Keeps Getting Parasites ; From Where?

My beardy has had multiple parasitic (protozoan) infections in the past 4 months (he’s ALWAYS symptomatic). First it was coccidia; treated with Albon. Then it was something else (either Giardia or bacteria) that was causing severe indigestion; it was cleared with metronidazole. Then he had diarrhea so the metro was extended. Then he got coccidia again; treated with ponazuril. Now he’s having severe diarrhea that is sometimes very explosive/watery/foul smelling. I assume it’s giardia because fecal floats show nothing besides a few pinworms (not abnormal for him).
We all know feeder insects are a common source for pinworm infections. What is the source for protozoan infections? I assume the back-to-back coccidia was him reinfecting himself (even though I’m very thorough with his biosecurity). The last time he had a possible Giardia infection would have been October-November, and he was treated for it. I clean his veggies with diluted vinegar. I’ve had him on a probiotic since December. I scrub his tank/equipment at least every-other-day.
Where could these protozoans/bacteria, that he can’t self-limit, coming from?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
My beardy has had multiple parasitic (protozoan) infections in the past 4 months (he’s ALWAYS symptomatic). First it was coccidia; treated with Albon. Then it was something else (either Giardia or bacteria) that was causing severe indigestion; it was cleared with metronidazole. Then he had diarrhea so the metro was extended. Then he got coccidia again; treated with ponazuril. Now he’s having severe diarrhea that is sometimes very explosive/watery/foul smelling. I assume it’s giardia because fecal floats show nothing besides a few pinworms (not abnormal for him).
We all know feeder insects are a common source for pinworm infections. What is the source for protozoan infections? I assume the back-to-back coccidia was him reinfecting himself (even though I’m very thorough with his biosecurity). The last time he had a possible Giardia infection would have been October-November, and he was treated for it. I clean his veggies with diluted vinegar. I’ve had him on a probiotic since December. I scrub his tank/equipment at least every-other-day.
Where could these protozoans/bacteria, that he can’t self-limit, coming from?
Important things to keep parasites from coming back -disinfect w/ a good disinfectant like F10- proper uvb no coils and properly placed for the tank screen- surface basking temps taken w a digital probe thermometer- if these are all on par your dragon should be able to keep them under control - if your feeding crickets I would switch to dubias - silk worms- bsfl
 

SupportDragon

Member
Original Poster
Important things to keep parasites from coming back -disinfect w/ a good disinfectant like F10- proper uvb no coils and properly placed for the tank screen- surface basking temps taken w a digital probe thermometer- if these are all on par your dragon should be able to keep them under control - if your feeding crickets I would switch to dubias - silk worms- bsfl
I use chlorhexidine (Nolvasan); 2% for his tank, 4% for his equipment. His UVB is a hood/tube mounted inside his tank; I change the bulb every 6 months. He has 2 probes and a self-regulating under tank heater (plus a UVA lamp). I switched him fully onto dubias after his first coccidia infection (previously it was crickets/dubias/mealworms).
He’s always been able to keep his pinworms under control but the Protozoa are never self-limiting for some reason.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I use chlorhexidine (Nolvasan); 2% for his tank, 4% for his equipment. His UVB is a hood/tube mounted inside his tank; I change the bulb every 6 months. He has 2 probes and a self-regulating under tank heater (plus a UVA lamp). I switched him fully onto dubias after his first coccidia infection (previously it was crickets/dubias/mealworms).
He’s always been able to keep his pinworms under control but the Protozoa are never self-limiting for some reason.
What brand and bulb for the UVB? It should be directly over his basking decor piece 12-15 inches -- I am not sure about the protozoa -- we need Tracie to advise on this shes our vet tech mod on the board
@Drache613
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Coccidia is very hard to get rid of. With the medication, you have to be religious about cleaning the tank daily. The medication will kill the coccidia in the system, but it doesn't break the cycle. The dragon can and will get reinfected from the coccidia eggs in the enclosure.

The tank needs to be bare bones, no porous materials, and it needs to be disinfected and sanitized daily. This needs to occur for at least two weeks, if not a month to be safe.

As far as the bad poos, that much medication is going to screw with your system anyway you look at it. Just like in humans, once medication messes with the good gut flora, it takes awhile to get back to normal.

It's not uncommon for dragons to have some type of parasite in their system. A healthy immune system will keep these numbers in check. They only need to be treated when the parasite infection becomes symptomatic.

-Brandon
 

SupportDragon

Member
Original Poster
Coccidia is very hard to get rid of. With the medication, you have to be religious about cleaning the tank daily. The medication will kill the coccidia in the system, but it doesn't break the cycle. The dragon can and will get reinfected from the coccidia eggs in the enclosure.

The tank needs to be bare bones, no porous materials, and it needs to be disinfected and sanitized daily. This needs to occur for at least two weeks, if not a month to be safe.

As far as the bad poos, that much medication is going to screw with your system anyway you look at it. Just like in humans, once medication messes with the good gut flora, it takes awhile to get back to normal.

It's not uncommon for dragons to have some type of parasite in their system. A healthy immune system will keep these numbers in check. They only need to be treated when the parasite infection becomes symptomatic.

-Brandon
Thanks for the advice!
I read his fecal floats, weekly. Rest assured, his coccidia is gone (knock on wood). With ponazuril being more commonly used, they’re actually recommending 2 doses every 2 weeks for 6 weeks if your beardy is reinfecting itself. Ideally, this does break the cycle. It sucks, but you’re also supposed to thoroughly disinfect daily during those 6 weeks.
Albon is an antibiotic and therefore known to cause serious GI issues, but he finished the Albon in October. Ponazuril is an anti-protozoal, therefore significantly less likely to cause any harm to commensal gut flora. He’s also been on a probiotic for over a month to correct any GI flora issues.
On his fecals, his pinworm count hasn’t ever been more than 5, suggesting his immune system is functioning well enough to keep them in check. But, his protozoa have been out of control. I’m not 100% sure it’s Giardia so I’m going to send out a stool sample for antigen testing, he just has to give me a one.
If it is Giardia, I’m concerned it’s the water (I fill his dish with distilled, but bathe him in tap). But if it was coming from his food, it’d be a much simpler fix than water.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

How are things going? Is your dragon all done with the Ponazuril medication now? If so, it is a highly effective medication for coccidia so I'm not surprised that it is all cleared up for him.
As Claudiusx stated, it is hard to eradicate but it can be done with some work & simply keeping it a
bit cleaner in the tank. Maybe just take the water dish out completely right now, until you can get this
all cleared up. Giardia is not real common but it does occur. When will you have the results for the
sample that you sent in?
Which probiotic are you using right now? I would keep him on them for awhile if he's still having some
trouble with his tummy.

Tracie
 

SupportDragon

Member
Original Poster
Hello,

How are things going? Is your dragon all done with the Ponazuril medication now? If so, it is a highly effective medication for coccidia so I'm not surprised that it is all cleared up for him.
As Claudiusx stated, it is hard to eradicate but it can be done with some work & simply keeping it a
bit cleaner in the tank. Maybe just take the water dish out completely right now, until you can get this
all cleared up. Giardia is not real common but it does occur. When will you have the results for the
sample that you sent in?
Which probiotic are you using right now? I would keep him on them for awhile if he's still having some
trouble with his tummy.

Tracie
His last dose of ponazuril was January 12. I just took in his fecal today (wouldn’t defecate for 8 days). Normally their DFAs take a few days so I’ll probably get his results by Tuesday.
He’s on Bene Bac. Turns out, he’s actually been on it for 2.5 months and I have no sense of time.
I can remove his dish, but he’s been shedding nonstop for 2 months straight, so I worry about his humidity. I do scrub his water dish, specifically, daily with chlorhexidine and fill it with distilled water. He’s also never drank from it. My concern is more so his baths, which are done with tap water (we have a well). Like most beardies, he tastes everything; I wouldn’t be surprised if he ingests some bath water every time he gets a bath.
I’ve thought about having our water tested, but test strips only cover G. lamblia and it’s unclear if lab fluorescent testing covers G. varani (water DFA also costs $700).
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Ok, he has been on Ponazuril for just a short amount of time. Let us know how the fecal tests come
out.
You could try using a filtered water or just spring water/drinking water if you are concerned about
bacteria in the water. I know water testing can be expensive! They do tend to drink in the bath, most
of the times too.
Is he eating very much right now?

Tracie
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest resources

Latest profile posts

Getting ready for another day. Feeling sleepy. 😴
I just walked into my room and instead of looking at me, Swordtail's eyes darted directly to the ice cream drumstick I'm holding
Finally replaced Swordtail's substrate
I miss you so much, Amaris 💔
What is a quick way to warm up a cold beardie? His heating element went out overnight and now he's very cold.

Forum statistics

Threads
156,059
Messages
1,257,260
Members
76,051
Latest member
Reptile_Lover7
Top Bottom