Cyrus - eye? MBD????

lele

Avid Member
Hey gang,

Some of you may have read this elsewhere but wanted opinions from both forums ;)

I know you don't see me around much any more but some parts of life have really gotten in the way of others!

Anyway, I need input from experienced members. Cyrus has had an eye problem for a while and figured it was a humidity thing. But even with showers, humidifiers, etc. (he is a great drinker and loves the humidifier mist) he still bulges, rubs and keeps it closed at times. There is NO outward sign. I have even looked with a 16x lens and really see no diff between the two. I have also been applying Erythromicin Opthalmic ointment 2x/day. There is NO crust, ooze, swelling, etc.

Second, I am thinking his legs are looking a bit chunky and of course all I can think about is Luna's MBD. Most of you know my setup so I will not bother to post. As for feeding was on a silkie diet for several weeks (moths and cats) with occasional super and cricket. He will not eat roaches yet for some reason I just changed his light (last time was July)

He is active, still wanders his jungle gym, etc. I also noticed some weird spots in his poop (yup, poop shots!) which is going to vet tomorrow.

Anyway... I uploaded a bunch of photos to webshots (too cumbersome here) and if you'd go there and look in the Cyrus Nov. 2006 album. I was trying to show legs and eyes - and of course poop. btw, the white spots in poop are not moving - I am wondering if they are moth eggs - it's happened before!

Thanks!!!

lele
Cyrus Pics
 

roo_71

New Member
Have you thought about a possible vitamin A deficiency? I cant seem to find the thread now, but Jim from Chamco posted some good info about it the other day. Interesting enough for me to copy it to my pocket pc for saving. Here is the text ...

"How sure was the vet that the closed eye was due to an eye infection ? If it was first one eye, and then the other, and an eye infection was not confirmed, it could easily be a deficiency of Vitamin A. Most other internal problems that eventually cause death will also have eye closings as a component, but its almost always both at the same time. One eye at a time, if not an infection, is Vitamin A about 75% of the time. It may be too late already. If not, go to GNC and get some Vitamin A (retinal palmitate) gel caps. Cut one, and moisten a Q-tip. This may put the equivelent of a drop in the Q-tip. Touch it somewhere inside the mouth of the animal, so that you estimate you have left 1/100th of a drop there (each cap usually contains 10,000 to 15,000 iu per cap). It doesn't take much, as you want your animal to get 100-150 per dose. Do it daily for 5 days when the animal looks symptomatic of Vitamin A deficiency. Normally, an animal with one eye closed, which is still relatively early in the problem, will have it open again in about 3 days. If the animal seems to recover, do it once every 7-10 days after that. Do not dose the animal with a whole drop under any circumstances. Likely any vitamins you use lists beta-carotene as the Vitamin A source. Doesn't get the job done in chameleons. Good luck."

-roo
 

lele

Avid Member
thanks, roo. It crossed my mind but he seems to have a touch of edema (isn;t that too MUCH vit A?). I ran out of silkie food for a while and kept them goping on butterniut squash (high in Vit A) so that was another reason I dismissed it.

I think I may get bloodwork to see for sure as I would hate to give him Vit A if he has too much. He will not cup feed so it is more difficult to dust.

Were you able to see the pics? I will upload elsewhere
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
lele...butternut squash is a beta carotene source of vitamin A and you can't overdose it....but what Jim is talking about it preformed and you can overdose it...so you have to be careful with it.

There is some controversy, especially with panther chameleons that they can't convert beta carotene to vitamin A...but there is also this study that says the eggs can...so if that's true, then why can't the chameleons?...
http://trophort.com/003/669/003669573.html
"Measurable concentrations of retinol at all stages of egg development in the chameleons suggests effective conversion from carotenoid precursors, with concentrations similar to those measured in other lizard eggs."

Panthers have somewhat fatter/thicker legs than veileds do...so his legs don't bother me. They look fine to me.

Those white spots in the feces part of his "output" bother me...just because I have never seen that before and I don't know what to make of it. They almost look like perlite from the potting soil...but I know you cover your soil...so that can't be what they are.

Cyrus's eye bothers me....the way it has that bagginess close to his face and then the more normal shaped turret further away from his face. I have seen this in pictures on posts before. I don't know what causes it.

The only time I have seen that bagginess in one of my chameleons was when a Meller's I had had surgery for a sinus infection near his eye...the swelling appeared after the surgery...and was the result of the surgery.

Foleyella sp. can also cause swelling of the eye. I've only seen one case that I thought was caused by this...and it was never properly diagnosed by the vet. Can't remember if you feed WC insects or not?

Here's a site that talks about eye swellings, etc. but nothing in it strikes me...
http://www.anapsid.org/eyebulge.html

Sorry I haven't been much help in this. :( I hope the vet will figure it out.
 

lele

Avid Member
I have counted more on good gutload than dusting for him since he free ranges his food. I have been using mainly gutload from Reptayls when I ran out of mine (and never got around to making more).

K- you know me, that whole Vit A thing has always been confusing! I did just check out the link and read what Ferguson says in his book. I have emailed him about the blotchies (he used to work with them!) and may pick his brain here, too. Interesting about them not being able to use beta carotene. I will admit, he probably has not gotten dusted (vit) insects as much as he could have - for all the reasons mentioned. Maybe I'll try the remedy that roo posted.

A few additional comments: he does not keep it closed all the time, in fact it is probably open as much as it is closed. He is able to use it to focus and shoot. The bagginess seems worse after he has been rubbing it. He will actually let me be his "rubbing post" (like a cat having its ear scratched really good!) That is how I get the ointment on.

Glad to hear what you said about his legs. I was looking at other people's panther pics and they do seem to be a bit more "meaty" but his back ankles were looking reminiscent of Luna.

I uploaded 3 more closeup pics of his eyes here: closeup eyes

I don;t feed wild caught other than the occasional winter moth. No one is eating crickets them so I did not reorder and did buy some from a pet store but waited a few days before feeding. He gets all home grown food.

The white things in the poop scared me, too but I think they may be silkmoth eggs. He ate an unmated female silkmoth a day or two ago which means she was still loaded with unfert. eggs. Darwin pooped a HUGE bunch out one time and scared the #$%^ out of me! Upon closer inspection I realized what they were, but getting the fecal done anyway.

He will be going to my non-cham vet so I hope he can figure things out. He is a herp vet (Darwin goes to him) and I will explain everything when I bring in the fecal tomorrow as his appt. is not until Friday. hey, maybe I'll bring him in a few pics to study over his T'day meal! lol!

Cyrus is such a sweetie - just like Luna. He is a very passive guy and will be one year in just a few weeks (12/12) so hopefully we made it past any hormonal personality changes:eek:
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Lele,
Just saw this thread. I am pretty religious about the pre-formed Vitamin A, exactly as it was quoted. The open,then shut, then open thing sounds pretty familiar. That would mandate a daily vitamin A thing here for five days, then once weekly. As for the edema, I have seen edema where I could pinpoint too many vitamins, and not enough vitamins. More often than not, it was a vitamin deficiency by my reckoning. I would also say that the bulk of the research, and it is far from conclusive, supports the same thing, to include the appearance of fully developed embryos that never hatch, but give the appearance of edema, amongst heir other probelms, when cut out of the egg and examined. I have more supporting evidence, and its not all being posted here. I am not saying that beta-carotene does not serve a function. I will say this. I have provided beta carotene in significant quantities to veileds and panthers over extended periods of growth. I have seen statistically significant number of those animals (over 10%) develop what I interpreted as signs of Vitamin A deficiency. I then dosed all effected animals with pre-formed vitamin A as prescribed above. Over 90% of the symptoms disappeared, and if I maintained a regular regimen of pre-formed Vitamin A, stayed gone. You decide.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jim...you give the chameleons preformed vitamin A...but what do they get in the way of vitamin D3 in the way of supplements? Is any D3 provided in the gutloads you give to the insects? Do any of your chameleons ever have MBD?
 

lele

Avid Member
Lele,
I am not saying that beta-carotene does not serve a function. I will say this. I have provided beta carotene in significant quantities to veileds and panthers over extended periods of growth. I have seen statistically significant number of those animals (over 10%) develop what I interpreted as signs of Vitamin A deficiency.
Hi Jim,

I will try the Vit A tomorrow and Thursday. The vet appt. is Friday so I can decide then. Of course I would rather not stress him (and bring him out in NH cold!) if possible. Did you take a look at the pics?cyrus

He very well may not have been getting enough preformed Vit A due to minimal dusting (free range feeders)

So you give this to all your chams on a weekly basis no matter what? Interesting...

thanks!
lele
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jim...you said..."I have provided beta carotene in significant quantities to veileds and panthers over extended periods of growth. I have seen statistically significant number of those animals (over 10%) develop what I interpreted as signs of Vitamin A deficiency"...what signs of vitamin A deficiency did you see?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
lele...I'm glad you figured out what the white things were in the feces. I thought they looked like some kind of egg!

You said..."I have counted more on good gutload than dusting for him since he free ranges his food. I have been using mainly gutload from Reptayls"..I'm not familiar with that gutload.

You said..."K- you know me, that whole Vit A thing has always been confusing! I did just check out the link and read what Ferguson says in his book. I have emailed him about the blotchies (he used to work with them!) and may pick his brain here, too. Interesting about them not being able to use beta carotene"...how are the blotchies? All I can say about this whole vitamin A thing and the eyes is that I have never had a case of swollen eyes in my chameleons except when there was a reason (like the sinus infection, for example). I have not used preformed vitamin A for years...my gutload contains only beta carotene sources; my supplements contain only beta carotene sources. My gutloads also do not contain vitamin D3 and my supplementing of vitamin D3 is minimal. I mention the D3 because D3 and vitamin A are antagonistic to each other and one affects the other.

You said..."I will admit, he probably has not gotten dusted (vit) insects as much as he could have - for all the reasons mentioned. Maybe I'll try the remedy that roo posted"....all I know is that what I do works for me. The thing is that the whole supplementation/nutrition thing is a balancing act. We need to look at the whole picture.

You said..."A few additional comments: he does not keep it closed all the time, in fact it is probably open as much as it is closed. He is able to use it to focus and shoot. The bagginess seems worse after he has been rubbing it. He will actually let me be his "rubbing post" (like a cat having its ear scratched really good!) That is how I get the ointment on"...the cases I've heard of concerning these baggy eyes have not kept them closed all the time either. I have had chameleons use me as a rubbing post too...much safer than using a rough old branch! It is a good way to get the cream on!

You said..."I uploaded 3 more closeup pics of his eyes here: closeup eyes"...I looked at them.

You said..."I don;t feed wild caught other than the occasional winter moth"...I only asked that because of the foyella possibility.

You said..."He will be going to my non-cham vet so I hope he can figure things out. He is a herp vet (Darwin goes to him) and I will explain everything when I bring in the fecal tomorrow as his appt. is not until Friday. hey, maybe I'll bring him in a few pics to study over his T'day meal! lol!"...I hope he can figure things out too! He should be able to test for vitamin A levels.

You said..."Cyrus is such a sweetie - just like Luna. He is a very passive guy and will be one year in just a few weeks (12/12) so hopefully we made it past any hormonal personality changes"...panthers can be so mellow! Happy birthday to Cyrus (early because I'll forget)!

Waiting to hear what the vet says!
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Lele,
I have bantered this about in other threads in this forum, but the first symptom that you will easily see is a single eye closing. There are many other things that can and do go wrong, but they are internal, and not easily identified. The good thing about the eye closing is that it occurs early in the problem, is easy to see, and easy to fix. Through private communications, I have given this advice to many others with indoor set-ups, and it worked for them.
Dr. Ferguson and others began working with pre-formed Vitamin A in the 90's. My experience has mirrored their conclusions.
I have also often recommended Rep-Cal with D-3. I use other concoctions with differing calcium sources as well, to include mixing in my own D-3. But Rep-Cal with D-3 has always been reliable in our set-up. For comparison though, my animals also get 50-80% real sun UVB year round. It has always been my feeling that real sun is difficult to substitute for. I wish I could give good advice for multi-generational success with indoor systems, but I don't have the data, and don't expect I ever will. Being indoors is a handicap I would just as soon avoid.
You don't have to look long at any forum to see "Help ... eye closing problem". All are dusting with the commercial products that are loaded with beta-carotene, and they list it as "Vitamin A" on the label. Dry or powdered vitamin A doesn't really exist yet, although I've heard of a couple of start-up products. Tetra used to make Reptisol, the best commercial vitamin product I ever saw. Liquid. People avoid the liquid. Tetra discontinued the product. They used a bi-polar solvent to get some retinal palmitate in the product, as chameleons will react harshly to any quantity of oil in their mouths. That's why the Q-tip and just a touch with it, so as to leave behind 1/100th of a drop.
As to incidence of MBD, everyone will have to work within their system to find their balance. What works in my set-up may be insufficient, or excessive, in yours. Wish it were simpler.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jim, you said..."As to incidence of MBD, everyone will have to work within their system to find their balance. What works in my set-up may be insufficient, or excessive, in yours"...this is what I was trying to get at when I asked you about the D3 you provide. Vitamin A is antagonistic to vitamin D3...so from what I've read you can give preformed vitamin A as long as you balance it with the D3 because if its not in balance it can result in MBD or other problems.

Also, again...you said..."I have provided beta carotene in significant quantities to veileds and panthers over extended periods of growth. I have seen statistically significant number of those animals (over 10%) develop what I interpreted as signs of Vitamin A deficiency"...what signs of vitamin A deficiency did you see?

Since I'm not using anything but beta carotene sources of vitamin A and I don't seem to be having any problems with my veileds or panthers, what is it I should be looking for that indicates that they are not getting enough vitamin A or else not being able to use the beta carotene?

You said..."Dr. Ferguson and others began working with pre-formed Vitamin A in the 90's. My experience has mirrored their conclusions"...what conclusions are you meaning?
 

hybrid

New Member
Just out of curiosity, if you had a cham feeding from your hand or bowl feeding...........couldnt you just swab a tiny bit of the oil on a cricket and call it a day?

Seems a bit easier to get a cham to take it like that.
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Kinyonga,
I hope not to miss anything, but you may need to reread my last post. I say there in the very first part of it that, in answer to an earlier question, a single eye closing is the first outward sign of Vitamin A deficiency. As to what you have read about one vitamin being antagonistic towards the other, some times you have to trash what you read, and start to tinker with what works. Baseline place to start is that Mother Nature gets it right. That is always proof number one. Label it antagonism, etc, but she gets it right, and she does it without "antagonism". I wish it were easy, but you have to find that balance, that is automatic in the wild, within your environment. I cannot guarantee success for you if you will just follow what I do. I can't even guarantee success for myself, as admittedly I am modifying Mother Nature. But don't get too hung up on other people's use of the word "balance". In the wild, I do not believe that a chamneleon has to count calories, iu's of vitamins, etc. What I have come to believe is that there are broad windows for some of these things, and that in the wild at least, it is easy for chameleons to stay within them. If not, that species would be extinct. The problems lie with our bringing them into our alternative environment. I think that the windows of tolerance regarding the use of D-3 are broad enough such that commercial products are both safe and recommended by me. What is not tolerated well by the animal is a complete ommision or gross under-supplementation of a Vitamin. I have said this many times in many places, but real sun is the best first thing for a chameleon. Without it, the problems mount. My best advice for any hobbyist is to go with the Vitamin A as I have outlined, and dust with a calcium with D-3 2-3 times per week.

Dr. Ferguson et al concluded in the '90's that chameleons need pre-formed Vitamin A. To my recollectoin, as I don't feel like pulling out the study, Scott Stahl worked this one as well, and it was reported by Ardi Abate in The Journal of The Chameleon Information Network. My work with far more chameleons than they had to work with confirms that with a gold star. A single eye closing is the first outward sign for the layman (or laywoman) hobbyist. My results have been confirmed by others independent of my critters.

The suggestion to put the dash of Vitamin A on a cricket etc that could then be given directly to a chameleon would work just fine. Hope I got it covered. Happy Thanksgiving!
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Kinyonga,
Rep Cal with D-3. Dusted. Didn't I say that already ? My MBD incidence is extremely low, but my environment is different from most. How can I assure you that the supplementation will keep you from experiencing MBD when mine get real sun, and yours do not ? As I mentioned above, each person's critters are dependent on the collective performance of their set-up.

One other thing to add for thought. As I mentioned, my experience is that given a large quantity of animals in a Vitamin A "challenged" environment, 10% of them will show easily visible symptoms of it. It is also my estimation that in the same group, at least 50% will eventually reflect some of the more subtle symptoms. Forgive me, but don't ask. It is my opinion that unless an animal is getting a variety of wild-caught bugs, is is 100% likely to be lacking in the amount of vitamin A that it needs, barring actual suplementation of the real thing. Some just carry the deficiency better than others. If they could talk, and we were better able to measure their physiological mechanics, it would scare the hell out of some of us.

One last thing Kinyonga. How about making a signature that has your name in it. If your parents gave you but one name, Kinyonga, forgive me, but I don't think so. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your birth certificate says more than "Kinyonga" on it. If you want a dialogue, you need an ID, at least with me :cool: I consider it a basic courtesy. Happy Thanksgiving all !
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jim, you said "you may need to reread my last post. I say there in the very first part of it that, in answer to an earlier question, a single eye closing is the first outward sign of Vitamin A deficiency"...I did read your post and you said..."I have seen statistically significant number of those animals (over 10%) develop what I interpreted as signs of Vitamin A deficiency"...signS not sign...I realized that you considered the eye situation as being ONE sign of a vitamin A deficiency...I asked the question because you said signS and I wanted to know what the other signS were.

You said..."some times you have to trash what you read, and start to tinker with what works"...that's precisely how I got to where I am today..by learning by doing/trying. As I believe I said in one of my posts I have not had a case of baggy/swollen eyes in any of my chameleons that was not caused by something other than vitamin A (such as a sinus infection in a Meller's that came to me with the infection and the surgery resulted in the baggy/swollen eye situation). I have also had many bodies necropsied and only one came back with a vitamin A deficiency recorded....and it was a chameleon that came from WC parents that at the end of a year was no bigger than a two month old chameleon of that species (C. chamaeleon)...and it never had any eye problems at all before it died at about the age of one. If I had listened to what I was read, I would never have hatched C. chamaeleon eggs; if I had listened what I had read, I would have mated my very first veiled female when she wasn't even done growing; if I had listened to what I was told (chameleons can't live in captivity for longer than a couple of weeks), I would never have bought my second chameleon.

You said...:"My best advice for any hobbyist is to go with the Vitamin A as I have outlined, and dust with a calcium with D-3 2-3 times per week"...and there it is...you give considerably more vitamin D3 than I do.

You said..."My MBD incidence is extremely low, but my environment is different from most. How can I assure you that the supplementation will keep you from experiencing MBD when mine get real sun, and yours do not ?...I'm not worried about my supplementation as far as MBD is concerned...I haven't had a case of MBD in one of my chameleons for many years now.

You said..."Some just carry the deficiency better than others"...some chameleons do carry the real state of their health better than others.

You said..."If they could talk, and we were better able to measure their physiological mechanics, it would scare the hell out of some of us"...I agree, if we knew the truth, it would scare us. Some do "talk" though....but its after their death, in a necropsy.

You said..."How about making a signature that has your name in it" and "If you want a dialogue, you need an ID, at least with me I consider it a basic courtesy"....I'm not changing my signature...however, my name has been mentioned several times on this forum...but I'll mention it once more since you missed it...its Lynda.

Happy Thanksgiving...(I'd forgotten about it being the American Thanksgiving...we celebrated it already weeks ago.)!
 

lele

Avid Member
Well, I am glad that Cyrus' eye sparked this interesting dialogue.

I decided not to do anything (give the Vit A) until I see the vet tomorrow. As for supplements I have always used Rep-Cal Ca/D3 and Rep-Cal Herptivite on all my herps. I live in NH so getting real sun is obviously pretty limited. Even in the summer there are really only a handful of days where they can be out for several hours, but Darwin has his swimming pool and ramp (lol) and Cyrus has a sunning cage. They are both also content to go for walks with me. But I am dependent on indoor UVB lighting.

As for the whole discussion on balance I know how difficult it can be. Jim, I don't think I "knew" you when I had Luna (female veiled). She was never mated, developed infertile clutches 4 times in a year (37-42 eggs each time!) and the Ca balance was impossible. She developed MBD even with the best care I could give and working closely with a trusted ARAV vet. She died on my lap on the way to the vet. Her necropsy revealed that something had burst and she bled out internally:( I think many of those who went thru that with me, on another forum at the time, felt almost as badly as I did when I lost her (that's her in my avatar). In hindsight, I may have overfed her (causing constant egg development, but it may have also been hormonal. It was a roller coaster ride and a lot of vet trips and $$. She died at just over 2 years. I will say I learned a lot both during the time I had her and after and have been so thrilled that Cyrus has been such a healthy guy - hoping that we will figure out the eye issue and it will be easily taken care of.
K - The blotchies are doing well and in a semi-brumation. I thought Ana had eggs several weeks ago and even posted it on KS Chuckwalla forum but then she never did anything about it and would sometimes stay in the sand for up to two days. At first I would poke around to make sure she was alive! Now both she and Stan will sometimes take a one or two day "buried in the sand" snooze and are less active but both seem healthy. I cut back on temps, lights & food as I really don't want to deal with anymore eggs for a while!

Reptayls gutload is quite good (I have their recipe somewhere). You know Morgana from KS forums, she and Yosemite(?) Calvert are Reptayls. She, like you and Carlton (and others) has always been a big help to me over the years esp. with Luna. When I make my own gutload I use a varied version of adcham's and Reptayls.

Just curious - what do you use for your dry gutload?
 
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