Coccidia count and treatment options?

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Coccidia count and treatment options?

Postby Derobmi » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:59 pm

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Penny is a 2 year old female weighing 453 grams. She was diagnosed by the vet with a heavy pinworm infection a month ago. She did two 3 day rounds of panacur. I am learning to do fecal flots myself and just did one on her. I counted 5 pinworm ova and 104 coccidia (I think). That is the number on the entire slide. The suspected coccidia were much smaller than the pinworm, round, and most (or all) had two things inside it. It really looked like the pictures on my parasite ID chart. Are there any other parasites that would be that small and round?

I've never dealt with coccidia before. She does have atadenovirus, not sure if that matters in this. Is a 104 count high enough to warrant treatment? What about the 5 pinworms - treat or ignore? Which meds should I use for the coccidia?

Thanks!
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Re: Coccidia count and treatment options?

Postby Goodtruant » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:32 am

Yes, that is a high enough count for treatment. I've had great results with Toltrazuril. It only takes 1 or 2 doses, and is less harsh on their systems than other meds.

http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... uct_id=478

You might also do another dose of panacur to kill off the rest of the pin worms.

Also be sure to be a diligent cleaner. I would use paper towels as a substrate, so you can throw them away everyday. Coccidia is tough to kill. You have to stop the egg cycle. The coccidia eggs are in the dragons poop, if he poos in the enclosure then it's likely that eggs are in there. If your dragon licks anything, which he will, he will likely ingest the eggs, starting the cycle over again.

Steam or ammonia will kill coccidia eggs. But we use a medical cleaner instead, also available at beardeddragon.co. http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... uct_id=239

Good luck!
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Re: Coccidia count and treatment options?

Postby Derobmi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:49 am

Thanks, Goodtruant. I looked through other threads last night and saw that med described as less harsh so I ordered it form Cheryl this morning for just in case.

Should I give the Panacur and the Toltrazuril at the same time or wait to finish one before starting the other? I ordered some Bene-bac this morning as well and noticed the dosing instructions which instruct giving significantly more probiotic than I've been giving my lizards.

Also, after reading more last night I realized that you are supposed to count the number of eggs per view, not per slide. I don't understand how that is accurate. On the slide last night, there were some views (sorry, I think there's another word I should be using but I can't think of it) anyway, some views didn't have any coccidia while others had more than 10. What is the proper method for counting? Is there a reference page that tells at what count treatment is necessary?

The most recent round of Panacur, my vet prescribed 3 days of doses. In the past, he's prescribed more days than that. Any idea if 3 days is enough to really treat them? I'm leaning towards not, since she still has the pinworms, although 5 on a slide seems pretty low to me.

I can't wait for more lizard poop to be produced! I bought testing supplies in bulk and so I can do as many tests as my heart desires. :)
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Re: Coccidia count and treatment options?

Postby Goodtruant » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:23 am

A vet will use slide chambers, so when you look in to the microscope there will be a grid (10x objective). They count the parasites in the grid, and that is the 'count' (eggs per gram).

When I do floats at home, I tend to scan most or all of a slide, since they aren't chambered, they tend to be more spread out.

I do both treatments at once. I'll do the treatments in the morning, then give a probiotic at night (about 1 hour before lights out).

I would do a single dose of panacur and Toltrazuril. Wait 2-3 days, then do a fecal. Repeat if counts are still high. Continue to use the probiotic. We give our beardies acidophilz 2-3 times a week.
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Re: Coccidia count and treatment options?

Postby Derobmi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:51 am

I saw you added to your earlier response and I emailed Cheryl to see if she could add that cleaner onto my order from this morning. If not, I have a steam machine and I also have F10 disinfectant.

I'll start the meds as soon as the new one arrives. Thanks for helping me out!
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Re: Coccidia count and treatment options?

Postby primal » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:13 pm

Yes, most vets have a special slide with grids etched into the glass called a hemocytometer that holds a specific amount of liquid. To get a proper count you have to measure the feces and use the appropriate amount of flotation solution to make sure the concentration works out correctly. That will allow you to determine the eggs per gram of feces. Honestly though I don't think it will be easy to get a gram of fresh beardie poo. ;)

As far as number of eggs on the slide vs per view, if you aren't using a real microscope you probably don't have the magnification needed to base your egg count on a per view basis (i.e. eggs per high power field (hpf) -- usually 400x). If you DO have a real microscope, you'll want to count the number of eggs in 10 views, then average it out to get an average eggs/hpf. Never look at just one view.

As far as I'm concerned, unless you are dealing with horses or livestock, any parasite ova found in the feces warrants deworming.

With regards to deworming products, the usual regimen is treat for 3 consecutive days, then repeat in 2-3 weeks. Of course, most reptile medicine is anecdotal since there is very little incentive to spend research money on reptiles, so who knows what is actually needed for them?

I would highly recommend NOT treating with both medications at the same time. You don't want to compound any possible side effects of the two drugs, and they may not even be compatible with each other.
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