With the number of people keeping pet chameleons increasing at a rapid pace, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking questions about keeping a pet chameleon recently.
Thankfully, the majority of the questions about a chameleon that we have seen people ask are usually stuff like how to make a chameleon nesting box or how to calm an angry chameleon, that are usually not serious problems, we do see people asking about serious issues every now and then.
One of the more serious things that we have seen people asking about recently is chameleon burns, often from the heat bulb but sometimes due to regular sunburn.
Now, chameleon burns can be a serious problem if left untreated and ideally, you will be seeking professional advice from a train veterinarian that is specific to your chameleon’s current condition.
We know that not everyone will be able to take that path though so our advice below may be able to help some of our readers who have a chameleon with burns but it is not intended as a replacement for advice from a vet.
What Causes A Chameleon To Burn?
There are a few reasons that a chameleon may burn with most people usually finding the cause of their chameleon’s burns to be one of these.
This is the most common cause of burns in chameleons. If the basking spot in your enclosure is too close to the heat lamp or if the heat lamp is too strong, it can cause burns on your chameleon’s skin.
If you take your chameleon outside for a little bit of natural sunlight, they can easily get sunburned just like we can.
Hot Rocks Or Basking Platforms
Sometimes, people will put hot rocks or basking platforms in their chameleon’s enclosure to give them another basking spot. If these get too hot, they can cause burns on your chameleon’s skin.
What Are The Signs Of A Chameleon Burning?
There are a few signs that you can look for that may indicate that your chameleon has a burn.
- Blisters – if you see blisters on your chameleon’s skin, this is a sign that they have a burn.
- Red Skin – if the skin around the burned area is red, this is another sign that your chameleon has a burn.
- Scales Falling Off – if you see scales falling off of the burned area, this is another sign that your chameleon has a burn.
If you see any of these signs, it is important to take your chameleon to a vet as soon as possible so that they can be treated.
How Can I Treat A Chameleon Burn?
If you cannot take your chameleon to a vet, there are a few things that you can do at home to help treat their burn.
Clean The Area
The first thing that you will want to do is clean the burned area with a mild soap and warm water.
Apply A Topical Antibiotic
After you have cleaned the area, you will want to apply a topical antibiotic ointment to the burned area.
Cover The Area
After you have applied the ointment, you will want to cover the area with a bandage.
Keep The Area Clean
It is important to keep the area clean and dry while it is healing. You will also want to check the area regularly to make sure that it is not getting infected.
If you follow these steps, your chameleon’s burn should heal up without any problems but in the cases of bad burns, medication will usually be required.
How Do I Prevent My Chameleon From Getting Burns?
There are a few things that you can do to prevent your chameleon from getting burns.
Set Up The Enclosure Properly
To start with, you will want to make sure that you set up the enclosure properly. This means placing the heat lamp and basking spot at the correct distance from each other so that your chameleon can safely bask without getting too close to the heat lamp and getting burned.
You will also want to make sure that the basking spot is not too hot. The ideal basking temperature for most chameleons is between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have a digital thermometer, you can use this to check the temperature of the basking spot to make sure that it is not too hot.
Keep An Eye On Your Chameleon
It is also important to keep an eye on your chameleon when they are basking. If you see them getting too close to the heat lamp or if they start to show any signs of a burn, you will want to move them to a different spot.
Do Chameleon Burns Heal By Themselves?
In most cases, chameleon burns will heal by themselves if you catch them early enough but they can take a long time to heal.
In some cases, they can be treat by you or in very bad cases, they may need to be treated by a vet. If you see any signs of a burn on your chameleon, it is important to take them to a vet as soon as possible so that they can be treated.
Burns can be very serious and even life-threatening for chameleons, so it is important to take precautions to prevent them from happening in the first place.
You should always keep an eye out for any signs of infection on your chameleons burn too as some vivariums can be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that can infect the wound and make it worse.
Chameleon burns can be a serious problem but if you take your chameleon to the vet as soon as possible, they will be able to treat the burn and help your chameleon heal quickly. If you cannot take your chameleon to the vet, there are a few things that you can do at home to help treat their burn.