Are you not seeing any poop in your chameleon’s enclosure? Does constipation affect chameleons and will it lead to serious health problems? In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not chameleons can be constipated.
Can A Chameleon Be Constipated? Impaction in chameleons occurs similar to constipation in humans. Their digestives systems back up and they are unable to drop feces. Keep temperatures on the warmer end of their comfort zone and mist the area to help release a bowel movement.
What Causes Constipation In Chameleons?
Chameleons who are unable to have a bowel movement for over 4-5 days could be impacted. This impaction could be caused by the following reasons:
- not enough mist in the enclosure
- high intake of parasites
- particles in the substrate
- cooler temperatures
Make sure your chameleon is getting plenty of water to drink and mist in the enclosure. There should be no need for anything on the substrate since chameleons enjoy life on branches.
If they eat from the substrate, they may ingest particles that could lead to impaction. Cooler weather slows down their digestion and may also lead to difficulty in dropping feces.
How Do I Know If My Chameleon Is Constipated?
The main way to tell if your chameleon is impacted is simple: you do not see or notice any feces or defecation. Over time, you will get to know the habits of your chameleon and notice unusual behavior or appearances.
Look for some of these symptoms that may indicate impaction:
- recent stool was drier than usual
- lack of appetite
- swollen or bloated belly
- straining to defecate
- feces stuck
If you notice very dry stool or your chameleon loses interest in food, there could be an issue with impaction. Sometimes the feces gest stuck, but don’t try to pull it out. Simply continue misting the area with warm water to help move things along.
How Often Do Chameleons Poop?
Chameleons have different bathroom schedules, but in general, the following tendencies for defecation have been commonly observed:
- juvenile chameleons poop once a day
- adult chameleons poop every 3-5 days
How often does you chameleon eat? The more food and liquid is passing through, the more often it will poop. Keep your chameleon well hydrated and continue to mist the enclosure daily.
How Do I Help My Constipated Chameleon?
Your chameleon needs its enclosure free and clear of any harmful bacteria or particles on the substrate. Since chameleons are arboreal (living mostly in trees), they do not need a substrate with soil or anything that could invite particles that may lead to impaction.
Help your impacted chameleon in the following ways:
- Increase the temperature to a comfortable limit.
- Clean the enclosure.
- Mist the leaves on plants for your chameleon to lick the water.
- Mist their rear end to keep it moist.
- Consider a warm bath for 10-15 minutes.
If the impaction doesn’t release itself, you can offer cod liver oil out a syringe and manually inject it into the mouth 1-2 times a week. If this continues for a week or longer, consider medical assistance from a vet.
Why Is My Chameleon Bloated?
Your chameleon could be experiencing impaction where it is unable to produce a timely bowel movement. Look out for the following symptoms:
- No bowel movements for over 4-5 days
- Not eating, but still bloated
- Lethargy or not moving back legs
Make sure your chameleon is hydrated well with plenty of mist in the enclosure. Remove bark chips from the substrate that could contain particles on it that causes bloating when ingested.
Feed insects that are smaller than your chameleon’s head. Prevent temperature drops that lead to slowed digestion. If you don’t see improvement in 7-10 days, visit the vet to help diagnose your chameleon.
How Do I Know If My Chameleon Is Impacted?
There are five warning signs below that help you determine if something is wrong with your chameleon. Impaction could become a serious issue if these symptoms persist:
- Refusal of food
- Hanging out or hiding in unusual areas
- Dulling of color
- Eyes sunken, droopy or slightly bloodshot
- No fecal matter or abnormal color of feces
Continue to offer gut loaded crickets to help your chameleon receive nutrition during this time. The eyes are good indicator of health. The feces that you may or may not see also helps you understand if things are normal.
How Can I Help My Chameleon Poop?
If you see any fecal matter that is stuck on your chameleon, you may feel inclined to assist with tweezers or your gloved hand. This is not recommended.
Let your chameleon do this independently, but spray the area with a gentle mist of warm water. Do this frequently. A warm bath for 10-15 minutes may also help if there is impaction.
The mist method is less stressful and more natural. Mist nearby leaves on plants to encourage your chameleon to lick the residue for increased hydration.
We hope your chameleon resumes normal bowel movements soon. The substrate is a common area where particles that are harmful for digestion could end being eaten when your chameleon notices any prey.
Clean the area and continue to use warm mist to keep the are moist. If impaction persists over a week, see the vet together and find out if there are any other issues with your chameleon’s health.
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