Growths on body and eyes


New Member
Hey everybody,
My male Ambanja started to get some growth on his eyes and spots on his body a couple of weeks ago. It got to the point where I thought I needed to see a vet. The vet said he was suffering from a Vit. A deficiency and gave him a drop in the corner of his mouth. Vet said that he should get better and we should see some clearing up results within three weeks. I am scheduled to go back in for another drop/shot on 03/20/07. Has anyone had any similiar experience with a vit. A deficiency? When I bought him I was provided with the usual rep cal herptivite, rep cal calcium w/vit. D and Miner-all. Does this sound normal for dusting? Can someone tell me what I am supposed to be dusting with and a schedule. I looked at the ingrediants of all three containers and do not see any vit. A in any of them. The vet said that if there is any beta carotene then it would cancel out the vit. A, but as I stated, I do not see any Vit. A in any of the before mentioned products. Please someone help!!!!!!!
Hi.. what are you gutloading your feeders with? What do you primarily feed your ambanja? This is a pretty controversial subject, and something many of us would like to know more about. My vet ordered an article for me about Chameleons and Vit. A that I will be picking up tomorrow.. I will share anything I learn. I use Zoomed Reptivite about once every three weeks or so because it has preformed vitamin A in it. Other than that, I use the dusting powders you mentioned and depend on gutloads to fill the vit A requirement.
The conversion of beta carotene to vitamin A in chameleons is not fully understood at this time. There have been previous discussions on the forum about this that should provide more info.

The Panther Chameleon (Ferguson et al., 2004)
A diet containing carotenoids but not vitamin A does not seem to be effective at preventing vitamin A deficiency symptoms in panther chameleons.
Vit. A

I gutload my feeders (superworms, dubias) with apple, orange, fish food, gutload mix from LLL reptile, ground up dog food, breads, greens, etc... I use these two insects for the base of my feedings and sometimes throw in some crickets, silk worms, horned worms etc... I did not have time yesterday, but will take pictures today and keep track of how he progresses. I also have some of the reptivite but discontinued the use about a year ago when I purchased my female and was told to specifically stay away from it because it has Vit. A. I will use this as an experiment and see what the Vit. A that the vet gave him does. If it fixes it, then great. I personally think it is some kind of fungus or bacteria, but I am extremely anal when it comes to my husbandry and cleaning. We will just have to wait and see. As I stated earlier, I will post some pictures later today when I get home from work.
Howdy Guy,

Here's a Cut/Paste from another forum of my old 2005 post on Vit A...

The subject of supplementation certainly has a lot of controversy surrounding it. Vitamin A has had its ups and downs all by itself too. I was reading my latest library addition; "Reptile Medicine and Surgery", 2nd Edition, edited by Douglas R. Mader, MS, DVM, DABVP. It just started shipping a few weeks ago. It's an extensive update of the original 1996 version. It has increased from around 500 pages to over 1200 pages and over 900 images. Chapters are written by Mader and 72 contributing authors, mostly Vets.

I was especially interested in the conclusions about Vit. A and chameleons in chapter 18 (written by Susan Donoghue). I'm not sure just how new that data is but the conclusion that most chameleons are deficient in a source of preformed Vit A and not just beta-carotene got me worried. This deficiency is supposed to be causing real problems, especially noted in Veileds. That got me to thinking about my chameleons (1 Panther and 2 Veileds) as well as another Veiled that I was taking care of for some friends who went out of town for 10 days. Their female Veiled began having troubles staying upright on its branches and vines a month or two ago. She was looked at by an exotic vet who prescribed liquid Ca and more UVB (sunshine). The diagnosis seemed reasonable (she had produced 3 successful clutches) but the treatment didn't change anything for the first few weeks+. While she was in my care, Mader's book arrived. I read about the Vit A issue and decided to give her a couple of Ca/D3/Vit A dustings. I had some ReptoCal product that someone had given me but that I'd never used before. In its many ingredients, it listed Vit. A at 219,900 IU/kg. I dusted with it for 2-3 feedings and she actually began showing improvement after about a week or so. Her keepers returned and after a few more days they said that she was now climbing some and that her stability seems to continue to improve. It could be that the liquid Ca/UVB finally kicked-in or the Vit A did something useful or both.

I knew that there was some controversy about preformed Vit. A verses beta-carotene. I, along with many other chameleon keepers, use the Rep-Cal Herptivite multivitamin product that only has beta-carotene as a vitamin A source and no preformed vitamin A. Mader's book talks about how lizards like chameleons don't process beta-carotene like herbivores do thus leading to the chameleon's troubles. I'm in the process of re-thinking my supplementation. I'm thinking about either a replacement for the Rep-Cal Herptivite product or, more likely, adding some source of preformed Vit A to the dusting schedule (without overdosing). Mine usually get Ca/D3 every other week and Ca no/D3 on any superworms (poor Ca:ph) when not using Ca/D3. They get Herptivite once a month. This was based on suggestions from my vet, Dr. Greek, who has worked on 500-1000 chameleons. My chameleons get 4-8 hours of sunshine when the weather permits (not lately), along with 12 hrs of Reptisun 5.0 every day.

My biggest fear forms around my (unfounded?) concern that preformed vitamin A is easy to overdose. It is one of those vitamins that is stored in the liver etc. and can take months to use up what is stored. Too much can even contribute to a kind of nutritional MBD among other problems including death.

The book recommends a treatment (hypovitaminosis A illness symptoms present) dosage of:
Vitamin A (liquid?) @ 2000 IU per 30 grams body weight once a week for 2 weeks.

Using powder: Dusts containing 86 IU retinyl ester /g DM (dry matter), followed by 60 IU /g DM.

Then as a maintenance level dietary dose:
Dusts providing up to 60 IU/g DM or 5-9 IU/g cricket DM. (I didn't find where it mentions how often to dust at that dosage....)

Many months ago my panther went through a round of gular edema. The basic fix was to reduce vitamin and mineral usage to the present levels. I was using Ca/D3 and multivitamins closer to something like several times a week. He's been fine ever since.

My two adopted adult veileds (about 5yrs, 3yrs old), on the other hand, have been showing signs that got me to wondering about vitamin A among other things. Each symptom, stand alone, wouldn't necessarily cause me to jump for vitamin A but altogether, I wonder about it a bit more. The oldest guy, Grandpa, takes weeks to months to complete a shed. He doesn't shoot more than a couple of inches to snag food. Even though he does seem to be able to climb from top to bottom to top again in his 2x2x4 screen enclosure, he seems to be a bit shaky doing it. He will only eat a couple of silkworms every other day and ignores supers, roaches, waxworms, crickets. His personality isn't as "outgoing" as it was when I first adopted him back in March. He was a super eater back then too.

Timid, the 3yr old male veiled's only noticeable symptom at the moment is the weeks to months long shedding.

These two veileds have one thing in common: The previous keeper had used the ReptoCal Ca/D3/Vitamins dust with preformed vitamin A in it. I hadn't thought much about it when I adopted the chameleons and switched them over to the Miner-All (I), (O) products and Herptivite for multivitamins which was what my panther was already getting.

When I visited my vet a month or so ago, he didn't think that anything was very wrong with the long shedding to the extent that treatment was required. Many Keepers say that old chameleons have more and more trouble with sheds. I haven't asked him about my recent vitamin A concerns yet. I gave the veileds one feeding dusted with that ReptoCal product a few weeks ago and I'm still deciding what to do next.

If anyone out there has been using a multivitamin with preformed vitamin A in it or adding it to your regiment with success (whatever that means??), I'd like to know which product it is, dosage, and how long you've been using it. Also, if you have any of your own vitamin A hypo and hyper experiences, please share them!
Check these ingredients in your gutload for preformed vitamin might be giving your chameleon preformed vitamin A food, gutload mix from LLL reptile, ground up dog food, breads.

You said..."The vet said that if there is any beta carotene then it would cancel out the vit. A"...never heard of this before. If there is beta carotene in the vitamins you were using there wouldn't likely be any preformed vitamin A.

Can you post a picture of the spots/growth please?
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