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Hookworms and Pinworms

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:05 pm
by Nyxi

I recently adopted an adult female bearded dragon (approx 3-4 years old). She is 17.5 inches from snout to tail, and 15 ounces. She is my first dragon, and I'm not very familiar with them. However, after about the first two weeks of having her, I made a few observations -- she doesn't defecate often (maybe every 3-4 days) and when she does, it is stinnkkyyy! I still have no idea how normal poop is supposed to smell, but I decided that I would get her a fecal exam to see if she has parasites.

We have only one exotic animal clinic in our area. I called them and got the 'ok' to bring in a fecal sample. I rushed in with fresh doody and a detailed sheet of her stats, and her food/defecation schedule. I filled out paperwork and asked if I could stay until the results have been determined -- they told me the fecal exam would take at least an hour to perform, and in addition to that, the doctor was currently operating on an emergency c-section. I was surprised that the vet techs didn't do the fecal exams, but I agreed to take the results by phone.
I didn't receive any calls for the rest of the day. The next day, I called them and they had no results for me yet, but said they would call me back. A couple hours later, a receptionist called and told me they wanted me to bring her in for an x-ray. Confused on how a fecal exam turned into an x-ray, I asked what the results were and why they needed an x-ray... She told me that she doesn't know the results of the fecal, but she assumes the x-ray is to see the parasites. I asked if parasites could be visualized on an x-ray and she hesitated... I asked to speak to the doctor, as I wanted to know what the results were and why the x-ray was needed. She told me that she would get him to call me back.
A couple hours later, she called me back and told me to bring my beardie in for the x-ray again. This time, I asked her to pull up my beardie's chart and tell me what the results of the fecal were. She said that they haven't made a chart on her. She admitted that she didn't even know if they had done the fecal and did not know why the x-ray was needed, so we simply repeated the entire conversation, and I told her again that I wanted to speak to the doctor.
Thirty minutes later, a tech called me and refused to tell me the results of the fecal. I questioned if they even did the exam, but he assured me that they did. He explained that they felt my beardie was impacted, due to the firmness of her poop. I told him that I understand if they want me to bring the beardie to the clinic, but I don't understand why they wouldn't tell me the results of the fecal. He didn't give me a clear answer and avoided my question. Annoyed with the entire situation, I decided to try out a different option.

Recounting that entire experience just made my brain numb again, and I probably could have skipped it all. Ugh.
But anyways, I have previous experience as a vet tech at a different clinic, which treats dogs/cats. I called my old boss and asked him if he could do a fecal exam on a bearded dragon. He said he had no problem with it. When I came by with some more poop, I performed the exam myself and found two types of eggs, which we identified as hookworms and pinworms. To my surprise, we didn't find any coccidia. He checked her weight, checked the dosing, and gave me two 1.0cc doses of liquid Panacur (one by mouth now and the next one in three weeks), and told me to come back for a recheck afterwards.

He did say that he drew up a little extra Panacur in case some of it doesn't make it down my beardie. Although he is an awesome doctor, he doesn't normally do reptiles, so I wonder if this dosing is accurate... 1.0cc seems excessive.
I ordered a bottle of Acidophiliz+. I removed all of the sand in Onyxia's enclosure and replaced it with tile. When the Acidophiliz+ arrived, I disinfected everything and medicated her with 0.5cc Panacur (half of the dosage that I'm supposed to give her). It is now the 3rd day since I medicated her, and she seems depressed with a reduced appetite, which I was expecting. Here's my first question: To those of you who are experienced, does my modified dosage seem appropriate?

Also, I have a dog as well. When I was working at the clinic, we had never diagnosed a dog/cat with pinworms. We had plenty of hookworm cases, but my beardie's hookworms looked somewhat different from the common canine hookworms. Are beardie pins/hooks capable of being transmitted to mammals (human/canine, specifically)? I should have thought to ask the doctor, but I'm not sure if he would know for certain or not.

What is most likely the source of her parasites? I'm suspicious of feeder insects. The person I got Onyxia from also gave me a colony of dubia roaches. I'm worried that they could be carriers and by feeding them to her, she could simply become reinfected. I also buy superworms from Petsmart.

On day 3 since medicating her, she still doesn't look very good -- depressed mood, reduced appetite. She lays on the tiled ground with her head resting, eyes still open. She does still look around if I walk by and occasionally changes spots. She has no interest in her veggies, but will still eat a few dubia roaches. I'm keeping up with the Acidophiliz+ and continuing to soak her in water + pedialyte. How long should I expect her to be like this, and when will she start to perk up again?

I'm really sorry for being so wordy -- it is a bad habit of mine. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me -- as you can see, Onyxia does mean quite a bit to me. Please be as blunt/firm/criticizing of me as you feel necessary -- I really do want the best for her.

Re: Hookworms and Pinworms

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:52 pm
Hi there, congrats. on your new seems like you're attached already ! Her weight sounds pretty good, and if she poos ever 3-4 days, it's perfectly normal. Some adult dragons go even longer. I'm not sure why the " exotic" vet wanted to do X-ray's if she's pooing at a normal rate, and so with the lack of communication I agree with your decision to go elsewhere. As for dosing info, there is a sticky thread at the top of the E.R. forum that may help you out. Hopefully she'll be feeling better soon. !

Re: Hookworms and Pinworms

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:43 am
by Nyxi
Oh, thanks so much AHBD! I was under the impression that they should poo daily, which Onyxia hadn't been doing. It certainly is a relief to hear otherwise.

AHBD wrote:s for dosing info, there is a sticky thread at the top of the E.R. forum that may help you out.

I tried to find the sticky that you mentioned, but for the life of me, I can't... I see two stickies on the Beardie ER forum, but neither of them pertain to this. I would definitely appreciate a link if you don't mind :oops:

Re: Hookworms and Pinworms

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:26 am
by ohsmileb
I was just browsing through and read your thread. I remembered I saw something about dosing and found it here I can't click on it because I'm on my phone but I hope this helps!