Vitamin A deficiancy... please help. She's not getting better

Abbylesperance

New Member
Chameleon Info:
◦Your Chameleon - Veiled, female, 2 years and 11 months old, she has been in my care since she was 3 months old.
◦Handling - I rarely did before she got sick. Now I have to daily to administer medications.
◦Feeding - Mainly crickets, hornworms, nutri-grubs, and an occasional mango . Around 6-8 crickets every other morning. I try to mix it up by giving her different worms and mango. I have tried feeding her Dubia roaches but she is not interested :( I gut load with various fruits and vegetables including mustard greens, turnips, carrots, sweet potato, orange, apple, mango, bee pollen, and acorn squash. I also add Rapashi Bug burger in with it and a few chunks of water gel.
◦Supplements - I dust her crickets with "Zoo Med Repti Calcium Without D3" every other day and "Zoo Med Reptivite without D3 Reptile Vitamin" once every other week and
"Zoo Med Repti Calcium With D3" on the alternating week
.
◦Watering - I try to keep her little dripper running for a good portion of the day and she has a mist king set up but I have turned it off and started manually misting her with warm water because her mist king would scare her and she would fall because she is so weak. She also has a humidifier that is usually set to around 60% humidity. I occasionally turn it up to 75% for a little while to help with shedding. I have been syringe feeding her water along with her antibiotic to keep her hydrated.
◦Fecal Description - Her feces seem normal, they are a little bit runny sometimes after she eats a hornworm. She has not been tested for parasites.
◦History - I have had her to the vet 3 times now. Originally I took her in for a small lump on her eye. The first vet didn't know what they were talking about so I took her to a different vet. Both of them told me the lump was nothing to worry about. Kiwi seemed ok so I went on vacation out of state for a week. My mom cared for her and followed a feeding/vitamin schedule. When I got back, both of her eyes were swollen shut and she was extremely weak. She kept falling from her branches. I rushed her to the vet and they told me that she had a vitamin A deficiency with possibly a bacterial infection. They gave me oral antibiotics and eye drops to give her daily, vitamin A dosage to give her every 5-7 days, as well as Carnivore Care to syringe feed her. The swelling in one eye went down so she was able to see a little bit. She has been able to eat a little bit but I still give her Carnivore Care on her bad days. I have now finished all of the vitamin A doses and she has been on antibiotics for about a month. She had a follow-up appointment and they just told me to continue with the medication and maybe flush her eye with saline solution, so I do that every couple days. I posted a couple months ago when I first noticed the lump. I had some husbandry issues back then but they have been corrected. Here is the link to that post if you want to see it https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/lump-on-veileds-eye.168330/#post-1465762. Kiwi Is not getting any better. She is still weak and doesn't have much of an appetite. Her tail is also black which is concerning.. I read that is a sign of vitamin A deficiency. I will attach a picture if it when she is sleeping because that's when it's most visible. Some days her eyes are more swollen than others. The one improvement she has made is she has started shedding after a very long time of not being able to. She is so weak.. It breaks my heart seeing her so miserable all of the time and I hate ripping her out of her cage every day and stressing her out. I just don't know her quality of life at this point. I love her so much and I don't want her to suffer any more.. If there is nothing else you guys can recommend, I might consider euthanizing her... as much as it breaks my heart.

Cage Info:
◦Cage Type - Completely screen with a drainage system in the bottom. Dimensions are 48"H x 24"W x 24"D. I will attach a picture of her enclosure.
◦Lighting - Her UVB bulb is a "Zoo Med Repti Sun 10.0 UVB" and her heat bulb is a 75-watt "Zoo Med Repti Basking Reptile Spot Lamp"
◦Temperature - Her basking spot is around 85 degrees and her cage floor is around 68 degrees. Her lowest temp overnight is probably around 67 degrees. I measure her temps with a temperature gun.
◦Humidity - it stays around 60-65% with occasional highs of 75%
◦Plants - I have one Schefflera plant at the bottom of her cage.
◦Placement - It is by a window in the dining area next to the living room.
◦Location - United States, Wisconsin
 

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Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Did they do a blood test or how do they know it was a vit a deficiency?

Vit a every 5-7 days sounds like a lot of vit a to be giving her.


You said her eyes seem worse on some days. Are these the days you are giving her supplements? (Calcium, vitamins, d3)
 

Abbylesperance

New Member
She did not do a blood test. I suggested it after doing some research about eye problems and she kind of just agreed with me and decided to treat it.

I thought it seemed like a lot of vitamin A too.. but the vet said she came up with a dose of vitamin A according to her body weight.

It's hard to say. The vet told me to sprinkle all of her feeders with multivitamin so when she does eat, they are lightly dusted. She doesn't eat a whole lot though. Do you think this could be from over-supplementation?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I just looked through your form.. I only see a few things. I would get a fecal done... She could have parasites and this be part of the issue. The only other thing that jumps out at me is the UVB bulb. Is this a T5HO fixture or a T8?
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Dried Whole Egg, Poultry Meal, Fish Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Silicone Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Biotin, Taurine, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Sodium Benzoate, L-carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2- Monophosphate (Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Pyroxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein (min) 45.00%
  • Crude Fat (min) 32.00%
  • Crude Fiber (max) 3.00%
  • Moisture (max) 10.00%
  • Ash (max) 8.00%
  • Calcium (min) 1.40%
  • Calcium (max) 1.80%
  • Phosphorus (min) 1.20%
  • Iron (min) 300 mg/kg
  • Copper (min) 10 mg/kg
  • Vitamin A (min) 25,000 IU/kg
  • Vitamin D3 (min) 1,850 IU/kg
  • Vitamin E 150 (min) IU/kg
  • Taurine 0.20%
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C) (min)* 400 mg/kg
  • L-Carnitine 500 mg/kg
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acid (min)* 1.00%
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acid (min)* 7.60%
Calorie Content

  • Metabolized Energy 24 kcal/Tbsp
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I don't know what's going on for sure but it seems like it's time to get serious with some diagnostics.
You should consider bloodwork and a fecal analysis if you want to continue. No guarantee you will get answers or a solution but it's you best bet for answers. I agree with your feeling it is time to make a decision. I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right choice.
I like Carnivore Care short term for very sick chameleons that can't eat on their own but I don't care for it long term because it is made with chicken and egg ingredients. Chameleons don't process animal proteins well as they are primarily insectivores.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m totally guessing here but I think her tail may be Turing black due to liver or kidney disease/ failure
 

Abbylesperance

New Member
So I just looked through your form.. I only see a few things. I would get a fecal done... She could have parasites and this be part of the issue. The only other thing that jumps out at me is the UVB bulb. Is this a T5HO fixture or a T8?
The zilla is the fixture and the reptisun is the bulb
 

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Abbylesperance

New Member
I don't know what's going on for sure but it seems like it's time to get serious with some diagnostics.
You should consider bloodwork and a fecal analysis if you want to continue. No guarantee you will get answers or a solution but it's you best bet for answers. I agree with your feeling it is time to make a decision. I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right choice.
I like Carnivore Care short term for very sick chameleons that can't eat on their own but I don't care for it long term because it is made with chicken and egg ingredients. Chameleons don't process animal proteins well as they are primarily insectivores.
The vet said the only other option would be to get CT scans. Do you think I should look for a different vet? The one I found seems to be the most credible one I can find near me. It's really hard to find one that knows anything about chameleons.

I will stop with the carnivore care immediately, I just didn't want her to drop too much weight.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Any ideas on what could cause these things?

Hypervitaminosis a


“What is hypervitaminosis A?

Hypervitaminosis A, or vitamin A toxicity, occurs when you have too much vitamin A in your body.
This condition may be acute or chronic. Acute toxicity occurs after consuming large amounts of vitamin A over a short period of time, typically within a few hours or days. Chronic toxicity occurs when large amounts of vitamin A build up in your body over a long period of time.
Symptoms include changes to vision, bone pain, and skin changes. Chronic toxicity can lead to liver damage and increased pressure on your brain. “
 

Abbylesperance

New Member
Hypervitaminosis a


“What is hypervitaminosis A?

Hypervitaminosis A, or vitamin A toxicity, occurs when you have too much vitamin A in your body.
This condition may be acute or chronic. Acute toxicity occurs after consuming large amounts of vitamin A over a short period of time, typically within a few hours or days. Chronic toxicity occurs when large amounts of vitamin A build up in your body over a long period of time.
Symptoms include changes to vision, bone pain, and skin changes. Chronic toxicity can lead to liver damage and increased pressure on your brain. “
Could hypervitaminosis have caused swollen eyes in the first place? Or do you think it started as hypovitaminosis and turned to hypervitaminosis? What can I do to treat this if that's the case?
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Could hypervitaminosis have caused swollen eyes in the first place? Or do you think it started as hypovitaminosis and turned to hypervitaminosis?

I can’t say for sure. It could have been swollen from many things.

The way fat soluble supplements work is they get absorbed through the lining of the small intestine into into the lymph vessels then make there way into the blood stream the excess is then stored in the fat tissues and liver until they are needed. If they are getting to much of said nutrient it builds up and stops the absorption of all nutrients eventually leading to renal failure
 
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