Signs of MBD

Xanitry

Member
Hi so my Cham has started to develop I wanna say early signs of MBD, and so far I got his calcium intake back on track having to force feed him jus in case (also bought a brand new UVB light since the one I had was dim and needing replacing). Well so far I’ve made it to where his branches are now like a little “therapy session” to where he can try and start climbing again but I was wondering how treating MBD works, I’ve done research on it and how to treat it but nothing else on what to do while doing this like how to make them feel safe which I had a homemade hammock put in to where he can sit and still bask and absorb the UVB light and have him outside a few hours a day when the sun is nice and bright. Worried about my little buddy and want him to start getting his strength back again :(
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    263.8 KB · Views: 2

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. Looks like he’s definitely got mbd. The best way to help correct the causes would be to review all of your husbandry. Copy & paste the following with your answers and more pics, including entire enclosure and more of your cham. Usually veterinary care is needed to better address and treat the mbd. While any effects such as bone disfigurement or fractures can’t be reversed, mbd can be halted to prevent any further.
From that pic, it also appears that your guy has a weight issue.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Xanitry

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male Veiled Chameleon - 8 months old - Been in my care since he was about 2 weeks old
  • Handling - I handle Donny about 1-2 times a week just so he can get outside in his outside enclosure
  • Feeding - I’m feeding him crickets, super worms, meal worms, and wax worms to mix up his diet so he doesn’t get bored of his food and the schedule is every other day since he’s getting older and his digestive system becoming a adolescent started to kick in, but I’ve been having to hand feed him with crickets dusted with calcium the past week when I discovered his MBD - I feed the crickets “Cricket Quencher Calcium Fortified”
  • Supplements - I’m dusting his crickets and worms with Repti Calcium that says it’s without D3 and it’s every other day as of now
  • Watering - I use both a dripper and misting and I mist about 6-8 times a day when I see his cage get dry and I can agree that I always see him drink from the leaves and the water that drips down from his casque
  • Fecal Description - His feces have always been healthy looking never no ordinaries and every time I seen even some yellow I always make sure that he’s drinking to change that and he hasn’t been tested for parasites
  • History - I got him since he was a baby and I’ve seen him grow into the adolescent that he is now which has been heartwarming, now I will say he’s very bipolar by being happy and then being very mad in a second but that’s jus his personality which I don’t mind :) now since he’s been eating his crickets he holds grudges with them especially when one gets close to him by forcefully holding them in his mouth and shaking very forcefully and continuing to hold them till they don’t move anymore ahaha

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - He’s enclosure is quite a decent size and it’s from the chameleon starter kit cages built and put together myself which I’ve never had problems or issues with it and it’s a screen cage all around
  • Lighting - I have the box for the UVB light I jus bought and it’s a Tropicle 5.0 UVB Bulb and it’s a 13 WATT, heat bulb is kinda of a iffy one but Ik it’s a 75 Watt that ever since he’s gotten it his colors have always been a bright green - Lights time are from 12-12
  • Temperature - His basking spot gets to about 90-80 during lights on the middle of his cage is about 79-75 and the bottom is about 70-65 depending on the day - these temps are measured by a thermometer
  • Humidity - I usually keep his humidity levels above 80 to make sure he’s very nice in his cage - I maintain by using a spray bottle which has done pretty good but I want to upgrade to a fogger when I have the money - the humidity is also measured by a humidity gauge
  • Plants - I have a mixture of florida bark and moss and leaves and some fake ones but not to where he can get to them and wind up swallowing them
  • Placement - His enclosure his located in my room where he’s been all of his time with me - he’s no where near any fans since my ac is across my room from him - the height is pretty decent off of the ground since I can’t make it to where he’s above me since I’m 6’5
  • Location - I’m located in Laurens, South Carolina
 

Xanitry

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male Veiled Chameleon - 8 months old - Been in my care since he was about 2 weeks old
  • Handling - I handle Donny about 1-2 times a week just so he can get outside in his outside enclosure
  • Feeding - I’m feeding him crickets, super worms, meal worms, and wax worms to mix up his diet so he doesn’t get bored of his food and the schedule is every other day since he’s getting older and his digestive system becoming a adolescent started to kick in, but I’ve been having to hand feed him with crickets dusted with calcium the past week when I discovered his MBD - I feed the crickets “Cricket Quencher Calcium Fortified”
  • Supplements - I’m dusting his crickets and worms with Repti Calcium that says it’s without D3 and it’s every other day as of now
  • Watering - I use both a dripper and misting and I mist about 6-8 times a day when I see his cage get dry and I can agree that I always see him drink from the leaves and the water that drips down from his casque
  • Fecal Description - His feces have always been healthy looking never no ordinaries and every time I seen even some yellow I always make sure that he’s drinking to change that and he hasn’t been tested for parasites
  • History - I got him since he was a baby and I’ve seen him grow into the adolescent that he is now which has been heartwarming, now I will say he’s very bipolar by being happy and then being very mad in a second but that’s jus his personality which I don’t mind :) now since he’s been eating his crickets he holds grudges with them especially when one gets close to him by forcefully holding them in his mouth and shaking very forcefully and continuing to hold them till they don’t move anymore ahaha

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - He’s enclosure is quite a decent size and it’s from the chameleon starter kit cages built and put together myself which I’ve never had problems or issues with it and it’s a screen cage all around
  • Lighting - I have the box for the UVB light I jus bought and it’s a Tropicle 5.0 UVB Bulb and it’s a 13 WATT, heat bulb is kinda of a iffy one but Ik it’s a 75 Watt that ever since he’s gotten it his colors have always been a bright green - Lights time are from 12-12
  • Temperature - His basking spot gets to about 90-80 during lights on the middle of his cage is about 79-75 and the bottom is about 70-65 depending on the day - these temps are measured by a thermometer
  • Humidity - I usually keep his humidity levels above 80 to make sure he’s very nice in his cage - I maintain by using a spray bottle which has done pretty good but I want to upgrade to a fogger when I have the money - the humidity is also measured by a humidity gauge
  • Plants - I have a mixture of florida bark and moss and leaves and some fake ones but not to where he can get to them and wind up swallowing them
  • Placement - His enclosure his located in my room where he’s been all of his time with me - he’s no where near any fans since my ac is across my room from him - the height is pretty decent off of the ground since I can’t make it to where he’s above me since I’m 6’5
  • Location - I’m located in Laurens, South Carolina
Hopefully I covered everything well enough :,)
 

Xanitry

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male Veiled Chameleon - 8 months old - Been in my care since he was about 2 weeks old
  • Handling - I handle Donny about 1-2 times a week just so he can get outside in his outside enclosure
  • Feeding - I’m feeding him crickets, super worms, meal worms, and wax worms to mix up his diet so he doesn’t get bored of his food and the schedule is every other day since he’s getting older and his digestive system becoming a adolescent started to kick in, but I’ve been having to hand feed him with crickets dusted with calcium the past week when I discovered his MBD - I feed the crickets “Cricket Quencher Calcium Fortified”
  • Supplements - I’m dusting his crickets and worms with Repti Calcium that says it’s without D3 and it’s every other day as of now
  • Watering - I use both a dripper and misting and I mist about 6-8 times a day when I see his cage get dry and I can agree that I always see him drink from the leaves and the water that drips down from his casque
  • Fecal Description - His feces have always been healthy looking never no ordinaries and every time I seen even some yellow I always make sure that he’s drinking to change that and he hasn’t been tested for parasites
  • History - I got him since he was a baby and I’ve seen him grow into the adolescent that he is now which has been heartwarming, now I will say he’s very bipolar by being happy and then being very mad in a second but that’s jus his personality which I don’t mind :) now since he’s been eating his crickets he holds grudges with them especially when one gets close to him by forcefully holding them in his mouth and shaking very forcefully and continuing to hold them till they don’t move anymore ahaha

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - He’s enclosure is quite a decent size and it’s from the chameleon starter kit cages built and put together myself which I’ve never had problems or issues with it and it’s a screen cage all around
  • Lighting - I have the box for the UVB light I jus bought and it’s a Tropicle 5.0 UVB Bulb and it’s a 13 WATT, heat bulb is kinda of a iffy one but Ik it’s a 75 Watt that ever since he’s gotten it his colors have always been a bright green - Lights time are from 12-12
  • Temperature - His basking spot gets to about 90-80 during lights on the middle of his cage is about 79-75 and the bottom is about 70-65 depending on the day - these temps are measured by a thermometer
  • Humidity - I usually keep his humidity levels above 80 to make sure he’s very nice in his cage - I maintain by using a spray bottle which has done pretty good but I want to upgrade to a fogger when I have the money - the humidity is also measured by a humidity gauge
  • Plants - I have a mixture of florida bark and moss and leaves and some fake ones but not to where he can get to them and wind up swallowing them
  • Placement - His enclosure his located in my room where he’s been all of his time with me - he’s no where near any fans since my ac is across my room from him - the height is pretty decent off of the ground since I can’t make it to where he’s above me since I’m 6’5
  • Location - I’m located in Laurens, South Carolina
 

Attachments

  • D76B94CF-4025-4A27-9C0B-7B35C510B474.jpeg
    D76B94CF-4025-4A27-9C0B-7B35C510B474.jpeg
    208.1 KB · Views: 3

Xanitry

Member
This is his inside enclosure but I can’t seem to find his outside enclosure but it has a lot of shade and in a very nice place to where he has a ton of coverage but can get the sunlight that he needs
 

Xanitry

Member
Are you sure this is a male?
I can't tell from the angle of the photo.
I’m most positive that he’s a male hang on lemme find a better photo of him and I can def see the weight issue which is why I started switching up different fatty foods to where he can get his weight back up
 

Attachments

  • AD2E5B02-E043-4CE8-A7F8-B702B753A313.jpeg
    AD2E5B02-E043-4CE8-A7F8-B702B753A313.jpeg
    65 KB · Views: 3

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
To treat MBD it's best to have a good chameleon vet involved.
You will need to provide it with liquid calcium until the bones and other systems are back to strong again...as well as using the normal supplements. You will also want to keep the basking temperature in the right range, feed/gutload the insects properly and make sure your other husbandry is spot on as well.

Once the bones are strong again, you will want to drop the liquid calcium it keep the other recommended supplements, etc.

Appropriate supplementing...phosphorous free calcium at all feedings but one a week. At that one you will either alternate between a phos free calcium/D3 powder and a vitamin powder that has no D3 but has a prEformed source of vitamin A....or...every second day that you don't use the phos free calcium you would use a vitamin powder that has Vitamin D3 and a preformed source of vitamin A. All dustings should be lightly done just before feeding the insects to the chameleon.

Insects such as crickets, locusts, roaches, superworms can be fed veggies such as dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, escarole, etc and veggies such as squash, sweet red peppers, sweet potato, carrots, etc. and a tiny bit of fruit such as Apple, pear, berries.

Temperatures for veiled males can be 80F or just above that and females should be kept at 80F.

If you have moss in your cage, I would remove it.
Plants should be real, well washed both sides of the leaves and non toxic.

I'll leave it to @Beman to tell you about the lights since she is better at it than me.
 

Xanitry

Member
To treat MBD it's best to have a good chameleon vet involved.
You will need to provide it with liquid calcium until the bones and other systems are back to strong again...as well as using the normal supplements. You will also want to keep the basking temperature in the right range, feed/gutload the insects properly and make sure your other husbandry is spot on as well.

Once the bones are strong again, you will want to drop the liquid calcium it keep the other recommended supplements, etc.

Appropriate supplementing...phosphorous free calcium at all feedings but one a week. At that one you will either alternate between a phos free calcium/D3 powder and a vitamin powder that has no D3 but has a prEformed source of vitamin A....or...every second day that you don't use the phos free calcium you would use a vitamin powder that has Vitamin D3 and a preformed source of vitamin A. All dustings should be lightly done just before feeding the insects to the chameleon.

Insects such as crickets, locusts, roaches, superworms can be fed veggies such as dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, escarole, etc and veggies such as squash, sweet red peppers, sweet potato, carrots, etc. and a tiny bit of fruit such as Apple, pear, berries.

Temperatures for veiled males can be 80F or just above that and females should be kept at 80F.

If you have moss in your cage, I would remove it.
Plants should be real, well washed both sides of the leaves and non toxic.

I'll leave it to @Beman to tell you about the lights since she is better at it than me.
I’ll take the moss out immediately
 

Xanitry

Member
Another question is how do I make sure my chameleon is basking correctly if not being able to climb and control his muscles well should I continue the hammock trick I’ve been doing or something else
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male Veiled Chameleon - 8 months old - Been in my care since he was about 2 weeks old Judging from your first pic which shows the back feet, I do believe you my have a girl. I’m not seeing any tarsal spurs, but the feet are quite puffy so that makes it hard to tell.
  • Handling - I handle Donny about 1-2 times a week just so he can get outside in his outside enclosure
  • Feeding - I’m feeding him crickets, super worms, meal worms, and wax worms to mix up his diet so he doesn’t get bored of his food and the schedule is every other day since he’s getting older and his digestive system becoming a adolescent started to kick in, but I’ve been having to hand feed him with crickets dusted with calcium the past week when I discovered his MBD - I feed the crickets “Cricket Quencher Calcium Fortified” The crickets are okay. The super worms and wax worms are very fatty and since Donny looks quite obese, those should be given very seldom for a treat. Mealworms aren’t great to use as staple feeders. Roaches, bsfl, etc are much better staple feeders. You’ll need to feed your insects more nutritiously with fresh produce. The various cubes and gels will keep your feeders alive but not healthy or nutritious. Attaching some graphics for you. For feeding amount, you’ll want to give 3-4 feeders, every other day or even 3 days a week. You’ll need to follow your vet’s advice on this as it relates to treating the mbd.
  • Supplements - I’m dusting his crickets and worms with Repti Calcium that says it’s without D3 and it’s every other day as of now You will need to obtain and follow the supplement schedule prescribed by a vet. Once the mbd has been addressed and you can follow a ‘normal’ supplement schedule, you’ll use the ReptiCalcium without D3 at every feeding except one per week. That one weekly feeding you’ll alternate between using a Calcium with D3 and a multivitamin.
  • Watering - I use both a dripper and misting and I mist about 6-8 times a day when I see his cage get dry and I can agree that I always see him drink from the leaves and the water that drips down from his casque You want the enclosure to be able to dry out in between misting. It’s better to mist for 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day - right before lights on and off and mid day if you feel is needed.
  • Fecal Description - His feces have always been healthy looking never no ordinaries and every time I seen even some yellow I always make sure that he’s drinking to change that and he hasn’t been tested for parasites As you’ll be needing to see a vet, it would be best to take a fresh fecal to have it tested.
  • History - I got him since he was a baby and I’ve seen him grow into the adolescent that he is now which has been heartwarming, now I will say he’s very bipolar by being happy and then being very mad in a second but that’s jus his personality which I don’t mind :) now since he’s been eating his crickets he holds grudges with them especially when one gets close to him by forcefully holding them in his mouth and shaking very forcefully and continuing to hold them till they don’t move anymore ahaha Veileds have lots of sass and personality. :)
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - He’s enclosure is quite a decent size and it’s from the chameleon starter kit cages built and put together myself which I’ve never had problems or issues with it and it’s a screen cage all around Once the mbd has been treated, you’ll need to upgrade to at least a 2x2x4’ enclosure. Right now having a smaller enclosure is actually better to reduce risks of injury from possible falls.
  • Lighting - I have the box for the UVB light I jus bought and it’s a Tropicle 5.0 UVB Bulb and it’s a 13 WATT, heat bulb is kinda of a iffy one but Ik it’s a 75 Watt that ever since he’s gotten it his colors have always been a bright green - Lights time are from 12-12 Sorry to say, but your uvb is incorrect and not able to provide adequate uvb levels any farther than 2-3”. You need a linear T5 with either a ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Then basking area should be about 8-9” below the lights.
  • Temperature - His basking spot gets to about 90-80 during lights on the middle of his cage is about 79-75 and the bottom is about 70-65 depending on the day - these temps are measured by a thermometer You’ll want to reduce basking temp to 80.
  • Humidity - I usually keep his humidity levels above 80 to make sure he’s very nice in his cage - I maintain by using a spray bottle which has done pretty good but I want to upgrade to a fogger when I have the money - the humidity is also measured by a humidity gauge 😲 Ideal daytime humidity range is between 30-50%. Let the enclosure dry out between misting. High heat plus high humidity increases the risk for respiratory infections. Fogging should only ever be done during the night and only if the temps are well below 68-70.
  • Plants - I have a mixture of florida bark and moss and leaves and some fake ones but not to where he can get to them and wind up swallowing them You need to remove the moss and replace all of the artificial plants with clean safe live ones. Pothos is one of the best plants for chameleons and super easy to find/grow. It only takes one nibble from a fake plant to cause impaction. I hang my fake plants on the outside of my enclosure to give my chams extra privacy.
  • Placement - His enclosure his located in my room where he’s been all of his time with me - he’s no where near any fans since my ac is across my room from him - the height is pretty decent off of the ground since I can’t make it to where he’s above me since I’m 6’5
  • Location - I’m located in Laurens, South Carolina
299A5657-AD07-4CD8-9275-DF35CA62CE00.jpeg
9DC2FD05-CA0F-4A12-B058-82C47A3ABC83.jpeg
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I forgot to give you the safe plant list. You’ll want to gently wash the leaves with something like Dawn dish soap and rinse very well. It’s usually best to repot in organic soil too.
Since it’s possible Donny is a Donna, I’m also giving the graphic for lay bins. If it is Donna, I’m not sure how the mbd will or has effected egg development other than whatever calcium she has in her body will go towards the eggs, making the mbd worse and she will likely have difficulty laying. Let’s hope it’s Donny and not Donna.
As you already know, mbd is caused by a lack of calcium. However, it isn’t just calcium. In order to be able to convert the calcium to a usable form there needs to be a source of vitamin D3. This is where having the correct uvb lighting comes into play as it provides D3, similarly how the sun does. As there really is no decent substitute for real sunshine, we also provide additional D3 supplementation. However, we do so careful as D3 is a fat soluble vitamin and isn’t quickly excreted by the body and it can build up to dangerous levels. As we aren’t able to recreate all conditions our chameleons would have in the wild, we also need to provide a multivitamin, preferably one with preformed vitamin A for eye health. ReptiVite without D3 is a good multivitamin to use. However, like D3, preformed vitamin A is also fat soluble so we need to give it with care.
Some great resources for learning more can be found here. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/ Chameleon Academy is great for learning and the podcasts really go into great details about why we do things certain ways.
You asked about setting up a hospital bin. Basically it’s a way to reduce climbing and height to protect your chameleon in case of falls. You can use a Rubbermaid tote with some paper or cloth towel on the bottom, a small plant and a couple of branches. You’ll need to figure out a way to provide light. It may be easier if you just turn your current enclosure on it’s side. Then you’ll just need to block off the bottom to prevent escape.
For an inspiring story, do check out Sweet Pea the chameleon on Instagram and/or Facebook. There is also a chameleon academy podcast on her.

E84EF484-15FF-44D3-996A-9464F1C93E11.jpeg
26B05745-BACD-447F-A0B5-D9E0270A1CAC.jpeg
 
Top Bottom