water causing edema?

juice28

New Member
ok.. so i have a new baby panther she might be 2 mths old and have had her a week now. im sure some of yall have seen the photos in other posts but i digress..she has what looks to be gular edema...ive been reading posts..threads and article for the past two days and im pretty sure thats what it is...

shes too small for crickets and her diet is made of fruit flies, the stores out here dont carry pinheads and im having trouble finding them in small/moderate quantities...Anyways ive noticed that her neck is fat.. still eats well and drinks well ive read that supplementing at such a young age is not good and will cause such issues...everything is right to the care of babies. cage set up, lighting temp, plenty of live plant life to hide in and explore so shes stays off the very top of the cage..feeder cup with small piece of fruit in it to keep the flies around(cleaned before every feeding..misted multiple times a day and i have a fogger set up to go off for 30 minutes 4 times a day and a dripper..no substrate and cage dries out quickly.

Now i have read a few posts of people using tap water causing edema. We do have hard water her and have a water softener installed. Now ive read that water softeners raise the salinity in the water and salt will cause edema..which would make sense being that that is the only factor from what i have researched...that would be a cause but i haven't found out a fix..i just keep reading "i changed my water" now i cant just... change my water up and i cant afford to purchase a RODI unit and even if i could, im renting and thers no where to even hook one up at. So im wondering if i filter the softened water through like a brita filter or something similar..would that basically "distill" the water or at least remove the salt in the water from the softener?
 

juice28

New Member
i think you missed the point of the post. im not asking am i doing something wrong or what is this.. im stating that i have a baby cham and looks like it has adema and ive read(including posts on here) that tap water can be a cause of gular edema but never any details about it. so the question isnt, what am i doing wrong? it is can tap water quality be a cause of gular edema and if so, what can be done to correct it? water conditioners remove chlorine and chloramines and can help lower amonia. This i know from keeping multiple saltwater reef, species specific and fish only tanks for the past 7 years but water conditions do not remove minerals from water like magnesium, strontium, salt etc...for example if your water has a high concentration of salt in it..you can use all the conditioner in the world but its not going to decrease the salinity of the water.

If you have salty water you basically dilute it with fresh water but this is for fish, not reptiles.(what do you do when your already using fresh water that is filtered...) I have also read that using a water softening system for your home tap water (which uses salt to... "soften the water" to not go into how the process works to remove minerals from the water) can increase the overall salinity of the tap water and that that has lead to gular edema in chameleons but once again, I have not found many details to this statement/theory.

I have read that large amounts of vitamins, especially A is one of the main causes for gular adema, and that for neonates(panther and veiled's as i did not research other species) should not be vitamin supplemented. Assuming that you are not supplementing your neonate's with a vitamin mix, and they are eating fruit flies there should not be an over abundance of vitamin A or D3 so what would cause the gular edema if your not using a vitamin supplement?

Your Chameleon - panther aprox 4 weeks (im guessing) had 1 week
Handling - 3 times- once when i got her once for photos to determine sex and once for a closer look at her throat
Feeding - flightless fruit flies 3-4 times a day..anywhere from 15-20 at a time being that a few always seem to get out of the cage so basically has an endless supply of at least 10 at all times..have cup with small piece of fruit in it for them so they dont just wander about, cleaned daily
Supplements - no supplement at this time just calcium w/o D3 and some natural unfiltered sunlight (well the window screen but window is up)
Watering - hand mister 3-4 times a day maybe 10-15 seconds or as long as it takes to get 3/4 of cage nice and wet so plants are all dripping and reptifogger set for 30 min intervals 4 times a day yes drinks very well
Fecal Description - never been tested, poop is solid dark brown and very white urates
History - aquire neonate from breeder said to be older that what it is

Cage Info:

Cage Type -small reptarium, 16x16x20
Lighting - reptisun 10. cfl and 40 wat full spectrum, both in domes, uvb is 2 inches above screen, 40 wat is about 8 inches from screen on a 9-9 schedule(doesnt get dark here till about 9)

Temperature - 73 at the lowest and 85 directly under the screen day temp, night is at 70, digital thermometer positioned in various heights

Humidity - What are your humidity levels? 65 day, 70-75 night depending on outside temp. live plants and misting, and the hose has a swamp cooler not air conditioner so it uses water cooled air to cool the house, humidity is naturally around 60 indoors one dig and one dial humidity gauge 3 sides wrapped in painter plastic to keep humidity up

Plants - hibiscus, scheffelera,(spelling) star jasmine
Placement - in my room on top of 3 level shelf and on top of tote for drainage, cage top is aprox 6 feet from the floor ,very low traffic level..just me on lunch break and when not working, not uder any vents or in direct line of fan, there is a fan pointed across the room opposite of where the cage is on low for circulation

Location - new mexico, very hot dry climate, kinda on the TX-NM border
Current Problem - gular edema...cause...

pics are from last week when i got her(i think its a her even though its supposed to a boy)


photo.jpg
photo.jpg
 

Chameleopatrick

New Member
It is often caused by too much vitamin d3 in calcium plus products sold in the reptile trade. Perhaps a veterinarian can better explain this.
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I understand you feel the water softener is to blame, and yes I'd say its possible if the water is particularly hard and thus the softener settings quite high (there may be other factors at play).
edit: thanks for adding the additional info

An easy way to confirm whether or not this is the case is to switch to providing quality bottled water for a month.

It is my understanding that brita does not filter out sodium. On their own site they recommend having a separate tap providing unsoftened water for your drinking water, using the softened water only for washing / appliances

"Hard water contains the bicarbonate and sulfate salts of calcium and magnesium. It is safe for reptiles. Softened water has calcium and magnesium replaced by sodium; it is a danger to patients on sodium-restricted diets. The role of sodium-containing softened water on bladder stones in reptiles hasn't been delineated yet, but high sodium intakes should be avoided if your chameleons have problems with the renal system, edema, or chronic stress." Donoghue, S. (2002). Water: The Most Important Nutrient of Them All. Chameleons! Online E-Zine, November 2002. (http://www.chameleonnews.com/02NovDonoghue.html)

If you use softened water, you want to be extra careful that you provide sufficient calcium and magnesium through gutload and supplements

You might want to specifically ask Brock / Zen Reptiles as I think he works in water purification sales, and may have an opinion on this.
 
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juice28

New Member
I understand you feel the water softener is to blame, and yes I'd say its possible if the water is particularly hard and thus the softener settings quite high (there may be other factors at play, but your refusal to share more info doesn't allow us to help you determine this).
An easy way to confirm whether or not this is the case is to switch to providing quality bottled water for a month.

It is my understanding that brita does not filter out sodium. On their own site they recommend having a separate tap providing unsoftened water for your drinking water, using the softened water only for washing / appliances

"Hard water contains the bicarbonate and sulfate salts of calcium and magnesium. It is safe for reptiles. Softened water has calcium and magnesium replaced by sodium; it is a danger to patients on sodium-restricted diets. The role of sodium-containing softened water on bladder stones in reptiles hasn't been delineated yet, but high sodium intakes should be avoided if your chameleons have problems with the renal system, edema, or chronic stress." Donoghue, S. (2002). Water: The Most Important Nutrient of Them All. Chameleons! Online E-Zine, November 2002. (http://www.chameleonnews.com/02NovDonoghue.html)

If you use softened water, you want to be extra careful that you provide sufficient calcium and magnesium through gutload and supplements

You might want to specifically ask Brock / Zen Reptiles as I think he works in water purification sales, and may have an opinion on this.

im not blaming the water softener, saying the water softener caused my cham to have edema..im asking if thats even possible? and switching to only bottled water isnt as easy as it sounds being in a very rural area, most have fluoride in it which is a whole other topic lol and the choices here are very slim im not in the city. and driving 2 hours for a few cases of water a couple times a week...i have to find a better way for long term that that...assuming thats what it is
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
It is often caused by too much vitamin d3 in calcium plus products sold in the reptile trade. Perhaps a veterinarian can better explain this.

do we know this for a fact? I don't think anyone really knows how it is caused. Do you have any documentation to prove this? The reason being I have a chameleon that I took in over 17 months ago with severe edema. He was never supplemented with d3 or hardly calcium for that matter. I never supplement him with d3 either and for the life of me he cannot get rid of it. It comes and goes in severeity. So I can say from my experience I know it is not caused from too much artificial d3.
 

juice28

New Member
do we know this for a fact? I don't think anyone really knows how it is caused. Do you have any documentation to prove this? The reason being I have a chameleon that I took in over 17 months ago with severe edema. He was never supplemented with d3 or hardly calcium for that matter. I never supplement him with d3 either and for the life of me he cannot get rid of it. It comes and goes in severeity. So I can say from my experience I know it is not caused from too much artificial d3.
and mine has never had D3...i did read a post about a veiled female that had it bad, he did his own treatment and it went away but every time she drank it flared of for about a half hour and then went back down..https://www.chameleonforums.com/those-who-have-experienced-gular-edema-52144/
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Yes I'd love to hear strong evidence for D3 causing gular edema as well. Two of mine have it and I do not use D3 at all because they get outdoor sun. Can you provide links to some studies or evidence to support your claim? The cause behind gular edema is still largely unknown, although I have some speculations...
 

juice28

New Member
Yes I'd love to hear strong evidence for D3 causing gular edema as well. Two of mine have it and I do not use D3 at all because they get outdoor sun. Can you provide links to some studies or evidence to support your claim? The cause behind gular edema is still largely unknown, although I have some speculations...

what do you think? im not sure if you read my first posts but im not using D3 or any "general vitamin" supplement, none of my other cams have it.. just this new baby
 

Chameleopatrick

New Member
do we know this for a fact? I don't think anyone really knows how it is caused. Do you have any documentation to prove this? The reason being I have a chameleon that I took in over 17 months ago with severe edema. He was never supplemented with d3 or hardly calcium for that matter. I never supplement him with d3 either and for the life of me he cannot get rid of it. It comes and goes in severeity. So I can say from my experience I know it is not caused from too much artificial d3.

I didn't mean the "brand name", I believe that calcium or excess multivitamins with additional d3 has been known to be a source. Hence suggesting a vet to chime in. Hypervitaminosis d.


http://robertsprackland.hubpages.com/hub/Ultraviolet-Light--Vitamin-D--and-Reptile-Health

I'm glad you asked for a source;) I see what you did there.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Thanks Olivia! Let me know if you find any more. I've done literature searches for gular edema and not come up with much. Maybe this will help renew the trail, although it's a shame the author's sources are by request only. But that still doesn't explain the OP's or mine's edema so it seems to be more complicated than just one vitamin imbalance...
 
Will everyone who's chameleon has edema honestly post what they have gutloaded with and what they currently use. I'm curious of any patterns
 
Thanks Olivia! Let me know if you find any more. I've done literature searches for gular edema and not come up with much. Maybe this will help renew the trail, although it's a shame the author's sources are by request only. But that still doesn't explain the OP's or mine's edema so it seems to be more complicated than just one vitamin imbalance...

I spend a little to much free time researching chameleon illnesses, I have about 30 bookmarks on my laptop, however I'm on my cellphone away from home. I will be sure to post a few later on
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
I have a library of over 500 papers on chameleons so I know what you mean. ;)

My panther and Jackson (but not my veiled) developed significant edema when I inadvertently added a lot of vitamin A to the diet by trying to use up left over parrot pellets. I noticed a significant improvement whenever they drank large amounts of water, or were in the sun a lot. Low albumin will cause edema in mammals but seems to be much less significant in reptiles. Some speculation to be a symptom of mineral (not just vitamin) imbalance (possibly calcium, just not severe enough to cause MBD) or an indication of liver or kidney disease. The best treatment in the experience of some is as much natural sunlight as possible, significantly increased hydration and ensuring adequate calcium supplementation with very limited phosphorus content in food to promote good kidney health. Sometimes the edema goes away with time, and sometimes it is permanent, but may fluctuate. Occasionally edema is seen with gravid females and it resolves once the eggs are laid.

My panther's went away completely, as did the Jackson's. But now the Jackson's has resurfaced and another montane recently got it.

Have to drive down from mountains so will continue when I get home...
 
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carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
The chameleon I have that came to me with gular edema is somewhere between 5 and 6 years old.I have had him for 17 months. He came down with it when he was about 2 years old and when I got him he had it for about 1 1/2 yrs according to the original owner. He said he rarely supplemented, only fed crickets and once in a while would feed them romaine lettuce. That was it! He continues to have it. I gutload my crickets and supers with kale, mustard greens, arugula on occasion, bug burger from repashy, green peppers, mangos, oranges, strawberries, apples, carrots...I think that is about it. My other two chameleons never got it using this gutload.
 
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