Controlling clutch size with MBD

Zoeb

Member
So, its been a long battle after taking on my veiled chameleon last September as a rescue pet.

Looking for advice on controlling/reducing clutch size for my cham who has just laid 66 eggs and was confirmed with mild MBD in January after many xrays.

History; taken in September 18 as a 6 month male but was in fact female and vet believes about 7-9 months. She no uvb from previous owners.

After much discussion on forums and vet she has now all the appropriate care that she should have had from birth.

She took a turn for the worst in nov18 when she started egg production and stopped eating. Went to the vet many times for xrays and 3 separate injections of oxytocin which were unsuccessful. She was being force fed every day by syringe a mixture of critical care solution, calcium and reptiboost mixed with water as advised by the vet since november to try to reverse MBD or at least halt it.

Vet told me to expect the worst and egg binding into january but he would not operate due to health.

My clever girl however has defied all odds and laid her first clutch of 66 eggs a week ago.

Her MBD is mild and reversible according to the vet but will take time. All her bones are straight, with no past breaks but the xrays show some bones as fine (her spine) and some as depleted (her legs)

She is now eating on her own accord around 15 crickets heavily dusted with calcium. I know this is a lot normally, but this is the first time she has eaten for herself since november so I am letting her eat what she can at the moment after laying.

She weighs 86g and although seems shattered after laying, shes in good health pooping n stuff.

Her basking temp is currently 29degree c dropping to 17c in the night.

Does anyone have any recommendation for temperature and feeding in this condition to reduce clutch size so that I can take the stress off her but still continue to battle the MBD caused by previous owners?

I am afraid to reign in her diet and heat for it to be at the detriment to the hard work of trying to battle the MBD in her.
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've read cutting back on the volume of food given per week can increase the time between clutches but I can not recall anything reducing the clutch sizes.

I am definitely not the expert on female egg layers so I am just tossing out what I've read.
 

Zoeb

Member
I've read cutting back on the volume of food given per week can increase the time between clutches but I can not recall anything reducing the clutch sizes.

I am definitely not the expert on female egg layers so I am just tossing out what I've read.
I've read into it quite a bit but can't seem to find the best recommendation temperature and food quantities. The care sheets suggest 29c for bask 22c for ambient and 7-10 feeders every other but my chameleon does not like to play by the rules and when i tried that in November she never ate afterwards anything except for syringe liquid food after vet help
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can't help you here as it is outside my scope of knowledge. But you may want to check out the chameleonbreeder.com podcast. Bill Strand does this. I know he has quite a few on MBD and he also did a short series on a rescue cham that had MBD. There may be something of use on this particular topic in there.
Happy to hear she came through and all is well :)
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don’t think you can do anything to control the clutch size from what I read. The best you can do is continue to supplement and control how much food is given to prevent egg binding.
 

Zoeb

Member
I can't help you here as it is outside my scope of knowledge. But you may want to check out the chameleonbreeder.com podcast. Bill Strand does this. I know he has quite a few on MBD and he also did a short series on a rescue cham that had MBD. There may be something of use on this particular topic in there.
Happy to hear she came through and all is well :)
I will check it out, thanks.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
You have two tools at your disposal when it comes to controling clutch size:
1 Food
2 Temperature

Food intake has the biggest influence on clutch size. How much/often are you feeding her now? Cutting her back to 3-4 feeders every other day is a good starting point.

Lowering her temps will also help with clutch size but not nearly as much as food. Reduce her basking and ambient temps by 3-4 degrees to start.

Both suggestions above are only recommended starting points, you will have to make adjustments after each clutch depending on the result you get.
 

Zoeb

Member
She is eating what she wants at the moment-15 crickets a day since Friday. But its the first time shes eatten since November as she was on syringe diet since then.

Would cutting back be detrimental to MBD or should I feed her up to try and undo some damage before the next clutch?

Would you consider 25 c a reasonable temp for basking to lower clutch but not be detrimental to aiding her recovery? The vet told me if possible try to keep above 20 at all time to keep the metabolism going for calcium absorption, but he also told me she would die in january and she hasnt
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
She is eating what she wants at the moment-15 crickets a day since Friday. But its the first time shes eatten since November as she was on syringe diet since then.

Would cutting back be detrimental to MBD or should I feed her up to try and undo some damage before the next clutch?

Would you consider 25 c a reasonable temp for basking to lower clutch but not be detrimental to aiding her recovery? The vet told me if possible try to keep above 20 at all time to keep the metabolism going for calcium absorption, but he also told me she would die in january and she hasnt
Now I remember you, that changes everything. If she’s eating normally now I would never advise you to change anything that’s currently working. Keep doing what your doing for the next couple months.

The damage MBD does is permanent, it can not be undone. Her bones may stiffen back up a tiny bit but will never be the same again.
 

Zoeb

Member
Now I remember you, that changes everything. If she’s eating normally now I would never advise you to change anything that’s currently working. Keep doing what your doing for the next couple months.

The damage MBD does is permanent, it can not be undone. Her bones may stiffen back up a tiny bit but will never be the same again.
That's what i thought brody. I was puzzled when the vet said it was reversible but the xrays are showing her bones getting better.

I obviously cant keep feeding her 15 a day otherwise she will be a branch breaker but im not sure what to cut it to without her going downhill again. Shes not syringe feeding though atm so thats great.

She gets super stressed with the vet so i will leave it a month before another xray.
 
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