Question
Why is my chameleon sleeping through the day, she isn't eating much and is normally awake and moving around during the day?

Answer
Hi Emily,

Lethargy and lack of appetite often occur together in reptiles. They are common symptoms but don't have any one particular cause. Any type of illness, from bacterial infection,   parasites, calcium deficiency, egg binding, dehydration or even stress can result in the behaviour you are seeing. Environmental factors such as  too cool temperatures are a common cause as well.

I can't advise you on environmental or husbandry factors without knowing which species you have and how she is currently being kept. ie. temperatures, lighting, water source, diet and vitamin supplementation etc

You mentioned that it is a female. That also presents a special challenge with chameleons. Egg-laying species like veileds will produce eggs starting around 6 months of age even without being bred to a male. It is important to provide them with a suitable spot to bury the eggs and additional dietary calcium in order to avoid egg-binding. Gravid females will often show digging/restless behaviour in the lower corners of the enclosure.

Reptiles

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Expertise

I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.

Experience

I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

Publications
A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Education/Credentials
Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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