Calcium: with or without V d3?

Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by Jax2214, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Jax2214

    Jax2214 New Member

    So, calcium.

    I don’t know what calcium to use. Currently, I’ve been dusting my crickets everyday w/D3. Should I be using different calcium?

    I’ve read on some of these forums that I should use a small variety of different calcium. Some have said to use D3 a few times a month.

    So, all in all, what calcium should I use, how many types of calcium should I have, and how often do I use different calcium?

    Thank you guys so much!!!
     
  2. CJ's Exotics

    CJ's Exotics Established Member

    I dust every day with calcium w/o d3. Every 2 weeks, I dust with multi vitamins, and calcium w/ d3. This is for juveniles by the way. So lets say it is the first week of the month. This week would be multi vitamins, the nest calcium w/d3, and that would be a cycle, so each supplement would be every 2 weeks. Hope this makes sense.
     
  3. Jax2214

    Jax2214 New Member

    Thanks so much!
    I checked at the pet store and the multivitamin calcium had d3. So do I put both calcium d3 with the multivitamin calcium when it’s time to, or just do multivitamin by itself?
     
  4. Katacara

    Katacara Avid Member

    So if I understand your question correctly this should answer it, if not than I am very confused lol

    Month:
    Week 1: 6 days dusting without D3; 1 day With D3
    Week 2: 6 days dusting without D3; 1 day with vitamins
    Week 3: 6 days dusting without D3; 1 day With D3
    Week 4: 6 days dusting without D3; 1 day with vitamins

    Then repeat starting the next month with week 1.
     
  5. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    People overdo dusting. It’s really a pet peeve of mine that the oft touted, experienced advice is to dust with something every feeding. NO!
    Start with a respectable gutloading program and from there you should be dusting no more than 4 days a week, lightly, with plain calcium, and once a week to once every 2 weeks with a multivitamin that contain preformed Vitamin A, not just Vitamin A from beta carotene, which chameleons assimilate poorly, of at all. Only 1-2/3 of the feeders should be dusted per feeding and dusted so that the feeders are only lightly coated, not looking like powdered doughnuts. There is not a single case of any species of Chameleon, at any stage of life, whether gravid or not, that should require more than this, unless directed by a vet to correct a problem.
    People have success with dusting every day with plain calcium at every feeding and good for them, but it’s over doing it and calcium can be overdosed like other vitamins and minerals. No one has had a deficient animal by following my advice of more moderate schedule.
    I also prefer to us a smaller amount or lower doses Vitamin product more often, rather than giving it twice a month. Animals get small amounts of nutrients every time they feed, not all at once a couple times a month. I like Dendrocare for dartfrogs, because it’s well tolerated and gentle enough for use 1-2 a week.
     
  6. Katacara

    Katacara Avid Member

    Great advice, and to each their own. (y)

    You should do what is right for your cham. Everyone does things a bit differently, and there is no 1 right or wrong answer, except to do what is necessary for your cham to be as healthy as possible! And not to make ghosts out of the feeders of coarse! :D
     
  7. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    The problem is that it's all a case of getting a balance. There are so manspecies"...cts out there with varying levels of calcium, D3 and vitamins that there is no perfect way to find the balance. All we can domis what we think is right...what we think works for our chameleons. Also...the requirements vary from species to species. Many things affect the levels of calcium, D3, vitamin A and phosphorous too which makes it even more difficult to balance. I figure if my chameleons live long healthy lives then I have maybe come within the right parameters.

    Here are some articles you might like to read...
    Calcium...
    "Without vitamin D3, ingested calcium would not be accessible to the body"...
    "Sudden increases in dietary fat lower calcium absorption"...
    http://www.chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
    "A chameleon's only source of calcium is diet"...
    http://www.chameleonnews.com/03JanDonoghue.html
    "Chameleons use calcium according to their metabolic rate"...
    http://www.chameleonnews.com/02MayDonoghue.html

    A bugs nutrition...
    http://www.chameleonnews.com/02SepDonoghue.html

    Vitamin D3...
    "It is not known how much supplementation, if any, is needed for different species
    http://www.uvma.org/chameleon/vitamind3.htm

    Vitamin A...
    Scan down until you see Ken Lopez's article ...
    http://www.geckosunlimited.com/comm...cularius-demo-video-4-jan-2013-update-10.html
     
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  8. CJ's Exotics

    CJ's Exotics Established Member

    Every day is for juveniles.
     
    Katacara likes this.
  9. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    I pointed out that people have success supplementing daily, but I’ve raised plenty of juveniles and hatchlings on 4 days a week of supplementation. I am unaware of any instances where a comparison has been done showing animals supplemented everyday and 3-4 days a week, but I’m suggesting that if I’ve had success with less, then everyday supplementation shouldn’t be the default recommendation. With supplements, less is more, and too much is usually worse than not enough. Over use of calcium has been shown to have numerous consequences and unless experimentation is conducted, we can only say they supplemented animals do better than unsupplemented animals, but not that animals supplemented daily are doing better than those supplemented 3-4 times a week. I believe @jpowell86 takes a less is more approach and we have both bred, hatched, and raised melleri, in addition to veileds, panthers, and other species. That’s not to say we are more experienced or know more than anyone else, it just shows success over a wide array of species and circumstances.
     
  10. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    I liked the article about Vitamin A, @kinyonga linked, but I disagree with the author stating preformed Vitamin A is dangerous and shouldn’t be used in supplementation. If you research further, there are many suggested sources stating that chameleons lack the ability to convert preformed A into useable Vitamin A. I have personal experience seeing the effects of not supplementing with preformed A. Research should also tell you that overdosing A is not likely with reasonable supplementation schedules and it takes a lot of Vitamin A to show the symptoms of hypervitaminosis.
    The author echoed my sentiments regarding over supplementing with calcium and I encourage you to research and make an informed decision of your beliefs. People give advice based on their experience and the to the best of their knowledge. The way we find out things are better another way is by people doing things differently and sharing their findings, for better or worse. We are still learning and should ALWAYS be learning about reptile health and nutrition, but it is always safer to take a middle of the road approach, rather than go to extreme. In this case, the extremes are daily supplementing and supplementing with preformed A and not supplementing at all. The middle of the road approach is to supply some preform A with a reputable product, used responsibly and as directed, and dose with calcium several times a week, but not every day.
     
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  11. Katacara

    Katacara Avid Member

    @Extensionofgreen I agree with you, we should always be learning!, and I thank you for pointing that out in this case! Given your thoughts and suggestions, I will be doing some more research! Although I thought what I was doing for dusting was correct, and was giving advice based on my experience, and others advice, maybe I am mistaken and should change the way I am doing things. Thanks for making (and reminding) me to always keep an open mind, and to always be on the look-out for ways to do things better for my reptiles!!
     
    Extensionofgreen likes this.
  12. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    @Extensionofgreen said..." there are many suggested sources stating that chameleons lack the ability to convert preformed A into useable Vitamin A"...you said convert prEformed... Do you mean prOformed?
    Do you know of any scientific articles/studies that you could link me to that say they can't convert prOformed to vitamin A? I'd like to read them. I'd also like someone to explain to me how my vieled females, for example, have never shown any signs that I could see of hypovitaminosis A in the 6 or 7 years that they live, not have their offspring and yet I give no prEformed vitamin A to the insects or chameleons in any form. I do realize that the insects might have some due to what they were fed...but then so would everybody else's. It's always been a mystery to me.
    I have always wondered if chameleons that seem to lack vitamin A do so because they are fed too much D3 from supplements too. I'm wondering if thats not part of what Dr. Lopez felt/feels too. Any inside into any of this? For many (over 25years) I've dusted the wayni always describe to people...every day with phos. free calcium, twice a month with phosphorous-free calcium/D3 and twice with beta carotene CO raining vitamin powder lightly and my chameleons seem to do well...no eye issues, no shedding difficulties, no MBD etc. I don't think any of us measure exact amounts and with all the different supplements out there I can't see how we can ever say this is the way it has to be. Maybe someday we will have the answers. In the meantime we just have to do the best we can.
     
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  13. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    I don’t want to insult anyone with what I’m about to say, but it is my opinion that experts are NOT those amongst us that have raised chameleons and never had a problem. The experts are those of us that have experienced a multitude of situations and come to learn the causes, cures, and ways to prevent future occurrences. I followed the advice of “experts” when raising melleri and experience issues from not supplementing Vitamin A. That was over 10 years ago. It was from struggling through the problem that led me to my own path of discovery and how I treat Vitamin A supplementation in regards to chameleons.
    Vets aren’t specifically trained in chameleons and even experienced vets are seeing a fraction of the number of chameleons there are in the hobby. Numbers have been stated that nearly 90% of imported chameleons die within 30 days. It goes without saying that even fewer see vets. Many vets used to have iguanas as the standard to measure blood serum levels and parameters against and herbivores have very different physiologies than insectivores.
    I’ve worked as a technician under experienced reptile vets and utilized vets with excellent reputations regarding Chameleon care and in all cases of dealing with Chameleon health issues, I knew as much and many cases more than they did. I’m not bragging. I don’t think I’m an “expert”, but I have had a lot of experience treating a wide range of conditions in Chameleon and I’ve kept a lot of reptiles over my years. I know stuff, because I have an innate desire to understand all things related to Chameleon health that I can and I cross reference the knowledge and experienced I’ve gained from kneeing bearded dragons and tortoises, fo example. One can learn a lot about the relationships of nutrients by researching edible plants recommended for iguanas and tortoises, for instance.
    Keeping living things is less a hobby and more a lifestyle, where you should get completely immersed and constantly question things and look for better or more complete answers.
    I’m glad that you are inspired to look into things more and that is what I always hope when I give advice; that I’m making people “problem solvers”, instead of masses of zombies looking for spoon fed advice. It’s not because I don’t think people should ask questions regarding basic care, but if that’s the only tool that have, they will not truly understand anything or develop problem solving skills. I try to give advice and encourage people to think outside the box and research other sources of information.
     
  14. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    I did mean to say that chameleons are unlikely to have the ability to convert precursors or PROformed A into useable PREformed A.

    Please know I am not saying this to poke fun or be snarky, but a while back, YOU posted links from sources that echoed what I’m saying about chamelons needing preformed A. I remember reading them and thinking that it was an interesting share, since I know you often recommend against supplementation with PREformed A.

    I don’t have a cache of articles I can link or share, but they are out there, I assure you. I don’t think Vitamin A is something that the reptile medical community has an adequate understanding of and that accounts for a lack of available articles. I don’t recall what the Arcadia book on the subject had to say, but I do have it at home and I believe it also mentions the lack of ability for insectivores to convert PROformed A to useable forms.

    Regarding explaining the health of your animals in the absence of Preformed A supplementation, I don’t have a perfect answer. I could ask you to explain what my animals suffered without it, then improved and had a complete cessation of occurrences once it was implemented. I would expect your answer to be similar to mine, in that there isn’t a perfect answer. The variables are many and poorly understood by the community, currently.
    What are you using for gutload that might be able
    carry PREformed A to your chameleons? Are feeders able to convert some ingredients for supplements into PREformed A? I know that feeding my feeders sweet potato and powdered milk ( as part of the total gutload mixture ) wasn’t enough for raising my melleri. Pet store crickets fed on chicken feed or other pelleted foods will get Vitamin A that way and could be a source of sufficient A. My chameleons were fed primarily on roaches, when they suffered from A deficiency, so that offers a theory that answers your scenario and my own. Not all pet stores will feed Vitamin A sources, so there’s another variable!

    What I can tell you is that Vitamin A is found in nature, in the eyes of some Arthropoda, more so than most insects, and in the livers of vertebrate prey. Our chameleons get few to none of these prey items I’m captivity.

    I don’t disagree that there is danger in overdoing supplements and animals that have had episodes of dehydration and edema are especially sensistive to overdosing vitamins.
     
  15. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Funny but I have kept tortoises, iguanas and beardies too and water dragons, cone heads, helmeted iguanas, lots of gecko species, and numerous other lizards and studied about plants, vitamins, minerals too I've worked with zoo vets and other well known vets (in the study of Nannizziopsis viersii and veiled chameleon reproduction, for instance. Also i worked with a parasitologist, in the study if one particular parasite. I am still not an expert in my eyes...but I "have experienced a multitude of situations and come to learn the causes, cures, and ways to prevent future occurrences" in many of those cases. I don't have all the answers by any means but I keep on reading and doing whatever I can to learn more. I am a problem solver too...I keep looking until I find an answer. I also believe that answering people's husbandry questiins, supplementing and gutloading questions and providing reasons why I recommend what I do helps people to learn instead of just being told do this and that and not explaining why.

    As I said...there are many variables in chameleon supplementing and all we can do is try to find what works for our chameleons and fix what is broken along the way if we can and ask for advice if we can't.
     
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  16. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    It seems we have a lot in common!
    I agree with everything you said, while heartedly. While we share a difference in opinion and approach to Vitamin A, it is with respect that I read and comprehend your explanation, as I’ve noted that you often post links and that demonstrates that you are constantly reading and learning, as am I. I don’t see enough of that in our or any hobbies, really. It’s sort of the dilemma of the Information Age. Whether it’s politics or chameleons, in an age where accurate information can be had at the finger tips, people will fail to take initiative to be informed and inevitably; the innocent suffer their ignorance.
    We are all ignorant until we find or are given the information, but those willing to find things for themselves are the ones with longevity and a wide range of knowledge to share.
     
  17. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    You said..."YOU posted links from sources that echoed what I’m saying about chamelons needing preformed A. I remember reading them and thinking that it was an interesting share, since I know you often recommend against supplementation with PREformed A"...typically what I say is to use a vitamin powder with a beta carotene prOformed source of vitamin A and that leaves it up to the owner to decide when/if their chameleon needs prEformed vitamin A. I do this because by using the vitamin powder with a beta carotene prOformed source of vitamin, A they can't overdose it, whether or not the chameleon can convert it, so it's safe to use twice a month. By providing the prEformed separately they can control it better...I hope.

    I'm not looking for articles about vitamin A being converted in chameleons by the reptile medical community ...I'm looking for proper studies.

    I gutload/feed my insects greens and veggies and a bit of fruit...and yes likley the insects convert it. I expect that the insects I purchase have been fed similarly to all the rest...with chicken feed, etc so if my chameleons have been getting prEformed vitamin A from them yours would be too so your chameleons and mine should have the same amount of prEformed vitamin A as mine...so to me the difference should be in the supplementing and gutloading then.

    I have read so many posts on here about eye issues and people using vitamin A because they are told on here that the problem is vitamin A deficiency and when I check back to those posts later the chameleon is still having eye problems and has gotten worse...I'd love to know why the vitamin A didn't solve the problem.

    I will continue studying and reading and working with vets, etc and hope that one day there will be a definite answer.
     
  18. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    You ssid..."It seems we have a lot in common!" ...it dies seem that way.

    you said..."I agree with everything you said, while heartedly. While we share a difference in opinion and approach to Vitamin A, it is with respect that I read and comprehend your explanation, as I’ve noted that you often post links and that demonstrates that you are constantly reading and learning, as am I. I don’t see enough of that in our or any hobbies, really. It’s sort of the dilemma of the Information Age. Whether it’s politics or chameleons, in an age where accurate information can be had at the finger tips, people will fail to take initiative to be informed and inevitably; the innocent suffer their ignorance"...thanks for agreeing. I respect our differences of opinion too. I realize that it's the age of information but sadly not all of it is right so I understand people's concern and confusion about what or who to believe...and I always hope that they will find this forum so they will have a better chance of success with their chameleons.
     
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  19. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    I wish I could answer why we often can’t seem to get animals back, once they start having these eye issues. I lost 3 out of 4 CB melleri, 10 years ago, due to what I am diagnosing as lack of A. The one survivor was the only one to recover and interestingly showed symptoms much later and more mildly than anyone else.
    Symptoms included eyes that were “gunky”, sometimes sealed closed by excretion, often the pupils would become enlarged and unresponsive and change shape. Lethargy, inability to feed or lack of interest in eating, and general malaise were also noticed. I went to 4 separate vets and no one had an answer. The breeder had many of the same experiences and popular wisdom of the time was to avoid A. I tried to supply a as part of the gutload, via feeding cartenoid rich foods. I fed roaches primarily, so they couldn’t get substantial amounts of A from crickets bought from suppliers. After lost the 3, the 4th went on to produce a clutch and so did 2 other female melleri in my care. The resulting clutch and all of the WC animals I worked with, as well as other chameleons species, both C.B. and WC showed none of the problems, once I started supplementing with A. That’s the only thing that changed in my care.

    Currently, I use crickets 3 times a week and supplement with A. I also don’t use powdered milk or some of the other ingredients popular in those days for gutloading. I’ve not had any eye issues in any of my chameleons currently.

    Also interesting is that silkworms and hornworms are much more commonly used today. I used them much more rarely 10 years ago, because I don’t like the idea of artificial chows and still don’t. Maybe those chows ( I use hornworms and silkworms as up to 1/4 of the diet at times, but sometimes I offer them twice a month and sometime not for 2-3 months ) have PREformed A in them?

    I find WC animals, if they don’t die or fall ill from some other malady, often never have these sorts of eye problems and don’t develop them. They likely have sufficient stores of A in the liver, such that incidental amounts of preformed A, whether supplemented intentionally or not, are enough to keep them going. It seems that the body systems that rely on A must become so damaged by the time symptoms are noticed and treatment is started, that they don’t recover. I don’t have the answer as to why and hope we get more information on this from reliable source soon.
     
  20. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Thanks for that answer. It has given me food for thought.
     

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