bearded dragon calcium overdose symptoms, what should I do?
WHY DO BEARDED DRAGONS NEED VITAMIN D3 AND CALCIUM?
Vitamin D3 allows the dragon’s body to absorb calcium from its digestive tract.
Calcium is useless to your dragon unless it is combined with Vitamin D3.
Bearded dragons need calcium for a variety of reasons, including:
Contractions of the muscles
Female reproductive health and proper egg development
Dragons’ bodies need so much calcium that if they are lacking, the body begins to remove calcium from their bones, resulting in metabolic bone disease (MBD).
Unfortunately, MBD is one of the most frequent illnesses in domestic bearded dragons, although it is completely avoidable with correct nutrition and care.
Metabolic bone disease (also known as nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism or fibrous osteodystrophy) refers to a group of painful skeletal illnesses caused by a calcium deficiency in the body.
The illness damages the bones, muscles, and tissues, which may lead to paralysis or death.
Any of the following might be the cause of your bearded dragon’s calcium deficiency:
Calcium deficiency in the diet
A diet high in phosphorus or oxalates (oxalic acid)
Vitamin D3 insufficiency due to poor illumination
Dragons suffering with metabolic bone disease have difficulty doing even the most basic duties, like as walking, since their tissue is decaying and their bones are fragile and easily broken.
The condition is very painful and extremely difficult to treat.
HOW TO PREVENT CALCIUM DEFICIENCY IN YOUR BEARDED DRAGON
There are several strategies to protect your bearded dragon from calcium deficiency and its consequences:
Provide enough supplements.
Provide calcium and vitamin D3 on a regular basis.
Whether you select a liquid or powder supplement, check sure it does not include phosphorus.
To keep your dragon healthy, try our phosphorus-free Reptile Greens & Calcium Powder.
UVB illumination that is adequate.
A total of twelve hours of UVB exposure every day is recommended.
Replace the bulb in your dragon’s tank every six months to a year at the most.
Understand the symptoms of deficiency and sickness.
These symptoms include difficulty walking, tiredness, and swelling limbs.
Allow your dragon to bask in the sun.
Bearded dragons like going on walks!
They will not only enjoy the activity, but their bodies will also benefit from the Vitamin D3.
A balanced diet.
Feed calcium-rich diets that are low in phosphorus and oxalates to your dragon.
Watch the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in fruits and vegetables.
You should avoid feeding your dragon foods with a high phosphorus concentration in comparison to calcium content, since this will deplete your dragon’s calcium supply.
Insects should be fed calcium-rich diets.
Leafy greens, papaya, and sweet potato are all excellent choices.
DO BEARDED DRAGONS ACTUALLY REQUIRE SUPPLEMENTS?
Many Dragon Keepers ask why it is important to supplement their bearded dragon when they can just feed calcium via meal and guarantee proper UVB illumination.
After all, isn’t it the Dragon Keeper’s obligation to reproduce their bearded dragon’s native habitat to the best of their ability?
Without a doubt.
At the same time, no matter how nice your dragon’s surroundings and nutrition are, it still need vitamins.
This is because it is just impossible to make an identical reproduction of a dragon’s natural environment, but it is feasible to get close.
Bearded dragons obtain calcium from a diversified food in the wild (far more varied than the diet that can be offered in a home environment), and vitamin D3 through prolonged exposure to natural sunshine.
While it is important to include calcium in your dragon’s diet, it is much more difficult than you may imagine to ensure that they are receiving adequate calcium.
Bearded dragons, for example, are notoriously finicky eaters.
It’s possible to have a dragon that eats everything you feed him and finishes every meal, but it’s unusual.
As a result, it might be difficult to determine how much calcium your dragon consumes only from food.
Not to mention that in the wild, bearded dragons are exposed to many more forms of food—insects and plants—than they would be in captivity, so they inevitably take far more calcium on a daily basis.
Calcium supplementation gives you greater control over how much calcium your dragon consumes.
It also helps to keep your dragon healthy and happy by preventing metabolic bone disease.
SUPPLEMENTATION WITH VITAMIN D3.
Pet dragons obtain Vitamin D3 mostly through adequate UVB lighting in their tank as well as exposure to natural sunshine (this implies exposure to natural sunlight outdoors, not necessarily via a window; keeping your dragon’s tank near a window is really risky owing to the risk of burns).
Although this provides Vitamin D3, it is not the same as being exposed to the Australian desert sun.
Vitamin D3 supplementation ensures that your dragon can absorb the calcium it need.
WHICH IS BETTER FOR YOUR BEARDED DRAGON: LIQUID OR POWDER SUPPLEMENTS?
If you’ve done your research, you’ll know that there are essentially two methods to provide dragon supplements at home: liquid or powder.
Technically, supplements may be given via injection, but this is normally reserved for when a vet is treating a dragon for metabolic bone disease or another illness that necessitates such an intervention.
So it’s either powder or liquid.
Which is superior?
In some ways, it comes down to personal taste.
A woven placemat with a liquid dropper
POWDER VS. LIQUID
Powdered calcium is a common supplement among Dragon Keepers.
It’s simple to use, and all you have to do is sprinkle it on your dragon’s insects or other food.
Liquid nutrients might be more difficult to provide since they must often be administered using a dropper, which your dragon may dislike.
Of course, you may mix it with water, but there’s no guarantee your dragon will finish it.
If your dragon consistently refuses to eat or complete her diet, a liquid supplement may be preferable than a powder supplement.
A drink may provide you better control over your calcium and vitamin D3 consumption in this scenario.
However, in many circumstances, powder is faster and simpler.
DUSTING TIPS FOR FEEDER INSECTS
One disadvantage of utilizing calcium powder is that it might be a messy process.
And you certainly don’t want powder all over the tank afterward, or feeder insects shaking off the powder as your dragon pursues them (crickets are notorious for this).
Here are some suggestions to help you deal with this problem:
Select a powder with a reputation for adhering to insects.
Instead of crickets, try dusting more docile insects like roaches.
Use a specific feeder bin that is long and shallow.
Place your powdered insects in the bin with your dragon for meals.
To dust your insects, combine them with the calcium powder in an airtight container and vigorously shake them.
Pro Tip: If your dragon’s food is too thickly powdered, she may refuse to consume it, so keep it light.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GIVE CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D3 TO MY BEARDED DRAGON?
Another question many Dragon Keepers have is how often they should offer calcium and vitamin D3 supplements.
Calcium supplements are generally safe to take anywhere from a few times a week to once a day.
Of course, always see your veterinarian first, particularly if your beardie is a rescue or shows any indications of disease (especially MBD).
Hypercalcemia (excess calcium in the body) is uncommon in bearded dragons, although it may occur, resulting in disease and death.
So, before beginning any supplements, always consult with a veterinarian.
As a general rule, a Vitamin D3 supplement may be safely given two to three times each week.
Bearded dragons do not need this supplement on a regular basis since they should be obtaining 12 hours of UVB exposure every day.
Of course, a dragon with metabolic bone disease or another illness that necessitates a more intensive supplement program would be an exception.
Supplements in combination.
Some products on the market may include both calcium and Vitamin D3.
In this situation, you should supplement three times each week to ensure your dragon gets enough of both nutrients.
If you choose, you might also add a supplemental calcium supplement to your dragon’s food plan, although this isn’t required.
That is up to you and your veterinarian to decide.
A bearded dragon leans on a rock.
Many experienced Dragon Keepers will suggest supplementing your beardie with a multivitamin as well as calcium and Vitamin D3.
If you do this, be certain that they do not get any more Vitamin A. (unless your vet determines your dragon is seriously deficient in Vitamin A).
This is because supplementary Vitamin A may rapidly reach hazardous levels in bearded dragons, causing disease like as vomiting, weight loss, and energy loss.
Because of the way your dragon’s body absorbs beta carotene, it is far safer than Vitamin A.
Vitamin D3 may be given three times per week.
Calcium may be given up to once per day.
Avoid vitamin A pills and instead go for beta carotene.
Three times each week, combination supplements should be given.
Look out for any indications of disease.
Before deciding on supplements, consult with your veterinarian.
BEARDED DRAGONS WITH CALCIUM DEFICIENCY
If you discover any indications of metabolic bone disease in your bearded dragon, contact your veterinarian right once.
These are some examples:
Weakness and lethargy
Lower jaw receded
Legs and mouth swollen
Bumps on the spine or in the bones
Jaw and face bones that are soft
Arched spine and bowed limbs
Fractures of the greenstick (folded or bent bones)
Legs trembling and twitching
Broken bones and fractures
immobility or difficulty moving
Seizures and tremors
FOODS HIGH IN CALCIUM FOR YOUR BEARDED DRAGON
Even with appropriate supplementation, providing calcium-rich meals for your bearded dragon is critical.
Try Dubia roaches if you’re seeking for a calcium-rich feeder bug.
They have more protein and calcium than regular diners.
Bearded dragons benefit greatly on leafy greens, particularly the following options:
Collard greens with cactus pad or prickly pear
Mustard greens (endive or escarole)
Leaves of dandelion
Close-up of dark leafy greens in bloom
Grape leaves with rosemary
Figs and blackberries
Other meals that may help your dragon’s calcium intake include:
Sweet potatoes Papaya Squash
Calcium and Vitamin D3 are essential for your dragon’s general health and well-being.
Provide a balanced food, correct UVB lighting, and enough nutrients to keep your dragon happy and growing.