Correct supplements

camillethecham

Established Member
Hello!

I recently went to my exotic vet and got a workup on my chameleon- labs, blood cultures, etc. because his casque started to swell. There appears to be no visible signs of any bacterial or respiratory infections present, per the vet. However, the labs resulted in high calcium levels to be shown, in which the vet believes could be causing the swelling- if the cultures are negative.

My chameleon is about a year and a half old now and I've always dusted using calcium WITHOUT D3 daily with feedings and multivitamins/calcium WITH D3 twice a month. I gut load my crickets with Repashy's bug burger! My vet is recommending that I just dust my feeders twice a week with Repashy calcium plus supplementation and nothing else.

Does anyone have any recommendations or has been through a similar situation? I was always told without d3 every feed and multivitamins and d3 twice, monthly. The vet found his electrolyte levels to be fine but an indicator for increased muscle mass to be elevated- which he believes might be from the extra calcium. The calcium level was 15.1 and recommended below 10.0 in males.

I uploaded a picture of the swelling on the casque and cheeks but, other than that, my cham is completely normal and is eating, drinking, defecating okay!

Also, I had x-rays of his casque a few months ago because I saw it starting to deform and turn on itself. Turns out, all of his bones are strong and healthy, just too big for his head!

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Chameleoking

Avid Member
Well, bent casque like that are a sign of MBD. If your cham is getting enough vitamins and a good variety of food, then the problem most likely is the fact that your baby isn't out in the sun and chams NEED sun in order to thrive. Regardless of what UVB lights you use, they are never enough.
 
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camillethecham

Established Member
Well, bent casque like that are a sign of MBD. I A completely healthy cham should have a perfect shed with nothing left over. If your cham is getting enough vitamins and a good variety of food, then the problem most likely is the fact that your baby isn't out in the sun and chams NEED sun in order to thrive. Regardless of what UVB lights you use, they are never enough.
Okay, thank you! I brought that up with the vet a few months ago when I saw it starting to bend and took him right away. He did the xray to measure bone density and said everything looked great :( I will get him out into the sun more than I do now, he just started shedding the day before yesterday as well.
 

camillethecham

Established Member
But from what the vet said. Everything is normal. So I'm gonna guess and say over time his condition could go down hill. I would try to take him out in the sun for a bit. Not direct sunlight. But set him in a plant or small tree and keep an eye on him
Thank you for the advice! Any idea about what could be causing the swelling?
 

TayloredExotics

Established Member
So, unpopular opinion: I don't supplement my adult males with calcium at every feeding, usually only every other. My reasoning is that once they've reached adult size, they're no longer using Ca to build bones/continuing development. Nor do they need additional Ca for forming shells the way females do.

Hypercalcemia is a thing, but I don't know that it's especially well studied in reptiles. I personally haven't encountered hypocalcemia nor MBD in my chams, but that is my anecdotal experience and not statistically sound enough to base anything off of.
 

camillethecham

Established Member
So, unpopular opinion: I don't supplement my adult males with calcium at every feeding, usually only every other. My reasoning is that once they've reached adult size, they're no longer using Ca to build bones/continuing development. Nor do they need additional Ca for forming shells the way females do.

Hypercalcemia is a thing, but I don't know that it's especially well studied in reptiles. I personally haven't encountered hypocalcemia nor MBD in my chams, but that is my anecdotal experience and not statistically sound enough to base anything off of.
Do you think this could be what's causing the swelling in the casque? I'm going to just dust twice a week with the Calcium plus and get him out into the sun more then!
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Its like this. In some people with bone problems the calcium creates a bone spur along side of a bone. It could be a bone spur off the side of the spine or elseware. Indicating the body isn't getting calcium to the proper parts of the body. So it goes elseware creating bone spurs. In your case and I'm just guessing now. I could be completely wrong on this. But to me it makes sense. So in your chameleons case instead of a bone spur its building up in its casque and not going to the proper places it should be. Kinda like a bone spur. Now it could take months before you see a decline in health. But you've caught this early and could be fixed with some natural sunlight. KEEP IN MIND I AM ONLY GUESSING AND CAN BE WRONG. I AM NOT A VET OR A DOCTOR.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well, bent casque like that are a sign of MBD. I A completely healthy cham should have a perfect shed with nothing left over. If your cham is getting enough vitamins and a good variety of food, then the problem most likely is the fact that your baby isn't out in the sun and chams NEED sun in order to thrive. Regardless of what UVB lights you use, they are never enough.
This isn't really true, thought I do agree sun is good. A chameleon can go a lifetime without sun, but proper uvb and/or d3 supplementation and never get MBD.
 

camillethecham

Established Member
Its like this. In some people with bone problems the calcium creates a bone spur along side of a bone. It could be a bone spur off the side of the spine or elseware. Indicating the body isn't getting calcium to the proper parts of the body. So it goes elseware creating bone spurs. In your case and I'm just guessing now. I could be completely wrong on this. But to me it makes sense. So in your chameleons case instead of a bone spur its building up in its casque and not going to the proper places it should be. Kinda like a bone spur. Now it could take months before you see a decline in health. But you've caught this early and could be fixed with some natural sunlight. KEEP IN MIND I AM ONLY GUESSING AND CAN BE WRONG. I AM NOT A VET OR A DOCTOR.
Very true! The vet squeezed the area on the casque and it was only air so he was thinking possible muscle mass growth in this area causing some air to form due to excessive calcium. Chammy has the grip of death 😂 where the vet doesn't suspect any MBD, at this moment.
 
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