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  #1  
Old 04-05-2008, 11:41 PM
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Lightbulb Vitamin D3....

Okay, I have been thinking.
Once again this isnt good.....
We try to do our best to make sure out chameleons are healthy.
My question is about D3.
Over supplementing with D3 can lead to all kinds of problems, some include; kidney failure, the calcification of blood vessels and organs, and death.
When chameleons bask on there own they have not been reported suffering from these problems.(hypervitaminosis-D)
They have a safety mechanism that prohibits them from producing to much vitamin D.
The bulbs we use, Retisun 5.0, for the most part supply our chameleons with the "proper UVB" they need.
These are sufficient for our animals to produce Vitamin D3 on there own.
Which is only after it travels through the blood stream, into the liver, and processed
Studies have proved that they can keep our animals from developing MBD.

After reading Eric A's post about how he raised chameleons without any UVB lighting, and properly administering calcium with D3.
For years he had no problems with MBD or similar calcium deficiency.

So, why do we even supplement with D3?
Is it really needed?
Is one-two times a month a good saftey precaution?
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:45 PM
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i think it is for a safety precaution.
If you can supply ample access of sunlight, then supplementing D3 will be absolutely unnecessary.
therefore, in this case, a minimalist approach is best.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:09 AM
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Justin, I've thought the same thing about d3 supplementation. There seems to be a wide variety of supplementation methods by keepers on this site. Kinyonga does mineral supplements 1-2 times a month, others supplement w/d3 2-3 times a week.

I've got 8 chams, all under 1 1/2 years old. My oldest female panther developed edema, which is most likely an vit d excess. I'm still working on getting that taking care of, though it is a very slow process. My oldest female veiled was exibiting the nose crusties, which is also indicitive of over supplementation. That seems to have resolved.

The thing is, all of my chams have been raised under the exact same conditions. In the same building, same lights, same food, same supplement schedule - everything.

Here's what I was doing, supplement-wise:
MWF calcium
T TH Sat Reptivite w/d3
Sun - off

I've changed to:
MWF calcium
T Sat Minerall w/o d3
Th Reptivite w d/3- except for Wendy who gets that day off too, due to the edema.

Everyone else seems to do fine with either schedule, so I'm actually catering to the ones that seem to need less. Most everyone has passed the critical growing stage where MBD is such a concern, so I'm not too worried about the reduced d3 supplementation. Also, if I lived in an area where my chams could get a few hours of real sunlight often, I think I would be on the Kinyonga schedule of 1-2 times a month.

I'm thinking it may be individual to the particular cham on what there supplementation needs are. Unfortunately, you can't really tell until there are signs of something wrong.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:16 AM
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I agree, I've always given d3 only twice a month and have recently cut it to once a month for my veileds and panthers and once every 3 months for the camaroon sailfin. I guess only time will tell.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:35 AM
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I think this is all good.
And not as random as it may seem, these gradual changes are the result of new information, lots of observation and good hubandry "tweaking"
Kinyonga's animals never don't go outside much (if at all) by the way.
Mine haven't been outside since August, and I am down to one very light dusting of Calcium w/D3 per month.

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Old 04-06-2008, 10:17 AM
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Thanks guys!
This thread really went where I wanted it to.
Alex, I use to be on that first scheduel too.
Not any more though, I can remember the last time I gave my chameleons D3.
I think it was about a month ago....
Lets hear what everyone else has to say.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:51 AM
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This is very interesting to us as well. I would like to see everyones schedule they use for chameleons that are able to get natural sunlight vs. those that live in a climate that is too cold to take them outside.

For our adult veileds we use calcium w/d3 twice a month and for our juvenile panther we use it once a week. We live in Michigan so our guys still haven't seen outside yet. What are your opinions on this?
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:17 AM
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Ok here's the question: Has ANYONE been able to maintain animals for generations indoors without D3? Grow an animal from egg to adult, develop eggs, hatch eggs and grow hatchlings - with zero D3 supplementation and JUST UVB bulbs?

I know of nobody that has done this. I'm sure someone has, but I'd like to hear!
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:35 PM
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AFH says..."Kinyonga does mineral supplements 1-2 times a month, others supplement w/d3 2-3 times a week"...I supplement with phos.-free calcium (NO D3) at most feedings, with VITAMINS that have a beta carotene source of vitamin A twice a month and phos.-free calcium/D3 twice a month.

AFH also said..."if I lived in an area where my chams could get a few hours of real sunlight often, I think I would be on the Kinyonga schedule of 1-2 times a month"...my chameleons almost never get direct sunlight as Brad said...so my dusting schedule is really for indoors.

AFH said..."My oldest female panther developed edema, which is most likely an vit d excess"...why do you think its the D3 that's causing the problem?

Eric said.."Has ANYONE been able to maintain animals for generations indoors without D3?"...its difficult to know how much D3 from supplements is enough and where you step over the line and give too much. With UVB exposure being used to allow the chameleon to produce D3, ias long as the chameleon can get away from the UVB it shouldn't get an overdose...so why go through having to try to figure out what the exact right amount of D3 supplemenation is when that's more difficult to do?
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:02 PM
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Kinyonga, I don't know were I got the natural sunlight idea for you. I must have been thinking of someone else.

Also, in doing some research on gular edema, I got some information from one of your posts on edema. I think you got it from chameleonnews.com:

"Vitamin D3
Excess vitamin D3 supplementation especially in combination with calcium may result in organ toxicity. Metastatic calcification and gout are common results. Gular edema or pseudo gout is a common clinical sign of these problems. The pseudo-gout (calcium hydroxyapatite) deposits usually appear as irregular firm swellings over joints in the limbs and on ribs."

You're right, it could be many things, vit a or d3 excess. But it seems to be a result of too much of something, so I've cut back on her supplements.
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