Help! I Think I Have a Sick Chameleon! (and other health topics)

Has your chameleon stopped eating? Are you worried that you may have a sick chameleon on your hands? Welcome to ReptiFiles’ compilation on the most common Jackson’s chameleon health problems and questions. Click on any topic to learn more.

In the wild, a sick or weakened reptile is a target for predators, so they have become experts at pretending to be well. In captivity, this means that any reptile owner must be extra diligent in order to notice the changes that indicate illness.

  • Keep a weekly record of weight, feeding habits, behavior, shedding, etc.
  • Weigh your chameleon monthly (if possible) – significant weight loss (10% or more) indicates illness.
  • Prepare a reptile first-aid kit so you won’t be left scrambling if your pet becomes sick or injured.

Disclaimer: I am not a reptile veterinarian nor a reptile health expert. The contents of these pages are to be used as guidelines, not professional medical advice. If you have an emergency, call an experienced reptile veterinarian immediately.


Table of Contents

Jackson's Chameleon Health Guide - temporal gland

Temporal gland on T. j. xantholophus. Contributed by Petr Necas.


Eye Problems

Intestinal Parasites


Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

Mouth Rot


Respiratory Infection (RI)



Vitamin A Deficiency

Need a vet?

If you’re looking for a reptile veterinarian near you, I recommend checking out the ReptiFiles Reptile Vet Directory. Or, consult with a reptile health expert online: is a JustAnswer affiliate.