Providing UvB lighting for reptiles

In the Pacific NW, we do not have enough uvB wavelength light from sunlight for our herbivorous reptiles. This is especially true in the fall/winter/spring, and for those reptiles kept indoors. UvB is necessary for vitamin D metabolism which in turn affects calcium uptake and utilization. A deficiency in uvB leads essentially to calcium deficiency. Reptiles that eat primarily plant material are especially susceptible to lack of uvB since they do not obtain the metobolically active vitamin D from their food and rely on synthesis from exposure to uvB. These reptiles develop a condition termed metabolic bone disease in which bones and shell become soft, painful, and distorted. In addition, the reptile may experience cramping and seizures. This condition is preventable with attention to correct lighting.  There are a number of commercial reptile lights that list that they do have uvB wavelength lighting, but what is listed on the package for therapeutic levels at “x” distance may not always be accurate. The other part of the light to consider is lux, which is intensity of the light. We have information at the clinic which you may come in and pick up concerning the reptile lighting process. We also can test your uvB or other reptile bulbs for uvB content at no charge. Just please call ahead so that we have someone available to test your bulb(s).

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