Supplementation discussion

Uri

Avid Member
I wanted to start a discussion on people’s opinions on supplementations and more importantly if they are more worried of over or under supplementing for me personally it’s under instead of over as I see so many more cases of mbd then I do of edema and on just whenever I show up here I have seen only one thread on edema and it was from a veiled getting ready to lay which is normal. Now for my montanes obviously I’m more cautious of over supplementing as it’s easier then but for say my furcifer laterales I use repashy lod every feeding as in that instance the crickets and other feeders free range a bioactive enclosure where and I think most people that free range insects know this the insects clean themselves off relatively quickly and by the time the chameleon eats the insects most of the powder has been cleaned off and I’m just wondering what is your stance and where do you lean towards. Personally I like the more simple supplementation schedules as they are less prone to error and obviously it doesn’t work for every chameleon in every situation but if it’s a viable option I’d rather take that then more date specific ones that take planning and mapping out please let me know your opinions tho and do not bash someone for their methods
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’d have to say I’m always more concerned about under supplementing. I use ReptiCalcium without D3 every feeding, and no concerns about that. Once every two weeks I use Reptivite with D3, and as mentioned in a recent post, it often looks as though it doesn’t stick to the feeders. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s there, but still. I know the D3 is basically ‘insurance’ to supplement what they may not be getting from their uvb. I’m not sure how much uvb my chams are getting though. I trust that they self-regulate and I have a solarmeter to ensure they have the correct ideal UVI.
None of my chams have shown any issues (thank God!) and are all active and alert. When I got my male panther last year, he had eye issues and some mbd. Both have resolved, so I have to assume that he’s getting adequate supplementation.
I have tried several different supplements and regimens and different vets have given me different suggestions on what I should be using. I had to go with what is easiest for me and best for my chams. When I first joined the forum, Repashy calcium with LoD was the one to use for all feedings…no other supplements needed. I of course tried it and my girl got eye and gular edema, as did some other member’s chams. I think it was last year that bee pollen was highly suggested to add to all supplements by someone who I won’t name, and that caused edema in some chams.
I do think bee pollen is great to give to your feeders, along with a healthy diet of fresh (preferably organic) foods. How we maintain our feeders is just as important as correct supplementation and one all too often downplayed by new keepers.
 

Pickle-cham

Avid Member
For me I'm extremely careful not too over supplement D3, but really scared too under supplement calcium and vitamin A. The reason I'm cautious with vitamin D3 is that if overdosed it can bind up with calcium. Which leads too the internal organs calcifying. I also believe it is harmful too kidneys and a serious culprit for renal failure. Which for me these would be unimaginable suffering for which i intend to fully avoid & have put faith into technology in that my uvb is producing enough energy for my animal to synthesise its own Cholecalciferol. I still have extremely low dose in my supplement regime though just lighter dustings applied fortnightly, I'm
much more generous with calcium though and offer a varied diet as much as possible
 

Bettina

Member
Hi, I am Bettina from Austria, Europe. I host Trioceros Ellioti and Bradypodium Thamnobates, 2 mountain species from Lake Victoria and the Draken Mountains. In summer I keep them outside and feed with a little Calciumpowder. They live with a little compost inside the cage and get a lot of wild insects, I don't feed much. In winter they live in in the lemon trees in my bathroom and I supplement a lot. During one season I neglected supplementing. The old chams didn't mind but I lost 3 litters. The babies didn't survive the first shedding. I don't feed too much so they get hungry and eat the freshly dusted crickets immediately.
 

Bettina

Member
Well, I have to admit that in summer I lose control. They are in big cages and insects come and go. I hang little glas bowls in the branches of the trees and put the crickets inside, but my chams dont eat them. So I guess they find enough insects. They prefer flies.
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
I suspect most of the cases of MBD can be attributed to improper husbandry rather than supplementation issues. Insufficient UVB obviously, but also dehydration leading to kidney insufficiency or failure will cause inability to synthesize active D3, and MBD will follow.

I look at the supplements as just one part of their nutrition
@MissSkittles mentioned it earlier Properly feeding your feeders to enhance their nutrition before feeding them to your animals is essential piece of proper supplementation
I also think feeder variety is another important part of the puzzle. Each feeder will have a different nutritional profile of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to pass along to your chameleon
Proper UVB, UVA, and infrared lighting is also essential to promote D3 synthesis and maintain their temperature at the levels necessary for their biological functions to occur
Finally, I think proper hydration is really important to this as well. Their kidneys will help filter out or conserve nutrients based on the animals needs and in an under-hydrated animal, glomerular filtration will drop dramatically and lead to deficiencies and excesses that could have major consequences to their health

If all of the other pieces, feeder nutrition and variety, lighting and temps, humidity and hydration, are in place, I think the risk of under supplementation is fairly low
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you think about nutritional content of insects in general, there’s very few that do not have an inverse calcium to phosphorus ratio, but they’re still able to maintain a high ca : p ratio within they’re body. They’re not getting any calcium powder in the wild
This is accomplished by properly functioning cardiovascular system, livers, kidneys, endocrine system, etc. they’re also exposed to natural sunlight which will always be far superior to any artificial light sources we use. They’re also eating diurnal insects, which in general aren’t used as much in captive care, and likely have different nutritional profiles because of their exposure to light

So if we can dial in they’re environmental conditions, is any of the supplementation necessary? For captive care, I think it probably is because we’ll never be able to perfectly emulate nature, but as we get closer much of the add ons may become unnecessary
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
I do medium UVB (1.5 ish UVI) and sticky tongue farms indoor (lowest D3 in the industry) every feeding.
Adults only get fed on the weekends.
Everyone gets HERPTIVITE for all the feeders for one feeding, once a month.
Mr. lola the tegu lives underground and rarely suns, so he gets repashy Calcium Plus(medium D3) every feeding unless he gets an egg. But his "feeders" are very low surface area per calorie. He does not get the sticky/herptivite.

Bugs just get all the left over people salad, and we are not "white lettuce" folk.

Ive never had organ issues, other than when i was feeding "lots of" pinkies to anything that would eat them, include veilds/frillies/beardies. Those ended up with much shorter life spans, and kidney issues at the vet.
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi, I am Bettina from Austria, Europe. I host Trioceros Ellioti and Bradypodium Thamnobates, 2 mountain species from Lake Victoria and the Draken Mountains. In summer I keep them outside and feed with a little Calciumpowder. They live with a little compost inside the cage and get a lot of wild insects, I don't feed much. In winter they live in in the lemon trees in my bathroom and I supplement a lot. During one season I neglected supplementing. The old chams didn't mind but I lost 3 litters. The babies didn't survive the first shedding. I don't feed too much so they get hungry and eat the freshly dusted crickets immediately.
Hi Bettina,
Off-topic, I would love to see your summer and winter setup, sounds interesting. Are you willing to share this with us, maybe with a new topic (or as pm). Many thanks.
 

Bettina

Member
Hi Bettina,
Off-topic, I would love to see your summer and winter setup, sounds interesting. Are you willing to share this with us, maybe with a new topic (or as pm). Many thanks.
Hello Miss Skittles,
I just posted some fotos in the Husbandry thread - I hope you can find it. I am still a bit confused here, sorry. But I like chameleonforums.com - you guys are so much nicer then the guys in the german forums....
kind regards from Austria!
 

Pickle-cham

Avid Member
Further information on vitamin D toxicity:
https://www.express.co.uk/life-styl...l-fibrillation-what-is-the-recommended-dosage

Also:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6158375/

Taken from the long article a key point on effect on kidneys
"The renal symptoms include hypercalciuria as the earliest sign, polyuria, polydipsia, dehydration, nephrocalcinosis, and renal failure"
"Any one of vitamin D's three forms [vitamin D, 25(OH)D, or 1,25(OH)2D] may lead to VDT. Toxicity from vitamin D2 or D3 is harder to manage than toxicity due to vitamin D's metabolites [25(OH)D or 1,25(OH)2D]. That is partly due to the long half-life in the body because of vitamin D's high lipid solubility in the liver, muscles, and fat tissues and the corresponding large storage capacity (1822).

Thus, hypercalcemia due to a vitamin D overdose theoretically can last up to 18 months after the administration of vitamin D is discontinued. That is because of the slow release of the stored vitamin D from fat deposits"
Definitely something to think about when getting heavy handed with the vitamin D supplement 😱
(nephrocalcinosis = is deposit's of calcium in the kidneys).

& Here is a reptile specific article abstract ; "oversupplementation with Vitamin D occurs, severe hypercalcemia and consequently mineralization of viscera can occur. Clinical signs vary according to the organ system most affected. Most animals that succumb to acute vitamin D toxicosis die of renal failure. Treatment of hypervitaminosis D is generally unrewarding as the damage is typically too great by the time the problem is detected. Diuresis (0.9% saline ± furosemide) and glucocorticoid administration can be attempted in an effort to salvage these animals."
Source :https://www.dvm360.com/view/insectivorous-reptile-nutrition-and-disease-proceedings
 
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