MBD... I think?


New Member
hi. my chameleon i believe might have MBD, but i'm not for sure. for the past four days, he hasnt eaten and really hasnt moved much. he is also favoring his left arm and isnt using it to grip branches. since he isnt eating, i mixed some calcium:phosporous powder in with his water. any other suggestions??
first i don't think you want to use a calcium with phosporous you want to use a repcal with d3 w/o phosporous for one treatment and then without D3 and phosporous for other treatments, actually you want to go to the vet and let them access the damage and will help you from there.
I would recommend that you take him to the vet as Drew already said. It could be a number of things. Once chameleons start showing signs of illness there isn't usually much time to deal with it before its too late.

Symptoms of MBD are....flexible jaw, flexible casque, arms or legs that are not straight or are broken...followed, as the MBD progresses by inability to lift the body off the branch, twitching, inability to shoot the tongue out properly. Eventually the chameleon will become lethargic and not climb the branches and not eat properly.

This site shows chameleons with severe MBD...

Is there any swollen area on the limb that he won't use?
yes. he wont use his left arm, and doesnt move around much(he is very feisty though. i reached my hand in there and he puffed up and hissed at me!!!). i also know that vitamin A defficiencys, and respiratory infections have similar symptoms. i dont know. i've been dusting the roaches he eats 2-3 times per week, and i feed them high protein, high vitamin A foods also.
oh, just one more thing. i didnt know how to post pics on here, so i posted them on repticzone.com. if you want, i took a pic of the leg he is having trouble using. just go to the site, under lizards, click on chameleons and click on the thread, "pic for chameleon forum." thanks!!:)
veterinarian resources

I think it would be easier for you to post your photo here instead of asking everyone to go and hunt for it on another forum. I agree with the posts above, your chameleon needs to see a qualified vet asap. The cause of your chameleon's symptoms can not be fully determined over a forum, and some of the possibilities are very serious. One possibility that I did not see mentioned above is gout. How much is the chameleon drinking and how are his feces? You may want to post the details of your setup and chameleon; some suggestions can be found here: how to ask for help.

You can post photos in your personal gallery on this site or in the forum itself. Check out the 'manage attachments' button at the bottom of the form when making or replying to a thread.
hi brad. i am sorry about that, and thanks for the info. actually, he isnt drinking water and he also isnt eating, but on wednesday and thursday when he didnt eat, he did drink a lot of water, and the fecal matter looked fine. as far as a pic goes, when i tried to upload it, it said "Your file of 642.4 KB bytes exceeds the forum's limit of 250.0 KB for this filetype". to tell you the truth, i do feed my roaches a VERY high protein diet, so that might be what it is(gout anyways). also, i found a vet that specializes in reptiles, and i am going to make an appt. tomorrow!! thanks for all your help guys and i'll keep you updated!!:) :) :)
*message For Brad*

hi brad. sorry to bother you, but i just wanted to fill you in on my doctor visit today. i told the doc that i suspected gout. she did a blood test and found that his white cell count was high, which indicated an infection. she is going to test the blood tomorrow for gout and will call when she finds out. worst case if it is gout, then i will just have to put him on a bolast to flush it out of his system. i was worried when i went in thinking it was gout, but when gout is the problem, she said the joints are swollen and you can sometimes see the protein crystals through the skin, and this wasn't the case here (although, if its a minor case, then it will show up under a microscope. anyways, she gave me 13 shots that i will administer 1/ day for 13 days. i am to give it to him in his front arm. when she calls tomorrow, i will let you know. thanks for your help brad, i really appreciate it!!:) :) :)

question i was reading this thread and when a chameleon has mbd why cant he eat/ shoot his or her tongue??
can they recover completely or just somewhat?
will a mbd chameleon ever be able to eat on his/her own again?

sorry for the 20 question just curious:)
asant0917...how is your chameleon doing now? You said that you were to give your chameleon shots...of what?

blood4eva69...you asked..."i was reading this thread and when a chameleon has mbd why cant he eat/ shoot his or her tongue??...the tongue can't shoot out because the lack of calcium affects the muscles and the bone strength, as far as I know. I think one reason the chameleon might stop eating when it has MBD is that the movement of the food through the intestine slows. Comments from anyone who knows for sure?

You said..."can they recover completely or just somewhat?"...most of the changes that occur to the bones will remain...once the bones are curved or broken, they will show the same.

You asked...will a mbd chameleon ever be able to eat on his/her own again?"...usually once things are corrected it will recover if its not too far gone...and I have seen some pretty bad cases recover.

Its not only important to correct the imbalance in the bone health, but its also important to correct the husbandry, etc. that led to the MBD in the first place to prevent it from coming back.

Appropriate basking temperatures are important for good digestion. Proper balance of phosphorous, calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin A are important in bone health.

You need to look at your gutload and supplementation to make sure that things are in balance there too.
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