Spirochetes infection...darn it!

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
My guy Scooby just turned 6 months so we just brought him into a reptile vet for his initial 6 month exam.

He is 427 grams, 18 inches long, and growing very quickly.

Stool sample says he has spiroochetes, and I am kind of beside myself because we keep his viv very clean.

We are giving him metronidazole for the next seven days. I have probiotics on order for him. After a long day of traveling, we are going to wait to deep clean his viv tomorrow, because we had to travel 3 hours to this specialized vet.

Thanks for reading to this point....my questions are:
1.How serious is this infection? He is gaining weight.
2. How do I terminally clean his viv? I have the F10 on order, but also have a handheld steam machine that goes to 212 degrees.

Thanks for any advice. We had a young beardie die from congenital kidney disease, and my 14 year old and I, are trying to do everything possible for our guy Scooby
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Does Scooby have any symptoms? Honestly, if not, and you haven't started the medications, I wouldn't...

The body is more than capable of taking care of itself when its healthy. We don't even recommend treating for most parasites in healthy dragons when the parasite count is low.

Sometimes, medicating causes more harm than good.

-Brandon
 

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
Does Scooby have any symptoms? Honestly, if not, and you haven't started the medications, I wouldn't...

The body is more than capable of taking care of itself when its healthy. We don't even recommend treating for most parasites in healthy dragons when the parasite count is low.

Sometimes, medicating causes more harm than good.

-Brandon
He had his first stool yesterday with some mucous in it (first odd stool ever, and the rest have been normal)...the doctor said that the level was "high".
His growth, and size at 6 months is good, but that she reported high levels of this parasite, has me SO anxious.
Thanks for your response...that he is so big and healthy at his age, had me scratching my head.
 

xp29

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
The steams works, but you need to go slow. Some stuff like Coccidia is resilient and it takes time being in contact with the steam to kill it. I'm not familiar with the spirochetes though but I think 200ish degrees will kill most anything though
 

blue11

Sub-Adult Member
Hi there 🙂👋

Just a quick thought regarding cleaning - what kind of flooring do you use in his enclosure?

I feel like it effects so much, with all the different substrate options that are available - like how easy or complicated a full on disinfect deep clean can be, as well as how easy or complicated your daily cleaning / maintenance can be.
 

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
Hi there 🙂👋

Just a quick thought regarding cleaning - what kind of flooring do you use in his enclosure?

I feel like it effects so much, with all the different substrate options that are available - like how easy or complicated a full on disinfect deep clean can be, as well as how easy or complicated your daily cleaning / maintenance can be.
I have non adhesive shelf liner that I can easily replace, and I typically do every two weeks. I probably should do it at least once a week?
I am praying that using a steamer up to 212f can clean his enclosure.
I am so worried...tried to do everything correctly, and kind of feel like I let my guy down...
 

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
Does Scooby have any symptoms? Honestly, if not, and you haven't started the medications, I wouldn't...

The body is more than capable of taking care of itself when its healthy. We don't even recommend treating for most parasites in healthy dragons when the parasite count is low.

Sometimes, medicating causes more harm than good.

-Brandon
Thinking more on your point...medical providers do tend to have a knee jerk reaction to abnormalities that healthy beings can heal from.
I know so little reptile health, that I feel like I don't know what I don't know?
That he is growing in both height and weight so rapidly, makes me really ponder your post.
Thanks so much for your thoughts about my beardie. Much to ponder right now.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Thinking more on your point...medical providers do tend to have a knee jerk reaction to abnormalities that healthy beings can heal from.
Yes, and many also feel an obligation to do something, even if it's not needed. It's a dangerous mindset. Not all vets have it, but we see many on this board that do.

Spirochetes isn't really something we see tested for very often. I can't recall ever seeing it tested for to be honest. It's not typically what would be looked for/found in a normal fecal float exam.

Remember, just like humans, beardies can have one-off odd poos. It doesn't many anything is wrong. It's only when the odd poo becomes consistent that we typically recommended looking into an underlying cause.

I get that you are concerned due to the unfortunate circumstances with your last dragon, but that isn't your fault, and there really wasn't anything you could do.

If this were my dragon, I would hold off on the medications. However, it's not my dragon, and whichever choice you pick, you'll have people here to help you out along the way :)

-Brandon
 

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
Yes, and many also feel an obligation to do something, even if it's not needed. It's a dangerous mindset. Not all vets have it, but we see many on this board that do.

Spirochetes isn't really something we see tested for very often. I can't recall ever seeing it tested for to be honest. It's not typically what would be looked for/found in a normal fecal float exam.

Remember, just like humans, beardies can have one-off odd poos. It doesn't many anything is wrong. It's only when the odd poo becomes consistent that we typically recommended looking into an underlying cause.

I get that you are concerned due to the unfortunate circumstances with your last dragon, but that isn't your fault, and there really wasn't anything you could do.

If this were my dragon, I would hold off on the medications. However, it's not my dragon, and whichever choice you pick, you'll have people here to help you out along the way :)

-Brandon
Thank you so much Brandon! I am with you about providers thinking they need to do SOMETHING if you are paying a visit.
The fact that he is growing so quickly and appears healthy, really concerns me about this course of treatment...
I am so glad for you opinion. Will have to do some serious thinking tomorrow about further treatment.
 

xp29

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
What I've encountered every single time I've given meds to my beardies is that they lose their appetite. I have struggled to get them to eat normally again every time. Also I've read so many threads here of others having the same issue, I'm of a mindset that unless there's obvious symptoms meds should be administered with extreme caution.
 

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
What I've encountered every single time I've given meds to my beardies is that they lose their appetite. I have struggled to get them to eat normally again every time. Also I've read so many threads here of others having the same issue, I'm of a mindset that unless there's obvious symptoms meds should be administered with extreme caution.
Thank you. My family over-ruled me. The drug is metronidazole, and he is still eating like a piglet after two doses.
I am in the human health care field, and see all the time, that prescriptions are being written because patients want an easy fix (according to their doctor google searches) and hospitals and clinics rely and reward good reviews. Many of these treatments are unnecessary and probably contribute to antibiotic resistant organisms.
Sadly, again, I was over ruled, and I will watch him closely. I literally can't find anything about spirochetes in stool being dangerous (by itself).
If this were a human being, my knowledge base would be enough to not allow treatment.
With reptiles, I am basically a babe in the woods with regards to this.
IF his appetite tanks or there are any other negative reactions I will stop, and my kids and husband will just need to trust me.

So sorry for the wall of text...this has been weighing heavily on me all day 😢
 

xp29

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
I agree with Claudiusx, please keep updating. I tried researching it also and there is very little helpful info readily available. The feedback you provide really might help others that encounter it.
 

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
I will continue to update.
My guy is eating l8ke the glutton that he normally is. Stool8ng as normal, and gained 3 grams over the last two days.
I have had a sick beardie with coccidia...this does not mirror a beardie sick with parasites.

If I could find some decent research on this bug, I would feel good about saying no to treatment. It really is odd that there is literally NOTHING about this online.

The only article I found was regarding a baby beardy who had coccidia, pinworms AND spirochetes.

I almost wonder if the spirochetes are an artifact type finding? My brain is spinning about this....
 

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