Chameleons use their tails for many reasons as well as to show their emotions.
Chameleon uses their tail to grab the branches and to have a good balance when they are off the ground. In this way, they don’t fall off the tree. For this reason, chameleon tails are also referred to as prehensile tails.
2.Tail won’t grow back
Unlike other lizards, chameleons won’t regrow their tail. If the tail is accidentally cut off or injured, they won’t regrow their tail, and it is not dangerous to a chameleon’s life if they lose their tail.
3.Color change at the tail
In chameleons, there won’t be a different color pattern in the tail. Once a chameleon changes its color, then it is done throughout the body.
Sometimes chameleons won’t curl their tail. In that case, chameleons would have injured their tail. When you see an injury or kinks in a chameleon tail, it is better to take them to the vet.
When chameleons are stressed or aggressive, they curl their tail. When a male chameleon sees another chameleon, it will change to a bright color, and they hiss by curling their tail to show their aggression.
6.At bedtime of chameleon
When it is bedtime for a chameleon or when your chameleon feels sleepy, it will curl its tail. You can mostly see that a chameleon’s tail curled while sleeping for a better balance or even to look small to hide from the predators.
Brookesia chameleon is a type of chameleon from Madagaskar, and it is the smallest chameleon in the world. They have short straight tails, and they can’t curl their tail.
8.Length of the tail
The length of a chameleon’s tail depends on the age and the species of a chameleon. The Length differs from species to species. A 9-month-old veiled chameleon would have a tail length of 7 inches, whereas a Pygmy Dwarf Chameleon would have a smaller tail.
9.Chameleons won’t shed their tail
Unlike many lizards, which shed their tail and regrow it throughout their lifetime, chameleons won’t be able to shed their tail skin.
10.Chameleons bite their tails
Still, researches are going on why chameleons bite their tail. Few say it is because the enclosure for them is too small. It is a very rare incident.
11.Cage mates biting the tail
Primarily we house the baby chameleons together for few months. In that period, there is a lot of chance that one chameleon bites the tail of the other chameleon.
12.What to do when the tail is injured
Injury in the tail of a chameleon can be either internal or external. When you come across any discoloration in the tail, any kinks in the tail, and part of the tail being limp and unresponsive, you have to take them to the vet because that can be a serious injury.
13.How to identify whether the tail is healthy or not
When a chameleon can roll up their tail as a tight coil, then a chameleon’s tail is healthy. Mostly wild-caught chameleons have injured tails, so they can’t roll it, or if they can roll it, they can’t roll it like a tight coil.
Chameleon’s tails are straightened when they walk.
15.Tail rot in chameleons
Tail rot is a severe condition in chameleons. When a chameleon is infected with this disease, its tail gets rotted. If not treated at the earliest, they may lose their tail, and the infection will spread throughout the body of a chameleon.
Symptoms of Tail Rot in Chameleons
Whenever a chameleon gets injured, then that body part will turn black. This happens in the tail too. You have to monitor when the tail of a chameleon becomes black.
When the tail is black, but a chameleon can curl their tail and move normally, the injury is quite a bruise. When they don’t curl up, and it remains black, you have to take them to the vet.
2.Swelling of tail
After the injury, when the tail becomes black and swells, it is a tail rot. In this case, the tail will become fragile and lose its grip, and the tail should be surgically removed.
The infection spreads to the body rapidly and takes weeks to show the symptoms. So when you see discoloration in the tail, better take them to the vet and get treated quickly.
Causes of tail rot
The most common reasons for tail rot are:
- Bacterial infection
- Humidity too high, and your chameleon has been living in a damp environment for too long
- Not shedding correctly and the skin tightens around the tail, reducing the flow of blood to the tail.
Treatment for tail rot
Depending on the severity of the tail rot, treatment differs. Mostly when the tissue of the tail dies, the tail will fall off on its own. If the discoloration is spreading upwards, then your chameleon will require antibiotic treatment from the vet.
Treatment may include one or more of the following:
- Careful monitoring, examination, diagnosis, and treatments
- Surgical removal of the tail
- Cream to keep tail soft and encourage it to fall off on its own
- Veterinary assistance in removing retained shed
- Review habitat regarding diet, heat, humidity, and lighting
It would be great if the tail rot is not spread to the entire body of a chameleon and the diseased tail has been removed before the spread. In that case, after the treatment, your pet will live a happy and everyday life.
Majorly the tail won’t fall off, and it requires surgery to remove the tail. In that surgery, the part till the discoloration is removed by anesthetizing a chameleon. After the surgery, the vet will completely close the region to reduce the risk of debris and any other infections.
How to prevent tail rot
The main reason for the tail rot in chameleons is the increase in the humidity level of the cage. Consider you are walking in a damp region for days, then obviously, your feet will begin to rot. The same will occur for a chameleon tail.
You need to ensure that the humidity within a chameleon enclosure is between 65% and 80%. If you allow it to go higher than this, your chameleon will be living in a damp environment, which is not suitable for their overall health.
Mist up to several times a day to keep humidity levels at optimum to ensure your pet remains comfortable and healthy.
The standard way you should use is always by feeding the insects with vitamin enrich foods like
- collard greens
- ground legumes
- mustard greens
- rolled oats
- sweet potatoes
The other way is by dusting the insects with multivitamin powder. Dusting should be done once every two weeks. Make sure whatever vitamin product you get, the powder should have Vitamin A in the ingredient’s list.
For Veiled and panther chameleons,
- Calcium without D3 – Should be provided at every feed
- Calcium with D3 – Every other week
- Multivitamins – Every other week
For Jackson Chameleons,
- Calcium without D3 – Should be provided twice a week
- Calcium with D3 – Once a month
- Multivitamins – Once a month
For Male Chameleon:
Calcium without d3: 3 to 4 days a week for the male.
For Female Chameleon:
Calcium without d3: 4 to 5 days a week for the female.
Clean the cage of your pet chameleon
The clean cage and surroundings make a chameleon happy. They are sensitive animals, so their cage must be sanitized repeatedly to make their lives more comfortable.
We should use detergents to clean the cage as they keep hygiene and bacterias away from the pet chameleons. There are no special detergents to clean the cage. You can use any detergents which can remove stains.
Here are some tips for cleaning the pet’s cage through detergents:
- Wipe down the surfaces of the cage using an antibacterial surface spray and a damp cloth.
- Clean the walls and floor of the cage using warm water and soap.
- Use a putty knife or scraper to remove them when you find tough spots, and make sure you have a thoroughly cleaned cage for your pet.
- Use the toothbrush and soap to clean the corners of the areas of your chameleon’s cage.
- Rinse all the items you’ve cleaned through any soap.
- And finally, allow your pet chameleon’s cage to dry and then place your pet back in the cage.