UV light vs. Miner-all supplement with D3?

Moe

New Member
Our friend of ours is recommending we use Miner-all supplement which has D3 included in it instead of using a UV tube bulb. Have any of you ever heard of this or have used it yourselves? What are your thoughts? Thank, Moe :eek:
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
I don't think that your cham can properly utilize/absorb vitamin D3 without uvb rays.
Essentially, the vitamin supplement would be ineffectual and possibly harmful without sun or artificial sun to assimilate it.
Vitamin D3 is hard on the liver if given in too high a dosage or if it cannot be absorbed properly.

-Brad
 
Its not that you can't do it. You can keep chameleons without any UV for long lived lives. (However, UV light alters reptiles and all living things, personalities. More feral. More Emph. Liveliness, etc)

The reason that it is not done often or well, is that it is VERY difficult to properly regulate the amount of Vitamin D3 that the chameleon absorbs in powder form. The chameleons body will draw as much Vitamin D3 from UV light as it needs and use it so. YOU yourself cannot ensure it gets the sufficient amounts in dusts.

Too much and they will get and overload called Hypervitaminosis wich is a toxic overload of excessive vitamins, and can also contract Hypercalcimia, from their body HAVING to absorb ALL the calcium that they receive- this is where the bones become dense and hard, their skin starts to harden, and their organs basically seize, among other horrible slow effects.

Too little VitaminD3 and the body doesn't absorb enough calcium, the bones get soft, their mussels weaken, bones break, another painful result.

Now, to add in a twist, chameleons receive other vitamins from BOTH powders and UV light. These vitamins like VitaminA and VitamineE have both proven to greatly influence their bodies abilities to regulate the calcium absorption. Again, not enough and too much are both very harmful things.

Lastly, it still isn't know how greatly, though I have seen some results, of chameleons breeding that have never seen UV light. I am positive that fertility rates could be affected, as well as the health of the embryos of eggs when in the female not receiving the UV.
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy,

The flip-side of "no UVB and all D3" is no added D3 (added calcium only) and all unfiltered sunlight... That really works! Too bad we can't all do that :mad:.
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
I'm back from NAVC

Hey y'all,

I just got back this week from North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando. Way cool...

I got a chance to go to a two hour breakfeast with Dr. Mader and a few other exotic vets. I was able to corner him for a few minutes and primarily grill him on this topic since it comes up so much.

One of my questions to him was what type of supplements and regiment should be given to various reptiles (in my case specifically chameleons). Multivitamins, Calcium, D3, no D3, UV light requirements.

First he said that no one really knows at this time the exact requirements for various reptiles and the best thing we can do is to simulate the natural environment (we all know this.) As far as supplementations, he's not a big proponent.

Calcium- To give just one chemical element (D3 or without) may put the body out of whack. Since these chemicals interact in a balance with so many other chemicals in the feedback mechanisms of various organs. To just be supplementing Ca without even knowing the Ca levels in the body is not really even an educated guess. (Like what Will H. just said, giving D3 only would be a cool trick, though how are you going to know the correct therapeutic index- enough to do the job, but not too much to cause hypercalcemia.)

Multivitamins- If anything is going to be given, a multivitamin seems to make more sense. Again, since we don't have a great grasp on the exact chemical requirements for each species (my multivitamin was not made just for panther chams) this may just be a shot in the dark. He recommends his clients dust once to twice a month with a multivitamin. He also recommends high quality gut loaded diet (variety is key.)

UV lighting- He said that he thinks with a good diet and appropriate UVB and full spectrum requirements, that he doesn't really think reptiles need a lot more. He made reference to Dr. Mitchell (LSU) who is doing a lot of research now on UVB requirements and corresponding D3 levels. All seem to agree that UVB is beneficial to ALL reptiles (even the nocturnal species)- They have found that some nocturnal geckos are getting a small, but significant UVB amount from moonlight (crazy). How are these D3 levels affecting the animals? They still don't know... What are long term ramifications? They don't know...

Providing lighting over supplementation is closer to providing a similarity of the natural environment that allow the animal to regulate it's own chemistries. Where is may diverge is juvinille care and reproductive females?

I will probably write up a summary in the near future as I will be making recommendations to a zoological park nearby for their reptile house and collection. I'll post this if anyone is interested....
I'm sure there will be some lively discussion.

Talk to y'all soon,
Matthew
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Dr. Mathew,

I for one would very much like to see your summary.
As with any diet we are trying to re-create, I believe artificial supplementation to be less than ideal. I use it, of course, because I'm afraid that my animals aren't getting enough of one thing or another.
Gutloading is something that we all need to pay serious attention to. Using high calcium greens such as Kale and Collards and regularly adding protein sources like cooked egg and powdered milk/cheese for our feeders.
It's interesting, I have scaled back my dusting recently because I haven't felt completely comfortable with the amount I was giving my veiled. A day or two after a dusted feeder day he would have that crusty mineral residue around his nostrils. I know chameleons eliminate excessive minerals and salts through their nasal passages and this made me feel like he was getting an overdose. With a veiled you can feed things like collard greens
directly to the animal and mine loves them. When he gets calcium this way I don't see the residue at all (and he can eat a healthy portion of these greens!).
Interesting too is the analysis flpanther had done on the hornworm in the thread on the chameleon food forum.
Again, I am eagerly awaiting your paper and thanks for posting the info so far.

-Brad
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
MWheelock said..."Calcium- To give just one chemical element (D3 or without) may put the body out of whack. Since these chemicals interact in a balance with so many other chemicals in the feedback mechanisms of various organs. To just be supplementing Ca without even knowing the Ca levels in the body is not really even an educated guess. (Like what Will H. just said, giving D3 only would be a cool trick, though how are you going to know the correct therapeutic index- enough to do the job, but not too much to cause hypercalcemia.)"...while it is true that giving just one element in excess may put the body out of whack, there are some that will have a more serious affect on the system than others...some that allow a wider margin of error. D3 and vitamin A build up in the system. Calcium, if only given somewhat over the required amount goes right through the system. If it were true that all/each element could that easily throw the system out of whack, then we would all have to be very careful not to eat too much of any one thing. I think what we need to be careful of is the things that can build up in the system. I'm not saying to go heavy on elements that don't build up....just that there are some we need to be more concerned with keeping an eye on than others.
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
I don't disagree with any of you

I wanted to write a quick addendum to my previous statements:

I like Dr. Mader and think he is a great source for reptile medicine, though he himself admits that he and the sciences are still lacking in knowlege surrounding this topic.

My previous quick summary was to tell you what he mentioned to me and what HE is recommending to his clients. This is somewhat significant since he has literally written the book on reptile medicine that most veterinarians and hobbiests work from. Is it the definitive opinion?---no...

I agree that there is room for supplementation in OUR hobby. I supplement calcium w/o D3 and a multivitamin and will probably to continue to do so in a limited capacity. I tend to keep my hands in the vet and zoo circles as well as the hobbiest's. What works, works...and we can figure out why later. Those that have kept chams for years with animals that breed and have long lives deserve a keen eye to the husbandry they have provided. Since our achievements in keeping chams have allowed them to live longer in captivity, we must be getting closer to achieving/understanding what chams need.

On the other hand, I also try to weed out antecdotal substantiations if there is research (from reliable sources) to the contrary.

Kinyonga- As far as calcium goes, you're right, excess is probably excreted. On the other hand, if not given with the right lighting or other metabolites, ALL of it will pass through the gut without any of it being absorbed...then what was the point of supplementing at all. That's the funny thing about a therapeutic index. Some are wide and some are narrow. The wide ones allow us to eat to excess some items without having a problem. The question is whether we every got into the therapeutic range in the first place.

All of us are put in the position that we have to figure out what we are going to do with the incomplete information that is there. I don't have an answer. I'm not sure that I will have an answer.

What I am going to try to do in the next month is contact some of the doctors from the various zoos and wildlilfe parks and see if there is some sort of consensus of what they recommend. My guess is it will be as varied as the opinions on this site.

We'll see.

Summary- I don't know.

Until later-
Matthew
 

flpanther

New Member
Uvb

Choosing D3 only and no UVB is moving a step away from a chameleons natural environment. Those of us who live in climates where it is possible to keep chams outdoors under real sunlight have found D3 to be completely unnessesary. When kept indoors, the most proven method is to supplement using calcium with d3 AND use a UVB producing light. The more you can get your chameleon outdoors, the less guesswork you will have to do. Gutloading feeders with high calcium/vitamin diets greatly improves thier nutritional analysis and lessens the need for supplements even more. I found a nutritional analysis for crickets fed a high calcium gutload vs. non-gutloaded crickets a couple months ago. I'll try and find it again and post it in the feeder forum.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
MWheelock asid..."On the other hand, if not given with the right lighting or other metabolites, ALL of it will pass through the gut without any of it being absorbed...then what was the point of supplementing at all"...I never suggested not to provide UVB or even D3 or any other nutrient. What I was indicating is that some elements can cause the system more problems than others when out of whack/overdone/underdone....like you are (I think) suggesting when you say..."That's the funny thing about a therapeutic index. Some are wide and some are narrow. The wide ones allow us to eat to excess some items without having a problem".

You said..."The question is whether we every got into the therapeutic range in the first place"...this is the question/problem...but it should be answered by whether the animal concerned lives a long healthy life and reproduces healthy offspring, etc. IMHO.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I am curious about chameleons and hypercalcemia, a condition I rarely see discussed. It was mentioned early in the thread, but later Wheelock and Kinyonga talk about how excess calcium passes through the body.
MWheelock said:
Kinyonga- As far as calcium goes, you're right, excess is probably excreted...



A few days ago I discovered the long lost veterinarian topics from the chameleon journals. Here is a short quote from the article, 'Vitamin D3 and Calcium', by Dr. Kenneth Lopez.
Vitamin D3 and Calcium:
by Kenneth Lopez, D.V.M.
When there is excess calcium in the diet much of it binds with phosphate and forms insoluble compounds which are excreted in the feces... Too little Calcium causes, among other things, tremors, tetany, and death. **Too much Calcium causes muscles to become sluggish and weak. It has cardiac effects as well as causing obstipation and lack of appetite due to decreased contractility of the intestinal walls.


What conditions might cause a chameleon to be less efficient at excreting excess calcium - Enough to where hypercalcemia could become a problem?

Unfortunately, the Chameleon Journals is down at the moment. If you want to read the article or check out other resources from the website, you can access an archive of the website using www.archive.org. :cool:
 

Moe

New Member
thanks

Thanks so much for all that replied about UV lighting vs. D3 supplementation only. I will take all into account...it sounds like I need to probably just air on the safe side and simulate a natural environment of UVB fluoresent lighting and heat source and forget the Miner-all supplement. Thanks Again!!:)
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
The 2 available forms of the Miner-All supplements can work in conjunction with UV lighting.
Howdy,

For those of you who don't know anything about the development of the Miner-All products, they were developed by Linda Davison and her husband (Steve??) of Sticky Tongue Farms (and her book "Chameleons: Their Care and Breeding") with the help of a friend who had access to analysis equipment (JPL). As I recall her telling me, they did a "burn-down"(?) of chameleon tissue (WC) to do an analysis of the vitamin/mineral content. I don't know how the results were used to determine the product content but it was based on the results of the analysis. As was mentioned in earlier posts; calcium by itself, would not be a balanced supplement. The Miner-All products have a long list of other minerals that are part of a "balanced" mix. Also, the level of D3 in the Miner-All (I) product is something closer to 1/4 of the dosage found in other products, so it is less likely to end-up overdosing. Even after all of this, I'm still bouncing back and forth about supplementing levels :confused:.
 

gonzalez6115

New Member
i am using sticky-tounges with D3 and have been dusting crix everyday. he has a reptiglo 8.0 and gets no nat. sunlight. i might build him a cage this summer for outdoors, or at least im hoping to. could anyone please answer this question? thanks
 
i am using sticky-tounges with D3 and have been dusting crix everyday. he has a reptiglo 8.0 and gets no nat. sunlight. i might build him a cage this summer for outdoors, or at least im hoping to. could anyone please answer this question? thanks
What question. You haven't asked one.
 
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