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Calcium and Vitamin Supply for Reptiles
Diet-Related Diseases: A good balance of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D3 will protect from diseases.

Calcium and Vitamin Supply for Reptiles

Bone diseases caused by an imbalance in the calcium metabolism are among the most frequent diet-related diseases in reptiles.

For supplying your reptile with minerals, the calcium content in the portion is not the only important thing, but rather a balanced ratio of calcium and phosphorus in the food is, as well as sufficient vitamin D3.

A primary cause for dysfunctions in the body's calcium metabolism can be faulty supply. A secondary cause can be as consequence of an organic disease (e.g. kidney).

When calcium is built into the bones the skeleton becomes strong.

For the body to be able to use calcium from the food vitamin D3 is necessary. It allows the calcium to be absorbed from the intestinal tract. However, vitamin D3 is not available in 'readymade' form in the staple foods. In order to create a usable form of the vitamin, UV radiation is necessary. The vitamin D3 content of a portion should be between 500 and 1000 IU/kg in dry substance. With herbivores, however, the need is higher.

The optimal content of calcium in food is 0.5-1.0% in dry substance, that of phosphorus is 0.4-0.9%. Not the absolute amount of these minerals in the food is relevant, however, but the ratio of the two. The optimal calcium-phosphorus ratio is between 1:1 and 2:1. If there is an imbalance, a hormonal reaction starts in the body which leads to minerals being either egested from the body and/or removed from the bones.

A faulty supply with calcium/phosphorus/vitamin D3 will lead to the clinical picture of rachitis in young reptiles. With this disease the bone formation is incomplete. Normally the initially soft bone becomes hard through built-in calcium (calcification). With rachitis the lack of vitamin D3 and calcium leads to 'soft bones'. Typical symptoms are increased bowing of the bones, which becomes most apparent in the head (so-called 'rubber-jaw').

The TRIXIE product range offers a wide spectrum of compounds for the calcium and vitamin supply for reptiles and amphibians.

The vitamin/mineral complex, for herbivorous reptiles, offers the optimal calcium-phosphorus ration of 2:1 in its composition.

(Source: M.Fehr, L. Sassenburg, P. Zwart: Krankheiten der Heimtiere; Verlag Schlütersche; 6.Aufl. L.Ackermann: Atlas der Reptilienkrankheiten, bede-Verlag;1.Aufl.)