After we published our article going over why a chameleon may choose to lay at the bottom of its cage so much, we noticed a number of people asking about why their pet chameleon keeps falling be it from a branch or just generally falling when trying to move around.
There are a number of different reasons that your pet chameleon may have issues and keep falling over. Some of them can potentially be very serious where as others are something you are able to fix quickly.
As with all things with our pets, the sooner we take action and start looking for a way to correct the problem that our pet is having, the more likely we are to be able to fix it.
The same goes for your chameleon that is falling over too and we hope that our article will be able to help you work out what is causing the problem.
Why Does My Chameleon Keep Falling?
The first thing you need to understand is that there are a number of different potential causes for your chameleon falling over. As each chameleon is an individual, it may be that your chameleon falls over for a reason that is not on this list.
This is why it will always be better for you to get professional advice from a qualified veterinarian. You can book a video call with a veterinarian to have their check your pet chameleon via the camera on your smartphone and offer their advice if you wish.
Below is a list of common reasons that your pet chameleon may keep falling over but without actually seeing your chameleon, we are unable to offer specific advice so try and work out the potential cause from the descriptions below for each issue.
Metabolic Bone Disease
One of the most common reasons for a chameleon to keep falling over is that they are suffering from metabolic bone disease. This condition is caused by a lack of calcium in your chameleon’s diet and can make their bones become soft and weak.
This then leads to their bones being unable to support their body weight properly and as a result, they will often fall over. If you are not already doing so, you should be offering your chameleon a calcium supplement to help correct this issue.
Your Chameleons Diet
Another potential reason for your chameleon falling over is that their diet is not balanced correctly. A chameleon needs to consume a range of different vitamins and minerals in order to stay healthy and if they are not getting enough of certain nutrients, it can lead to issues such as falling over.
Be sure to check that you are offering your chameleon a varied diet that includes all of the necessary nutrients they need. If you are unsure, there are a number of excellent commercial chameleon food products available that will provide your chameleon with everything they need.
Chameleons need more calcium than some other types of reptiles with this being a common issue in their diet.
Another common issue that can lead to a chameleon falling over is dehydration. Chameleons require a high level of humidity in their enclosure and if this is not being maintained, it can cause your chameleon to become dehydrated.
Dehydration leads to a loss of electrolytes which are essential for your chameleon to be able to function properly and as a result, they may start to fall over. Be sure to maintain the humidity levels in your chameleon’s enclosure and offer them a bowl of water to drink from.
If your chameleon is not receiving the correct type or amount of lighting, it can also lead to them falling over. Chameleons require special ultravioletB (UVB) lighting in order to synthesize vitamin D3.
Without this vitamin, they are unable to absorb calcium properly and as a result, may start to suffer from metabolic bone disease which can cause them to fall over. Be sure to provide your chameleon with the correct type and amount of lighting for their needs.
Correct lighting in your chameleon’s vivarium is also important for your chameleon to be able to correctly process calcium too. Although this can result in MBD, there are other issues that a lack of calcium can result in too.
Issues With Traction
If your chameleon’s enclosure is not set up correctly, it can also lead to them falling over. Chameleons need a place to perch and if their enclosure does not have enough places for them to grip onto, they may start to fall.
Be sure to provide your chameleon with plenty of branches and leaves for them to climb on and grip onto. This will help to give them the traction they need to stay upright.
Problem With Its Vestibular System
The vestibular system is responsible for your chameleon’s sense of balance and if there is an issue with this, it can lead to them falling over. There are a number of potential causes for problems with the vestibular system but the most common is inner ear infections.
If you suspect that your chameleon may have an inner ear infection, you should take them to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. In particularly bad cases, upper respiratory infections can also cause issues too.
Is Your Chameleon Injured?
If your chameleon has recently been injured in some way, this may also lead to them falling over more frequently. This is because their injury may make it difficult or painful for them to move around properly which can lead to them falling over.
You may not even be aware that your chameleon is injured as some of them hide it very well!
How Can I Stop My Chameleon from Falling?
The best way to stop your chameleon from falling is to figure out what is causing them to fall in the first place and then take steps to correct the issue.
Many of the common problems that may result in your pet chameleon falling so much are related to issues with the amount of calcium in your chameleon’s diet.
By chance, a lack of dietary calcium is a common problem, especially for people new to keeping chameleons. Thankfully though, it is often very easy to fix and a cheap reptile calcium supplement may be able to quickly, easily, and cheaply fix the issue.
For many of the other causes of a chameleon falling constantly a veterinarians, examination will be required. There really isn’t much else we are able to say without seeing your chameleon so we hope that the advice above had been able to help you.
Here is a quick re-cap for some of the common reasons that your pet chameleon may keep falling:-
- Improper Lighting
- Wrong Calcium Levels
- Traction Issues
- Vestibular Disorder