need some Vit A advice (kinyonga? roo? Jim F?

lele

Avid Member
Hey - it's that same old eye thing. Although the eye does not really seem any worse in an obvious way, Cyrus seems a bit lethargic and not eating as much. He'll still come out on his gym and go back in to drink and bask. He is getting plenty of fluids between his dripper, showers and humidifier. I work at home and he is in my office so I flip on the humidifier when he goes to sit in that spot with his head angled down (Damn, I have always had really smart chams! Luna did the same thing) or if the dripper needs refilling.

The Tobramycin made no diff. either. As soon as those 5 days were up I went back to trying the Vit A. Dosing seems a nightmare. I had a lengthy conversation with my vet yesterday about dosing and he even said that in the latest research there is discrepancy. He did agree 100% with the fact that just beta carotene is not used by insectivore/carnivore reptiles whereas it is by the herbivores b/c it is something they naturally convert from plants. He also said that crickets (and other feeders) do not normally use it so it pretty much passes thru. Of course, this is a reason for gutloading a small group of feeders for 24 hours before feeding to herps but it still makes you wonder.

OK, back to the dosing, one of the ones he read was 8000iu 2 times a week apart. Another (going by his weight of 137g) was 13,700mg(?) every 3rd day. I am awaiting a call back from him to discuss it more. I currently have 8000iu of r. palmitate. I had been giving him a single drop by putting it directly on the moth or whatever he was about to eat. I ran out of silkmoths (they were the easiest b/c I knew he would eat them).

I squeezed out one entire capsule, pulled it into a syringe and get about .1ml (notice POINT one ml ;)) So now that I know how many ml - much easier to deal with - I am curious about dosing and would like other opinions.

This of course brings up the whole issue about using a dust that does not contain preformed Vit A. Herptivite is not one of them as it only has beta carotene. We can leave that for another discussion, right now I am concerned about Cyrus. This basically means he has never gotten proper Vit A (turned a year on Tuesday) b/c I use Herptivite for dusting and of course carrots, squash, etc. for gutload.

He is still showing some signs of throat edema. I have taken new pics that show the edema and will upload tonight.

I am not looking to get berated by anyone, I am looking for advice and experience with this terribly confusing, and concerning, issue.

Btw, I easily got the .1ml into him yesterday by getting him mad at me. It takes a lot (he's so mellow) and I hate to do it, but if it truly is only once a week then I'll do it.

Thanks in advance!!
lele
 

Fate X

New Member
i dont have any answers but my one veiled still has a eye issue herself,to make a long story short her eye swelled n went shut after taking her to the vet she got put on antibiotic and silvadene cream for a small injury above the eye. her eye opened in3-4 days later ,through all this everything about her is normal eating, etc. however her eye is still swolen some ,its open and she see's out of it but its still somewhat swollen. and i dont kno whats wrong with it today i put a coolmist humidifier on her cage.
whats with the vitamin A preformed or beta carodene i use repcal and zoomed do they have the special vitamin a?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was going to ask you how Cyrus was doing....and then this post appeared...so the eye thing is still there...

You said..."he is in my office so I flip on the humidifier when he goes to sit in that spot with his head angled down (Damn, I have always had really smart chams! Luna did the same thing) or if the dripper needs refilling"..very interesting, but not really surprising to me that he knows where to sit!

You said..."The Tobramycin made no diff. either"...somehow I knew it wouldn't work.

You said..."As soon as those 5 days were up I went back to trying the Vit A. Dosing seems a nightmare"...when he's drinking from the dripper or during misting, I always just sneak the syringe into the open mouth as the chameleon drinks. Bring the syringe up from below his jaw so there is less chance of him noticing what you are doing. How many times and how long have you given him the preformed vitamin A now?

You said..."I had a lengthy conversation with my vet yesterday about dosing and he even said that in the latest research there is discrepancy. He did agree 100% with the fact that just beta carotene is not used by insectivore/carnivore reptiles whereas it is by the herbivores b/c it is something they naturally convert from plants. He also said that crickets (and other feeders) do not normally use it so it pretty much passes thru. Of course, this is a reason for gutloading a small group of feeders for 24 hours before feeding to herps but it still makes you wonder"...I agree with the comment about the herbivores being able to convert the beta carotene and with the carnivores getting preformed vitamin A from their meat-eating...makes sense to me. When it comes to insectivores....I am not 100% sure...but I think what little vitamin A they get from the insects is preformed. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong). I do know that most insects don't have a lot of vitamin A in them...which to me leaves the chameleon in a position of getting it from what the insects eat...only thing I can think of. I also have read several articles that indicate that the vitamin A levels in insects can be raised by diet.

You said..."OK, back to the dosing, one of the ones he read was 8000iu 2 times a week apart. Another (going by his weight of 137g) was 13,700mg(?) every 3rd day. I am awaiting a call back from him to discuss it more. I currently have 8000iu of r. palmitate. I had been giving him a single drop by putting it directly on the moth or whatever he was about to eat. I ran out of silkmoths (they were the easiest b/c I knew he would eat them)"..I'm leaving the dosing up to someone else. I'm no vet and I have no experience with giving liquid vitamin A to chameleons.

You said..."This of course brings up the whole issue about using a dust that does not contain preformed Vit A. Herptivite is not one of them as it only has beta carotene. We can leave that for another discussion, right now I am concerned about Cyrus. This basically means he has never gotten proper Vit A (turned a year on Tuesday) b/c I use Herptivite for dusting and of course carrots, squash, etc. for gutload. He is still showing some signs of throat edema. I have taken new pics that show the edema and will upload tonight."...I think you have one "not" too many in this...but I still know what you meant! All I know is that I give my panthers and veileds NO preformed vitamin A (not in the form of dust, which I only use twice a month, or in the gutload I use) and I only dust the insects lightly with D3/calcium twice a month. If I remember rightly, you use more D3, don't you? Perhaps this is affecting the need for vitamin A? I'm not a vet so I can't be sure.

I have never had that type of eye problem with any of my veileds or panthers. I don't see any gular edema in any of mine usually either. One very old female panther chameleon used to develop a bit of gular edema when she was gravid...but I have a feeling it wasn't to do with supplements. Maybe, if I had had experience with the eye problem or the gular pouch edema, I might have had a real answer for you!? LOL.

You said..."I am not looking to get berated by anyone, I am looking for advice and experience with this terribly confusing, and concerning, issue"...I hope I have never berated you, and I wish I had a definite answer to offer you.

I sure hope that you can get Cyrus's problems sorted out!
 

lele

Avid Member
sounds like yours actually had an infection whereas Cyrus doesn't.

As for the beta carotene/preformed Vit A it is all quite confusing, but you can start with my earlier posts re: his eye where roo, Jim F and K all replied. Also check out Cham Journals for article.
 

lele

Avid Member
Hey k - I'm going to reply tomorro and I need to give it a rest. I'll have uploaded pics by then, too.

Do you have pics of any of your setups?

later,
lele
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
lele...I don't have any pictures available right now. Its a long story...but they are in my other computer and its packed up at the moment. After Christmas I'll try to get some photos loaded into this computer and post them. Sorry.

Fate X said..."whats with the vitamin A preformed or beta carodene i use repcal and zoomed do they have the special vitamin a?...Rep-cal has vitamin A from a beta carotene source. There is no "special" vitamin A...there is vitamin A from beta carotene sources and there is vitamin A from preformed sources"...Beta carotene (pro-formed vitamin A) comes from fruits, veggies and greens and is the precursor of vitamin A. In other words, beta-carotene has to be converted in the body in order to be used by it. Beta carotene that is not needed is simply gotten rid of by the body...so beta carotene can not cause an overdose of vitamin A. (Notice the e's and o's...preformed, with an "e" is retinol and can be overdosed...and proformed, with an "o" is beta carotene and can not be overdosed.)

Preformed vitamin A (retinol) occurs only in foods of animal origin. Preformed vitamin A is ready to be used by the body and any extra is stored. If the body takes in too much preformed vitamin A, then it causes an over dose. This is where the danger lies....overdosing is not something that we want to have happen.

With chameleons, especially panthers, there is a concern that they can not convert the beta carotene to vitamin A and therefore need preformed vitamin A which puts us in the position of having to worry about overdosing them.

As if this is not enough to think about, vitamin A is antagonistic to vitamin D3 Too much vitamin A affects the calcium levels in bones. This is rather a simplification of it however...but it means that (preformed) vitamin A and vitamin D have to be in a balance too.

Enough for now! Hope I didn't make it too complicated or long...or miss anything!
 

lele

Avid Member
l
As if this is not enough to think about, vitamin A is antagonistic to vitamin D3 Too much vitamin A affects the calcium levels in bones. This is rather a simplification of it however...but it means that (preformed) vitamin A and vitamin D have to be in a balance too.
and how do we know if we are keeping this in balance? You know Luna's history and it is pretty much agreed that she died from her constant production of eggs and the whole calcium balance, but I now wonder how much the Vit A may have added to the problem. That said, b/c veiled DO eat some vegetation do they convert beta carotene naturally?

OK, now it is not just my hand that is tired, but my brain, too.

see you tomorrow...
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Fate X...there was a thread on this forum about vitamin A and swollen eyes a few days ago...I don't have time to look for the link right now for you....but it had to do with lele's chameleon and its eye problem.

lele said..."and how do we know if we are keeping this in balance?"...this is always a problem to figure out. All I can tell people is what I have done regarding supplementation and gutloading for veileds and the results. I can only assume that since my veiled females live to be 6 or older generally and my males live to be even older, reproduce healthy babies that also grow up to live long lives, that I must have some sort of a balance between the vitamin D3 and the vitamin A and the phos./cal.

lele said..."You know Luna's history and it is pretty much agreed that she died from her constant production of eggs and the whole calcium balance, but I now wonder how much the Vit A may have added to the problem"...I remember dear Luna and what you went through with her. I know that you do things differently than I do regarding supplements, etc. so it might have played a part.

lele said..."that said, b/c veiled DO eat some vegetation do they convert beta carotene naturally?"....I can only assume that they do. I can't find any proof.

This study on F. pardalis also suggests that they can convert beta carotene..."Measurable concentrations of retinol at all stages of egg development in the chameleons suggests effective conversion from carotenoid precursors, with concentrations similar to those measured in other lizard eggs"
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/95016303/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

Here's another study concerning vitamins A and D3...but it doesn't say what the vitamin A source is...
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/68753/ABSTRACT
 
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