mdb! help!!

Cjbeals

New Member
Hello everyone, I'm looking for help with my Panther Chameleon. Please know that though I am VERY new to this, I have worked a very long time to keep this guy very safe and well kept! He has a dripper and he's constantly hydrated. He also has a UVB light.
Recently, I voiced some of my concerns to a local pet store, they suggested that maybe he needs an increased heat lamp because Rango was just laying at the bottom of his terrarium. As I was talking to the staff, she asked me if his crickets and worms were supplemented with calcium and d3, I stated that "petco told me that they sprinkle all of the crickets before they're sold" She seemed concerned and felt that that wasn't true. In fact, they told me not to supplement at all when I suggested that I would purchase the d3/calcium because he "would get too much".
The last few days, as I'm watching him, Im noticing a SIGNIFICANT change in his behavior! He has trouble moving, falls off of branches, Etc. he's not eating much but he's still drinking from the water bottle. Please, please do not leave anything discouraging- I have tried and tried but I will tell you that petCO told me that I DID NOT NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPLIMENTS and reassured me that he would get sick if I sprinkled the crickets after I purchased them.
In conclusion, after I reseached these concerns I found that he has MBD. Personally, I never provided supplements based on what I was told. I'm devastated. He has a vet appointment on Monday, I bought Flukers with D3 today, also considering changing his cage? Right now, he's sitting at the bottom and I doubt he can benefit from the heat or UVB lights. Please any additional tips or help would be so appreciated. He is approx. 6 months old.
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Rango now
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The day we bought him Nov. 9th
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At the store before purchase.
 

jajeanpierre

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cjbeals, you might have bought him like that, so don't feel so guilty. You have a vet's appointment for Monday. Look on the bright side--you have a male which makes it a lot less complicated a disease process to deal with.

I would recommend that you don't make any drastic changes or purchases until you see the vet other than making it safe for him. Try to make his enclosure such that he can't climb and fall and he is has the right temperatures. Maybe you could set up a tote with a towel scrunched up at the bottom?

You might want to ask for help on your caging and lighting, but I do not recommend you buy anything until you've sorted out what you really want and need. Bad lighting and supplements will not make any difference for two more days. I think he had this since before you bought him. If you plan to buy new lights, I love the Arcadia lights. Get the 12%..
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry to see you're having trouble with your chameleon. How long have you had him?
How old is your UVB light?
What's the basking temperature in your cage?

Exposure to UVB allows the chameleon to produce the D3 needed to use the calcium in its system.

Appropriate basking temperatures aid in proper digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.
Btw...you can use a regular household incandescent light bulb of a wattage that produces a temperature in the mid 80'sF.

Since most feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorous its important to dust the insects just before feeding them to the chameleon with a phosphorous-free calcium powder at most feedings to help make up for it.

It's recommended that you dust twice a month with a phosphorous-free calcium/D3 powder to ensure that the chameleon gets some D3 without overdosing it and leaving the chameleon to produce the rest of the D3 from its exposure to the UVB light.

It's also recommended that you dust twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A. PrOformed sources of vitamin A cannot build up in the system and lead to overdoses like prEformed sources can and will leave it up to you to decide whether the chameleon needs prEformed or not.

It's also important to feed / gutload the insects properly. Crickets, superworms, roaches, locusts, can be fed / gutloaded with greens such as collards, escarole, endive, dandelion greens, kale, etc and veggies such as carrots, sweet red pepper, squash,zucchini, sweet potato, etc.

When a chameleon has MBD, the nutrients have to be brought back into balance and then good husbandry practiced to keep it from returning. The quickest way to do this is for the vet to give it shots of calcium until it's blood calcium levels are back to normal and it's bones, muscles, etc are strong again.
Good luck at the vets!
 

Cjbeals

New Member
I had asked petco about the gut load and they said "don't worry, they're gut loaded here", I felt like I had to ask because I just felt like I should be doing something! And I remember associate that sold us had mentioned the gut load but when I went back they said the crickets wouldn't need it. His heat lamp is 100watt, I recently increased it from 60 because he seemed kind of lethargic. The UV light is fairly new, we got it in November. He's still eating, tonight he has about 10 worms and I put in him a smaller cage, temporarily, it's less dangerous with the vines and more exposure to the lights.
 

Cjbeals

New Member
How much was Petco selling them for?
Originally he was $300, they sold him to me for $150. They knew I wanted him, I was watching him for months and waiting for the reptile sale... So, they agreed on 150, but that makes me wonder if they did that because he wasn't well. Recently an associate asked me which Cham I had, I told her, and she said "how is he? He has me worried. He was really shakey before he left". It was that little comment and the comment from the other pet store that made me think oh my, somethings wrong!
 

oneillchameleons

Established Member
I had a very different response before I deleted it and posted this. We HAVE to stop these corporations from treating animals like this. what would it be like to sit in a cage while your bones turned brittle and fractured multiple times. We need suggestions...petitions, boycott, or otherwise... Does anyone here think we could influence this situation?
 

jajeanpierre

Chameleon Enthusiast
It's also recommended that you dust twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A. PrOformed sources of vitamin A cannot build up in the system and lead to overdoses like prEformed sources can and will leave it up to you to decide whether the chameleon needs prEformed or not./QUOTE]

Emphasis above is mine.

It is my understanding that chameleons cannot covert proformed Vitamin A (beta-carotene) to usable preformed Vitamin A.

There were small studies in the 90s that suggested chameleons should not be given preformed Vitamin A but later research refuted those findings.
 
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Meg4433

Established Member
If u can get ur bulb tested for UVB. That would be good. I had 2 bulbs test bad. One was brand new. I took back to petco told her it's bad. She I am sure gonna put back on shelf. Ugh
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jajeanpierre...the part you highlighted in what I said does say to use a vitamin powder with beta carotene....but this is so people won't get carried away with the prEformed vitamin A and as I said....it leaves them to decide whether to use prEformed or not. I have not used prEformed for many years and not had any issues with my chameleons that would indicate a vitamin A deficiency. The only report of one of ny chameleons having a vitamin A deficiency was when I was using a powder that did contain vitamin A....which struck me as very strange....except that it never grew and at the age of one was still the size of a newly hatched baby so there was something wrong with it anyhow.

I would like to read those studies if you can provide me with links.
 

Cjbeals

New Member
Does anyone have any input in terms of how I should address this to petco? I spoke to an assistant manager yesterday, he referred me to the store manager. I explained what the associates told me about the gut load and supplements, he said "I don't what what any of that means.." Meanwhile, I've watched him handle the reptiles there several times and he sold me crickets several times. How does he not know how to care for them?! Or what gutload is?! He's a manager! I explained that I didn't know his legs were deformed because he had crooked legs from the day I purchased him, so he's always looked like this to me - except now he is MUCH WEAKER and I showed him the picture of him at petco when I bought him in Nov. He said "maybe he came to us sick", he doesn't realize that I have a picture from July-Aug when he was just a baby and he looks well. He then went on to tell me that he doesn't know what MBD is, how can a manager not have this knowledge?! I don't know if I'll get anywhere with them and truly, I don't know if Rango is going to be okay. I feel terrible but at the same time I'm insanely pissed off, we love this guy, my kids love him, he's already a staple here. I don't know what to do.. But this HAS to be avoided in the future. I think they're so used to selling the baby veiled chameleons quickly but since Rango was $250 more than the usual veiled, he didn't sell quick enough and as a result he wasn't cared for properly.
 

Orcawhale

Member
I had a very different response before I deleted it and posted this. We HAVE to stop these corporations from treating animals like this. what would it be like to sit in a cage while your bones turned brittle and fractured multiple times. We need suggestions...petitions, boycott, or otherwise... Does anyone here think we could influence this situation?
A petition would sound right to me, something to keep regular pet stores from selling chameleons. The local pet smart here has an adult Veiled and he doesn't look good at all, his cage is more of a tank, and its the size of a small drawer. I'm sure 98% of the members here would sign it. Without hesitation.
 

Cjbeals

New Member
Any insight on what the vet bill will cost me? I PLAN to reach out to then for reimbursement, maybe my photos can be used as some leverage. I refuse to use their vet! I'm afraid they'll euthenize him!
 

Cjbeals

New Member
This is today..
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this is back in June
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I don't feel like he was sick when he arrived at petco, like the assistant manager suggested.
 

brownie64

Avid Member
If it is just his bones, and he don't have any other complications about all the vet can do is give liquid calcium to stop the progression of the MBD. His legs may never be normal again, but at least they won't get worse, and he should get stronger. So basically the cost of a vet visit, and the calcium. Unless they want to do x-rays to see the severity, but I think that's pretty evident from the outside. they would be around $80 dollars and up would be my guess.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Welcome to the forum!
Sadly, many of us were given poor care advice from petstore employees.
I'm very glad you've found the forum, as there are members here ranging from very experienced chamkeepers to those new to chameleons.

It is important that your vet be familiar with treating chameleons, as some who aren't have been known to do harm out of ignorance.

You will find this post, written by a veterinarian who also keeps chams, to be extremely helpful https://www.chameleonforums.com/thr...s-like-how-it-happens-and-how-to-fix-it.95071
It is very important NOT to overdo the D3, even at this point in time.

If you carefully read the post, especially the 4th paragraph, there is excellent info there on what to do to help your cham.

There are also some excellent caresheets on the forum, such as this Panther Caresheet ,written by experienced forum members https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/

Lastly, some more cham care info from the moderators https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/
 

Cjbeals

New Member
Thank you all for all of your help! Here's a quick update- he's had two calcium injections. Still not eating, he looks pretty skinny. He's also prescribed oral calcium twice a day. He was at the vet again last night. They took X-rays and they confirmed mbd. I'm still in the process of working with the pet store to be reimbursed. They, for one, told me yesterday that their crickets don't need gutload or supplements Bc they're basically genetically engineered with enough calcium. Not kidding. They also asked me to "refund him to see their vet" and I can repurchase after he's well. I declined Bc that gives them full reign on his treatment and I don't trust them. They also offered to return and REPLACE him, which is bullshit, I guarantee they wouldn't use the term "replace" for someone's dog or cat. It just shows the value that they place on their animals if they suggest that they can be replaced.
 

Cjbeals

New Member
A petition would sound right to me, something to keep regular pet stores from selling chameleons. The local pet smart here has an adult Veiled and he doesn't look good at all, his cage is more of a tank, and its the size of a small drawer. I'm sure 98% of the members here would sign it. Without hesitation.
How would I get that into motion?
 
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