Vitamin A for Anolis and Chamaeleolis

Does anyone out there have good info or maybe a paper or two about the vitamin A requirement for Anolis lizards? We are having minor eye issues in our collection from time to time and when given vitamin A supplements, the problems seem to go away. They are always provided with the same vitamin/mineral/calcium suppliments as our other lizards, but I thought that maybe their requirement for the vitamin was greater than the other animals in our collection. Sometimes even the babies come out with “gunky” eyes, and we are not sure of the cause. Does anyone else ever have this problem?

Any help would be much appreciated. We are also looking for “normal” blood level values for these lizards, as our studies have shown that they have a much higher calcium level than we expected, especially in females.

Thanks for any help,
Will

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4 Responses to Vitamin A for Anolis and Chamaeleolis

  1. Rich Glor says:

    I posted on the vitamin A issue previously. Our problems have diminished since we started feeding our crickets vegetables that are high in vitamin A and dusting crickets more frequently prior to feeding a multi-vitamin. We had some babies hatch out last year with gunky, swollen eyes, but haven’t seen this problem yet this season. There is at least one paper out there on this topic, but it’s not particularly informative because they didn’t treat their animals or offer any guidelines on how to avoid the problem [pubmed link].

  2. We offer our crickets fresh greens, carrots, and sweet potato daily as well as a cricket gut load formula that includes spirulina, various nuts, bee pollen and dozens of other nutrient rich foods ground to a tiny powder and we offer the anoles multivitamin and calcium suppliments with almost every meal (3 out of 4 meals per week). We offer a large variety of prey items, and we even offer fruit other foods not commonly offered to anoles. We have still had consistent problems over the past 5+ years in our collection ranging from gunky eyes, nictitating mambrane issues, blindness, weight loss from inability to eat, and, without hand feeding, death (or euthanasia). Obviously this doesn’t happen to too many of our lizards, but it still presents a problem and we cannot find an easy way to resolve the issue. We have tried medications and everything and I do believe that it is vitamin A related. What other things is the anole community doing to boost Vitamin A levels? And reguarding a previous post, does anyone know the appropriate calcium level present in the blood for Anolis sp.?

    Thanks for the response,
    Will Baugher

  3. In the past, eye problems were also an issue with my anoles until we began treating them monthly with an oral vitamin A supplement. We dilute Metagenics Mycelized Vitamin A (1 drop = 5000 IU retinyl palmitate) in water (approximately 20 drops of water to 1 drop vitamin A), shake vigorously, and then dot each anole’s mouth with the solution.

  4. Devon Woods says:

    OK …seems like you have the “gunky eyes” under control now. I was just going to comment that Vitamin A in general is good for vision in humans. So, maybe the same benefit in the Anolis lizards.

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