A great interview with Dr. Gary W Ferguson

FurciferLord

New Member
Regarding question #7 in this interview, does anyone on the forums feed their Veileds or Panthers Pinkie mice or other small lizards for the sole reason of satisfying their need for Retinol? I see a few videos on youtube of cham owners feeding their veileds large mice but I figured the practice was widely unnecessary. With that being said, since they are getting extra suppliments from eating the mice and lizards that they wouldn't normally get from plant eating insects, perhaps it isn't such a bad thing to do from time to time?
 

Mario22

New Member
I found hes answe about beta carotene very interesting. Although now am even more confused if should supplement vitamin A or beta carotene.
 
I have offered up pinky mice before... not all the chams had interest. I only fed one mouse to any cham willing, once. I have not done it in about two years.... I might try it again if I have the opportunity. I don't believe it is a good idea to offer them often, no more than once a year.
 

FurciferLord

New Member
I have offered up pinky mice before... not all the chams had interest. I only fed one mouse to any cham willing, once. I have not done it in about two years.... I might try it again if I have the opportunity. I don't believe it is a good idea to offer them often, no more than once a year.
I wouldn't want to do it unless it was in some way supplimenting them with something that they should get but don't from regular feeders. I'm assuming that in the wild chams will seek out these prey items once or twice a year when readily available, to regulate their diet, just in the same way regulate their own temps. I was just wondering if anyone did this for that reason. Even Dr. Ferguson mentioned that there needs to be more studies done on this.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Pinky mice and other vertebrates should not be offered very frequently at all - maybe once or twice a year at most (if at all) as summoner said. As insectivores, chameleon kidneys are not equipped to properly process animal proteins from meat since the prevalent proteins in cham diets are from plants. Animal proteins are more complex than plant proteins, which actually contain more vitamins and minerals. Excessive animal proteins in the diet lead to gout (crystallized uric acid in the joints - very painful) and kidney damage, eventually manifesting as kidney failure. Animal proteins are also high in dog, cat, and fish food, which is why they are not recommended for gutloading.
 
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