Metabolic Bone Disease in Amphibians
Metabolic bone disease develops in amphibians as a result of deficiencies of vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus. Vitamin D, specifically, is essential as it controls the absorption and metabolism of calcium, and an imbalance can cause problems in the animal's bones and cartilages.
Symptoms and Types
- Bone fractures (due to reduced bone density)
- Curved spine (scoliosis)
- Deformed lower jaw
- Bloating and muscular spasms, in severe cases
Amphibians which are improperly fed are more prone to this disorder, especially those on an exclusive cricket diet, as they are not good sources of calcium. In rare cases, metabolic bone disease may also be encountered as a result of gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidney diseases, which may interfere with the absorption or metabolism of vitamin D or phosphorus.
Fractures and other bone deformities (examined through X-rays) can help the veterinarian diagnose metabolic bone disease. However to confirm, they will use blood tests to check the animal's calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D levels.
A well-balanced diet and ample nutrition is necessary to combat metabolic bone disease. Therefore, the veterinarian will work with you to make a diet that best fits the amphibian's needs. In severe cases, they will prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Living and Management
In addition to following the veterinarian's prescribed diet, they might also be recommended that you provide the animal with full-spectrum lighting and ultraviolet B (UV-B) lighting.
The group of processes that involve the use of nutrients by the body
The digestive tract containing the stomach and intestine
a) Mass per volume b) The number of animals in a given area
A term used to refer to an animal, usually a reptile, that starts out breathing with the help of gills and develops into an animal capable of breathing through lungs like a mammal.