UVB definiatly worth it

titan501x

New Member
I got a UVB light few weeks ago, and already i have noticed a huge change in my 4 month old veiled chameleon. She is much more active, is finally gaining weight, and her colors are looking much better. Getting a UVB light is worth it! I spent $40 for the light bulb and fixture, but overall, it is worth it! If you haven't gotten your chameleon a UVB light yet, because of costs, or because u think it doesn't do any good, just do it, go buy UVB lights, you'll be glad you did!
 

Lucille

New Member
I remember hearing about UVB and a controversy that said that supplied supplements replaced the need for the lights.
I do have some bulbs that are only a few months old but can anyone address the value of supplements as replacements for light?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."can anyone address the value of supplements as replacements for light"...I'll try to explain this to the best of my ability...here's how I understand it....others may disagree.

Sunlight is the best light option for chameleons....but they need to be able to move into the shade and out into the sun by their choice. This allows them to regulate their exposure to UVB and thus their D3 production...thus use the calcium in the diet.

For those that can't get sunlight, providing UVB lights will allow the chameleon to produce vitamin D3 which will in turn allow them to use the calcium in their diet. However, its hard to determine if the UVB exposure in a cage under artificial light allows them to produce enough D3 for their needs...so some people give them some D3 supplement in addition to this. The "problem" is to know how much D3 to give in addition to the UVB lights. Giving too much can cause an overdose and health issues will/may follow.

Now....there are some who provide no UVB and only supplements. IMHO, there are several concerns with this....will D3 (supplements) be as "useful" to a chameleon as what they produce from the sunlight or UVB lights? How much D3 is enough or too much? How do you balance it? As I said before, too much D3 will cause health issues. Too little will also cause health issues. Why have to go through all this balancing when its much simpler and more natural to provide exposure to sunlight...or if that's not possible artificial UVB lights?

Here is a site that talks about only using D3...scan down to "no UVB"...
http://www.chameleonnews.com/interviewfer.html

Here's another site that you might like to see...
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/skintests.htm#discussion
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
There has been some discussion concerning the replacement of uvb with supplements only. As far as I'm concerned it is a mute point, as I would never consider eliminating either one.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to metabolize vitamin D without UVB rays. In my opinion no amount of supplementation is going to have much of a benefit if the animal's body is unable to process and utilize the vitamins.
I have a hard time understanding why someone would consider not having the proper light..is it expense? If you can't afford to take care of an animal properly, you should IMO not have the animal.
By the way those bulbs are effective for about six months, anything older needs to be replaced. Buy them online! Even with shipping costs they are much cheaper then in the pet store. (I'm not opposed to saving money!:) )

-Brad
 

Lucille

New Member
There has been some discussion concerning the replacement of uvb with supplements only. As far as I'm concerned it is a mute point, as I would never consider eliminating either one.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to metabolize vitamin D without UVB rays. In my opinion no amount of supplementation is going to have much of a benefit if the animal's body is unable to process and utilize the vitamins.
I have a hard time understanding why someone would consider not having the proper light..is it expense? If you can't afford to take care of an animal properly, you should IMO not have the animal.
By the way those bulbs are effective for about six months, anything older needs to be replaced. Buy them online! Even with shipping costs they are much cheaper then in the pet store. (I'm not opposed to saving money!:) )

-Brad
I am actually inquiring from the scientific viewpoint rather than a practical one. There is a similar controversy in humans, whether vitamins from food are any different from vitamins sold in tablets at the store.

I know that the UV rays get the body to somehow produce vitamins, but I have never really understood how the powder is different.

(I have both the bulbs (as I said in my initial post) and the powder btw).
 

Melany

New Member
I'm not an expert or a science student. But our sun gives us a really wide spectrum of all kinds of light. It gives the right nutrients for plants and all the animals of the earth. Plant lights are designed for plants (red and blue), reptile lights for reptiles (ultra violet beta rays) and the ones we hang in our houses are are very select spectrums mostly just for us to see (yellow and green, which are useless for reptile and plants). There is alot of learning that can be done on different kinds of light and there spectrum's. I just think about how sickly us Canadians look like after being light deprived all winter and that makes me well aware that my little chameleon probably absorbs or processes vitamins differently when consumed vs when absorbed though light. I eat extra healthy in the winter and take my vitamins, to avoid catching colds but I still look as sickly as everyone else at the end of winter and my spirits are uplifted along with everyone else's in the spring with the return of the sunshine.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well Brad...what can I say?? Its good in a way because we both express things a little differently in getting the points across!

Here's another article that might help...
http://www.chameleonnews.com/
Go to "current issue" at the top of the page and click on the article "An Overview of Calcium Supplementation ".
 

lele

New Member
titan501x - cost & usage tips

just a quick note regarding cost. They can get pricey if you buy them one at a time in a chain or other pet store especially, since they should be replaced approximately every 6 months. Of course the initial fixture costs a bit (but you can often find used ones on ebay, Craig's list and other places) but I typically wait for a sale (LLLReptile usually has good ones and frequently) then buy 3 or 4 at a time. They run anywhere from $13-$18. I also use a permanent pen and put the date I placed it into service right on the metal at each end and on the bulb (near the end). Just don't use the reall smelly markers, Sharpies are better ;) This way, I can check from time to time and see when it needs replacing - I sure can't depend on my memory!:eek: Then, when I remove it I ALSO put that date on it and keep the light. It can be used as backup, put in for plants or if you have a dual fixture you can keep one used and one new in it.

I had a chameleon die and her bulb was relatively new. I marked it and was able to get about 4 more months out of it at a later date in a different setup.

just my 2 cents ;)
 
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Dave Weldon

Avid Member
...I know that the UV rays get the body to somehow produce vitamins, but I have never really understood how the powder is different...
Howdy Lucille,

Hot of the press!! Here's our very own Matthew Wheelock, DVM's article in the latest Chameleons E-zine.

Here's the direct link to the article: "An Overview of Calcium Supplementation" http://www.chameleonnews.com/calcium.html


One of the biggest differences between D3 naturally created by UVB exposure and D3 given as a supplement is that when the body produces its own D3 it is self-regulated while supplemented D3 bypasses the body's regulatory system. When you supplement with D3 you are essentially mainlining it directly into the chameleon's system without giving its body a chance to limit the level itself. My thoughts are that if I give D3 doses on the low-side of the commonly discussed levels and then let UVB fill-in from that point with natural D3 production then I have a decent chance of not causing an overdose.
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
You can also go to the "Contact" tab at the top of the page and join the mailing list so you are emailed when a new issue is released.

Chris
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
I got notices out to everyone but the "E"s before my gmail account froze for 24 hours due to overuse (don't ask why the E's are the only ones that got skipped, its a long story). As soon as my account unfreezes, the E's are getting theres. Doesn't look like you're on the list though, Will.

Chris
 
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