Special word about MBD
(Metabolic Bone Disease)
To prevent MBD you require:
- The correct reptile UVA/UVB
- The right calcium supplement
MBD is the most commonly reported disease in juvenile chameleons, particularly
Chamaeleo calyptratus, the veiled chameleon. The juvenile form of MBD
is called rickets, a crippling disease brought on by nutritional imbalances
that can be the result of deficiencies or excesses of several key nutritional
elements including calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D3 and vitamin A.
Bones become thin and bend or break easily, generally visible as bowed
front legs with rounded elbows, and a rubbery lower jawbone. Ribs may
fracture easily and spines or tails may be kinked or deformed. The chameleon
usually has difficulty navigating quickly, is shaky, unsteady or "clumsy".
Organs can also be damaged
by this disease. In the latter stages of the disease the chameleon often
cannot perch on a branch, is anorexic and cannot project it's tongue
to eat or drink independently. The worst aspect of MBD is that it is
a slow killer….chameleons crippled with this disease often linger…and
If you suspect your chameleon
has signs of rickets or MBD, please have your vet perform an exam and
diagnostic tests. An x-ray will determine the extent of bone loss. A
blood test may provide valuable information on the extent of kidney
damage and the blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.