Pretty sure my Chameleon's front left leg is broken, Is this MBD?

Teutonic

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, male, about 5-6 months old (The pet store owner claimed), been in my care for about 2 1/2 weeks
  • Handling - Only handled him twice so far, once to put him in the terrarium, and once when inspecting him for this post. Otherwise, I've been working on hand feeding him (Which he's been somewhat reluctant about). He's not super aggressive and only hisses when I get too close (Without offering him water, then he doesn't hiss but actually willingly drinks and has actually grabbed one of my figures once). He usually only hisses once or twice before he stops and just stares at me.
  • Feeding - Mostly crickets so far, ~5/day. Been gut-loading crickets with a bunch of oranges I had before I got him, was planning on throwing in some other vitamin D fruits.
  • Supplements - I've been using Repti calcium with d3 (as was recommended by the pet store employee who said she had some chameleons of her own) since we got him, dusting every other day. As for vitamins, I haven't fed him any since I was told gut loading would be enough
  • Watering - I mist for 1-2 minutes every 5ish hours, with a dripping system. I've only ever seen him drink when I offer him water in a little, flattish plastic cup, and a few times when I wet my hand and put it next to him.
  • Fecal Description - Generally wet and brown, one was more dry and black recently. Never tested for parasites.
  • History - Not much known history. He's been pretty active the first two weeks I got him, then the past day or two he's been moving slower, not so much standing on branches but dragging himself on them.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 18x18x36 inches, mesh on all sides (Plastic wrap on two to help keep moisture in)
  • Lighting - "Zoo Med Tropical UVB & Heat Lighting Kit " with 5.0 UVB and heating light that came with it (60 watts). At first, I kept the UVB on for about 14 hours and the heat lamp on all the time as per pet store owner's advice, but I found online that wasn't ideal and started turning them off at the same time. I'm planning on getting either a 10.0 or 5.0 UVB hood just incase this is from a lack of UVB.
  • Temperature - Ambient is 65F at night and 75F during the day, with basking spot reaching 80-85F. I use a generic thermometer
  • Humidity - 40%-55% generally. I have a humidifier next to the terrarium that I have on almost constantly. I use a generic hydrometer bought with the thermometer.
  • Plants - All plastic, with plans to get a live plant soon.
  • Placement - On the floor of the bedroom, low traffic in a closed off room. The top of the cage is 36 inches off the ground since it's located on the ground, I know it should be higher off the ground and I've been meaning to get a table from one of my neighbors to put it one that they offered me.
  • Location - Seattle, Washington. Suburbs.
Current Problem - He's been sluggish the past couple of days and hasn't really been moving much, and when he does it looks like he's dragging himself rather then actually walking. At first I wasn't sure why that was, and just made sure that I was dusting the crickets, and made an effort to mist more and feed him water more (Since he only seems to drink it when I offer it to him, idk why). Today I tried feeding him and he didn't seem interested, and I offered him water and while he tried to drink it, he wasn't able to drink much. I looked over him and then saw that his front left leg looked somewhat bent. I then went to pick him up for the first time to try to examine him closer, which he let me without really fighting (Which was a little weird). After looking him over the only spot that looks bad is the leg, I went to put him back in his terrarium and he wouldn't climb off my hand for a few minutes. When he finally did, his back left leg couldn't quite grab the branch well and he would move a little, then stop and open his mouth, then move a little more and stop again until he was at his basking spot. When I went to check on him a few hours later, he was lying on his side under the lamp. I'm super worried about him and I'm planning on taking him to a exotic vet tomorrow, but is there anything I could do or change so that this doesn't happen again or to make him feel better? Thanks so much
 

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mBuxx

Established Member
I'll let some of the experts chime in on the MBD, but I can offer you some head start advice that I know they will say as well. However, that leg does not look good, regardless of MBD or not.

What you need to do as soon as possible is get proper lighting, linear t5 6% is a great start. Do this as soon as possible. You will also need a bigger cage...24"24"48"..unfortunately I'm sure you bought the kit like many new comers have.

Your going to OD your cham giving D3 every other feeding. (if not already, as you say this was recommended by the store)
Calcium (phos free and d3 free) every feeding
D3 and multivitamin twice a month.

Your gut load is lacking big time, especially if that's your planned source of vitamins.

I will quote the care sheets here, i recommend a dry gut load such as bug burger/cricket crack along with these as well.

Suggested Ingredients

Best - These gutloading ingredients are best because they are highest in calcium, low in phosphorus, oxalates and goitrogens. They should be the primary components of your gutload: mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, collard greens, escarole lettuce, papaya, watercress and alfalfa.

Good - These gutloading ingredients are good because they are moderately high in calcium and other vitamins/minerals. They should be used in addition to those from the previous category: sweet potato, carrots, oranges, mango, butternut squash, kale, apples, beet greens, blackberries, bok choy and green beans.


These fresh fruits and vegetables can be combined with dry gutload mixes or home made mixes for optimal well-rounded nutrition. Dry ingredients can include: bee pollen, organic non-salted sunflower seeds, spirulina, dried seaweed, flax seed and organic non-salted almonds.


Avoid These Ingredients

Avoid these gutloading ingredients because they are low in calcium, high in phosphorus, goitrogens or oxalates: potatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, grains, beans, oats, bread, cereal, meat, eggs, dog food, cat food, fish food, canned or dead insects, vertebrates.


Vertebrates (pinkies, lizards, etc.) are not a notable part of a chameleon's normal diet in the wild. Too many animal proteins in the diet of an animal that's not a carnivore can wreak havoc on their kidneys leading to kidney damage and gout due to the difference in protein breakdown. Everything your chameleon needs can be obtained through an all-insect diet with good gutloading and supplementation.
 

Teutonic

New Member
I'll let some of the experts chime in on the MBD, but I can offer you some head start advice that I know they will say as well. However, that leg does not look good, regardless of MBD or not.

What you need to do as soon as possible is get proper lighting, linear t5 6% is a great start. Do this as soon as possible. You will also need a bigger cage...24"24"48"..unfortunately I'm sure you bought the kit like many new comers have.

Your going to OD your cham giving D3 every other feeding. (if not already, as you say this was recommended by the store)
Calcium (phos free and d3 free) every feeding
D3 and multivitamin twice a month.

Your gut load is lacking big time, especially if that's your planned source of vitamins.

I will quote the care sheets here, i recommend a dry gut load such as bug burger/cricket crack along with these as well.

Suggested Ingredients

Best - These gutloading ingredients are best because they are highest in calcium, low in phosphorus, oxalates and goitrogens. They should be the primary components of your gutload: mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, collard greens, escarole lettuce, papaya, watercress and alfalfa.

Good - These gutloading ingredients are good because they are moderately high in calcium and other vitamins/minerals. They should be used in addition to those from the previous category: sweet potato, carrots, oranges, mango, butternut squash, kale, apples, beet greens, blackberries, bok choy and green beans.


These fresh fruits and vegetables can be combined with dry gutload mixes or home made mixes for optimal well-rounded nutrition. Dry ingredients can include: bee pollen, organic non-salted sunflower seeds, spirulina, dried seaweed, flax seed and organic non-salted almonds.


Avoid These Ingredients

Avoid these gutloading ingredients because they are low in calcium, high in phosphorus, goitrogens or oxalates: potatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, grains, beans, oats, bread, cereal, meat, eggs, dog food, cat food, fish food, canned or dead insects, vertebrates.


Vertebrates (pinkies, lizards, etc.) are not a notable part of a chameleon's normal diet in the wild. Too many animal proteins in the diet of an animal that's not a carnivore can wreak havoc on their kidneys leading to kidney damage and gout due to the difference in protein breakdown. Everything your chameleon needs can be obtained through an all-insect diet with good gutloading and supplementation.

Thank you for the information. I got most of the advice on how to care for him from the pet store, but it's pretty obvious now that they were wrong about a lot of it. I'll get the right calcium and vitamins ASAP and still take him to a vet tomorrow. As for the lighting, is there one that you could recommend specifically? I greatly appreciate the help and I want him to get better as soon as he can!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Awwww poor little guy. Well welcome to the forum. I am sorry you are having this experience. I am sorry to say it looks like he has MBD. Front leg is bowed and the back one looks the same. This could not happen to this degree in the little amount of time that you have had him though. He did not have the proper lighting in the petstore. He needs a T5 fixture with a 5.0 T5 bulb... You could eventually move up to the arcadia brand and get a 6% uvb bulb. IF you heavily plant your enclosure you can do a higher strength such as a 10.0 or 12% arcadia brand. Vitamins with D3 should only be given every 2 weeks. Just a light powder not like a powdered donuts :)

Please make sure the vet you take him to is a reptile vet or they will not know what to do and how to do it properly. Try to take a fresh stool sample with you to rule out parasites while your at it. Just toss this in a clean plastic baggie. Put him in a box with air holes and a small towel to pad the bottom. Close it up so he stays in the dark this will keep him calmer and not be as stressful.

There are other corrections in your husbandry as @mBuxx pointed out but honestly you really have a major health issue going on with the MBD. Good luck :)
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
Definitely MBD showing in both the front and rear leg. They both have a noticable curve. D3 is dangerous in high amounts. Improper UVB can cause MBD as well. The coil style bulbs focus the UVB in a small area so if the chameleon isnt under the bulb, its literally doing nothing for the chameleon. With out proper UVB, the cham cant absorb and use the calcium for its bones which will cause the bones to soften and curve under the chameleons weight.

Vet recommended. Lighting and supplement upgrading is needed.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
So what does a vet do for broken legs? I can’t see them putting a splint on it... just give meds and tell you to keep them in a hospital bin?
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
So what does a vet do for broken legs? I can’t see them putting a splint on it... just give meds and tell you to keep them in a hospital bin?
It depends on the severity of the break, but yeah... splints aren't often used in my experience with reptiles. It pretty much boils down to pain control and restricting activity as much as possible while it heals.

Love those images btw! I'll be saving those.
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Brodybreaux25, So I'm a bit confused after looking at the graphic. I just got my little guy last week. I was planning this schedule: Miner-all outdoor daily, rep-cal with d3 every 2 weeks, herptivite multi every 2 weeks (alternating), vitamin A once a month, and bee pollen dust daily. But it looks like I should be doing the Repashy Calcium plus instead of the rep cal with D3 and Herpitivite? Sorry if this is dumb question, maybe I'm reading wrong. It's no problem for me to switch, I just want to get it right. I have a 3 month old panther baby, with 24" arcadia 6% UVB bulb. Thanks! (Sorry to jump in on this thread!)
 
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Scarface24

Member
Thank you for the information. I got most of the advice on how to care for him from the pet store, but it's pretty obvious now that they were wrong about a lot of it. I'll get the right calcium and vitamins ASAP and still take him to a vet tomorrow. As for the lighting, is there one that you could recommend specifically? I greatly appreciate the help and I want him to get better as soon as he can!
Poor little guy I just got my chameleon a new t5 6% look up arcadia pro t5 kit I think it's a good unit?
 
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