Do Chameleons Sneeze?

Chameleons are interesting creatures. While they may be different from humans, they still have sneezing in common.

Throughout this post, we’ll explain how this happens and how you can prevent coughing respiratory injuries. Let’s get started!

Do Chameleons Sneeze?

Yes, Chameleons and other reptiles do sneeze as a way to remove the salt cakes on top of their nostrils. It will only last for a few seconds, but chameleons do this to cleanse themselves further. The sniff that you might hear sounds like a slight hiss of annoyance because you’ve probably noticed your pets becoming annoyed from time to time. 

If you move around your chameleon’s cage, stand up too quickly, or do any other action that will frighten them, they will let off this sniff sound to display their annoyance. 

Why Does My Chameleon Keep Sneezing?

As we stated earlier, the sneezing is due to excess salt buildup in their nostrils.

Humans remove excess salt through sweat and urine.

Chameleons have different anatomy, so they must remove it another way.  

Your chameleon keeps sneezing to remove the bicarbonate and chloride stored within their systems.

With captive chameleons, the excess salt is made by salt used by brands as reptile supplement powders or watering your chameleon with saltwater. 

When the salt is released through their glands, you’ll notice the white crust forming across their nose.

However, some pet owners tend to mistake the crust for their chameleon’s skin. 

Do Chameleons Cough?

Due to their lack of diaphragm, chameleons are unable to cough. This can become severe because if they have build-up in their lungs, they can’t clear it via coughing. This can lead to results and can negatively affect their breathing, so make sure you take your chameleon to the vet. 

Although chameleons can’t cough, they are still susceptible to respiratory infections. A respiratory infection is a bacterial infection that affects the airway and the lungs—for instance, making the enclosure too hot or humid. Respiratory infection occurs due to improper conditions inside the chameleon’s enclosure. 

For chameleons, there are many signs of respiratory issues. This includes excessive gaping from the mouth, excessive mucus coming out, breathing problems, forced exhalation, not basking, popping sounds from their mouth, and mucus discharge coming from the nose. 

What is the White Substance on My Chamelon’s Nose?

First off, it’s not calcium. Chameleons need a myriad of vitamins and minerals to grow and thrive.

When in their natural habitat, they fulfill this need by eating a diverse range of insects.

When in captivity, the availability of insects is limited.

So your pet chameleon will need an environment to ensure its insect needs are met. 

New pet owners make the common mistake that the white crust is caused by excess calcium.

This can be due to overfeeding the chameleon of this mineral at times. That is how pet owners make this mistake.

You might have to make slight adjustments to the supplements you feed them, but the crust isn’t a source of calcium because chameleons are unable to process it through their bodies. 

How to Treat the White Substance on Your Chameleon’s Nose

The crust can be removed through consistent mistings or fall off on its own. Sometimes your chameleon uses a branch to remove it, especially if the previous skin started a new shedding. 

If there is an excessive amount of the substance, you can use a Q-tip to remove the substance from your chameleon’s nose. But this is not always a viable option as it might irritate and add stress to your pet. There is a simple way to notice salt marks on their skin. That way, you can get a better glance of the substance in a light. 

There is one way to determine the salt on your chameleon’s skin. Look at the substance where your chameleon is under the heat lamp. By following this step, you’ll be able to see the substance in the light.


Sneezing is a normal thing for chameleons. However, you still want to gauge their reaction to see how severe the white salt is affecting them. Always keep an eye on your chameleon’s patterns and take them to the vet if any issues arise. 

Also Read

Do Chameleons Eat Frogs?

Can Chameleons Eat Carrots?

Can Chameleons Eat Wasps?

Do Chameleons Yawn?

Can Chameleons Swim?

Do Chameleons Eat Spiders , Ants?


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