How long does it take for MBD to develop?


New Member
Ive just been wondering how long it would take for MBD to develop... I mostly want to know so that I can rest assured that i'm doing things right. I know it develops over long term neglect, but how long term, are we talking months or years? thanks in advance :)


Chameleon Enthusiast
Ive just been wondering how long it would take for MBD to develop... I mostly want to know so that I can rest assured that i'm doing things right. I know it develops over long term neglect, but how long term, are we talking months or years? thanks in advance :)

Weeks. The rate it develops probably depends on how "bad" the care is and the cham's age. It could happen pretty fast in a fast growing juvenile. With the right lighting but poor nutrition it might take longer, but no lighting AND poor nutrition it would happen faster.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Why don't you answer these questions and post a picture of your cham so the members here can make sure you are doing everything correct.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
Location - Where are you geographically located?


New Member
Your Chameleon - Fisher's, male, he's 7 months old. I have had him for about 4 months
Handling - rarely, twice to three times a month
Feeding - Flies, Crickets, Earwigs, Arthropods, Moths.
Supplements - Calcium, no D3 once a week, Calcium With D3 once every two weeks.
Watering - Warm mist 2-3 times a day.
Fecal Description - solid brown, white urate, looks healthy based on what I have seen of healthy feces.
History - Ive been told by breeders that hes growing well and looks healthy.
Cage Info:
Cage Type - 4ft, by 3ft, by 2ft. screen cage.
Lighting - Zoo-Med 75 watt UV bulb, about a foot above his cage. He also gets about an hour of natural unfiltered sunlight a day (he enjoys this)
Temperature - 66 at night, 70-73 radiant, 85 basking
Humidity - I don't know my humidity sorry, I use a humidifier and mist 2-3 times daily, Figured that should do it...
Plants - Yes, Bamboo, Ficus, and Dracaena deremensis
Placement - Its by a Window, no fans, and its 4 feet from the ground and its the highest piece of furniture in my room.
Location - Southern California


Avid Member
Hey, good to hear you taking preventative measures. I do not think there is any risk of MBD judging by what I have seen of your husbandry practices in both photos and the growth of the animal. The only suspect for MBD is the UV bulb. If you have any worries just go and buy a linear UV bulb like the zoomed 5.0 LONG TUBE and a T5 fixture.

Do you have any photos from the first days you had the cham? I would like to see a time lapse comparison!


New Member
Just curious, how does he get the unfiltered sunlight? Do you take him outside?
He gets his sunlight through the window hes next to, I open it during the time of day when the sunlight hits his cage. and I don't have many pictures of when I first got him... I have one but I don't think you'll be able to tell much from it... but ill post anyway



Avid Member
He certainly does not have any severe bone disorders. It is hard to determine overall growth because it is hard to get a sense of scale from the two photos but I expected him to be a bit bigger by now. His siblings in my care are hitting a spurt right now as the days lengthen. He will probably start to do the same soon.

How old is your uv light? It may be soon enough to buy a new one and I again recommend a long tube style light.

Another issue to consider is gutloading. Right now it is easy to find papaya in grocery stores. That and dried brewers yeast are two great ingredients to feed your insects to bulk up your chams.

The last thing to consider is the heat light. Can you post a photo of how it is positioned in relation to the nearest perch?


Avid Member
Hey I found some pics of your cage from an earlier thread. It looks like the heat light is positioned too high off the cage. Is is a permanent fixture in the wall? It is hard to tell from the picture. If so, try to raise the cage up to the point where the light housing is touching the screen -- assuming the wattage is not over 75. If you can move the housing then just go ahead and do that.
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