Unknown Intestinal Parasite-- help ID'ing appreciated!

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Unknown Intestinal Parasite-- help ID'ing appreciated!

Postby nicbez » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:49 pm

Hello,

Just posting on the off chance that someone here may have seen something similar to this before. I am a vet tech at an exotic practice and noticed my beardie had a bit of watery stool so I decided to bring the sample to work with me for a fecal exam. Nothing of interest was noted on the direct smear but on the float there were a number of unknown oblong organisms present on the cover slip, visible to the naked eye. Maybe like 1mm wide by 3mm long. I've included some pictures (excuse my poor microscope photography) showing the organisms visible on the cover slip and at 40x magnification.

For reference my beardie is male, 6.5 years old. Had a watery BM but no other clinical signs. He eats like a pig. His hot side has a temp gradient from 85-105, his cool side 75-80. His UVB bulb was changed ~2 months ago. Humidity 35-40%. I keep him in a 4'x3' sealed birch enclosure. He is offered fresh greens daily, dusted with calcium every other day and a multivitamin a few times weekly. Insects offered every other day-- usually crickets but the occasional superworm.

My doctor has never seen this parasite before but is thinking some sort of fluke. Based on pictures I can find online I think it also looks similar to some sort of oxyurid.

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


Thanks! Nicole
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Re: Unknown Intestinal Parasite-- help ID'ing appreciated!

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:18 pm

Given the size is it possible it is some sort of plant matter or perhaps something that was ingested and passed through along with a meal rather than a parasitic organism? It doesn't look like anything listed on my chart, granted I don't have any training to identify parasites.
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Re: Unknown Intestinal Parasite-- help ID'ing appreciated!

Postby nicbez » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:37 am

CooperDragon wrote:Given the size is it possible it is some sort of plant matter or perhaps something that was ingested and passed through along with a meal rather than a parasitic organism? It doesn't look like anything listed on my chart, granted I don't have any training to identify parasites.


I was hoping that was the case but unfortunately the organism has a very distinct membrane. If it were plant material I would expect to see a cell wall and a cellular membrane. I think since I work at a vet clinic, Murphy's Law is at play here :silent: We were scouring textbooks to find a similar picture but other than the more common parasitic infections in reptiles they are not documented very well.

Thank you for your response! My lil dude is coming with me to work today for empirical deworming.
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Re: Unknown Intestinal Parasite-- help ID'ing appreciated!

Postby Aaradimian » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:17 pm

There's a user Ellentomologist who might be able to help. You could try PMing her.
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Re: Unknown Intestinal Parasite-- help ID'ing appreciated!

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:31 pm

I'll be interested to know what you find out. Definitely not something I've seen before.
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Re: Unknown Intestinal Parasite-- help ID'ing appreciated!

Postby nicbez » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:11 am

Aaradimian wrote:There's a user Ellentomologist who might be able to help. You could try PMing her.


Thank you! I'll give it a shot.
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Re: Unknown Intestinal Parasite-- help ID'ing appreciated!

Postby Claudiusx » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:13 am

Is it those visible specs on the slide in that photo?

If so it's not any parasite I've ever seen or heard of in dragons. That is quite large.

Anyways, looking forward to what you discover. However my first thoughts are with coopers, something organic or possibly some type of egg from another insect that was ingested. Only other thing I could think of is pinworm eggs but they dont really match up to the size you gave.

-Brandon
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