1st post, worried about ~2 year old panther girl

KoriP73

New Member
Hello! I'm so glad this site exists, I only wish we found it sooner. Bought our female panther in October 2019 (from Petco, ugh, but they ordered her for us, and she has been great till now.) Recently she's been staying at the bottom of cage. Apparently not eating well and just 'not right.'
I had never heard of MBD until reading some posts here tonight. Terrified this is exactly what's happening. Gut loaded her food, got the correct lighting, UV stuff researched, humidity/temp are always monitored and great. We thought we had it all perfect. Have never known or given her calcium! So upset we weren't told, and sadly never even read about this on the many pages we searched prior to and initially getting her. So mad at myself, she is my daughter's pet, who has lovingly cared for her all this time.
My question is this: facing this MBD, I've read possible solutions, but can anyone give me ANY idea of approximate cost? I realize they vary greatly by area/ vet/ diagnosis/ treatment, etc. I get it. But I am also not prepared to have my daughter told that her pet CAN be helped, but it'll be $1,000 (which no matter how bad we'd want to, we simply cannot afford and do not have.) Do not want to have my 10 year old face losing her pet because her parents are currently broke! Just want an idea of averages. Hundreds, thousands, etc. Will research a decent vet locally tomorrow--we're in DC/ Baltimore area, bound to be a few good ones--but also do not want to be taken advantage of because of the bawling kid with me!
I do believe she's beginning signs of MBD, but I'll let the vet formally diagnose. Appreciate any advice, notes from anyone who's been here. Approx cost for Xrays, bloodwork, treatment.. anything will help me be prepared for what I think is inevitable! If we can get through this, those supplements are being ordered immediately. I loathe Petco currently for not telling us, stressing to us, nada. Lord knows we asked ad nauseam what we needed to make life perfect. Honestly, we researched online separately as well, and I, nor my daughter, ever read or understood about needing calcium supplements. So so angry at myself for hurting this poor girl. Hoping she makes it!
 

cruz.m

Avid Member
Hello! I'm so glad this site exists, I only wish we found it sooner. Bought our female panther in October 2019 (from Petco, ugh, but they ordered her for us, and she has been great till now.) Recently she's been staying at the bottom of cage. Apparently not eating well and just 'not right.'
I had never heard of MBD until reading some posts here tonight. Terrified this is exactly what's happening. Gut loaded her food, got the correct lighting, UV stuff researched, humidity/temp are always monitored and great. We thought we had it all perfect. Have never known or given her calcium! So upset we weren't told, and sadly never even read about this on the many pages we searched prior to and initially getting her. So mad at myself, she is my daughter's pet, who has lovingly cared for her all this time.
My question is this: facing this MBD, I've read possible solutions, but can anyone give me ANY idea of approximate cost? I realize they vary greatly by area/ vet/ diagnosis/ treatment, etc. I get it. But I am also not prepared to have my daughter told that her pet CAN be helped, but it'll be $1,000 (which no matter how bad we'd want to, we simply cannot afford and do not have.) Do not want to have my 10 year old face losing her pet because her parents are currently broke! Just want an idea of averages. Hundreds, thousands, etc. Will research a decent vet locally tomorrow--we're in DC/ Baltimore area, bound to be a few good ones--but also do not want to be taken advantage of because of the bawling kid with me!
I do believe she's beginning signs of MBD, but I'll let the vet formally diagnose. Appreciate any advice, notes from anyone who's been here. Approx cost for Xrays, bloodwork, treatment.. anything will help me be prepared for what I think is inevitable! If we can get through this, those supplements are being ordered immediately. I loathe Petco currently for not telling us, stressing to us, nada. Lord knows we asked ad nauseam what we needed to make life perfect. Honestly, we researched online separately as well, and I, nor my daughter, ever read or understood about needing calcium supplements. So so angry at myself for hurting this poor girl. Hoping she makes it!
I’ve never heard of petco ordering chams for people 🤔. Female chams lay eggs so they need laying bins she may be eggbound as well if you do not have a laying bin set up. Supplements are extremely important! MBD is irreversible but there are ways to help your cham still live a good life. We need pictures and fill out this form so we can help you :) as for costs of vet I’m not sure but you can sign up for care credit for vet costs I’ll link something right now after I find it but you can just search care credit

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

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Please Note:

  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful
@Beman @ERKleRose @kinyonga @AmandaS and any other fellow enthusiasts sounds like another severe case 😕
 

cruz.m

Avid Member
Check ups are usually $60+ fecals which are needed $45+ and treatment can be up to $100+. As soon as you fill out your husbandry form which I put above the sooner we can help. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound good. It’s very late where I am so in the morning I will check out this thread again and offer any more advice. She needs a 2x2x4 cage or bigger, either an Arcadia 6% or a t5ho 5.0 linear uvb which will be linked, real plants and branches, supplements are also linked, and vet costs vary, she also needs a laying bin ASAP if you don’t have one. Look into Care Credit veterinary costs and try applying if money is one of the issues. If not you’ll probably spend $1,000 IF there is something wrong with husbandry, vet costs etc...Can’t really put an estimate if we don’t know much on her case besides the fact she may have MBD and possible eggbinding so fill out the form as soon as possible!

Cage (the dragon strand one is pricier but it comes with more) You can also make one sometimes it’s cheaper but not always
https://www.diycages.com/collections/vertical-screen-reptile-chameleon-cages/products/sc4-48x24x24-jumbo-vertical-screen-cage
https://dragonstrand.com/product/tall-screen-chameleon-cage-system/
Plants
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://www.chameleonschool.com/safe-plants-for-chameleons/
Branches can be some from outside not containing sap and cleaned well etc...there is a video here
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QwMzM6Zuzpg
Supplements here is a good video also look through her channel she has many good videos. Also you do not have to buy from here but these are some good ones but there are some Arcadia ones and some others!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nLONCW9tSPA
Calcium with d3 phosphorus free
Calcium without d3 phosphorus free
Reptivite without d3
Laying bin (picture at bottom plus video)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy6sIPvNGUw
Lights (at least 24”)
https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo-med-reptisun-t5-ho-terrarium-hood.html
https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html
Care Credit
https://www.carecredit.com/apply/
 

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AmandaS

Moderator
Staff member
I cant really help with the estimation of cost. But, as @cruz.m has said, we can help with husbandry and make sure things are going well now.
I do know the vet, if knowledgeable, will want to take xrays of your girl to see her bone density.
Has she laid eggs before?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. Unfortunately you’ve learned the hard way to never trust pet stores to provide proper husbandry information. We can help get your husbandry on track, but first we need to see all that you’ve been doing via answering the help questions already posted.
Vet costs vary greatly from vet to vet. I suggest calling and getting ballpark estimates. If there’s a veterinary college near you, it never hurts to check with them too.
 

Crossingtami

Established Member
Every vet will probably have different pricing, but when I had mbd problems with my cham, vet bills were approx $2000 (office visits, fecals, bloodwork, xrays, calcium meds etc). Add the items to tweak my lighting, new supplements etc. Look into "care credit" for the cost of vet services.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Could you post some pics of her, please? If you cannot afford to treat her once she goes to the vet (and if she has a chance of survival- don’t mean to be morbid but it could be bad enough to where she needs to be euthanized), you’ll want to think about surrendering her to the vet or a reputable chameleon rehab/rescue or someone who can afford to care for her and give her the specialized care and treatment she needs. I know those options suck, but you need to think about her needs first.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Please post several photos of her so I can see all of her from the side. I want to look for signs of MBD and to see if she's likely carrying eggs.

She's been old enough to produce eggs for over a year now....so I'm also interested in ow much you feed her in a week.
So you've never given her any supplements? Has she had a UVB light? What temperature is the basking area?
 
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