Diseases From Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies and Toxicities
Although nutritional supplementing is likely essential for herbivorous and insectivorous reptiles, very little research has been conducted to establish specific nutritional needs of reptiles. Optimal supplementing is likely to vary depending on the nutritional content of the animal feed, body size, age, health status and other factors. Typical recommendations on using powdered supplements is to dust the animals feed every other feeding session. Species specific supplements are available to provide the reptile with the most necessary nutrients for optimum health. There are two main nutrients to consider; vitamins and minerals. Other nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fibre. Herbivorous reptiles are likely to be exposed to anti-nutritional factors from the vegetables they eat, which decreases the bioavailability of specific nutrients. You will need to be aware of these compounds so not to overburden the reptile with anti-nutrients by inappropriate feeding of vegetables high in these compounds. Nutrition within an animal will affect all aspects of the animals development, if the animal does not receive the required level of nutrition or is given more than the body requires the animal will become prone to disease and illness as deficiencies or toxicities occur.
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