Calcium Deficiency ??

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by ronhalling, May 8, 2013.

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  1. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

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    Ok this is for the dragon people here at APS, A couple of months ago my daughter bought 2 Pigmy Bearded Dragon babies, she is feeding them crickets and finely diced vegies, they are in a very nice home built enclosure with a good heat gradient 33 hot end 24 cool end and 43 under the basking lamp, so thats their husbandry story now the problem,: both of them seem to be chucking fits, ie they will go stiff all of a sudden and then shake for a couple of seconds (hmmmm sounds like me when i was younger) she took them both to the reptile vet this afternoon and he reckons Calcium Deficiency and has given her liquid calcium drops to give them 3 times a day. What i am asking is have any other dragon keepers here had the same problem and how did you fix it..............Ron
     
  2. Chris1

    Chris1 cupcake Subscriber

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    do you give them calcium supplements?
    and a UVB light?
     
  3. Ambush

    Ambush Guest

    Yes. Calcium powder and a better UVB-UAV light. And every day I had a small Mouse Home that I put the beardie in and sat in the sun.
     
  4. Chris1

    Chris1 cupcake Subscriber

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    if it is a calcium deficiency getting them out for proper sun is the best thing you can do. (plus the drops the vet gave you)
     
  5. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hey Chris 1 thanks for the reply, i am not ofay with lizards, what do you consider proper sun ie 30 min 1 hour several hours ???.....................Ron
     
  6. saintanger

    saintanger Very Well-Known Member

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    is your uvb light no less than 30cm from the dragons? as it has to be, if its more than 30cm from the dragon they don't absorb the uvb.

    also the drops and natural sunlight will help them, i use a mesh cage and leave them out for a few hours sometimes i leave them out for 6 hours but i leave a water bowl in the mesh cage and make sure there is shade in there too, in case they get to hot.
     
  7. Chris1

    Chris1 cupcake Subscriber

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    30 mins a day of sun is fine and will be really beneficial for a speedy recovery.
    When sunning, never leave them unattended, a mesh container is better than a tub because tubs overheat really quickly.

    THey should also have a UVB light in their enclosure to make sure they can process their calcium to make sure it doesnt happen again.
    Calcium supplements are so important, most of the foods we feed them have a bad calcium to phosphorus ratio, which means their bodies start to suck calcium from the bones so the levels in the blood stay ok.
     
  8. Rogue5861

    Rogue5861 Very Well-Known Member

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    Could be not recieving enough uvb from bulb, uvb bulbs are hopeless really. Natural uvb from the sun is alot stronger and will increase their colours.

    What calcium powder is being used? I use one with d3 so that i know my dragon is getting all the calcium so possible could.


    Rick
     
  9. Chicken

    Chicken Well-Known Member

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    Hahahahahaha
     
  10. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

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    A big thank you to all who gave advice on this matter, i have given this info to my daughter and she will act accordingly.........................Ron
     
  11. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    Hey mate, just another thing to check for is compaction. Are there bellies full or have they past any waste recently? they could be suffering from compaction where sand or to large of a food item has been ingested and unable to be passed cause its stuck. this lead to pressure on their spinal cord causing those fits.

    I've seen this happen before so just make sure it's not that.

    If your worried it could be compaction give them a nice warm bath to try pass what Evers stuck and make sure those basking temps are consistent.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    I am pretty sure the vet would have picked up any compaction if there was any.

    I think I owe you one Ron....

    The Role of Calcium
    Calcium is a critical mineral in vertebrate bodies. It is involved in nearly every major metabolic process, especially strengthening bones, transmission of nerve impulses and contraction of muscles. The symptoms of lack of calcium can vary accordingly - deformed skeleton, muscle weakness, twitches or muscular spasms plus a few more less common ones.

    The Role of Vitamin D
    For the body to be able to absorb calcium from the gut and to be able to use calcium once it is inside the body, Vitamin D is required. In nature Vitamin D is photosynthesised in the skin using the energy from UVB radiation in sunlight. So dragons produce their Vitamin D when basking to warm up.

    The Role of UVB
    A UVB light with a rating of 10 is appropriate for dragons. The distance has been mentioned and it should be near or over the same area as the basking light. The synthesis of Vitamin D occurs most effectively when the animal is at or near its preferred body temperature. All UVB sources degrade with use and need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months (check the manufacturer’s recommendation). The visible light from a UVB lamp does not alter so you can use it around the house once the UVB has dropped off. 4 hours of the UVB lamp per day, from mid-morning to early afternoon is adequate. Some people prefer 6 or 8 hours.

    30 minutes of quality sunshine 4 times a week is adequate for keeping a dragon without a UVB lamp in their enclosure. Many people prefer to provide more. Quality sunshine means around midday, except in the real heat of summer.

    Providing Calcium Supplements
    Normal calcium supplements with food should NOT be administered every day. For a healthy animal twice a week is fine and certainly no more often than three times. Maintaining the required level of calcium in the blood is critical to the body’s functioning. Under normal circumstances this is achieved through withdrawal of calcium from the bones or storage of calcium within the bones.

    If calcium is continuously supplied and therefore continually be taken up from the gut, it can build up in the blood before the body has a chance to store it. The body interprets this as excess and excretes it via the kidneys. This is why some lizards that have had calcium supplements added to all of their food, have ended up at the vet and been diagnosed as lacking calcium.

    Providing a small of finely ground up cuttlefish skeleton is an excellent way to provide calcium. Dragons will usually help themselves periodically. If you have trouble getting them to drink, an aquarium air pump set on low and the outlet tube placed in the water produces water movement which is very effective in enticing them to drink. Something about the moving water.

    Blue
     
  13. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thank you very much Blue, as always you information and advice is immaculate and concise, i am thinking of building up a booklet of Blue's tips and tricks should be a best seller :) .................Ron
     
  14. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    I think this page should be set up as a sticky
     
  15. Tsubakai

    Tsubakai Very Well-Known Member

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    Its a not all that uncommon problem in beardies. Sounds like you've got all the right advice so far. Follow it and things should settle down fine.
     
  16. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

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    Ron
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  17. Melzey

    Melzey Active Member

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    What a lovely thread Ron! (Sorry to hear about the babies) but really nice not to see the accusatory unproductive posts :)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
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