I’ve gotten a few questions about calcium supplements in reptiles and will hopefully clear up some of the confusion. Also, if you have a question for me, please send me an inbox message and don’t just reply to a post. I sometimes don’t see the replies and will miss the question.
Calcium is necessary for making and maintaining bones and has other functions in the body as well. Calcium is obtained through the diet and absorbed through the intestines. Vitamin D is what allows the intestines to absorb the calcium for metabolism. If vitamin D levels are too low, it does not matter how much calcium is ingested, reptiles cannot use it.
Reptiles produce all the vitamin D they need within their own bodies. UV light, specifically UV-B stimulates production of vitamin D. When they have enough vitamin D, they automatically stop making more. So they bask in UV rays to produce vitamin D, they ingest calcium which is “unlocked” by the vitamin D.
Back in the old days of reptile keeping we knew reptiles needed vitamin D and that they needed UV light to produce it but we didn’t have the technology to safely and adequately produce UV-B. Someone came up with the idea of providing vitamin D along with calcium as a supplement. Sadly what ended up happening was that reptiles were overdosed with vitamin D and a good portion of them ended up in renal failure. Now we have UV lights that produce the needed UV-B so there is no reason to supplement vitamin D anymore. Because so many keepers were used to supplying vitamin D it continued to be sold and it is yet another of those pet keeping myths that are constantly perpetuated because people keep buying the products which makes the companies produce more.
So if you dust your reptile’s food items with calcium powder every other feeding or so and provide adequate levels of UV-B, they will have proper calcium and vitamin D metabolism. There is no reason to supplement vitamin D and it is not safe to do so. There are other vitamins and mineral supplements out there that can be given once every week or so in place of calcium. One of the more important vitamins is vitamin A. Often this is sold as a beta-carotene which the reptile should convert to vitamin A. The problem is many species cannot metabolize beta-carotene into vitamin A, so it is better to just have vitamin A pre-formed in the supplement.
In reality, we only need these supplements because we do not or cannot replicate the natural environment of reptiles in captivity. Theoretically if you kept a reptile in the perfect habitat with the correct humidity, temperature, UV levels and fed it a balanced, varied diet it wouldn’t need supplements. However reptiles tend to get less than ideal care. Even those that are cared for properly get less than ideal diets. Mass produced crickets and meal worms are not that nutritious. Gut loading them helps and dusting them with supplements helps as well.
Kinda. There’s gold color ink but it doesn’t have that metallic shine like actual gold would, your artist has to be really good at shading to pull something like that off. Which Reggie is, I completely trust him to do the job right.
Other option he gave me was filling the spaces of my sleeve in with UV ink, so the filigree would only show under black light
the leafs are fucking dead and so am i yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'mei raba b'alma di v'ra chirutei v'yamlich malchutei b'chayeichon uv'yomeichon uv'chayei d'chol beit yisrael baagala uviz'man kariv v'im'ru amen
kylie do you have any recommendations when it comes to skincare products (face masks, creams, etc) for summer/hot weather? i want to get my friend something nice for her birthday that she can use throughout the summer too!!
This is from today, before i took Herman 🐢 in from outside. I let him roam the garden so he get’s enough exercise. I keep him in an outside enclosure during the day so he get’s the uv-b rays he needs for metabolizing the vitamin D3 for growing until i get the proper lighting for him. He is just a hatchling, weighs around 20 grams or more and is just somewhat 2 inches in length.
Herman 🐢 is somewhat of a rescue, when he was brought to me his shell was damaged underneath and a thin piece got chipped. Walking around must have hurt him. I have nursed him very well and he is in good health now. He was very very shy at first but now he is well acquainted with me.
Keeping a tortoise in a country where no one… NO ONE… keeps reptiles properly is hard. They require special care and equipment which are not available here anywhere. I mean sure they sell fresh water turtles here but they’re not the same. Fortunately i have an extensive knowledge in like…. everything and have my workaround for keeping this baby tort healthy and happy. I basically became an expert for this species overnight.
I do need to get him all the proper things he needs cause i am gonna keep him. His survival rate here is pretty low, around 1% in the wild. And he is a bit of an endangered species although it is a very common species for a pet, so being a tortoise steward does something to keeping this species well in existence.
What i need rn is a uv-b lighting (fluorescent or other) and calcium supplement powder. I have workarounds to these but they make my life and Herman’s 🐢 a bit harder than it has to be. But we’re best buddies already and he is a healthy happy tort. Although just like me he needs support.
Herman 🐢 greets all of you although he is sleeping rn burrowed in his hide in the enclosure. 🐢