Vitamin A deficiency

Courtney_H

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male, approximately 3 years old.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Never, only to clean his cage.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Crickets, superworms and I have a Dubia colony as his staple. Offer 3 dubia, or occasionally others listed, every day.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Earth pro-A every feeding, repti calcium with D3 twice a month. (Recently bought earth proA, was using other vitamin once a month.)
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Handheld mister, two minutes twice a day, morning and late noon.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Brown with mostly white urates
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. N/A

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Screen cage Reptibreeze XL 18x18x48 I believe
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? T5 hooded fixture and incandescent house bulb for heat, lights on at 9 off at 10
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Ambient 72-75 under basking area 80-82
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity spike when misting and a few hours after, right now I have his cage wrapped with a shower curtain, our place is very dry in the winter. Usually around 30-40% regular and 80-90% after misting
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? No live, am looking for some online right now. Any suggestions would be great
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? In my extra unused bedroom, away from vent, near a window
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Ohio

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

Recently my Cham has been having a “crusty”, discharge eye. I have been keeping what I can out giving him some extra misting, but it keeps returning. I took him to my local vet that sees reptiles and she suggested, what I was suspicious of, that he had a vitamin A deficiency. I have been gut loading his feeders with carrots and collard greens to try to compensate. I also have been making sure to dust all feeders with Earth Pro-A. This being said, it’s been about 3 weeks and still his eye gets crusty.I replaced his uv bulb about the same time his symptoms began. Should I take him back to the vet for eye drops possibly? Has anyone had such a problem. I will attach some pictures of him. He is in mid shed right now, so I don’t want to bother him too much.
90D3B65E-36BC-49B8-911C-2E7CF21D49D9.jpeg
E9430B0D-DE65-46D6-B5E0-D907F9A16A96.jpeg
90D3B65E-36BC-49B8-911C-2E7CF21D49D9.jpeg
E9430B0D-DE65-46D6-B5E0-D907F9A16A96.jpeg
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AF1F70C3-DEE8-4094-A8B7-CB5A925107D4.png
90D3B65E-36BC-49B8-911C-2E7CF21D49D9.jpeg
E9430B0D-DE65-46D6-B5E0-D907F9A16A96.jpeg
A23F106A-7962-40D2-BBA8-0B8F1A321FC9.png
AF1F70C3-DEE8-4094-A8B7-CB5A925107D4.png

Top two are current, bottom are first signs of eye problems about a month ago.
Thank you in advance. I’ll try to get a better picture of the crud in between misting, and watch for any new bowel movements.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male, approximately 3 years old.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Never, only to clean his cage.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Crickets, superworms and I have a Dubia colony as his staple. Offer 3 dubia, or occasionally others listed, every day.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Earth pro-A every feeding, repti calcium with D3 twice a month. (Recently bought earth proA, was using other vitamin once a month.)
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Handheld mister, two minutes twice a day, morning and late noon.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Brown with mostly white urates
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. N/A

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Screen cage Reptibreeze XL 18x18x48 I believe
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? T5 hooded fixture and incandescent house bulb for heat, lights on at 9 off at 10
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Ambient 72-75 under basking area 80-82
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity spike when misting and a few hours after, right now I have his cage wrapped with a shower curtain, our place is very dry in the winter. Usually around 30-40% regular and 80-90% after misting
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? No live, am looking for some online right now. Any suggestions would be great
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? In my extra unused bedroom, away from vent, near a window
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Ohio

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

Recently my Cham has been having a “crusty”, discharge eye. I have been keeping what I can out giving him some extra misting, but it keeps returning. I took him to my local vet that sees reptiles and she suggested, what I was suspicious of, that he had a vitamin A deficiency. I have been gut loading his feeders with carrots and collard greens to try to compensate. I also have been making sure to dust all feeders with Earth Pro-A. This being said, it’s been about 3 weeks and still his eye gets crusty.I replaced his uv bulb about the same time his symptoms began. Should I take him back to the vet for eye drops possibly? Has anyone had such a problem. I will attach some pictures of him. He is in mid shed right now, so I don’t want to bother him too much.
View attachment 255689View attachment 255690View attachment 255689View attachment 255690View attachment 255691View attachment 255692View attachment 255689View attachment 255690View attachment 255691View attachment 255692
Top two are current, bottom are first signs of eye problems about a month ago.
Thank you in advance. I’ll try to get a better picture of the crud in between misting, and watch for any new bowel movements.
@kinyonga
Here's a photo of the ingredients for you.
earthpro-a-back.png


Biotin is some form of A, but I'm not certain on which version. Hopefully Kinyonga can sort you out!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Neither of Arcadia's main supplements Earthpro A or Calcium MG have preformed vitamin A.... I know it is a bit misleading buying something called Earthpro A and it not having it. But Arcadia supplements are really good. They do have to be done in a certain rotation which is a 8 feed cycle then repeat. Since they are not like other supplements.

EP-A on feed 1,2,3.

Ca-Mg on feed 4.

EP-A on 5,6,7

Then on either feeding 8 and/or 16 depending on species you supplement with something containing Preformed A.

Now Arcadia does not have calcium with D3 either so if your lighting is not perfect you can not use just these two that they make. So if you switch to all arcadia it is best to get a multivitamin that has D3 and preformed A to use on feed 8 and 16. Reptivite is a good one. They offer this in a with D3 or without D3.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
As far as plant suggestion, I can tell you what's worked for me. I use either a hibiscus or money tree as my "main tree". I then use lots of the Flukers fake vines - they're like $3 on Amazon. For filler I use a pothos, some "driftwood", bromeliads, dracaena, and other smaller plants. I also use the occasional orchid, moss and air plants. As for where to get them, I know a few online shops sell them - Josh's Frogs, LLL reptile - but I prefer to buy them at lowes, home depot, local nurseries so I can see the shape/size. Chances are, no matter where you get them, you're going to need to repot them and thoroughly rinse them for mites/bugs.

Chameleon keeping is a "gateway" hobby. I have a vast collection of plants and bugs now!!

Best wishes!
 
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cloverthechameleon

Avid Member
if you give the crickets/roaches carrots then it will increase the vitamin a for your chameleon.
Carrots contain carotenoids which are turned into PRO vitamin a not PRE vitamin a. There are 2 types of vitamin a that play 2 different yet very important roles. I would suggest looking into human grade Vitamin A retinal gel caps. You can poke a pin hole in a gel cap and drop a tiny drop onto 1 feeder insect 1x per month. I had a very similar issue with a panthers eye in which the vitamin a gel cap seemed to solve and i have not had an issue since i incorporated this into my supplementaion. You can also look into a product called Repashy vitmain plus A which has both pre and pro vitmain a. Please note you can overdose chameleons on vitamin a fairly easily if you are unsure of the dose and schedule regime.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Just a note carrots and sweet potatoes contain betacarotene a form of vitamin A. Many animals can convert this to retinol another form of vitamin A. It is unknown how well or if chameleons can make this conversion at all. They may be dependent on another food source in the wild. Also excessive amount of D3 supplements can bind/block Vitamin A in their system causing a deficiency.
Sorry nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
UGGGG your going to be that type of newbie... FYI that thread was done in 2013. ALOT has been learned since then. This is an ever changing hobby where new discoveries about their husbandry are made constantly. You can either dive into the flood of information that may or may not be correct or take direction from those of us that actually try to point you in the right direction. Good luck to you on your path to understanding these animals and their care.
 
Just a note carrots and sweet potatoes contain betacarotene a form of vitamin A. Many animals can convert this to retinol another form of vitamin A. It is unknown how well or if chameleons can make this conversion at all. They may be dependent on another food source in the wild. Also excessive amount of D3 supplements can bind/block Vitamin A in their system causing a deficiency.
Sorry nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
I steam the carrots before I give them to my cham. He has no deficiency at all and he is very healthy.
 

coastal_chameleon

Avid Member
Just a note carrots and sweet potatoes contain betacarotene a form of vitamin A. Many animals can convert this to retinol another form of vitamin A. It is unknown how well or if chameleons can make this conversion at all. They may be dependent on another food source in the wild. Also excessive amount of D3 supplements can bind/block Vitamin A in their system causing a deficiency.
Sorry nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
is it know if crickets or dubias or any feeders are able to make this conversion and hold preform vitamin a in their liver or fat ?
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I steam the carrots before I give them to my cham. He has no deficiency at all and he is very healthy.

I'm glad your chameleon is healthy but FYI steaming doesn't convert betacarotene to retinol. I'm not even recommending you give vitamin A unless you are seeing a problem related to deficiency like the OP her but many keepers do include it in their once or twice months multi vitamin as a precaution.
 
I gave him the steamed carrots when he had a deficiency and I give it to him now so that the deficiency doesn't happen again.
Thanks for the advice. I'll not give it to him so often. :)
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
@kinyonga
Here's a photo of the ingredients for you.
View attachment 255693

Biotin is some form of A, but I'm not certain on which version. Hopefully Kinyonga can sort you out!
Earthpro a has no preformed A, but uses an algae that boasts 500 different carotenoids. Though the literature seems to indicate that panther chameleons don’t convert beta-carotene to vitamin A, earthpro’s approach is to give over 500 other carotenoids in the hopes that one or more can be converted to A by chameleons (and other reptiles).
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
if you give the crickets/roaches carrots then it will increase the vitamin a for your chameleon.
It will certainly increase the beta carotene for the chameleon, but it’s no clear whether chameleons can convert it to vitamin a.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, male, approximately 3 years old.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Never, only to clean his cage.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Crickets, superworms and I have a Dubia colony as his staple. Offer 3 dubia, or occasionally others listed, every day.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Earth pro-A every feeding, repti calcium with D3 twice a month. (Recently bought earth proA, was using other vitamin once a month.)
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Handheld mister, two minutes twice a day, morning and late noon.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Brown with mostly white urates
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. N/A

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Screen cage Reptibreeze XL 18x18x48 I believe
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? T5 hooded fixture and incandescent house bulb for heat, lights on at 9 off at 10
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Ambient 72-75 under basking area 80-82
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity spike when misting and a few hours after, right now I have his cage wrapped with a shower curtain, our place is very dry in the winter. Usually around 30-40% regular and 80-90% after misting
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? No live, am looking for some online right now. Any suggestions would be great
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? In my extra unused bedroom, away from vent, near a window
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Ohio

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

Recently my Cham has been having a “crusty”, discharge eye. I have been keeping what I can out giving him some extra misting, but it keeps returning. I took him to my local vet that sees reptiles and she suggested, what I was suspicious of, that he had a vitamin A deficiency. I have been gut loading his feeders with carrots and collard greens to try to compensate. I also have been making sure to dust all feeders with Earth Pro-A. This being said, it’s been about 3 weeks and still his eye gets crusty.I replaced his uv bulb about the same time his symptoms began. Should I take him back to the vet for eye drops possibly? Has anyone had such a problem. I will attach some pictures of him. He is in mid shed right now, so I don’t want to bother him too much.
View attachment 255689View attachment 255690View attachment 255689View attachment 255690View attachment 255691View attachment 255692View attachment 255689View attachment 255690View attachment 255691View attachment 255692
Top two are current, bottom are first signs of eye problems about a month ago.
Thank you in advance. I’ll try to get a better picture of the crud in between misting, and watch for any new bowel movements.
I actually don’t see what you’re talking about, but it’s probably the photo (or my eyes). Anyways, hypovitaminosis A is, as I understand it, difficult to definitively diagnose. The trouble is it requires several blood tests across a certain period of time as blood levels can vary significantly, and only a prolonged survey of the blood levels can indicate low levels in the liver...or so I hear. The other means is by a liver biopsy, where A is stored. Neither is ideal, and, as I understand it, the main means of diagnosis is symptomatically, and the trouble there is that the symptoms of deficiency and excess are similar. Now, since your supplement regime contains no pre-formed A, it’s unlikely that an excess of A is your problem, but it could be several things, so I’d proceed with moderation, if you’re going to introduce preformed A into the equation. Start with something like Repashy calcium plus, or calcium plus LoD, mixed half in half with your earthpro...say one or twice a week.
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Please keep in mind that im not a vet or a herpetoligist and my information comes from a long time of keeping chameleon and lots of other reptiles and from what I've learned from vets and others and from papers, etc that I've read.

@Hashtag ChamLife said..."Biotin is some form of A, but I'm not certain on which version. Hopefully Kinyonga can sort you out!"...haha! I hate vitamin A....it's a pain in the butt to figure out because the information is scarce and hard to find. :(
However...biotin is, I believe, a form of vitamin B7 not A.

@Courtney_H ...you said you changed the UVB bulb recently...what bulb were you using? Is the new bulb the same type/brand? Did the distance from the bulb to where the chameleon sits/can sit change?
You said your cage is near a window....this might be part of the problem too.

What @Beman said in post #3 is right about the Earth pro A not containing any prEformed vitamin A...which means that if chameleons cant convert prOformed sources to prEformed vitamin A or can't convert it well your chameleon could need some prEformed vitamin A....if that's what's causing the eye problem.

@I love CHAMS said..."if you give the crickets/roaches carrots then it will increase the vitamin a for your chameleon" ...the chameleon will only get whatever the insect has stored in it in the prEformed state so it's limited to what the insect can store in the prEformed state think.
What species is your chameleon? Veiled ...right?

I agree with what @JacksJill said in post #9.
More in a few minutes...
 
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