MBD - seriously?

tdismang

New Member
When I took Jake to the vet yesterday, I was startled to hear that he has advanced MBD. I keep an eye out for the tell-tale signs, and I haven't seen a single one. So he is on calcium glubionate, as well as anti-inflammatories for the injury. I use a 10.0 repti-glo tube bulb and his basking bulb is a 100W neodynium UVB bulb. I dust, gutload and let him spend time in the sun as much as possible. It is getting quite hot here in Texas though, so I haven't been able to let him stay out as long as he used to; I take him back inside when he starts gaping. The emergency vet gave me the name of a local herp vet with a ton of chameleon experience so I'm going to consult with him about my lighting set up. It's just so...weird.
 

camimom

New Member
Did the vet take xrays?

Can you post photos of your cham please?

How exactly did he come to this diagnosis?
 

tdismang

New Member
This is from yesterday. The swelling in the gular region was, per the vet, because of the stress from the injury. This was not present until the incident yesterday. It has subsided quite a bit as of this morning.
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from last week
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2-3 weeks ago
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about a month ago
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tdismang

New Member
Did the vet take xrays?

Can you post photos of your cham please?

How exactly did he come to this diagnosis?

The vet said that x-rays would be pointless because nothing would show up due to the low bone density. I explained to him that Jake was not weak before this happened, but he just seemed so insistent on MBD. I was so terribly upset that I didn't have the energy to argue with him. Besides the fact that he is a veterinarian, with herp experience, and he obviously knows more about this than me, he seemed very sure of it. I think I may take him to another vet for a second opinion.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I don't see any outward physical signs, either. Everything is nice and straight or the shape it should be.

Were there x-rays done? It's possible that his bone density is a little low in radiographs, but it's not something you can see on the outside. Or did he do bloodwork?

Edit - After reading your reply, yea, I would find another vet for a second opinion. For one, I think an x-ray should have been done anyway just to see what was happening with his back legs (is that better today?) and that would have been helpful for a couple reasons. I've had vets who had chameleon experience but who weren't sure if chameleon tails grew back or not, and it's that kind of detail that lets you know that a vet may know a great deal about physiology and medicine, but may not be as good at chameleons as they claim to be.
 

tdismang

New Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon -
species: veiled
sex: male
age: ~8 months
How long has it been in your care? 3 months
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? almost daily
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? mixed diet of silk worms, dubia roaches, super worms, horn worms (I stopped providing crickets as he lost interest in them)
What amount? varies, i usually provide 1 - 2 of 2 or so feeders
What is the schedule? every morning
How are you gut-loading your feeders? home-made gutload consisting of dandelion greens, butternut squash, turnip greens, escarole lettuce, bell peppers (only the fruit),
Supplements -
What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Exo terra calcium dust every other day, Rep-Cal calcium w/ D3 every two weeks, Rep-Cal herptivite multivitamin every two weeks
Watering -
What kind of watering technique do you use? Automatic mister/rain system and ultrasonic humidifier
How often and how long to you mist? automatic mister/rain system runs 3 times a day (every six hours) for 10 minutes. humidifier runs for two hours, off for one
Do you see your chameleon drinking? yes
Fecal Description -
Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. brown, solid, with white urate
Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? no
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?) all screen cage, left and back sides are draped with painter's drop cloth to prevent overspray from mister
What are the dimensions? 4ft tall x 2ft wide x 2ft deep
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? Exo-Terra Repti-Glo 10.0, 100W neodynium basking bulb
What is your daily lighting schedule? 7 AM - 8 PM
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? basking spot - mid to high 80s
Lowest overnight temp? low 70s
How do you measure these temps? digital therm/hygro probe
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? anywhere from 30 - 70 depending on how recent the cage has been misted
How are you creating and maintaining these levels? live plants, misting, humidifier
What do you use to measure humidity? digital therm/hygro probe
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? gold pothos, hibiscus, petunia
Placement - Where is your cage located? upstairs bedroom (previously in the living room, but it has been moved due to the cat activity)
Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? Ceiling fan is in the center of the room, cage is in the far corner. Very low traffic.
At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? ~6 feet
Location - Where are you geographically located? North Texas

Current Problem - Jake was diagnosed with advanced MBD by an emergency vet when I took him in to be treated for injuries sustained by my cat.
 

camimom

New Member
I will agree with Olimpia.

I see no outward signs of MBD.

I suggest finding another vet.

Even if he has low bone density, the x-rays WILL show this. which does imply MBD.

Unless your vet has x ray vision, there are no signs of mbd anywhere.

I suggest another vet.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Back when I was a kid (12 or so?) a 'good reptile vet' was adament that my iguana had advanced MBD because she looked bloated despite not having any deformities. I refused to accept that because even at that age I knew she had good husbandry. I finally convinced him to take an X-ray after a few days and sure enough she was full of eggs (42!) but her bone density was excellent. Keep in mind that I took her in because I knew she must be gravid but like most captive iguanas would not lay them. She got spayed and is still alive today. Anyway, I don't see any signs of MBD externally on your cham. So without any signs externally, and no internal diagnostics done I do not agree with the diagnosis. It is easy for vets to assume that reptiles are not being kept properly since 90% of them are not when they first meet the vet. And a decent percentage of those do in fact have MBD because of it. But to say yours has advanced without any clinical signs of it? Don't buy it. The ER vet probably doesn't see many reptiles but has heard of how common MBD is. Also, with a cat bite your chameleon should have been put on antibiotics, which I don't see mention of. Take him to the real reptile vet and see if you have a better experience.
 

tdismang

New Member
I don't see any outward physical signs, either. Everything is nice and straight or the shape it should be.

Were there x-rays done? It's possible that his bone density is a little low in radiographs, but it's not something you can see on the outside. Or did he do bloodwork?

Edit - After reading your reply, yea, I would find another vet for a second opinion. For one, I think an x-ray should have been done anyway just to see what was happening with his back legs (is that better today?) and that would have been helpful for a couple reasons. I've had vets who had chameleon experience but who weren't sure if chameleon tails grew back or not, and it's that kind of detail that lets you know that a vet may know a great deal about physiology and medicine, but may not be as good at chameleons as they claim to be.

I was actually quite shocked that he didn't do an x-ray or at least blood work. I got a couple of references to vets with a lot of chameleon experience, I just need to find the money for another visit.
He seems to have regained a TINY bit of use in his legs...but I doubt he will ever regain full use of them. The strange thing is, his tail is still fully prehensile. My main concern is if he will be able to defecate. Ugh...my poor Jakey Boo. I am so sick over this. :(
 

lancaster0861

New Member
Man i'm no vet, but I would have to agree with everyone else on this. You would think that for a chameleon to have advanced MBD you would be able to at least see some external signs of it or deformations. Possibly he may have a mild case of it, but he didn't even do an x-ray so i would think he wouldn't be able to tell. As far as advanced MBD I think you should def get another opinion, I think your guy looks good all in all. Just looked at the pic again and i mean his legs are nice and straight looks like his casque is also nice and straight.
 

tdismang

New Member
Back when I was a kid (12 or so?) a 'good reptile vet' was adament that my iguana had advanced MBD because she looked bloated despite not having any deformities. I refused to accept that because even at that age I knew she had good husbandry. I finally convinced him to take an X-ray after a few days and sure enough she was full of eggs (42!) but her bone density was excellent. Keep in mind that I took her in because I knew she must be gravid but like most captive iguanas would not lay them. She got spayed and is still alive today. Anyway, I don't see any signs of MBD externally on your cham. So without any signs externally, and no internal diagnostics done I do not agree with the diagnosis. It is easy for vets to assume that reptiles are not being kept properly since 90% of them are not when they first meet the vet. And a decent percentage of those do in fact have MBD because of it. But to say yours has advanced without any clinical signs of it? Don't buy it. The ER vet probably doesn't see many reptiles but has heard of how common MBD is. Also, with a cat bite your chameleon should have been put on antibiotics, which I don't see mention of. Take him to the real reptile vet and see if you have a better experience.
Yeah...that didn't really hit me until we got home. They threw so much info at us, and didn't give ANY follow up instructions. Let's not mention the fussy and crabby 5 year old that was distracting me. But, like I said, I'm going to take him to a REAL vet.
Thank you EVERYONE so much for your input. After my last post and the ugly comments that were thrown my way, I was very hesitant to post again. I feel much better now :D
 

little leaf

Avid Member
I bet your new vet will be so much better - and dont give up on his back legs yet - if he can move his tail, I would think it just may be IN his legs, and not his spine ( but I am NOOOO vet, but I have one who is a friend, and I know dogs / cats are not chams - lol but I have been in her office and have seen dogs who were hit, can not use their legs one day, but do get use of them back )
best of luck at the new vet -
 

tdismang

New Member
After an anxiety filled day at work, wondering how Jake was doing, I'm finally home and Jake is still alert and his sweet self. Still dragging his poor gimpy rear legs, but he is managing to not fall and staying at the top of his home, where it's nice and warm. He is so precious to me, I really appreciate everyone's positive and hopeful words.
 

tdismang

New Member
Jake is regaining use of his legs little by little each day. Today is his vet appointment, please keep us in your thoughts :)
 
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