Mbd? Please Help

mr_jamaica69

New Member
I have a veiled cham (< 1 yo)and the last 1.5 weeks have been horrible, oscar stopped eating, which im sure led to his loss of strenth in his hind legs. his front legs seem to be in better condition. his cage set up is a exo terra glass cage which is 45x45x60 tall cm. he has red bark chips for grounding a water dish and lots of vines and stuff to crawl on.

It all started 1.5 weeks ago when oscar just stopped eating infront of us. when my gf came home to find his back legs hanging and looking very sick, and he was dark colors. we took him to the vet immediety and he old us it looks like hes might have mbd... he gave him a calcium shot to oscar and he seemed to be getting in some better shape. he got home and had a very big bowel movement and it lasted about 15 minutes. his plants have organic soil which occasionally he ate sometimes. we picked him up some very tiny worms and put calcium powder on them and had to force feed him some. this showed to be very hard to do and could only do it for about 3 little worms... we also bought him new lights; a 14w 45cm repiglo 8.0, he was currently using a 5.0, and we got him a new 100w basking light as well.
the next day we came home from work to find him in better condition but his legs were still weak and we took him for another shot at the vet. came home and force fed him 3 crickets before he wuold no longer swollow any more.
today my gf came home to find him still weak in the back legs and went to get him a colaspable screen cage from the pet store, we and we moved his new lights to the top. if anyone can help me out with some other useful tips for him, im also ordering a new screened cage for him, i could also use a good useful site for this


PLZZZZZZ REPLAY ASAP!!!!
 

Jordan

New Member
There are a couple of recipes on this site to make liquid foods that might be able to help supplement him not eating. I would take him back to the vet for further examination and possibly a perscription to help keep his levels up. Once they get out of wack they are hard to stablize. The blood work will tell the tale of what is going on an extremely high phosphorus count could just conteract any calcium he is recieving for the time being. A normal calcium count would be 14-16 in most chameleons and a phosphorus of 7-8. His bones are probably thinning in the toes and he is developing fiberoids where the bones are thinning which is a very painful condition. I would urge you again to take him back to the vet. A condition like this is not an over night thing. If you post a little more on the specifics of you new cage (dimensions), what you have been feeding him (gut loading, supplements, insect types, and amounts), and watering habits (misting durations, use of a dripper). I am confident that you can get some good advice for the future and maybe track down what is going on. Their are some very knowledgable people in here that are always willing to help if they can.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Jordan posted some good info above. Adcham has a popular liquid food they call bug juice: link to bug juice.

Are there any other reasons besides weak back legs that make you and your vet assume MBD? Were any blood tests taken? I don't think I see any bone curvature in the photos you posted.

How is his water intake? You mention he took a large poop after receiving fluids from the vet. Any chance the cham's condition could be related to gout? Long term dehydration can eventually cause gout, and the back legs are a common place for this to occur. I am obviously not trained in this area, but it may be worth mentioning to your vet.
 

Sean

New Member
His legs are fine, he does not have MBD. If he did, there would at least be knots at his joints early on in the disease followed by unmistakably crooked bones. If he is hanging his back legs off the perch and taking 15 minute bowel movements, he might have ingested a piece of the red bark in his enclosure.
Never use any kind of substrate in your chameleons enclosure, take it out immediately. Veileds do eat soil from time to time, that's why it's important to
never use chemical fertilizers on your enclosure plants (make compost tea instead).
A water dish is no substitute for dripping water. Veileds will sometimes drink from dishes, but unless you see him drinking from it daily, take it out and get him under a drip.
Most chameleon species do very poorly in terrariums. The list of things that can go wrong is long. Veileds, like most chameleons, should be housed in screen enclosures for maximum air flow and temperature regulation. Lightweight, yet sturdy enclosures can be made from 2x2s and hardware cloth relatively cheaply. For an animal his size, I would build an enclosure at least 4'x2'x2' and with 1/2" hardware cloth (vinyl coated if available).
 

Jordan

New Member
If you look close at the foot in the photograph the knuckle at the bottom is showing abnormal swelling. Judging by the appearence that he is standing straight up this would not be normal. Brad had a good point with the possibility of gout and would actually be kind of common in that area from my understanding. I do not have any experience with gout either just read about it. It looks like a fiberoid to me. I would think time is a factor. Bone curving is not revirsible and may affect the quality of his life it gets to that point.
I think this link can help you. It explains the basics and is not so complex that you will have a hard time understanding what is going on. If it is in fact MBD.
www.repvet.co.za/health_metabolic_bone_disease_mbd.htm
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not a vet so anything I say is only "food for thought" or my own opinion based on my own experiences.

Can you post a picture of the whole chameleon please? From the parts that I can see, I don't see any obvious signs of MBD...but that doesn't mean he doesn't have it. Calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D and vitamin A are the main players in MBD. Is the calcium you are using phosphorous free? Does he get any direct sunlight? Do you dust with a vitamin D3 powder at all? Vitamin/mineral powder? Does anything you give him contain vitamin A from a preformed source? Is the light passing through glass or plastic? Do you gutload the insects? Do you give him any greens or veggies or fruit?

Eating soil is thought to be done because the chameleon is looking for nutrients that are missing from its diet.

I use no substrate with my chameleons. Too many of the choices are either toxic or can cause impaction.

Hydration is very important to chameleons. I mist the cage and use a dripper every day....and I don't stop misting until the chameleon drinks. Some chameleons will drink from a water dish....but not all.

Here are some sites with good information that you might want to read that include information on MBD, the relationship of calcium/phosphorous/vitamin D/vitamin A in MBD, gout, etc...
http://www.chameleonjournals.com/vet/
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/skintests.htm#discussion
http://www.chameleonnews.com/
http://adcham.com/

Was the bowel movement normal looking? Moist or dry? Thin or thick? IMHO, weak hind legs could be due to impaction/partial impaction...could be from ingesting something or from dehydration....but as I said, I'm not a vet.
 

mr_jamaica69

New Member
WOW... Oscar is doing amazing, he is eating now.. it took alot of changes but he is finally back to his self and eating alot, its great... thanks everyone for all your advise, cant thank you enough!!!!
 
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