What causes metabolic bone disease in reptiles?

MBD occurs when there’s an improper balance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients making up the reptile’s bones. Key factors are too much phosphorous, and low calcium and low vitamin D3 which regulate calcium absorption. “If there’s not enough calcium in the bones, the bones are not as strong as they should be …

How do reptiles get metabolic bone disease?

Metabolic Bone Diseases

It is caused by poor diet (low calcium to phosphorus ratio, vitamin D3 deficiency) or poor husbandry (lack of UVB light, inadequate thermal provision). Affected reptiles are generally rapidly growing herbivorous and insectivorous lizards and chelonians.

How do you prevent metabolic bone disease in reptiles?

For very mild cases, a switch to a balanced diet and proper husbandry may be enough. Severe cases require intensive calcium and vitamin supplementation as well as an increase in high-intensity UVB rays under an exotics veterinarian’s care.

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Can metabolic bone disease in reptiles be reversed?

Reptiles affected generally respond well to treatment, and a large proportion of patients see a reversal of many of the less severe symptoms and are able to make a solid recovery. For more extreme cases, complete reversal of symptoms is unlikely, but recovery may still be possible with veterinary intervention.

What causes metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?

MBD is generally caused by feeding an improper diet that is high in phosphorus and low in calcium or Vitamin D3 (caused either by a direct nutritional deficiency of vitamin D3 or a lack of exposure to UV-B light required for lizards to make vitamin D in their skin).

Can metabolic bone disease be cured?

Treatment and Prognosis

Fortunately, if detected early enough, MBD can often be corrected and reversed through making changes and improvements to the husbandry of the animal by providing the needed or adequate levels of UV-A and UV-B lighting and heating, proper supplementation, and other nutrients.

What causes metabolic bone disease?

Metabolic bone diseases are disorders of bone strength usually caused by abnormalities of minerals (such as calcium or phosphorus), vitamin D, bone mass or bone structure, with osteoporosis being the most common.

What are the symptoms of metabolic bone disease?

Typical symptoms of metabolic bone disease include:

  • Limping.
  • Bowed legs.
  • Hard lumps along the legs, spinal column, or jaw.
  • Softening and unusual flexibility of the lower jaw.
  • Difficulty raising the body off the ground.
  • Decreased appetite.


What animals can get metabolic bone disease?

Metabolic bone disease (MBD), often seen in herbivorous lizards and chelonians, is associated with a dietary deficiency of Ca, a negative calcium–phosphorus ratio in the diet, or a lack of exposure to ultraviolet UVB radiation (Boyer, 1996a; Barten, 1993). Metabolic bone disease is commonly seen in juvenile reptiles.

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How long does it take for a gecko to develop MBD?

Sadar finds that juvenile reptiles are the most likely suspects for MBD, and sometimes, it takes owners a long time – two to three months after purchasing their pets – to visit a veterinarian.

Can I give my bearded dragon too much calcium?

A common problem seen in pet bearded dragons is inappropriate supplementation with calcium and vitamins (especially vitamin D3) and minerals. Check with your veterinarian for specific recommendations about supplementing your pet’s diet.

How do you treat frogs with MBD?

Treatment. A well-balanced diet and ample nutrition is necessary to combat metabolic bone disease. Therefore, the veterinarian will work with you to make a diet that best fits the amphibian’s needs. In severe cases, they will prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Can Geckos recover from MBD?

However, there is often some bone remodeling that occurs as the lizard regains use of the limbs. This may take quite some time to occur. Once an animal has recovered from MBD and its diet and husbandry have been appropriately corrected, it should be able to completely recover and live a long, healthy life.

How do you prevent metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?

Ensure your dragon is getting enough calcium by feeding it plenty of green leafy vegetables. Spring greens, lamb’s lettuce and Timothy Hay are particularly good sources. Avoid spinach, which can actually block the uptake of calcium.

Can humans get parasites from bearded dragons?

This outbreak investigation is over. However, people can still get a Salmonella infection from pet bearded dragons.

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What should I feed my MBD bearded dragon?

Leafy Dark greens and red vegetables usually contain the most nutrition, so it’s a good idea to use these as the bulk of your mix. A small amount of Multical Dust can also be used in a sprinkle over vegetables. Nutrition plays a major part in MBD in reptiles, however lighting and husbandry are important as well.

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