Cryptosporidium

ArteMiloFlo

Member
Beardie name(s)
Mercury
Hi! So, I have a little rankin's called Mercury, I know he's not a beardie, but I'm at my wits end and need some advice. But I apologise if this is the wrong place, it's my first time posting on a forum.

He's currently 13 months old. I'm hoping to raise awareness and also look for some advice regarding neurological issues and crypto, whether, in people's experience, they can coincide? (And maybe get some reassurance or tips on how to help him further)

In January he was taken to the vet because he had a sperm plug and the base of his tail was swollen, his hemipenes were flushed and he was given anti-inflammatories. We ran a faecal sample as a part of a general health check and it came back positive for coccidia a few days later. I'm no stranger to parasites, so I moved him out of the reptile room to another room upstairs into quarantine and began strict quarantine procedures. He was started on the appropriate medicine for 10 days at a frequency of every day. I dropped off a fresh sample two or three weeks after he finished the medicine and that came back coccidia negative, but he had a low amount of cryptosporidium oocysts in his faeces; something that hadn't been present the first time. But he was a "poor doer" at 23 grams at 9 months old, so I knew it'd probably been a false negative.

The vet wasn't sure if his sudden and recurrent development of parasites was down to atadenovirus or something else, and we discussed Mercury's next options. It was to try a fairly new and experimental medicine, or euthanasia. I'm lucky to be able to facilitate a quarantined room for Mercury (now downstairs, as opposed to being a few doors down the hall) away from my other reptiles and follow strict procedures, so I gave him a week on the new medicine and he responded to it within a few days, it was a honestly rather miraculous recovery. He started eating, pooping, and a month later I weighed him and he was 33 grams, and soon after had a full body shed (I'd had him since he was 3 months old and he'd never shed). So the vet told me that'd essentially ruled out atadenovirus because he "likely wouldn't have recovered" if it was. Satisfied, I continued to give him the parofor for the crypto and he continued to respond, hitting 45 grams at 12 months old.

That was until this month. I weighed him, and he was down 3 grams, I wasn't overly concerned but kept a close eye on his eating to see if he'd just slowed down or if it was something to be concerned about. He didn't eat for a week so I booked him in with the vet, who ran a faecal test, gave his stomach an ultrasound (because the vet said it was distended - he was slightly impacted but I was reassured two baths a day would help), and gave him a general health check up. The faecal result was still positive for crypto but in lower numbers than the last one, but it was also positive for pinworm (we've started him on eradia (10 days) and bovex (once a month) as well as parofor (daily). He's been having two baths a day and I even crushed some blueberries to make a blueberry juice as a natural laxative, but there's been no movement. So I'll be booking him in again on Monday to get him reassessed and have a possible enema.

He's still fighting and recovering, he's just having little hiccups along the way.

So I guess I was wondering if anyone here also knows about neurological conditions in Rankin's or beardies? Because more recently he's been twitching when stressed, but when I say twitching, I mean really jerky movements and robotic looking actions, I'm really rather concerned, but there's nothing I can do until I get him to our herp vet on Monday and I was just hoping for some reassurance or tips.

As of just now he has managed to poop a little, and had eaten a bowl of 10 mealworms (he used to be on 2nd+3rd hoppers, but since being on the parofor he flat out refuses locusts of any size, and the only thing he'll eat are mealworms - not ideal, I know. But right now any eating is better than nothing)

Thanks in advance, Z
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Please no enema if it can be avoided, they can severely injure or even kill a dragon. (It's dangerous for beardies and Rankins are even smaller). Try giving him some prune juice, or some unsweetened apple sauce, baby food sweet potatoes or even a very small drop of olive oil.
As far as adv Tracie sales an inexpensive swab kit on her site. She is a vet tech, maybe ask her for help directly at @Drache613.
Also meds really screw with their appetite, it may take a while to get him eating again.
 

ArteMiloFlo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Mercury
Please no enema if it can be avoided, they can severely injure or even kill a dragon. (It's dangerous for beardies and Rankins are even smaller). Try giving him some prune juice, or some unsweetened apple sauce, baby food sweet potatoes or even a very small drop of olive oil.
As far as adv Tracie sales an inexpensive swab kit on her site. She is a vet tech, maybe ask her for help directly at @Drache613.
Also meds really screw with their appetite, it may take a while to get him eating again.
Thanks! I had no idea about the enemas, I've had a leopard gecko who had to have one by the same vet, and it went smoothly so it was my first thought. But I think I'll focus more on the neurological issue when I go to the vets later today and try some more home remedies. I'm thankful he's pooping in small amounts so he's not totally blocked up, and it's probably more to do with the fact he's not been eating as opposed to anything else.

As for his eating, it is improving. Thankfully he doesn't have bad reactions to the medicines (which is a good thing, considering how many he's on). I wish he'd eat locusts again, but he completely shuts down whenever they're offered to him and he'll breathe heavily and close his eyes. So I think there's a negative association to feeling unwell with locusts.

But thank you for the info on enemas and I'll message Tracie now!
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
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Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Your welcome 🙂. I think the rankins are adorable btw 🙂
 

ArteMiloFlo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Mercury
Your welcome 🙂. I think the rankins are adorable btw 🙂
They are! I have two rankin's (Sid Vicious and Mercury) and two beardies (Cayenne and Saffron). My Mercury has a little bit of pigment loss on the top of his head. I've never seen it before in reptiles, especially the progression it has (before he started growing he was really dark, now he's gone lighter and lost pigmentation, as in, some scales are completely white. But the vet ruled out fungal infections so I guess he's just made different!
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
That's interesting. Hypos and trans are obvious from hatching, but in people pigment disorders can start later, i wonder how that works in reptiles. Who knows you might have discovered a new morph 😃
 

ArteMiloFlo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Mercury
Definitely! I've just returned from the vets with him, and he's done a full body check up, including his stomach, and he said Mercury doesn't seem impacted anymore! But when I checked his viv there was a huge poop, so he's probably managed to unblock it himself. And then the vet did some exercises and a reflex check with Mercury and he had all the right reflexes so he doesn't think there's anything neurological going on! But he does think he's in a bit of discomfort with having the pinworm and impaction and probably has some inflammation. So we're trying inflacam to see if that helps. Poor little fella is like a walking pharmacy! But it's not forever and even though he has all this working against him he's still gained 2.5 grams in a week
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
That's great news!
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

That is really good news though. It sounds like he is starting to do better now, it just takes time.
At least he is gaining some weight through all of this!
If you have pictures, definitely post some for us. Rankins are very cute indeed.
Are you still wanting to test for Adeno? I would have to look at some stats on Adeno, but even
though they are in the same group of species, they are slightly different genus. I am not sure
that the Rankins get Adeno quite as often.
If you decide you want to test, you can sign up on my site at:

www.thepats.info

How long is he going to be on the new medication, temporarily I hope?

Tracie
 

ArteMiloFlo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Mercury
Hello,

That is really good news though. It sounds like he is starting to do better now, it just takes time.
At least he is gaining some weight through all of this!
If you have pictures, definitely post some for us. Rankins are very cute indeed.
Are you still wanting to test for Adeno? I would have to look at some stats on Adeno, but even
though they are in the same group of species, they are slightly different genus. I am not sure
that the Rankins get Adeno quite as often.
If you decide you want to test, you can sign up on my site at:

www.thepats.info

How long is he going to be on the new medication, temporarily I hope?

Tracie
Hi!

I think I'll leave testing for now, given how much medicine he's on I don't want to cause anymore stress that could cause a crypto flare up for him, but it's definitely something I want to do in the future to cover all bases. He's currently on 4 medicines, inflacam (for 10 days at a frequency of every other day), bovex (once a month), eradia (every day for 10 days) and parofor, which is for long term use, he's been on it for 3 months now and I've just been given another 3 month supply by the vet. He wants it given every day, then reassess Mercury in 3 months and see if we can drop it to every other day. But I'm just glad that crypto doesn't seem to be a death sentence for Mercury. The vet said that parofor is a fairly new medicine for reptiles that's still in experimental phases but the results are promising. It makes me happy also to know Mercury is a trailblazer for the betterment of reptile medicine, at least in my area anyway (I lost my first gecko to crypto just 3 weeks after getting her, it was a horrible ordeal for all involved). Previously the parofor was thought to cause improvement after a few weeks, but myself and the vet have noticed an immediate improvement in Mercury (as in a few days!) So it's very exciting stuff.

This is Mercury, I'm currently in my last year of uni and the crypto has definitely been a huge curve ball, lots of stress and change and falling behind at times too 😅 but the second picture is a comparison of three months ago (when he was about 9-10 months old) versus a week ago. You can also see his pigment loss as a yellowish colour on his head.
IMG_20230516_071210_474.jpg

20230503_083143_0000.jpg
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Oh that is normal, beardies "color phase" as they age. Babies can be completely different in color as an adult. My guy Zen was black, gray, white as a baby, he is beige and orange with brown freckles as an adult.
 

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
Hi!

I think I'll leave testing for now, given how much medicine he's on I don't want to cause anymore stress that could cause a crypto flare up for him, but it's definitely something I want to do in the future to cover all bases. He's currently on 4 medicines, inflacam (for 10 days at a frequency of every other day), bovex (once a month), eradia (every day for 10 days) and parofor, which is for long term use, he's been on it for 3 months now and I've just been given another 3 month supply by the vet. He wants it given every day, then reassess Mercury in 3 months and see if we can drop it to every other day. But I'm just glad that crypto doesn't seem to be a death sentence for Mercury. The vet said that parofor is a fairly new medicine for reptiles that's still in experimental phases but the results are promising. It makes me happy also to know Mercury is a trailblazer for the betterment of reptile medicine, at least in my area anyway (I lost my first gecko to crypto just 3 weeks after getting her, it was a horrible ordeal for all involved). Previously the parofor was thought to cause improvement after a few weeks, but myself and the vet have noticed an immediate improvement in Mercury (as in a few days!) So it's very exciting stuff.

This is Mercury, I'm currently in my last year of uni and the crypto has definitely been a huge curve ball, lots of stress and change and falling behind at times too 😅 but the second picture is a comparison of three months ago (when he was about 9-10 months old) versus a week ago. You can also see his pigment loss as a yellowish colour on his head. View attachment 80486
View attachment 80487
Adorable!
 

ArteMiloFlo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Mercury
Sorry about the delay in responding, I got a called Wednesday at 3pm to go in for surgery on the Thursday, I've been waiting for the surgery since 2021 so it was a no-brainer to go for it. Mercury is fine, dad and a friend are helping me look after him/give him medicine as well as care for my other reptiles too, and the reptile shop owner is bring more live food for me later today. Hooray for good support systems ☺️

Yeah, I was told his colour could be a colour phase but I wasn't sure because it seemed so sporadic in nature. It is quite literally a big white patch on his head. But I'm glad there's nothing wrong and he's just finally growing up 🥹
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

They look very good, I hope they are doing well now!
It is so interesting when their colors & patterns vary so much, but it doesn't seem to be causing
any harm.

Tracie
 

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