Monday, August 20, 2012

VITAMIN DEFICIENCIES: PART 2

Vitamin and mineral supplements are often added to many reptile diets. However, as with many other products, too much can be as dangerous as not enough. Preparations should contain both fat and water soluble vitamins and minerals essential for proper nutrition. Adding any supplement to your reptiles water may increase the decomposition of the product as well as decrease the reptiles water consumption. Adding supplements to salads may effect their palatability. Commercial supplements should be stored in a cool, dark place and products without expiration dates should be avoided.

Vitamin A deficiency is rare in herbivorous reptiles. Beta carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, is present in green leafy plants, yellow and orange vegetables, and fruit. Yolk remaining at the time of hatching will usually provide adequate vitamin A levels for approximately six months. Vitamin A is stored in the liver; diets heavy in animal protein can deplete these stores so ensure that your bearded is getting a balanced food source daily of proteins and leafy vegetables and fruits.  A deficiency in bera-carotine will cause the coloration of your bearded dragon to fade over time. This is especially prevalent in lizards with bright color variations. The easiest way to rectify the problem is to include carrots and yellow vegetables in the bearded dragon’s diet.


 Thiamin (Vitamin B1) deficiency is caused by feeding items that contain the enzyme thiaminase rather than by feeding a thiamin deficient diet.  Thiaminase breaks down the animals stored supply of thiamine.  Feeding your bearded large amounts of vegetables that have been frozen can create this problem because freezing decreases vitamin levels and increases thiaminase activity.  Thiamine is necessary for the proper development and function of nervous tissues. A thiamine deficiency is characterized by nervous disorders such as: twitching, spasms, blindness, abnormal posture, and an inability to use specific muscle groups.  Thiamin deficiency can also lead to dystocia, egg-retention, and other reproductive disorders. These signs may also be seen with other vitamin deficiencies such as vitamin E or selenium and they may also be related to other disease processes. Treatment with a thiamine supplement usually will correct the problem. Adding a small amount of Brewer's yeast to any frozen food item prior to feeding will also help.

 Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is produced within the kidney and gastrointestinal tract of reptiles. A herbivorous diet, rich in green, leafy vegetables and citrus fruits is sufficient to prevent this deficiency from occurring. Affected reptiles will exhibit signs of bruising, bleeding gums, separation and tearing of the skin, and occasionally diarrhea. Administration of Vitamin C, is recommended as part of the medical treatment of infectious stomatitis.

 Vitamin D deficiency will result in a decrease in the calcium absorption from the large intestine and a subsequent decrease in the quality of bone growth and development. These changes will be more obvious in young, rapidly growing reptiles.  This occurs from two sources:  when the lizards are not being fed sufficient bone material and/or  from low or no exposure to ultraviolet stimulation either from direct, unfiltered sunlight or from full-spectrum reptile lights.  They will exhibit symptoms called 'rickets' where their bones and jaw grow misshapen, gait is poor and they are sluggish.   On the other hand, vitamin D overdosage will cause an excess amount of calcium to be absorbed, resulting in calcium deposits within soft tissues,  (including the heart),  that can be seen and felt by gentle touching.

 Vitamin E deficiency is usually related to appalling husbandry practice pertaining to the reptiles diet, such as feeding rancid or spoiled food. Carnivorous reptiles may develop a deficiency because fish is high in saturated fats, resulting in this condition. If fish is fed to a reptile, you need to make sure it is either fresh or fresh-frozen and avoid fatty fish such as feeder goldfish. Signs of vitamin E deficiency include anorexia, steatitis, and swollen nodules under the skin. These nodules are actually abnormal fat deposits, the skin covering these areas is usually discolored yellow or orange.

 Vitamin K is synthesized by the normal intestinal flora of reptiles. Vitamin K deficiency may occur following long-term use of oral antibiotics, or following consumption of animals poisoned with warfarin, strychnine, or other coumadin derivatives. Feeding fresh yogurt,  will help replenish the reptiles norm.

As Always, when you suspect your reptile is ill, observe all symptoms and signs carefully, document everything and take your reptile to the vet.  It is dangerous to begin administering vitamin potions etc without professional guidance as most vitamins work as enzymes with other nutrients and this process requires fuel to occur. Administering vitamins to anorexic animals without also administering food, may result in an overdose of the vitamin. There are varied doses of most vitamins for reptiles. Because of this, specific doses should be calculated for your repitle by a Veternarian.


Bearded Dragon Greens/Vegetables/Fruits and Treats
All food information in the below tables is based on information received from http://www.greenigsociety.org/foodchart.htm.  The Green Iguana Society Site has additional information on the food items below, such as, pictures of the food and more specific nutritional information.  My purpose in reordering their tables was so I could use them as a shopping list.
Staple Greens Information Preparation
Chicory Greens (Escarole) Excellent Staple when mixed with other greens.  High in Calcium. Cut into larger pieces or strips.  Finely chop, shred or discard stems.
Collard Greens Excellent Staple.  High in Calcium and Goitrogens. Cut into larger pieces or strips.  Finely chop, shred or discard stems.  Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag.
Dandelion Green Excellent Staple.  High in Calcium. Cut into larger pieces or strips.  Finely chop, shred or discard stems.  Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag.
Endive Excellent Staple when mixed with other greens.  High in Calcium. Cut into larger pieces or strips.  Finely chop, shred or discard stems.  Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag.
Mustard Greens Excellent choice for greens. High in calcium, but somewhat high in goitrogens. Cut into larger pieces or strips.  Finely chop, shred or discard stems.  Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag.
Turnip Greens Very high in Calcium.  Somewhat high amount of Oxalates and Goitrogens. Cut into larger pieces or strips.  Finely chop, shred or discard stems.  Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag.
Watercress Very high in Calcium

Staple Vegetables Information Preparation
Acorn Squash Good Fiber Discard rinds.  Finely chop/shred core.
Butternut Squash Very good Staple.  Excellent Fiber. Discard peel and core.  Finely chop/shred.
Green Beans Good Staple Finely chop/shred.
Kabocha Squash Discard peel and core.  Finely chop/shred.
Okra Finely chop/shred.
Parsnip High in Fiber and Carbohydrates.  Peel and shred.
Snap Peas Finely chop.
Sweet Potato Peel and finely chop.
Yucca Root (Cassava) Peel and finely chop/shred.

Staple Fruit Information Preparation
Cactus Leaves (Prickly Pear) High Calcium. Finely Chop/Shred.
Mango Peel, Pit, Finely Chop/Crush.
Papaya Good source of fiber.  Peel, Remove Seeds, Finely Chop/Shred.

Other Staples Information Preparation
Alfalfa

Occasional Greens Information Preparation
Beet Greens High in Oxalates Cut into larger pieces or strips.  Finely chop or discard stems.
Bok Choy High in Goitrogens. Cut green portion into large pieces or strips.  Finely chop white portion or discard.
Carrot Tops High in Oxalates. Finely chop.
Coriander (Cilantro) High in Oxalates. Finely chop.
Kale  High in Oxalates and Goitrogens. Cut into larger pieces or strips.  Finely chop, shred or discard stems.  Store cut, dried pieces in plastic storage bag with other greens wrapped in paper towels. Squeeze air out of bag.
Parsley High in Calcium. Finely Chop.
Spinach High in Calcium, Oxalates and Goitrogens. Finely Chop.
Swiss Chard High in Oxalates. Finely Chop.

 

Occasional Vegetables Information Preparation
Asparagus Good source of protein. Finely chop/shred.
Beets High in Oxalates. Finely chop.
Bell Peppers Great taste and color enhancer. Discard core.  Finely chop/shred.
Broccoli High in Oxalates and Goitrogens. Finely chop/shred.  Can also feed leaves.
Brussels Sprouts High in Goitrogens. Finely chop/shred.
Cabbage High in Goitrogens. Finely chop/shred.
Carrots May cause extremely runny and smelly poop. Discard peels.  Finely chop/shred.
Cauliflower High in Goitrogens. Finely chop/shred.
Celery Very Finely chop/shred.
Cucumber Lacks nutrition.  Good for Water. Finely chop/shred.
Mushrooms Very high in phosphorus. Finely chop.
Pumpkin Remove rind, core and finely chop/shred.
Rutabaga Peel and finely chop/shred.
Spaghetti Squash Peel, core and finely chop.
Yellow Squash Very Finely chop/shred.
Zucchini Very Finely chop/shred.

Occasional Fruits Information Preparation
Apples Peel, core and finely chop.
Bananas Peels can be fed if organically grown.
Blackberries Great Treats.
Cantaloupe Great source of Water. Discard rinds and core.  Finely chop.
Grapes Great Treat.  High in Oxalates.  High in Water. Crush/chop.
Honeydew Melon Discard rinds and core.  Finely chop.
Kiwi Discard peel and seeds.  Finely chop/crush
Peaches High Goitrogens. Peel, remove pitts and chop.
Pears High in Oxalates. Peel, core and finely chop.
Raspberries High in Fiber Only give whole to adult beardies.  Crush otherwise
Strawberries High in Oxalates and Goitogens. Remove stems and tops, finely chop.
Tomatoes High in Oxalates.  Great color enhancer. Finely chop.
Watermelon High Water.  Little nutrition.  

Other Occasionals Information Preparation
Dahlia Great Treat.
Hibiscus Great Treat.  Don't use if treated with pesticides or chemicals.  Feed flower and leaves.
Lentils Cook, Finely Chop
Nasturtiums Both flowers and leaves are okay to feed. Use caution and do not use plants that may have been treated with any pesticides or other chemicals.
Pasta (cooked) Cook, cool and chop.  Only use pasta made without egg.
Rice (cooked) Cook, drain and cool.
Whole Wheat Bread Just use as an occasional treat.  Great to hide liquid medicine in.
 

Rare or Never Information Preparation
Corn Extremely low in Calcium and high in Phosphorus.  Use only if diet is high in Calcium. Finely chop.
Cabbage High in Goitrogens. Finely chop/shred.
Lettuces Poor in overall nutritional value.  Romaine lettuce can also cause extremely runny and smelly poop.
Chemically treated foods Avoid feeding any vegetables, flowers, fruits that have been treated with any pesticides.
Source:  http://blackninjakitty.com/herps/care/troystuttlegreeniglist.htm

3 comments:

Bearded dragon diet said...

The basics of a bearded dragon diet stem from where the lizard developed. The dragon is originally from the deserts of Australia where there is not much food to speak of. Because of this, the species has evolved to really enjoy a combination of vegetables and meat. This means that your pet loves leafy greens and really enjoys the occasional insect.

Bearded dragon diet said...

What can bearded dragons eat? The short answer: a lot. The long answer will show that supplying some lettuce and a water dish simply won't do. Just like humans, beardies need a well balanced diet accompanied by specific nutritional supplements.

Haderee Jahind said...

The basics of a bearded dragon diet stem from where the lizard developed. The dragon is originally from the deserts of Australia where there is not much food to speak of. Because of this, the species has evolved to really enjoy a combination of vegetables and meat. This means that your pet loves leafy greens and really enjoys the occasional insect.Bearded dragon diet