Has your chameleon recently been not eating anything? Are you worried about this affecting their health badly as they starve themselves to the point of falling extremely weak and acquiring terrible diseases?
Why won’t my chameleon eat, that is a question which may often come to the mind of a chameleon handler as they might eventually encounter this sort of behavior from their chameleon.
As chameleons are complex reptiles, it is important to get know-how about the environment they prefer and the diet that is the best for them. Just keep reading below to more!
Why is my chameleon not eating
Why won’t my chameleon eat? Why is he refusing to eat anything? Chameleons are generally not heavy eaters as Chameleons generally can thrive on water alone for up to a week alone.
The problem that might possibly arise is when your chameleon still doesn’t eat after more than a week, some of the reasons listed below can affect a chameleon’s appetite:
Your Chameleon is shedding her skin
If you have a young chameleon that is currently growing up, they will shed their skins more than usual and therefore may have a reduced appetite and eat less, in this case, not eating for a week would be a normal thing for the chameleon, there is nothing to be alarmed for in this case.
Your Chameleon might be in Stress
Stress can be a daunting problem for a chameleon, as too much of stress can even prove to be fatal for them. A chameleon in times of stress may display symptoms such as aggressive behavior, reduction in appetite along with hiding from the owner.
Your Chameleon getting aged
If your chameleon happens to be getting older, then they might just need to eat less as they advance into their final stages, an average chameleon’s age is between 2-7 years, which keeping in mind, and their diet should be adjusted accordingly.
Check this article to learn How to Tell if a Chameleon is Dying, Learn if Your Chameleon Sick
Your Chameleon need mating
Like it or not, every animals, whether biped or not, at one point or the will express a desire to mate and reproduce. This goes for reptiles too. A chameleon will often put food on the afterburner as they look for a female companion to mate with while fighting off other male competitors who are also looking for the same.
If you are not intending to breed chameleons, then it would be a good idea to keep the female and male chameleons away from each other in the same house.
Your Chameleon might be in pain
A chameleon will also refuse to eat food if they are possibly in pain, it could be a result of impaction (undigested food or a foreign object in the digestive system), or even MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease).
Parasites might also have infested your chameleon body, this can stem from them being fed earthworms or any sort of worm which are mainly wild and are not cleaned.
In this case, it would be a good idea to get your chameleon checked up by an animal vet before taking any further action.
Besides these, you may also check for whether the food you are serving them is up to their satisfaction or if the environment the chameleon currently is in might just be making them rather restless.
Check this article to learn What do Chameleons Eat. List of Worms, Insects and Fruits
Why won’t my chameleon eat? There might be some underlying issue possibly, in which case it would be important to get your chameleon checked up by an animal vet.
Will a chameleon starve itself?
Why won’t my chameleon eat and will it starve itself? Chameleons, owing to their defensive and slightly predatory nature, will try to keep whatever sort or pain or hunger they are experiencing to themselves.
This sort of behavior can especially come into effect if a chameleon is not served their usual food, is feeling ill or is shedding skin, a chameleon can indeed potentially starve itself till they are unable to eat by themselves which may result in the chameleon handler force feeding the chameleon to keep them going.
Check this article to know How Long Can Chameleons Go Without food and water.
The one thing that is important to look for when a chameleon is starving itself is for the reason why they are doing so, as there might be a reason for this unhealthy behavior as starvation may eventually result in the development of Metabolic Bone Disease.
How do you force feed a chameleon?
Force feeding in general should be a last resort as a chameleon or any animal for that matter will experience immense stress due to the effort of force feeding them.
The most recommended method for force feeding a chameleon if they absolutely refuse to eat anything is to use a syringe to try and gently squirt them with a vitamin supplement.
Or in worse cases, picking and opening their mouth to squirt the fluids from the syringe inside or feed them a worm such as a mealworm, you may do this by gently holding them from behind their jaws and making them open their mouth.
It is important to note that this may not always work and may cause your chameleon a lot of stress along with a potential for damaging their body, hence it is recommended to get them checked up by an animal vet before doing this.
Otherwise, you may also try the ‘shower’ method, which is essentially getting in a shower with your chameleon, putting a fake or real plant in such a way that the showerhead water bounces of the plant to the wall, releasing amounts of mists which may rehydrate a dehydrated and starved chameleon.
Why won’t my chameleon eat? There can be several reasons for a chameleon not eating food such as getting served the same thing and getting fed up with it or not receiving their favorite food, but you should get your chameleon checked up by a vet for any sort of deeper underlying medical condition in case your chameleon refuses to eat for weeks altogether.