possible metabolic bone disease, please help

kurtis1400

New Member
Hi, I bought a male ambilobe chameleon in december I put alot of time and money into having the perfect set up for him, I thought I was doing everything right for him. But about three days ago he started acting different, he was having trouble gripping the branches, then the next day I noticed that when he would walk his front legs would grab his face instad of the branch. He is not nearly as active as he was. I have been trying to see what I did wrong, and I think I found out what the problem is . For his uvb I bought the floresent UVB zilla hood with a retisun 5.0, when you buy them they have a clear lense that covers the bulb, I never thought twice about taking it off because when I buy a UVB hood you would think I could use it to give my chameleon UVB light, but as I have researched I have found that it will filter out the UVB. As mad as I am the damage is done, but I am wondering what I can do to get my chameleon healthy agin. I give him reptivite multi vitamins once a week, reptical with D3 once a week, and a straight calcium supplament every day. I mist him 3 times a day. His basking spot is about 86 degrees and the bottom of his cage is 68 degrees. I gutload my crickets with cricket crack, and feed him a super worm every other day. I would realey appreciate some advise on bringing him back to normal if possible. THANK YOU
 

camimom

New Member
Hi, I bought a male ambilobe chameleon in december I put alot of time and money into having the perfect set up for him, I thought I was doing everything right for him. But about three days ago he started acting different, he was having trouble gripping the branches, then the next day I noticed that when he would walk his front legs would grab his face instad of the branch. He is not nearly as active as he was. I have been trying to see what I did wrong, and I think I found out what the problem is . For his uvb I bought the floresent UVB zilla hood with a retisun 5.0, when you buy them they have a clear lense that covers the bulb, I never thought twice about taking it off because when I buy a UVB hood you would think I could use it to give my chameleon UVB light, but as I have researched I have found that it will filter out the UVB. As mad as I am the damage is done, but I am wondering what I can do to get my chameleon healthy agin. I give him reptivite multi vitamins once a week, reptical with D3 once a week, and a straight calcium supplament every day. I mist him 3 times a day. His basking spot is about 86 degrees and the bottom of his cage is 68 degrees. I gutload my crickets with cricket crack, and feed him a super worm every other day. I would realey appreciate some advise on bringing him back to normal if possible. THANK YOU

Can you post a picture of you cham? and yes,t he plastic shield filters out all the good uvb rays. If it is warm enough in your area, try taking him outside and letting him get some natural sunlight.
A vet visit might be in order, sometimes they can give calcium injections, to help boost him up some.
Unfortunatly, if it is mBD, any damage done is permanent, but you can prevent it from getting any worse.l
 
How's his eyes look? His age in December to present would be a factor. You might see sign of MBD in the limbs if he was young and growing.
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
Dont wait take him to an experinced reptile vet. He can help you prevent any further damage and it sounds like you are catching it fairly early on. You dont want him to get any weaker.

Also rearrange his cage so that he has a way to move around without being able to hurt himself. He needs something like a hammock type device to chill on. You dont want him to try climbing up to the top of a 4ft cage right now. He needs something smaller and with less height.

I wouldnt try overdoing it with the supplements. Keep giving him the calcium w/o d3 daily. But I'd do the cal w/d3 only 2x amonth and the only 2x a month at most with the multi vita also. Over supplementing is just as bad as undersupplemeting. What your looking for is moderation, if your feeders are well gutloaded you shouldnt have to give him much in the way of a multi vitamin.

Natural sun is his best friend now. He needs access to that as much as possible. And get him to the vet and get some calcium injections. Good luck.
 

radstusky

Avid Member
As stated by others, you should definitely take him to the vet right away.

I'll tell you my experience recently with my Jackson's chameleon, not that I'm necessarily recommending this treatment for you since you should do what your vet says. I took my Jackson to my vet because he hadn't been eating for the last couple months and his weight has been declining. He was never weak and his grip was always really good, painful even. After examining him, the vet said he has MBD or at least the beginnings of MBD, and gave him a shot of calcium and also one of vitamin A. He gave me a syringe (not with a needle but with a blunt tip) and said that I should mix up some Repcal with D3 and some water and give it to him on a daily basis for 30 days by squirting it right in his mouth. After the 30 days I should drop down the frequency to once per week. He said that we are basically doing recovery for a while. My point here is that if your cham does have MBD, it doesn't hurt to give some extra supplementation for a while imo. Of course, see what your vet says though. Also I think my Jackson is doing much better already (it's been almost 2 weeks now), and I'm expecting him to make a full recovery.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I wish some vet would explain why they automatically jump to giving a chameleon a dose of vitamin A no matter what it was brought in for....especially when its MBD. If the chameleon is already having calcium issues due to a lack of UVB or D3 and A and D3 are antagonistic to each other in that excess vitamin A may prevent the D3 from doing its job...why would you give it vitamin A when its already lacking D3????
 

kurtis1400

New Member
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I am trying to post some pics. so I hope this works, but he is not showing alot of phisical signs other than when he walks and his lower lip is a little saggy, one of the pics. shows his lip. I took him to the vet and he thnks it is MBD, he gave him a shot of calcium and an antibiodic shot, also some antibiodic drops, he thinks his mouuth might have a little infection from his jaw softening up. To answer some of the responses, his age is 7 months old he was three months old when I got him. He still has an appetite, and is drinking water. I hope I have caught it soon enough, and I appreciate all the advise I have recieved. THANKS AGAIN
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
I wish some vet would explain why they automatically jump to giving a chameleon a dose of vitamin A no matter what it was brought in for....especially when its MBD. If the chameleon is already having calcium issues due to a lack of UVB or D3 and A and D3 are antagonistic to each other in that excess vitamin A may prevent the D3 from doing its job...why would you give it vitamin A when its already lacking D3????

That's a very good question. We were taught not to. I think it's the turtle medicine extrapolation from vets with reptile experience nonspecific to chams. Seeing lots of sliders with hypovitaminosis A all the time probably just makes them think of it for any sick reptile. Not the best way to do things though...
 

ShortStack

New Member
I was explained to by my vet the vit A situation. He stated that the vit A toxicity we hear about was written into a paper by one person who had experienced this. And although this seemed to be a rare case, the paper was still written and it had caused the hysteria that Vit A should be used very sparingly as it can cause toxicity very easily, which as explained doesn't seem to happen very often.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
I was explained to by my vet the vit A situation. He stated that the vit A toxicity we hear about was written into a paper by one person who had experienced this. And although this seemed to be a rare case, the paper was still written and it had caused the hysteria that Vit A should be used very sparingly as it can cause toxicity very easily, which as explained doesn't seem to happen very often.

That is actually true. But kinyongia wasn't really referring to toxicity concerns. Physiologically D3 promotes absorption of calcium by the bones, so it's very important to have if you are working with an MBD case. But high vitamin A levels (not necessarily toxic levels) can actually inhibit D3 activity, which would work against your treatments. So there's really no reason to give vit A because hypovitaminosis A is rarely seen in chams to begin with and it can work against the treatments for MBD. That is true about the one paper though.
 
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