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Old 08-07-03, 10:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Reptile vitamins

I saw a post on calcium deficiency not too long ago, and that got me thinking. I have a couple of questions.

1. Where do lizards get their calcium in the wild? I know snakes get it through the bones of the prey, but lizards don't eat prey like that... so how do they get it?

2. Do any of you snake keepers dust your food items with vitamins/calcium? Is it necessary?


Thanks for any help.. its been bugging me for a while now. ~TR~
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Old 08-07-03, 10:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i have never ever heard of dusting prey for snakes. i mean, what we feed them is very similar to what they eat in the wild (mostly). as for lizards, if you are feeding crickets, if i'm not mistaken, crickets have low nutritional value, making it necessary to dust. in the wild, lizards have many sources of food which give that diversity in minerals that they need. if i'm wrong about the crickets, someone correct me. cheers,
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Old 08-07-03, 10:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I see. So if you offered a wide variety of prey to lizards, you wouldn't need to dust them? But it would probably still be a good idea, I would think. ~TR~
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Old 08-07-03, 11:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah..not every time though..
i used to dust every third meal to my geckos. do offer a little variety though...
cheers,
MIKE
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Old 08-08-03, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Tree leaves tend to be extremely rich in calcium, so lizards that eat insects that eat leaves from trees get enough calcium and then some. Omnivores or herbivores can just feast directly. But harvesting enough insects or leaves while avoiding pesticide and other chemical exposure just isn't practical in most areas. So vitamin and mineral supplements are a necessary part of keeping lizards.
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Old 08-08-03, 10:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As long as you are feeding your snakes healthy rodents, then there is no reason to dust their prey. Rodents are whole prey items, nutritionally complete. Some breeders occassionally dust breeding females prey with a vitamin supplement, but there is not really any documentation that this yeilds any better results. The only time a vitamin supplement may be needed are with sick snakes that are deficient, or incapable of consuming the regular amounts.
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