Can Chameleons Be Constipated? + Pro Tips

You probably have already seen hundreds of dirty reptiles in enclosures. Well, we bet you can’t say the same thing about chameleons as they’re relatively clean. But is your one looking too clean, like not even a single poop around? Hold on a second! Is your reptile constipating? But can chameleons be constipated? 

Chameleons do experience constipation, just like any other animals do out there. Constipation takes place when fecal waste becomes lodged in the digestive system and resists being removed. This issue can be triggered by causes like dehydration, low dietary fiber, and other digestive difficulties.

But is that all? Can it be a sign of other ‘bigger’ problems? And how to understand if your reptile battling with constipation in the first place? Well, all these answers are about to be on your table in a while.

5 Reasons For Constipation In Chameleons 

As a chameleon owner or enthusiast, you probably already know that these reptiles aren’t the best at handling diseases. Plus, their immunity system is nothing impressive as well. But every disease they get hit with is based on certain reasons, and the same goes for constipation. 

1. Dehydration

The first culprit we can think of as responsible for chameleon constipation is dehydration. As you know, to be healthy and hydrated, these reptiles badly need a steady supply of water. So, if there’s any case of Inadequate hydration, it can literally cause feces to dry up and get hardened. 

This means making defecation can become more of a chore than it should be for these color shifters. But lack of water isn’t the only reason that can lead chameleons to Dehydration. Excessive heat and low humidity in the cage too can do the trick.

2. Inadequate Dietary Fiber

What you’re feeding your chameleons also has to do a lot with their constipation issue. The thing is, digestive health in these reptiles depends on a diet high in fiber. With the missing fiber in their diet, the next thing you can expect is constipation. 

In order to ensure a balanced diet for your captive chameleons, we say you better feed them a wide selection of live insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and roaches. Also, don’t forget about feeding them adequate fresh vegetables and fruits. Don’t worry; we’ll tell you more about this in the upcoming sections. 

3. Digestive Problems

Like any other animals out there, chameleons are not free of digestive problems either. The last time we checked, several different parasites and illnesses can induce constipation in these reptiles. 

Along with chronic constipation, issues like lack of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, etc. can be the signs of a chameleon battling with digestive issues. If the initial diet and care plan is not working out for your reptile, the next best thing you can do about this is let the vet know what’s going on and get the chameleon its required treatment. 

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4. Inactivity

This might sound a bit new, but inactivity too can lead to constipation at times. There’s nothing new to say about chameleons being wild arboreal animals and spending most of their time in trees. And we all know to live and moving in a place like that involves a ton of activity. 

But when kept in captivity, these reptiles need a large enough habitat that replicates the wild to a certain extent that allows them for safe climbing and free movement. But constipation in chameleons can hit anytime if you’re keeping them in inadequate or too tiny enclosures, where their activity is becoming more limited than ever. 

5. Stress

Do you know what we call the biggest chameleon killer? The stress. After all, chameleons are susceptible to a wide range of health problems as a result of stress,  including stomach disorders that lead to constipation. 

It’s too easy for a chameleon to get stressed when it is subjected to frequent disruptions. Even if there are any changes in its surroundings, the stress hits them like a bullet. And once stress enters the stage, doors for issues like constipation become wide open. 

In case you’re planning to take constipation lightly, remember that this issue in chameleons can lead to significant health problems. So, you need to be really fast in identifying and treating the underlying reasons. 

If you’ve got reasons to believe that your reptile is suffering from constipation, make no delay in seeking the advice of a qualified veterinarian. Make sure that you’re reaching out to someone who specializes in treating reptiles so that the condition may be properly diagnosed and treated.

4 Signs Of Constipation In Chameleons? 

Constipation itself is not always the sole disease. At times it can be a symptom of other health issues as well. But of which ones? Well, we surely can take some names like – 

1. Lack Of Appetite

Loss of appetite is one of the common symptoms of constipation since the condition can create discomfort in the reptile’s digestive system. So, if your chameleon isn’t eating or eating way less than normal, there’s a chance that it being an indication of constipation.

2. Lethargy

When a chameleon is constipated, it can possibly become less active and use more of its time sleeping or relaxing than usual. They simply can’t help it, as all of it is part of the agony of constipation.

3. Abdominal Swelling 

If you’re seeing your chameleon is roaming with swollen abdomen, then it’s probably suffering from constipation. When you see that in your reptile, it also may exhibit signs of restlessness or unease.

4. Infrequent Bowel Movements

The average chameleon should be able to poop once every two days. But if your reptile is not being able to do so, or if the bowel movements are remaining incomplete, then probably it’s having a constipation issue. By the way, stools from a constipated chameleon can be small and hard, or the animal may strain during the process.

How To Treat The Constipation Problem Of A Chameleon? 

We know whenever any health issue like constipation hits your reptile, the first thing that comes to your mind is going to a vet and getting them the required treatment. Well, in a sense, you’re not wrong. But there are certain things you can try first to fix the issue. This way might be able to save some bucks too. 

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1. Increasing Hydration

We’ve already told you that dehydration can play a major role in making your reptile constipated. So, the first thing you need to do is keep a consistent supply of clean water available at all times for your chameleon. Misting will also do a perfect job when it comes to boosting humidity and enticing your reptile to drink. 

But make sure that you’re running the misting session more frequently and for a longer period of time. If your chameleon is dehydrated or has impacted waste, you can also assist it in rehydrating by placing it in a shallow container. All you have to do is fill up the container with lukewarm water and leave the reptile there for 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Increasing Dietary Fiber

The next thing you need to take care of right after the hydration of your reptile is its diet. And yes, as the heading said, we’re talking about getting your reptile a high-fiber diet. If you weren’t taking greens seriously, we say keep that aside and foods like collard greens, kale, and mustard greens to the chameleon’s diet.

Also, don’t forget to add berries like raspberries and blueberries, as they too aid in resolving constipation. By the way, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up on the regular diet like cockroaches and warms, which are essential as the source of protein for the reptile.

3. Providing Proper Temperature And Lighting

One of the prime reasons chameleons end up with constipation is failing to digest the food properly. And guess what can trigger that issue? Yes, improper temperature and inadequate lighting. 

So, if you really want your chameleon to effectively digest its meal, you need to get the  temperature right, and the same goes for illumination conditions.  Make sure that reptile got access to full-spectrum UV illumination. Also, ensure that its basking area is warm enough to promote digestion.

4. Encourage Activity

Letting your chameleon sit ideal kind of the same as inviting constipating all by yourself. So, what you can do is give your chameleon plenty of room to climb and play. But make sure that you’re getting your reptile a large, well-ventilated cage to do that.

We’ve already told you about their arboreal lifestyle, which makes them require a great deal of vertical space. By the way, just getting a big place is always enough to get them moving. You also need to set up branches and other relevant features to get them on the ‘active’ phase.

5. Seeking Veterinary Care

Well, you can call it your last resort if nothing else is working for fixing your reptile’s constipation. When the home remedies are failing, and you’re reptile showing signs of impaction (such as a swollen abdomen), you better not make delay in taking it to the vet.

Can Constipation In A Chameleon Be A Sign Of Any Other Disease? 

Is constipation always a disease itself? Well, not always. Sometimes it can simply be a sign of other major health issues you’re probably not seeing right now. Last time we checked, constipation can work as a symptom of the following issues. 

1. Dehydration 

Constipation is one of the symptoms that might pop up in chameleons when they are dehydrated. So, you better take all the necessary steps to guarantee that your chameleon is getting well hydrated again and always having access to clean and fresh water.

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2. Parasites And Infections

Certain chameleons may have constipation due to bacterial infections and parasites in their digestive systems. Make no delay in your chameleon to the doctor if you notice any unusual behavior, especially if it involves lethargy, weight loss, or a lack of appetite.

3. Kidney Or Liver Disease

Some kidney or liver diseases at times can lead a chameleon to become dehydrated or have poor digestion. And you know where t takes to. Yes, the constipation. As there is nothing much you can do about these diseases, let your veterinarian carry out tests in order to check for the presence of these possible problems and handle curation.

4. Impaction

Impaction is a condition in which feces become stuck and cannot normally pass because of chronic constipation. It’s highly suggested to take your chameleon to the vet if you feel it has been impacted. After all, this is a potentially fatal condition for any reptile.

4 Foods That Help To Solve Constipation Problems 

One of the most effective way to make your chameleon healthy as new and overcome its constipation is to giving it the right food. But what are they? Well, here’s your list. 

1. Dark And Leafy Greens

We don’t know if you’re skipping the greens or not. But if your chameleon is having trouble taking a dump, then you fill its dishes with dark and leafy greens, including kale and collard greens. And yes, you can try mustard greens as well. 

The things these foods are filled with fiber and water content. So, if you’re looking for something to promote your reptile’s healthy digestion along with regular bowel movements, then don’t even think twice before feeding them these. 

2. Fruits

Lots of chameleon owners get confused about feeding their pets with fruits. But not all fruits are toxic for these reptiles. You can try blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries if you’re chameleon is roaming with constipation issues as they too, are high in water and fiber content. 

3. Squash

Not every cham owner knows this, but squash can be a really helpful food for fixing the constipation of chameleons. Thanks to the soluble fiber and high water content in the food, which are good at softening and regulating bowel movements.

4. Gut-Loaded Insects

No matter what, you can’t take these off your pet’s diet chart. Keep feeding them gut-loaded insects, including crickets and roaches, as they’re helpful in alleviating constipation in chameleons. But before that, don’t forget to dust them with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements.

How Frequently A Chameleon Should Poop? 

On average, these color shifters will defecate once every two days. Bowel movements are usually daily, but this is not always the case and can be affected by a chameleon’s age, size, diet, and general health. 

Keep an eye on the frequency and consistency of your chameleon’s feces, as changes there may indicate illness. Don’t forget to provide it with a clean enclosure and ensure regular hygiene practices to forestall the growth of bacteria that can cause illness.

Before We Go…..

A disturbed tummy can cause constipation more than anything. So, before you feed your reptile with any food, make sure that it’s not among the toxic ones. In case you don’t know which ones we’re talking about, you can visit our blog – 9 Foods That Are Toxic For Chameleons. We bet you’ll get the answers there. 

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.

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