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    Default My Gecko has passed from Vit D-3 Toxicity


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    I just had to bait the hell out of some folks.

    They are fit as a fiddle, My Exotics DVM actually laughed at the concept when I brought it up during the blood draw. He went into such a deep, percentage, behavior based fact based opinion I almost starting laughing myself when he said one word "Regulation".

    Its been a great day.

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    I suggest you read this.
    The link goes to the archived copy, the formatting was lost, so it's hard to read. I tried to get it formatted so it's reasonably easy to read.

    The topic is from a chameleon site, but it applies to all reptiles, and even humans. It's written by a very knowledgeable vet, not some wanna-be expert. If your vet doesn't know the dangers of too much Vit D3 and calcium, then I would suggest finding a different vet.



    The Chameleon Journals

    Vitamin D3 and Calcium:
    by Kenneth Lopez, D.V.M.

    Here are the players: 1. Calcium 2. Vitamin D 3. Parathyroid Hormone 4. Calcitonin

    Calcium: Calcium is very poorly absorbed through the intestinal mucosa, as are most bivalent cations. When there is excess calcium in the diet much of it binds with phosphate and forms insoluble compounds which are excreted in the feces. Everyone should be aware of the need for calcium in bone formation and muscular contraction, reproduction, etc. (life in general). Too little Calcium causes, among other things, tremors, tetany, and death. **Too much Calcium causes muscles to become sluggish and weak. It has cardiac effects as well as causing obstipation and lack of appetite due to decreased contractility of the intestinal walls.

    Vitamin D: Vit D has the job of increasing calcium absorption from the intestinal tract. It also affects both bone deposition AND bone reabsorption. Vitamin D3 is NOT the active substance for these effects. Vit D3 (Cholecalciferol) is formed in the skin by the ultraviolet rays from sunlight. Cholecalciferol is converted by the liver to 1,25 Hydroxycholecalciferol, which in turn is changed through reactions in the kidney to the ACTIVE form; 1, 25 Dihydroxycholecalciferol. **The creation of Hydroxycholecalciferol is limited by a feedback loop, which inhibits the transformation from D3 to Hydroxycholecalciferol. **Vitamin D3 is stored for a long time in the liver, while Hydroxyholecalciferol lasts only a short while. *Now the kidneys take effect and change Hydroxy to Dihydroxycholecalciferol. Remember this when we discuss renal damage. Without the kidneys there are NO active vitamin D effects that can occur. Dihydroxycholecalciferol has its effects upon intestinal epithelium and calcium absorption primarily through the creation of a calcium-binding protein. ** Calcium-binding protein remains in cells for several weeks after the 1,25 Dihyroxycholecalciferol has been eliminated from the body.

    Parathyroid Hormone: This hormone causes rapid absorption of calcium salts from the bones in response to decreased calcium in the blood. It also causes phosphate to be lost in the kidneys. Parathyroid Hormone takes many hours to take effect and has a long-term effect.

    Calcitonin: Calcitonin DECREASES blood calcium ion concentration. It works very quickly, within minutes. Consider it the opposite of Parathyroid Hormone. **Calcitonin has its greatest effect upon young, rapidly growing animals. **An increase in plasma calcium concentration of about 20% causes immediate two-to-three fold increase in the rate of secretion of Calcitonin.

    Here is the Meat and Potatoes folks! Back in the 70's and 80's it was very common to see reptiles come in with curved spines, multiple fractures, muscle tremors. Supplements were not commonly used and deaths were common and reproduction of many species was limited. This disease, Metabolic Bone Disease (secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism) was one of the most common problems seen. Once MBD became a household word and supplements such as Miner-all and RepCal became available MBD, thankfully, became less common.

    Now we are seeing another distressing trend. I commonly have chams brought in with obstipation, decreased appetites, wasting away, and severe dehydration despite vigilant misting or watering. A common finding in the husbandry goes as follows: " I take great care of her. I water her frequently. I dust her crickets every-other day with Calcium Powder with Vit D3 alternated on off days with a multivitamin powder. When she started becoming depressed I started giving her Neocalglucon and later my vet gave me Baytril". If you only knew how common this scenario is from my perspective it would frighten you.
    My question is this: Are we over-supplementing our chams?

    Here is my reasoning behind the question.
    1. Excess calcium causes muscles to become sluggish and weak. It causes decreased appetite and causes obstipation (intractable constipation) due to decreased contractility of the intestinal walls.
    2. Excess Vitamin D actually causes ABSORPTION of bone. It actually mimics hyperparathyroidism.
    3. Vitamin D causes calcification of bone. Excess Vitamin D causes inappropriate mineralization of organs such as the kidney or soft tissue. Excess Vit D3 and Calcium has been implicated in mineralization of large blood vessels, causing cardiac disease.
    4. If we fry the kidneys with excess Vitamin D we cannot get the active form, 1,25 Dihydroxycholecalciferol. Of course, there are many other problems that come along with fried kidneys.
    5. The body will only allow so much Hydroxycholecaliferol before the conversion of Vit D3 in the liver is stopped. What happens to the excess Vitamin D3? It is stored in the liver doing no good but potentially causing problems in the future.
    6. If the Calcium-binding proteins remain in the cells for weeks after the 1,25 Dihydroxycholecalciferol is gone, why are we redosing two or three times a week?
    7. When we over supplement our baby chams with Vit D and Calcium, Calcitonin is secreted which has the job of DECREASING serum calcium. This effect is much more important in young animals. Their young, growing bones are more easily affected by subtle changes in nutritional balances.

    SUMMARY: I get way too many consults and patients with signs I feel are suggestive of chronic over-supplementation.
    It is another case of "A little is good, so a lot must be better" It is not known how much supplementation, if any, is needed for different species. In monkey medicine, for example, Old World monkeys do not need Vit D3 supplements at all while New World monkeys NEED Vit D3 added to their diets. Can we meet their needs better by better gut-loading of our insects and by using a variety of insects in conjunction with proper lighting? Then we can supplement with much less frequency.
    Please see Susan's Cricket food recipe. I think is well balanced and I have a few of her babies which are remarkable in their health. I have taken the time to present this not to tell you how to raise your chams but to stimulate conversation. I have no doubt people like Dr. Benson can add to this or may say I am full of #@&*. I am open to ideas.
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    Read it... 5x. The post was to take the serious nature this forum is flooded with and give a "dose" of reality.

    Drive home with a Pediatric Heart Surgeon back from Masjid while his pager is "blowing up".

    I looked at the Leos when I got to the house, fed them and laughed AGAIN!

    I still love my babies though....I mean my Leos.

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    Please break this down for us poor simpletons. How much should we be using calcium with d3? vitamins?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbanta View Post
    Please break this down for us poor simpletons. How much should we be using calcium with d3? vitamins?
    You must have missed the debates the re-occurent DVM post that is always floating around....

    The bottom line is. Supplementation is not a science. I wont go into all the factors but if there was a mass outbreak of posts regarding a majority...lets just say 1/4 of keepers Leos being brought to a vet and determined death was due to D-3 Toxicity.

    Well,

    There would be reporting on it and we would be flooded. Instead were flooded by "what if"?

    I have gotten to the point where I will say how I supplement. I wont force the method down someones throat. Just an opinion/option and I will defend it if need be. I would personally be concerned with Phosphorous instead.

    Ibanta, never refer to yourself or others as "simpletons" its a disease of the mind and heart
    to degrade yourself in that manner.
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    vitamin D3, like most supplements, is a bit of a black box for a lot reptiles. there are so many different species and most of the information out there is anecdotal. breeders that have kept their animals more than a decade and qualified reptile vets are generally our best source of information, and they're still working without much support from actual qualified research.

    so when people say, "feed your gecko this supplement twice a week and this other once a month and feed your roaches with this other supplement", you have to take it with a grain of salt.

    it can be confusing, when so much of the "guidelines" are really just opinions. that's why it's most important to take the time to consider multiple opinions, and then understand the source of those opinions and make a judgement call about whether they can be trusted.

    also, please understand that there is no "one true method". I've found that I get the best results when I listen to a lot of people I trust, add a dash of common sense, and try a middle ground approach. anyone who puts forth a method or aspect of keeping and seems to have a "my way or the highway" approach makes me pretty nervous (again, temper with common sense; if someone told me to feed my carnivorous geckos oranges I would know better).
    [I]* Morelia spilota harrisoni * Morelia spilota mcdowelli *Liasis olivaceous olivaceous * Blaesodactylus boivini * /I]
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    Exactly. The results from various methods have turned out incredible Leos.

    To be so intentionally arrogant to have a signature in bold color of all things that speaks as if divine instruction NOT to supplement a certain way really makes me not read the post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LEOPARD1 View Post
    Exactly. The results from various methods have turned out incredible Leos.

    To be so intentionally arrogant to have a signature in bold color of all things that speaks as if divine instruction NOT to supplement a certain way really makes me not read the post.
    No significant differences in bone ash were attributed to dietary vitamin D3

    So why do people insist on dusting with d3 so frequently?

    Gut-loading diets for crickets (adults and nymphs) should be supplemented to contain the following nutrients, respectively: Ca (51 and 32 g/kg), vitamin A (8,310 and 5,270 g retinol/kg), vitamin D (300 and 190 g cholecalciferol/kg), vitamin E (140 and 140 mg RRR-α-tocopherol/kg), thiamin (31 and 21 mg/kg), and pyridoxine (20 and 10 mg/kg).

    Studies have shown that "gut loading" crickets with a diet containing at least eight percent calcium fed for at least 48 hours prior to being used as a food item for reptiles and amphibians would produce a meal that had a Ca:P ratio of 1:1 or higher (Allen and Oftedal, 1989). Crickets that received dietary supplementation of calcium of 8% or greater also had three times the calcium content of those that were dusted with calcium supplement - but not gut loaded prior to being used as prey items (Trusk and Crissey, 1987).

    Each reptile species may have its own unique dietary requirements for calcium. Leopard geckos that were fed crickets gut loaded for greater than 48 hours with diets con*taining at least 8% calcium were found to have significantly greater body weights as well as higher bone ash and bone cal*cium than leopard geckos fed crickets maintained on diets of less than 2% calcium (Allen, et al, 1986). Radiographs and histopathology also evidenced better bone integrity in leopard geckos fed higher calcium containing crickets (Allen, 1989). No significant differences in bone ash were attributed to dietary vitamin D3 (Allen, et al, 1986). Also, it has been sug*gested that the insect prey items be offered slices of orange and apple or other food items as a water source. In order to prevent prey items from gut loading these food items in pref*erence to the high calcium diet provided, it is probably more appropriate to provide a water soaked sponge as a water source (Allen and Oftedal, 1989).
    Currently keeping:

    Eublepharis gecko 2.1.0~Hemitheconyx gecko 1.0.0~Gekko gecko 1.0.0~Pogana Vitticeps 1.0.0~Varanus exanthematicus 1.1.0~Varanus acanthurus 1.0.0~Blue Tongue Skink 1.0.0~Red-eared slider 1.0.0

    Reptiles I have rehabilitated, rehomed or kept.
    All above species plus:


    Phelsuma Grandis~Rhacodactylus ciliatus~Paroedura~Rhacodactylus auriculatus ~Hemidactylus frenatus~Iguana~Turtles ~Snakes and too many more to name!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEOPARD1 View Post
    Exactly. The results from various methods have turned out incredible Leos.

    To be so intentionally arrogant to have a signature in bold color of all things that speaks as if divine instruction NOT to supplement a certain way really makes me not read the post.
    I think enough is enough. You make every attempt to trash a certain member here in any post you can and it's getting tiring. You have your opinion and other people have theirs. Time to move on.
    ~Heather, Edgar & Tidus
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    I also agree, you are getting out of hand Leopard1.
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