How To Tell If A Chameleon Is Dying {7 Sure Signs}

Have you noticed your chameleon has changed his behaviour recently, are you worried they are sick or dying.

Chameleons will usually hide symptoms when they are ill untill they are extremely ill and potentially dying.

If you notice the symptoms in this article, you should consider taking your chameleon to the vet as soon as possible

Signs A Chameleon Is Dying

the signs you need to look out for are

  • Hanging out at bottom of enclosure
  • Drowsy or sunk eye balls
  • Constantly Closed Eyes
  • Not eating it’s food
  • Dehydrated
  • Parasites in poop

More information on the above signs below

1. Hanging Out At Bottom Of Enclosure

If you noticed your chameleon hanging out of the bottom of their enclosure it is most likely they are feeling uncomfortable and they simply resting at the bottom of the enclosure.

If your chameleon is female it could also sign they are getting ready to lay eggs

Some chameleons like to be on the bottom of the enclosure, but if the behaviour is erratic this is a good sign they are sick or dying.

2. Drowsy Or Sunk Eye Balls

If your chameleons eyes are drowsy or sunk this is a very good sign that something is not right. the comedian is probably feeling very lethargic which causes the eyes to behave like this.

Check the temperature of the enclosure and make sure it’s between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Constantly Closed Eyes

If your chameleons eyes are constantly closed this is another sign that they are feeling unwell. If your chameleons eyes have been constantly closed for more than 4 hours or more, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible.

4. Not Eating Food

It is not a issue for a comedian to go a few days without food. it is unusual for a chameleon to go a week without food. if your chameleon has gone a week or longer without eating you should take them to the vets

5. Dehydrated

The best way to check your comedian if it is dehydrated is to check it wee. if the wee is orange or yellow in colour this will mean that they are dehydrated.

The main reason for comedians becoming dehydrated is incorrect humidity levels, make sure the humidity level in the environment is between 65% and 80%. you can track the humidity level using a hygrometer.

The environment should also include a fogger or mister or drip system.

6. Parasites In Poop

You should also check if your chameleons poop has parasite in it. if you do see parasites you need to take your chameleon to the vet as soon as possible.

Also check the chameleons environment making sure that everything is clean

What Does A Sick Chameleon Look Like?

chameleons are typically bright coloured, if you have noticed that they have lost there usual colouring this can indicate they are sick.

apart from the loss of colour you might also notice that their eyes have sunk or that they are constantly closing their eyes.

they will also be more lethargic than normal and are more likely to handout in unusual parts of the enclosure such as the floor

How To Take Care Of A Sick Chameleon

Below I will advise you on what action to take if your chameleon is sick. most conditions can be treated, but some will require you to take them to the vets


If your chameleon is 6 months or older you can give him a shower or shallow bath which will help them to rehydrate

If you think your chameleon is dehydrated you should look for the following symptoms

  • Dry poop
  • Yellow or orange wee
  • Folding skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Eyes deep in socket
  • Sticky saliva

The main causes of your chameleon being dehydrated include

  • Low humidity in environment
  • Environment too hot
  • No access to drinking water
  • They are sick

If your chameleon is suffering from dehydration it is important you pick up on this issue quickly and act accordingly.

If your chameleon is 6 months or older you can give them a shower, simply place them in the bath and gently spray the side of the bath so the water doesn’t hit them directly.

You can also give them a bath in shallow water.  Also make sure that you replace there drinking water with fresh water.


Chameleon can suffer different types of stress, such as emotional stress and physical stress.   If your chameleon is stressed it is important to identify what is causing the stress and resolve it as soon as possible

If your chameleon is suffering from stress for long .s this could lead to other issues such as illness and depression.

To identify a stress in your chameleon look out for the below signs

  • Puff up belly and chin
  • Arm Curled Up
  • Curling up tail
  • Open mouth and hissing
  • Trying to bite you
  • Changing to dark colour
  • Closing eyes for long periods during the day

I will now go through each condition and advise you what you should do.

Puff Up Belly And Chin

Chameleons are very shy creatures and are well known for being defensive and Afraid of their surroundings.   If a chameleon puffs up its belly and chin this is a sign it is being territorial.

 Your chameleon is not feeling safe in your environment.  The most common reasons for this include

  • Other animals near chameleons enclosure
  • Loud noises
  • Other chameleon in environments
  •  Certain smell in the environment

If you have any other in animals in the environment make sure they are a good distance from the chameleons enclosure and the Chameleon cannot see them or hear them.

 Monitor the environment for any loud noises that might be upsetting your chameleon.

 If you have more than one chameleon in your environment you might want to try to temporarily separate them to see if the stress signs go away.

Arm Curled Up

When a chameleon curls up is arm this is because they are scared and showing defensive behaviour.

The most likely causes is something in your environment has spooked them.

The best thing to do is to leave them alone for a couple of hours, if they don’t settle down after this time, I’m I’m try to place a towel over their enclosure, this will make them feel more safe and secure

Curling Up Tail

When a chameleon Curling up tail this is because they are scared and showing defensive behaviour.

This is most likely because they are scared, leave them alone for a couple of hours.

Open Mouth And Hissing

If your chameleon is opening his mouth and hissing at you you they are trying to tell you that they don’t like something and want you to back off.

They were usually puff up their bodies and frequently open their mouth and possibly bite you at the same time.

If your chameleon is doing this the best thing to do is to leave them alone for a few hours.

Trying To Bite You

It is very rare for a chameleon to bite, typically they will warn you away by opening their mouth and hissing at you, you they will only bite you you if they feel there is no other course of action.

If your chameleon is hissing at you or puffin up his body, give them space, do not try to touch or get close to your chameleon at this time.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.