how to reverse mbd in opossums

The limbs may appear chubby. This results in a release of calcium into the blood to maintain the blood calcium level but also weakens the bone as minerals are lost thus subjecting the bones to increase risk of fractures.

Severe cases may require euthanasia, in the best interest of the opossum.This is meant for opossums that are to be re-released into the environment, non-releasables diet must be adjusted after symptoms are reversed. Caution must be taken to avoid over supplementation. The diet must be corrected and supportive care offered. The parathyroid gland secretes parathyroid hormone (PTH) in response to a decrease in plasma calcium concentrations.

Opossums permitted to select and choose favored foods will not put together a balanced diet. The opossum can recover much of its mobility and life span, but ONLY with the correct treatment. Many times the opossum will be completely "down", that is, crawling instead of walking, before the care-giver realizes there is an urgent problem.The ONLY way to correct MBD in the opossum is to correct the diet. Basically, a low calcium diet can result in a decrease in the calcium in the blood. Jerky movements and tremors may become more pronounced. Restrict climbing.Make sure the opossum receives some exposure to sunlight for Vitamin D. They are nocturnal animals and receive Vitamin D in their diets but they also receive some exposure to sunlight while sleeping under woodpiles, dense shrubs, etc.
It is caused primarily by feeding an incorrect diet, especially when they are very young, although this can develop at any stage of their lives. If you do plan to use a homemade diet then please evaluate the diet for completeness. It is sometimes seen by wildlife rehabilitators receiving an opossum from a well-meaning but misinformed finder. This can not be guaranteed in “home made” diets or “smorgasbord” diets. Often, a finder will not know what to feed the opossum and will offer an incorrect, grossly imbalanced diet. The rate of development of the disease is dependent upon the severity of the calcium deficiency and the age and health status of the opossum.If MBD is caught early enough then it can be treated and may be reversible. Once the finder notices that something is wrong with the opossum it can be too late unless the rehabilitator takes immediate action.

In moderate to advanced cases make sure the opossum is not able to fall and hurt itself.

When there is a calcium deficiency, high concentrations of circulating PTH (hyperparathyroidism) result. Metabolic bone disease ("MBD") is the term for an entire group of diseases which occur as a result of: (1) defective bone formation, (2) excessive bone resorption, or (3) some combination of the two. Unfortunately, this opossum responded to initial treatment and proper diet but later succumbed due to a complication of his advanced disease.Nutritional Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) is a serious disease resulting in severe crippling or death. Do not feed the opossum meat without bones. In general, homemade diets are not recommended if a reputable commercially available product is available to serve as a dietary staple. Knowledge of the dietary history will help you to recognize and correct MBD earlier. However, it is primarily due to poor husbandry, feeding an improper diet. The most common errors are too much meat protein, too much fruit, and too much Vitamin A (either from foods or vitamin supplements).

Feeding the OSUS recommended diet will provide the opossum with a nutritious diet and help prevent MBD. You may notice a bowing of the legs and a  “frog-like” appearance. Pain will be present.As the disease progresses further, the opossum may be unable to eat and drink. So she came back to the rehab facility for some intensive treatment to reverse the "MBD". Calcium supplementation may be recommended in certain circumstances, especially advanced cases. Do not let this happen to the opossums in your care. If you have found an opossum and are trying to seek dietary advice then please go ahead and read this article. The most important thing to know is that the body strives to maintain a narrow range of calcium in the bloodstream. It may crawl or drag its limbs instead of walking. Too many opossums have died or suffered painful, crippling disorders as a result of well-meaning but misinformed people attempting to raise the opossum themselves. The rehabilitator can easily miss early signs.In the early stages (days to weeks) watch for a loss of grip in the hands or feet, tremors, twitching, decreased activity, sleeping more, uncoordinated gait, and a decreased appetite.

It may take short, mincing steps, often with a hunched back.

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