Chameleons shed quite a few times in their lifetime. This is something really exciting for the owners and that makes them amazed and anxious at the same time. Their old skin cells get renewed by the process of shedding when the shedding process is continuing; the creature looks much distressed as the skin of the whole body looks distorted.
- 1 Why chameleons shed?
- 2 How chameleons behave at the time of shedding?
- 3 At what age chameleons shed?
- 4 How often do chameleons shed?
- 5 What are the difficulties of shedding?
- 6 Best Ways To Help Chameleons Shed
Why chameleons shed?
But to keep themselves clean and ready for growth, Chameleons should shed at a certain interval. The top layer of the skin of chameleon does not stretch when they grow in size with time. So the layer needs to be shed in order to grow another layer of skin on the top.
When the Chameleons grows in shape and size, the old skin sheds gradually and the new skin arrives on their body. The new skin makes the reptile look fresh and rejuvenated, so this is a necessary process to keep the chameleon healthy.
How chameleons behave at the time of shedding?
Chameleons act a bit weird when they are about to shed their skin and also during the peeling process. They gape and try to pull the skin from their legs. This is normal as this time the chameleon concentrates totally on the shedding process.
They often rub their body against the rough textures present in their terrarium. That can be the rope made hammock or the basking stone. This way they want to get rid of the dead cells faster.
It may eat less or drink less but you should not be panicked as this is normal. When the shedding process will be finished they will be resuming their normal lifestyle.
At what age chameleons shed?
Chameleons, when they are baby, shed their skin more often until they become juvenile. They shed the skin once in every 3 to 4 weeks. To accommodate their fast growth they shed the skin so often. At the age of 18 months, they become mature and then the shedding process becomes less frequent.
How often do chameleons shed?
Chameleons do not shed many times when they are mature. It may take those two months to shed once. Also, the shedding process takes longer than baby chameleons. A baby chameleon sheds faster but the matured ones take 2 to 3 hours to shed or sometimes it may take a whole day.
What are the difficulties of shedding?
As we have claimed that this is a natural process and there is not much to worry, in some situations you need to be careful about the pet.
If you find the chameleon is shedding frequently and there is not a long enough interval between two sheddings then you should be worried. The pet should be taken to the vet for a checkup.
When you find loads of dead skin gathering around the body of the chameleon but the shedding process is not completed, then you should take the chameleon to the vet as this is not normal for a healthy chameleon.
Best Ways To Help Chameleons Shed
Now we will discuss the process by which you can make the shedding process easy for the reptile. If you follow these processes to take care of your reptile,
1. Allowing the internal atmosphere to be humid:
You must keep the atmosphere of the terrarium humid all the time, as reptiles like chameleons are the creatures of humid and warm region. But specifically at the time of shedding the humidity level of the terrarium should be high.
The moisture in the air will lubricate the dead layer of skin and it will come out easily. On the other hand, if the skin is dry and the terrarium does not contain much humidity in the air it will be a trouble for the chameleon to be chameleon to shed the dead skin.
2. Misting water
Along with allowing the internal atmosphere of the terrarium to be moist, you can also mist the chameleon with water. It will help them to stay moist and the old skin will come out really easily.
You can get the best Misting System for a Chameleon here.
The shedding takes place much easier and the process will be less painful. Keeping the body and skin hydrated is one of the foremost important ideas to help the chameleon in shedding.
3. Not handing the chameleon
This is a normal process in every chameleon’s life, but when they are in the wilderness they do not go out much or roam in the forest. This is the time when you should leave them alone as their body is sensitive and is full of spiky pieces of torn skins.
If you try to pick them up or handle them it may cause them pain. It is better to leave them alone until they have grown the fresh new skin. This time you can make it comfortable by only providing the right kind of temperature and humidity, along with food and water.
4. Choosing Right food
As we mentioned, you should keep the chameleon nourished from inside as well as from outside. Giving food is necessary though you may find the food is not eaten in proper proportion.
They do not eat much during the time of their shedding so when you understand that the time of shedding is approaching, try to provide the chameleon with insects that are gut loaded or powdered with calcium. This is really helpful for them to survive during the shedding period. Learn all about feeding chameleon in right way here.
Calcium strengthens their bone and also keeps them energized so you should be careful about the health of the chameleon and make it eat nutritious food before shedding starts.
5. Rubbing the skin
When the chameleon is about to shed, the dead cells build upon their body. The skins look like flakes and when these gather, this can be a good place for parasite breeding.
During shedding, you should not touch it often or try to remove those piles of dead skin, as that will be much painful for the chameleon. Though you can put some drops of antiseptic on the water that you will mist on your pet. This will prevent the breeding of parasites.
When the chameleon has grown new skin all over their body and still you can see the pile of dead cells around them then you can assist the pet with rubbing the old skin pile gently. This is a job to be done with precision. Make sure you do not hurt the chameleon.
Do not use your finger to rub this skin, instead take a ball of cotton and make it wet with warm water. Now you can rub this wet cotton on the affected skin part.
6. Products for shedding
You can get some products that are sold by pet supply brands. The products come in a kit form and it offers solutions to aid the shedding process.
There are potions and lotions for moisturizing the skin of the reptile so it gets lubricated and the dead skin easily comes out.
Not all products have good chemicals in it, so before you get something for your pet, get it checked by your veterinarian or read the ingredients list carefully.
By any means, do not try to remove the dead skin by peeling it off. This is not an easy process for the chameleon and it will be prone to septic if you forcefully try to peel the skin off. Be patient and kind to the creature and let the normal process take its course.