Please, help me help Dusty...

MeggyT

New Member
Please, help me help Dusty... (MBD?)

Hello all, I've been around in this forum for some time, but only passively, observing and learning. I've got an ~7 month old female veiled cham, Dusty. Unfortunately I think she's developed MBD, and I realise that the fault is completely mine because I did not give her enough calcium and vitamins, I guess, and I feel awful about that... Please, please, please, help me fix her, or at least make it better for her because she seems unhappy... :(

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Veiled, female, about 7 months old (they told me that she was 4 months old when I got her, but I can't be sure). I've had her since June, so three months...
Handling - Every other day before I realised she's got MBD (she enjoyed exploring and standing on my head ^^)
Feeding -I am feeding her mainly with crickets because in Bulgaria (that's where I'm from) this is the most common insect that you can find in a pet shop. Sometimes I give her green locusts. I feed her 4-5 large crickets every day. I am gutfeeding them with tomatoes, fruit, salad, etc.
Supplements - Vitamin jelly from time to time. Reptile complex (vitamins and minerals with D3) once a week. (That's what I didn't do right ;(( )
Watering - I mist 2-3-4 times a day, it depends. The first misting is when I wake up.
Fecal Description -Dusty hasn't been tested for parasites, her fecals are darkish brown with a little white at the end.
History - Dusty is my first pet ever, she was a present from my friends for my 18th birhtday, and they consulted the guy at the pet shop about the size of the cage and everything, so I think that he may have misinformed them. This summer I was away for some time, so my parents and my little brother took care of Dusty.


Cage Info:
Cage Type - My cage is ExoTerra, all-glass, and soon I'm going to order a larger and better one. The dimentions are 30/20/20 cm (I realize now that this might be too small)
Lighting - To tell you the truth, I have no idea about the brand, but it's UVA and UVB both, and I turn on the lamp when I wake up, and I switch it off around 9 o'clock in the evening.
Temperature - I haven't checked, if it is really important, I will measure the temp later.
Humidity - Same as temp.
Plants - I am not using live plants in the cage, but sometimes I let her climb the live ones we have in our living room.
Placement - The cage is about a meter from the floor, and I have an air conditioner in my room, but I am careful with it because of my cham.
Location - Sofia, Bulgaria (That's Eastern Europe)

Current Problem - Well, after having read quite a lot in this forum, I came to the conclusion that Dustyl has MBD (I feel like a terrible owner...). Her hind left leg is really bad, I mean, she can move it, but it is somehow twisted (I'm going to attach some photos). A week ago she lost her apetite, and I noticed that she had some difficulty chasing the crickets (I let her hunt on the balcony), as well as shooting her tongue (not very accurate, not fast enough, and not far enough). Then I also noticed that she does not drink a lot of water (she hates it when I mist, but then usually starts drinking), she simply ignores it most of the time. A while ago she was shedding her skin and started laying at the bottom of the cage more often. I didn't think that there was something wrong, I thought that maybe the temperature was too high and so I started turning the lamp off for about 30 mins whenever I saw her like that and this seemed to solve the problem. Now I know that my assumption was wrong... I am going to take her to the vet this week, on Tuesday, or Wednesday at the latest. Today I am going to buy various supplements (Calcium, multivitamins, jelly, etc.) and I hope that maybe if I give her what she needs regularly, and with the help of a vet, I might be able to fix her.

Please share your thoughts, I am open to criticizm, advice, anything... I am really attached to Dusty, and I'll do anything to make it better for her.

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juice28

New Member
How long has her leg looked like that? Im not a veteran here so hopefully one of the more experienced keepers will chime in with some ideas but if she's getting uvb..and calcium daily even if it was with d3 once a week....And from what you said it sounds like she's gets a fair amount of outside time too. Does you balcony get direct sun and is that something you do regularly? . Mbd might not be it..it def looks broken though. The vet visit will tel all if she's calcium deficient or what.

As far as vitamins go and d3 calcium go..once, twice a month calcium w/o d3 daily or every feeding is the norm from everything iv read and heard. Yes temp is very important and so is humidity, for all you know your set up could 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit sorry dont know the Celsius conversion for that with 70-80% humidity and glass holds heat and humidity pretty good so having at least a general idea with a thermometer high and low in there will help you help her. Best advice I can give you is keep her comfy and hydrated till the vet visit, get a thermometer and if you haven't already, start using straight calcium daily. Don't beat yourself up over it, she has a lil issue, your taking the proper steps to correct it, that is what being a good keeper is about.
 
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MeggyT

New Member
She's been like this since last Tuesday, I think. A friend of mine was taking care of my cham, as I was away for some time, and she called me, and then took her to a vet. The vet said that she was not given enough supplements, and that this was an early stage of rickets. However, I want to take her to a veterinary clinic, since this vet did not prescribe her anything, nor did he give any further advice or so...
 

SaintJimmy

Avid Member
One of the legs definitely looks mangled and broken. Not to alarm you, but it MUST be causing your poor chameleon a significant amount of pain. I strongly suggest (actually I wish I could force you to) get her to a PROPER vet ASAP.

The leg needs some sort of cast and medicine to even start to heal. Her other legs look fine. That one needs some serious work though.
 

MeggyT

New Member
Guys, she has MBD, and it's really bad. That one leg is fractured and the vet made a cast on it, but otherwise idk if Dusty's gonna make it. I'm feeling really guilty and I am so terribly sorry. The doctor gave her a shot of calcium, as well as some liquids with vit B, and some painkillers for the leg. I am going to take my cham to injections almost every day, and there is a slight chance that we could make it better..... I hope that we can fight this, and make her feel better... :(
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Many chameleons survive MBD. I'm hoping all the best for Dusty. You did the right thing getting her to the vets.
 

MeggyT

New Member
Hey again!

Dusty is doing better overall, she's more energetic and is trying to climb and to get out of her cage. Besides a heavy dusting of the crickets with calcium, the vet perscribed her injections with calcium, a number of liquids (mostly vit B), and painkillers (these should be given orally) two times a week. I give the injections myself, and have done this twice by now, but I think Dusty started to associate the pain from the needles with me taking her out of the terrarium and would not let me anywhere near her. She is just hissing all the time, and I'm wondering whether there is something that I could do to make her trust me again..? Oh, and the vet made a cast for her leg, but I had to remove it a week after that because her leg started swallowing below the cast, and this weekend I'm taking her to the clinic again, for a new cast.
She has always been pretty hyperactive for a cham, and is starting to get become like that again. I am very hopeful, but you can never know...
One last thing - I keep seeing her standing in one place with her mouth slightly open, can anyone suggest why this could be happening?

Thanks a lot for everything, you really helped me! :)
 

Poptartjake

New Member
Hey again!

Dusty is doing better overall, she's more energetic and is trying to climb and to get out of her cage. Besides a heavy dusting of the crickets with calcium, the vet perscribed her injections with calcium, a number of liquids (mostly vit B), and painkillers (these should be given orally) two times a week. I give the injections myself, and have done this twice by now, but I think Dusty started to associate the pain from the needles with me taking her out of the terrarium and would not let me anywhere near her. She is just hissing all the time, and I'm wondering whether there is something that I could do to make her trust me again..? Oh, and the vet made a cast for her leg, but I had to remove it a week after that because her leg started swallowing below the cast, and this weekend I'm taking her to the clinic again, for a new cast.
She has always been pretty hyperactive for a cham, and is starting to get become like that again. I am very hopeful, but you can never know...
One last thing - I keep seeing her standing in one place with her mouth slightly open, can anyone suggest why this could be happening?

Thanks a lot for everything, you really helped me! :)

I am very sorry for what happened to Dusty and wish her a speedy road to recovery. Even the best of owners over look things from time to time.

Now, something you could try but I am not sure how well it would work is to do the shots with maybe some kind of Halloween mask on and maybe a long sleeve shirt you never wear. That way she a lower chance of associating you directly with the pain from getting a shot. Once again, this is just an idea.

As for her standing in one spot and "gaping." Is she doing this on her basking spot in particular or is this happening somewhere else in the cage? I would bet that either the basking temp is too hot or the ambient, either or.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Glad to hear she is doing better!

Also thought that I should mention that females can produce eggs without having been mated and they need a proper place to lay them so they wont become eggbound. An opaque container at least 12" deep by 12" by 8" filled with moist playsand is usually recommended. It should be left in the cage all the time.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Gaping can also be a sign of a respiratory infection. Have you changed your temps and made them hotter? If not, and she did not gape before, then there could be another issue going on.
 
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