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Re: Latest about lizard not moving legs

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ The Horned Lizard Forum ]

Posted by Les4toads on September 21, 2002 at 10:39:44:

In Reply to: Re: Latest about lizard not moving legs posted by billshorneys on September 19, 2002 at 17:20:14:

:::I just got back from the vet where I found out my HL Alli has a nutritional hyperarathyroidism. He is lacking calcium in his diet. They call this condition swimmer since they look like they are flat on their tummies and flailing their legs like they are swimming.

:::Calcium is not only important for bones but for also muscle movement. That is why his legs stay out to the side he can?t move his muscles enough to stand on them. Lack of calcium can also affect their bowel movements since the muscles are moving enough to push food along the digestive track.

:::Alli got a vitamin D shot and some neocalglucon syrup for supplemental calcium. The shot did wonders on the way home he was more active than he has been in awhile and he pooped for the first time in several days. I have to give him and his two other buddies a small drop of the neocalglucon syrup on his lips every day. Hopefully he will back to his old lizard self in 6-8 weeks.

:::Here are the other things the vet said I should do:

:::1. Every day a calcium supplement (this needs to be calcium only NO Phosphorus or Vitamin D3)

:::2. Two to three times a week give them multivitamin with D3
:::and mineral supplement. He said Herptivite is the best

:::3. A broad spectrum Ultraviolet light and some sunlight when ever possible.

:::Hope this helps


::Lester or anyone else out there I thought vitamin and calcium was not required with hl's. Although it's iteresting that this one sounds as though it did the trick??

:Yes, that was my understanding as well. I haven't been giving mine calcium, or vitamins. I have had them over a month now. They are doing great with Harvestor ants, crickets, and newly shedded meal worms. It makes me think twice about providing calcium, and vitamins.


:Bill, the long term will tell if, in fact, this is a "cure." I have maintained HLs for 15+ years and have used supplements very seldom. When they are used, they are diluted 1/10 to 1/100 the recommended and are water soluable. They are used only once or twice in the spring, during breeding season, just in case the females are "short" on nutrients, and in the fall just before hibernation. The control groups have received no supplements. There has been no difference in their health. The past 8 years, I have used no supplements and all have been just fine. My captive bred hatchlings received no supplements and they grew and matured with comparable weights and body lengths to wild populations. My research leans strongly to natural diet. The results have been duplicated over and over. I have also tried diets without ants and the tests were disasterous. There are some new studies, physiological studies, that have tested bite pressures and the results have been very interesting. HLs do not have a strong bite pressure. This would coincide with the diet preference. HLs do not chew their food prey because they do not have the muscle capacity to do so. These are some very interesting studies and results.

All in all, I am waiting to see if there is long term recovery in Chrisity's HL. I have serious doubts, but who knows. If there is a calcium deficiency, it is not the HL causing the problem, it would be the keeper's fault. (Improper lighting, improper water supply, IMPROPER DIET!). and of course there is definitely the stress factor! Lester G. Milroy III

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