@thatcher want to know...

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
"The benefits and pretty much everything to do with vitamins and chams"... Where should we start? This is complicated...and not everything is clear or known for sure. Wish you knew what you were getting into!

Warning: I may miss things... or maybe not explain it clearly enough...or even maybe not know the answers....sorry about that. Other might have answers or know more than I do...I hope they'll pipe in...

Vitamin A maybe?
Vitamin A comes in two forms...PrEformed (retinol, retinyl esters), and PrOformed (carotenoids such as beta-carotene that are converted to retinol). Preformed vitamin A comes from animal products and vitamin supplements. Carotenoids are found naturally in plant foods. Insects don't usually have much vitamin A in them with a few exceptions.
(I always try to capitols paw the "E" and "O" to make sure people notice which one I'm talking about.)

PrEformed vitamin A is ready to go to work as soon as it is in the chameleon....so it can build up in the chameleons system and lead to health issues, if it reaches levels that are too high...or if it's not in balance with other nutrients (such as vitamin D). It is stored in the body for future use so we are always trying to ensure that we don't overdo it (but it's hard when there is no absolute number if what's enough or too much).

PrOformed vitamin A cannot be overdone because the body converts it as needed....but, it's not known if all/any chameleons can convert it at all or well enough....which is why we give them a little bit of the prEformed vitamin A every two or so weeks...to ensure that they have some but with the hope that we don't overdo it.

Although this is the main part of the story of vitamin A, there's more....vitamin A and vitamin D3 are somewhat antagonistic to each other be need to be in balance.

Some things you might like to read...


More to follow so check back...
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Vitamin D3....
Vitamin D3 is produced by skin through exposure to UVB light either from the UVB lights we use or from direct sunlight (that does not pass through glass or plastic). Generally, as long as the chameleon can move in and out of the UVB at will it won't lead to an overdose. [Types of bulbs used and distances to the bulbs plays a part in overexposure/under exposure at times though.]

Vitamin D3 from supplements can build up in the system though and lead to health issues such as MBD/bone/muscle, etc issues....so we only use it sparingly to prevent this and hope that the chameleon produces ebpnough D3 from its exposure to the UVB lights/sun. Vitamin D3 (like prEformed vitamin A) is fat soluble...so it can build up in the chameleons system and lead to health problems.

Vitamin D3 is necessary for calcium to be absorbed into the chameleon's system.

Calcium...this is needed for good bone strength, muscle control and other things in the chameleon's system. Don't forget muscles play a part in many functions in the chameleon including digestion, egg shells, egglaying, muscle control of the tongue, etc. If the chameleon is short if calcium digestion will be slower and constipation and prolapses can occur. Nutrient absorption will be slower too.

Have to take another break from his...my tablet needs charging. 😟 Back in a while.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
@kinyonga Thank you so much for all of this! Your constant sharing of knowledge, whether it be your own or other's, or both, is astounding and so very, very helpful and inspiring! Thank you for all you do on here!
Thank you for your very kind words! It never bothers me to share anything I know with others! It makes me happy when chameleons do well in captivity and happy when people care enough to want their chameleons to do well too.
There are MANY people on this forum who share knowledge, help others solve chameleon problems and learn about chameleons...including you! It's a good place!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
@Thatcher ...remember I said vitamin A and vitamin D3 are somewhat antagonistic to each other....
This link explains it....but I'm not sure you'll understand it....not even sure I do completely yet. It's heavy complicated science for sure!
https://www.karger.com/Article/Absjtract/53276

(Antagonism......"In biology, antagonism is an interaction between organisms so that one organism benefits at the expense of another"...
https://study.com/academy/lesson/antagonism-definition-biology.html

One more link showing vitamins on pg. 312....look at the amount of prEformed vitamin A in Oxya verox...
https://woven-network.co.uk/wp-cont...7-The-nutritional-value-of-edible-insects.pdf
 
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Thatcher

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok so in the vid he says they can start resting with eyes closed which he has started doing so what should I do? My dad has told me to keep an eye on it but I don't want to just watch him get sick so should I get the vit a injections, should I supplement more with it for now or just let him go back to normal if he will?
 

Thatcher

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think what may have happened is I switched from red runners to mainly bsfl which have a lot less vit a so I'm trying to feed him the roaches but he's not eating
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
but if its a vit a deficiency doesn't that mean he needs more?
If it's vit A deficiency, then yes, that would mean he needs more. HOWEVER, eyes being closed does not mean Vit A deficiency. Sure, closed eyes could potentially be caused by Vit A deficiency, but more than likely there would be other symptoms. Additionally, if you are giving vit A twice a month, then you should be good assuming the supplement you have has preformed vit A or both preformed and proformed.

One thing to look into is supplements expiring. If they are exposed to hotter conditions, they can expire faster. How fast? I don't really know. Maybe a quick google search might turn up some results. Lots of dart frog keepers keep their supplements refrigerated. They place a small portion (a week or two's worth of supplements) in a container and refill when they see fit. Though I doubt this is much of a concern because I feel like more and more people would experience supplementation issues if the potency reduced significantly over time. Just something to consider.

Additionally, if you think Vit A may be of concern, you can always gutload your feeders with veggies heavy in Vit A. This is proformed vit A and still up for debate whether chameleons can synthesize it into retinol. I know some people like Kaizen don't even use Vit A supplements. Though I feel like most of us should continue to supplement Vit A until we know more. Some people face Vit A issues while others don't. There's something missing in our knowledge.

What's your humidity? Sorry if you have answered this in another thread Thatcher. If you filled out a husbandry form, then feel free to link it and I will search it over--tho I'm pretty sure I'll find nothing unusual because you are a great keeper and the other members here are incredibly thorough. Anyways, back to humidity. Low humidity can cause them to close their eyes. Perhaps with the AC blasting to combat the summer heat, your humidity levels have changed since the last time you checked.

Your best bet is to take him to an exotic vet (that has, ideally, worked with chameleons before). This behavior is unusual, so you should listen to the signs he is giving you. You can always collect his poop and send it in for a fecal test without taking your chameleon in. If something unusual pops up in the test, then they will ask you to bring him in.

But even if they find nothing in the fecal, you should still take him to the vet.

Link me to your husbandry form or fill one out.

Vit A is one of those subjects that takes time to learn about. When I first heard about preformed and proformed vit A, I made some flash cards.

The worst thing you can do when you suspect a deficiency is to overcorrect and cause an overdose. How long have you suspected a deficiency? Have you bumped up Vit A since? Hypervitaminosis A (Hyper = Over) can lead to similar symptoms as a deficiency. So it's imperative you know which side of the fence you lie on before medicating or supplementing.

Articles on Hypervitaminosis in Reptiles:
Eye problems are a common symptom of hypervitaminosis as well. So definitely be careful when trying to discern if he is over or undersupplemented
 

Thatcher

Chameleon Enthusiast
If it's vit A deficiency, then yes, that would mean he needs more. HOWEVER, eyes being closed does not mean Vit A deficiency. Sure, closed eyes could potentially be caused by Vit A deficiency, but more than likely there would be other symptoms. Additionally, if you are giving vit A twice a month, then you should be good assuming the supplement you have has preformed vit A or both preformed and proformed.

One thing to look into is supplements expiring. If they are exposed to hotter conditions, they can expire faster. How fast? I don't really know. Maybe a quick google search might turn up some results. Lots of dart frog keepers keep their supplements refrigerated. They place a small portion (a week or two's worth of supplements) in a container and refill when they see fit. Though I doubt this is much of a concern because I feel like more and more people would experience supplementation issues if the potency reduced significantly over time. Just something to consider.

Additionally, if you think Vit A may be of concern, you can always gutload your feeders with veggies heavy in Vit A. This is proformed vit A and still up for debate whether chameleons can synthesize it into retinol. I know some people like Kaizen don't even use Vit A supplements. Though I feel like most of us should continue to supplement Vit A until we know more. Some people face Vit A issues while others don't. There's something missing in our knowledge.

What's your humidity? Sorry if you have answered this in another thread Thatcher. If you filled out a husbandry form, then feel free to link it and I will search it over--tho I'm pretty sure I'll find nothing unusual because you are a great keeper and the other members here are incredibly thorough. Anyways, back to humidity. Low humidity can cause them to close their eyes. Perhaps with the AC blasting to combat the summer heat, your humidity levels have changed since the last time you checked.

Your best bet is to take him to an exotic vet (that has, ideally, worked with chameleons before). This behavior is unusual, so you should listen to the signs he is giving you. You can always collect his poop and send it in for a fecal test without taking your chameleon in. If something unusual pops up in the test, then they will ask you to bring him in.

But even if they find nothing in the fecal, you should still take him to the vet.

Link me to your husbandry form or fill one out.

Vit A is one of those subjects that takes time to learn about. When I first heard about preformed and proformed vit A, I made some flash cards.

The worst thing you can do when you suspect a deficiency is to overcorrect and cause an overdose. How long have you suspected a deficiency? Have you bumped up Vit A since? Hypervitaminosis A (Hyper = Over) can lead to similar symptoms as a deficiency. So it's imperative you know which side of the fence you lie on before medicating or supplementing.

Articles on Hypervitaminosis in Reptiles:
Eye problems are a common symptom of hypervitaminosis as well. So definitely be careful when trying to discern if he is over or undersupplemented
My humidity is 50-65% the reason this is happening is likely do to my fault, oversupply mentation of reptivite without vitamin D3 I have since corrected this and have messaged my vet to make an appointment, another reason could be me switching from roaches to bsf/bsfl which have less vit a I do gutload with kale and carrots and I'm going to do a blood test to see if he has too much or too little vit a. Thanks!

Another question, what is a good level for vit a in an adult male panther chameleon?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
You could get the humidity a little higher on the low end, at least to 55%. Kale shouldn't be used as such a big part of your gutload, it can cause issues if there is too much of it. Add as much variety to the gutload as you can, the more ingredients the better! Same with feeders, too! I'm sure you've seen and have these, but I'll link them just in case!
 

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