What is MBD in Reptiles?
MBD or metabolic bone disease is a serious health issue for reptiles, caused by improper husbandry, that can significantly reduce their quality of life. It occurs when reptiles suffer from a long-term deficiency of one or more essential nutrients, such as calcium, Vitamin D3, or phosphorus.
Signs of MBD
Reptiles with MBD typically show signs such as:
- Softening and weakening of bones
- Lumps in the skin
- Twitching and jerking movements
- Swollen digits
- Muscle atrophy and paralysis
Causes of MBD
Common causes of MBD in reptiles include:
- Incorrect lighting/heat
- Inadequate or incorrect nutrition
- Prolonged exposure to UVB light without sufficient Vitamin D3
- Too much or too little calcium in the diet
- Lack of water
- Incorrect calcium to phosphorus level in the diet
Prevention and Treatment of MBD
To prevent MBD, reptile keepers should provide their reptiles with the proper diet and husbandry conditions.
Treatment for MBD usually consists of proper supplementation of essential nutrients, and correcting the environmental conditions. Vitamin D3 supplements and calcium should be given to reptiles with MBD, and the calcium to phosphorus ratio should be correct.
In extreme cases, surgery may be required to correct the deformities caused by MBD.
Long-term prevention of MBD is the best course of action, and this can be achieved through proper husbandry and nutrition. With the right care, MBD can be prevented and hopefully, these animals can have longer, healthier lives.