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Metabolic Bone Disease in a Veiled Chameleon

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Reptiles

Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is the most commonly reported disease in juvenile chameleons, especially the veiled chameleon. Below are some pictures and xrays from a patient we saw here.

Top view--notice the bending of front arms and lack of obvious bone

Top view--notice the bending of front arms and lack of obvious bone

MBD develops due to lack of calcium in the diet and lack of ability to absorb calcium. In order to ensure that your chameleon doesn’t develop MBD, it must be fed gut-loaded crickets (crickets that have themselves been fed a calcium and nutrient-rich diet), the crickets should be sprinkled with a calcium supplement, such as Rep-cal, and there must be an appropriate UV-B bulb. Juvenile chameleons should receive this supplementation daily or every other day, whereas healthy adult chamelons only need this supplementation once or twice per week (twice a week for adult females).

This chameleon is 3 months old. He was given an injection of calcium gluconate and started on calcium glubionate, an oral form of calcium that is easily absorbed. However, prognosis for full recovery is guarded.

Baby Veiled Chameleon with MBD--note bending arms

Baby Veiled Chameleon with MBD--note bending arms

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