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Worm Infestation


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#1 Heidiboo75

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 07:35 PM

Hi.. I sent a sample of my 2 year old tortoises poo to wormcount.com because I did suspect she might be loaded with worms.. Had the results tonight and I'm told she has a bad infestation of pin worms.. So what now?? What do I use to get rid of them and how much of it? Any advice right now would be fab thanks

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:53 PM

Did they give you an actual count number? If the infestation is very high, then you would be best if inexperienced to get this done by an exotics vet. Worming a tortoise with a very high worm burden can cause a blockage from the dead worms and so it will need close monitoring. Is the tortoise an import? Has it been kept outdoors?



#3 Heidiboo75

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 06:55 AM

Yes.. Oxyurids 1340epg, Ascarids 20 epg, Protozoans none seen. Tortoise is an import I'm guessing, I bought her from a reptile shop but her papers say she originates from Macedonia.. She is very active but only eating small amounts and hasn't put any weight in the month that I've had her.. I'm going to make an appointment to see a specialist vet today.. I'm not trying anything myself as I have no experience on this whatsoever.. She is kept outdoors in a secure enclosure, substrate topsoil

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:34 AM

Yes, if I were you I would get it done by a specialist (make sure they do not use an Ivermectin drug)  and change the bedding regularly until a clear count is seen. If possible keep on newspaper and wash hands thoroughly after handling as these are infectious to humans. It's so annoying that these little imports are still coming in and the sellers have the gall to say 'captive bred'. I would mention it to the pet shop too as they need to know that their source is not reliable ;)

Good luck.



#5 Heidiboo75

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

Thank you for your advice, I have an appointment booked in for tomorrow afternoon at a reptile vet not too far from here, hopefully things will be sorted quickly.. I have thought for a little while that she had them as I could see them in her poo, she doesn't seem to poo every day and they are only small poos to.. She appears to be filled to the brim with them poor soul.. Do you think they are uncomfortable for her or making her poorly? :-(

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 09:51 PM

Make sure the vet knows how heavy the infestation is. They can cause anaemia, but worse is the effect of them dying off in large numbers, so this needs to be monitored as it can cause blockages and it might be a good idea to feed some softer food for a time and your vet might advise a mild laxative to help pass them. If you could see them in the faeces, then it is certainly a high count, most infestations are not visible. Yes, they will be making her feel upset, but hopefully it will soon be over. I would def let the shop know though, as it is irresponsible to sell animals that are infected so badly and I would not be surprised if they have had some deaths.  



#7 Heidiboo75

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 04:47 PM

Hi.. I took my tort to the vet on Thursday and she was examined and treated with a syringe of Panacur paste down the throat into her tummy.. She has to go back in two weeks for a repeat dose, possibly a third dose to.. She was very subdued Friday and Saturday and hardly eating, I was very concerned as I didn't want all the worms to die and cause and impaction so did try to feed her some soft 'naughty foods' to try and kick start her system and encourage her to poo.. She has pooed twice today.. Once this morning in her enclosure.. The poo did contain worms, it was long and thin and quite hard, this afternoon she had a larger softer pool in her bath and this pool contained more worms but they were still alive and wriggling around in the water bowl.. Is this normal? She is on paper right now to try and break the live cycle.. Like I say she is booked in for a repeat dose in 2 weeks.. She seems better in herself today, eating and more active.. Thanks!

#8 Heidiboo75

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 04:48 PM

Was meant to say poo not pool

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 07:28 PM

Yes it is perfectly normal for them to be still moving. Don't give 'naughty' foods if you are meaning fruit etc as this is what increases worm proliferation if they already have them, by increasing sugar levels in the gut. It won't reduce impaction anyway, you would need liquid paraffin for this, but on the advice of your vet, not another keeper ;) It sounds as though your tortoise is moving it on her own quite nicely. The repeat dose is essential to kill anything that has hatched since the first worming. Panacur will not kill the eggs, so this is important and hopefully will reduce them to normal levels.

Good luck ;)



#10 Heidiboo75

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 07:53 PM

Thank you for your reply Wizzasmum, when you say normal levels do you mean they never actually get rid of them completely? She does stem to be passing them more easily which is a relief.. I have her on newspaper temporarily so that I can see her poo easily and remove it immediately.. :-)

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 11:42 PM

Any animal that lives outdoors is likely to carry a small burden. This is why annual worming is recommended, the same as sheep, horses etc.  I do my own tort samples and a friend who works in a lab, doing human samples once said 'Never have a look at your own poo' or you would not sleep at night. I never have - yuk!



#12 Sp4rky

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:21 AM

Sorry to but I've just found out my tort has an infestation as well. Not sure of the count yet, but will find out tonight. I've to pick up panacur and do it myself for 3 weeks. How much of a task can this be? And what's the best action to take with substrate?

#13 Beermat89

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 12:13 PM

Hi sp4rky
Sorry to hear that,ive been tempted to have ago at worming mine myself but havnt yet as im afraid im going to give them the wrong amount or too less!they say you cant over dose them on wormer but i dont agree with this to be honest so i get my vet todo it!if mine do have a infestation i put them on paper for a while so its easy to clean out and also to check when their poos run clear on the worms but this is only my opinion!
Regards mat

#14 Heidiboo75

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

I normally have my tort on a topsoil substrate but have changed to newspaper so that I can spot her poo easily and remove it quickly.. I took my tort to the vet and had panacur administered by a tube into her tummy, but it was a single dose which has to be repeated in 2 weeks possibly with a third dose after that.. I'm assuming it was a different strength of wormer? I have no idea.. :-/

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:08 PM

Hi sp4rky
Sorry to hear that,ive been tempted to have ago at worming mine myself but havnt yet as im afraid im going to give them the wrong amount or too less!they say you cant over dose them on wormer but i dont agree with this to be honest so i get my vet todo it!if mine do have a infestation i put them on paper for a while so its easy to clean out and also to check when their poos run clear on the worms but this is only my opinion!
Regards mat

You CAN overdose on some wormers, but it's very unlikely on panacur unless you get the decimal point wrong lol. Some wormers need very precise measurements and some reptile wormers must never be used at all for torts. Yes, paper is he way to go for the short term. Once they are clear, if you do them annually mid summer, they should not show again if kept on ground that is exposed to the elements.



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Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:11 PM

I normally have my tort on a topsoil substrate but have changed to newspaper so that I can spot her poo easily and remove it quickly.. I took my tort to the vet and had panacur administered by a tube into her tummy, but it was a single dose which has to be repeated in 2 weeks possibly with a third dose after that.. I'm assuming it was a different strength of wormer? I have no idea.. :-/

If the vet used liquid panacur it would have to be tubed, but paste (17%) is fine to just be fed orally on food. Both are exactly the same, just one is easier to use. The only problem with panacur is that parasites sometimes get resistant to it, due to the frequency of use, so if two doses seem to clear it, that is often the way to go.



#17 Beermat89

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 04:56 PM

Thats good to know sue as im a bit of a worry bum lol.yes thats what the vets use on mine pancur,mite get some of the paste and give it ago my self then lol.well last time i went to the vets for worming,they measured out some liquid panacur to take home with a seringe but do you i could get on on with that,in the end the only way i could get it in to them was putting it on cucumber as i know they wouldnt resist it :/

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:00 PM

Sometimes I wonder what goes on in the mind of some vets. Liquid is never going to work unless you can stomach tube. Maybe they do it so they know you will have to go back lol



#19 Beermat89

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:03 PM

Yes i think your right sue as half of it ended up on the floor lol

#20 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:58 PM

Can I ask then..., what is the best time to worm torts? Do they always need worming? Does it make a difference if they are indoor torts with just a bit of outdoor experience, or if they are outside all the time. If outdoors apart from clearing up after them daily, and watering the enclosure, what else is advised should be done. Is it always necessary to worm torts x x hugs x




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