Vitamin D in DK Insectivore diet
A recent study reveals the risks of excessive vitamin D levels in the diets of anteaters and armadillos. In both species, symptoms such as weight loss, loss of appetite and vomiting became apparent.
During the study it appeared that the vitamin D content in the feed was much higher than indicated on the product sheet (6,000 IU/kg). As a result, the animals have received too much vitamin D for a longer period of time, this is a fat-soluble vitamin and can therefore be dangerous in the event of an overdose because the animals cannot dispose of it.
Our DK Insectivorous diet also contains vitamin D (2,500 IU/kg). We have added this because the insects that are the natural diet of these species also contain vitamin D. Little research is available, but based on this data it is assumed that anteaters do need vitamin D in their diet.
The level of vitamin D that we add is a safe level and will therefore not lead to shortages or overdose in the animals.
Cole et al. (2020) Hypervitaminosis D in a giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) and a large hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus) receiving a commercial insectivore diet. J Zoo Wildl Med, 17;51(1)245-248 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32212572/
Oonincx et al. (2018) Evidence of vitamin D synthesis in insects exposed to UVb light. Scientific reports, 8, 10807 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-29232-w