"Chameleons and Vitamin A" article


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I found a reference to this article a few weeks ago when I was surfing looking for more information on the vit A topic. I was surprised to discover that not even my college was able to find a copy of it. I finally asked my vet to order it, and I picked it up at the office today. What is really disturbing to me is that this article is not more well known. Perhaps some of the long term keepers have seen it, but I had never even seen mention of it until I saw it as an obscure reference in someone else's brief synopsis of the Vitamin A dilemma. After reading it, I will be making changes in my husbandry. I also found the first part of the article by Ardith Abate interesting, and worthy of a lengthy discussion all by itself.

Anyhow, I am fairly sure that this is probably copyrighted, but I believe it is valuable enough to the chameleon community to risk someone asking me to remove it. Let me apologize in advance... this is an exceptionally large, crappy scanned copy of a copy of the article. I scanned it in from a not-too-great photocopy to an even worse Word file. If anyone has any suggestions on how to clean it up, I will do my best. Better yet.. if anyone has access to the electronic copy that must exist out there somewhere....?

The link: http://www.badongo.com/file/2344836

Howdy Heika,

Thanks for posting the article through the link that you provided. It fills-in more of the empty spots about vitamin A and the effects of under/overdosing with it. Recently, there have been some posts by the Melleri group where tail-tip loss was mentioned. In the article, one of the symptoms of vitamin A shortage is tail-tip loss. Hmmmm... Some of the recent panther and veiled eye issues may also "still" be vitamin A related. I have used the liquid vitamin A out of the gel caps for my panther and two veileds but it is a bit scary making sure not to overdose. One gel cap contains about 0.15ml of liquid holding 8000 IU. The dose for my critters is as much as 400 IU which is still only 1/20th of a one gel cap or only about 0.0075ml:eek:! That's about equivalent to a tiny damp spot on a roach shell. One of these days I need to find a more diluted form of vitamin A. I thought about diluting it with something but I never did look into it to the point of finding a safe product use with this oil-based vitamin product.
A tiny drop on an insect ....is that how you administer the vitamin Dave?
I also wonder if it couldn't be gutloaded (ie: a drop tossed in the rolled oats).
Heika, thank you so much for posting that discussion. I printed a copy and just finished reading it. It will go into page protectors and be added to my cham binder tonight!

Howdy Brad,

I think they mentioned in the article that adding vitamin A to gutload leaves dosing uncontrolled. For me, after moving the syringe plunger about 0.01ml (one line on the syringe), I just wipe the needle on the roach and hand feed it to the chameleon. It is a tiny drop...:eek:. I figure if I do that once in a while (1-2 times a month?), I have a chance at not overdosing and maybe not underdosing :).

I "PDF'd" the doc and sent it to Heika so it can be put out on that site in this more universal format.

EDIT: Looks like I'll need to break it up into three files to get it past my internet provider :eek:..... It bounced back because it was over 13MB.

Another EDIT: Never mind :). I sent it out through a different pathway and it should get to Heika so that it can be posted as one PDF file again.

Yet Another EDIT: I give-up! Heika's provider kicked it back!
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Ack! You are awesome, Dave! I was just talking to someone about turning this file into a PDF! I have a second email address that isn't quite so restrictive. Can you send it to [email protected]? Then I will upload it.

Thanks again,

Vit. A

Update for everyone. After taking my Ambanja to the vet day before yesterday (Tues), I am happy to report rapid changes for the better. He no longer periodically closes his eyes and is much more active. I may be seeing things, but he actually looks much more like he used to, very vibrant. The growth he had on the eye lid itself is starting to come off. I observed him vigourously rubbing his eyes on the jungle vine and Manzanita branches yesterday and the stuff actually started to flake off. I am currently following the instructions from Jim (cham .Co) and using a small drop on a Q-tip and lightly rub it once on the inside of the mouth. I will do this for 5 days and then every week from that point on. I also gave it to my female in the hopes to stop anything before it stops and will administer it to her as well every week from now on. I will keep everyone posted on the progress.
Glad to hear that he is improving. What form of Vit A are you using to supplement your chameleon?


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