How Fast Acting Is Mbd ?


Maybe not the best place to ask but still.. it’s something i’ve been asking myself lately.

I’ve gotten myself a pacman frog the 7 of july 2018, I adopted her from someone else, who unfortunately underfed her (12 crickets a week for a frog maybe 3” long, abit smaller than my palm) back then she looked like this:

Fast forward to july 30, some nice poeple on a frog forum pointed out she had possibly MBD (I was wondering her morph). By then, her mouth looked like this:

Her lip was now curled.
Could she have gotten MBD in less than a month?

Fastforward to.. today. She is now much larger then she was when I got her. She was 78g now she is 114g. She gets calcium and a lot more food and variety.
This morning I noticed something:

Her lips are ALOT straighter (better) and she is holding herself a lot better on her front legs (tho one still seems to be facing sideways) I'm glad she seems to be doing so much better.

But I still wonder, how fast does MBD show up? Could she have gotten it in my care? Or is it definitely from her previous owner?


I actually think once there’s a lack in calcium, the disease acts pretty quickly, but could be wrong as I am no reptile expert, especially with frogs.
Here, I will call in two reptile specialists that might help you.
wodesorel Velma


I can't see the photos unfortunately.

MBD has stages, at the start there may be no symptoms or there may be signs related to muscle weakness. Calcium is needed for normal muscle function and without enough movement, eyesight and digestion can be affected. Only later stage MBD actually affects the bones in adults and it often takes a few months to really kick in.

In juveniles, MBD can start affecting bones pretty much immediately since they are actively growing larger and are not able to create new bone fast enough to keep up with that growth. What is able to form is usually weak and prone to breaking, or deformed.

MBD can also take months to recover. Reptiles heal incredibly slow. My reptile vet said in some cases it will take up to 18 months for them to heal a broken bone! The joys of being cold blooded. My most severe MBD gecko took over 2 months just to start looking better, and it was well over a year before he regained mostly normal activity levels. I used RescueCal the entire time, which matched the prescription calcium supplement my vet wanted to use, but there was a shortage so we couldn't get it.

I think for sure yours started with the previous owner and it sounds like it started improving once you started managing its diet better. If you'd been doing the calcium appropriately then you weren't adding to his problems, but it may have taken a while for him to have gotten enough extra calcium to start improving. I would not let up on giving extra calcium for several months at least!


What kind of calcium are you using? Does it have D3? And do you know if the previous owner used any?

I’m only asking because sometimes MBD can be caused by TOO much calcium, or it can also be genetic MBD (but I doubt that). I wouldn’t up calcium, I would keep it normal. You can set a small dish/cap of calcium in it’s enclosure and it’ll take calcium when it feels like it’s lacking.

MBD can be helped if it’s caught quickly enough, but most of the time the effects are permanent (when it comes to bone deformities at least).

I can’t see any of the s either so I’m not sure how severe your frog’s case is. It may not even be MBD, Pacman frogs always seem to have issues - it’s why I’ve never gotten one myself. I think it has something to do with bad breeders.


Thank you all for your answers, i’ll try to repost the pictures.

The calcium I give her does have D3,
I don't give her calcium every feeding, more like one feeding out of two.

Unfortunately I don’t know if the previous owner gave her calcium.

July 7:

July 30:

October 17:



She eats okay for you though? Without an xray or a professional physical assesment it's best guess on how her calcium levels and bones are doing. Providing enough calcium in her diet and her acting normal are good signs that she is recovering or has recovered. I did my first few rescues without a vet and when they finally were able to go in, he only had good things to say about how well they had recovered.

Keep in mind that while the bones will reharden with time and any breaks that happen will heal, the damage (deformities or displaced breaks) that occur will not go away. The changes that have happened are permanent. Her mouth will likely stay like that for the rest of her life.

If you wanted to do anything more, a good UVB bulb will also help with healing and preventing MBD. I know that hobbyists do not usually recommend them for amphibians, but my exotics vet said they are extremely helpful for all herps. I have always had them on my toads and frog for safety.

You may also want to look into using a good vitamin mix or at least something with Vitamin A in it once in a while. There are likely nutritional imbalances at play other than just calcium. Amphibians are a bit trickier than reptiles.


She eats very well, never had trouble feeding her even with calcium dusted food. She put on weight, she even grew!

She is acting healthy by that I mean she moves around her terrarium (I wake up to her burried somewhere new), poops, eats, goes in her water bowl.

I know its not reversible, I don't mind her appearance, she can still do all the things another pacman can.

I have vitamin mix for my other reptile, I sometimes mix it with her food too. I just did not mention it ^^;

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