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Ii was wondering if you could help me as I have had a Worm…

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Hi Ii was wondering if...
Hi Ii was wondering if you could help me as I have had a Worm Count don't on a tortoise I have and they come back with this Balantidium (Protozoa)
80 per gramand I was wondering if it was something I need to treat and what with as I am looking to fridge hibernate them this year Thank you
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Reptile
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Answered in 2 hours by:
10/15/2017
Reptile Expert: Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Yankmedic911
Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 47
Experience: I am a Massachusetts licensed veterinarian with a special interest in exotic pets and wildlife.
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Greetings. I am sorry to hear about your tortoise. I shall do my best to help you and your tortoise out so you can ready it for brumation. Please answer a few questions for me so I can do my best to provide you the most accurate and helpful answers possible.1. What species of tortoise do you have? How old is your tortoise?2. Is your tortoise showing any clinical signs that might indicate a problem such as lack of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, etc?
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
or where that type of worms may have come from
Reptile Expert: Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Ok. Thanks for the update and the test results. They were very helpful. So, based on the test results you have two problems. First, you have a low level multi-species roundworm/hookworm problem. Second, you have a moderate to high level of Balantidium sp. which is a single-cell ciliate protozoan type parasite. It’s good to hear your tortoise is not showing any clinical signs. Ordinarily, I would not recommend treatment as most reptiles carry a low parasite load and it’s not a big deal and it doesn’t affect their health significantly. However, the question becomes a wee bit more complicated when you add in the brumation issue. As I’m sure you know everything about reptiles runs on temperature. This includes the proper functioning of their immune system. It has been documented in various reptile species that their immune system is significantly weakened or does not function at all when certain low temperatures are reached. Turtles and tortoises that are sick or injured often get worse during brumation or do not survive the process. The potential problem that could occur would be that when you go to brumate your tortoise the parasites could start reproducing like crazy when the tortoise’s immune system shuts down or does not work as effectively thus causing problems.Therefore, I would recommend you at least treat the Balantidium parasite. The common medication utilized is metronidazole at a dose of 100mg/kg by mouth once and then repeated in two weeks. I would also consider recommending you treat the roundworms at this time. If you decide to do so then the treatment regimen would involve fenbendazole at a dose of 100mg/kg by mouth once and then repeat in two weeks. Be advised that treating low levels of parasites is controversial and your local veterinarian may have a different view on the issue. Given the fact you intend to brumate your tortoise I believe this to be the safest course of action.I hope this has answered your question. I wish you and your tortoise all the best. Should you have any further questions or concerns please let me know.Dr. Adamski
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Reptile Expert: Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
By the way you had also asked where the parasites came from. Most likely if your tortoise was hatched and reared in a commercial setting with less than ideal husbandry they may have contacted it there. If it was wild caught then most wild reptiles carry low parasite loads. In fact I would be surprised to see a wild reptile without parasites. Just to be safe if you have other tortoises I would test them as well. Any tortoises that live communally in a group should be treated together as a group since they most likely have all been exposed.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Ok Thank you for that reply I will treat the worms with Panacur liquid as that has fenbendazole in like you recommended
but where do I get metronididazole from or is it something I have to get on a prescription Thank you
Reptile Expert: Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Hello again. 😊Yes, you will need to get a prescription for the metronidazole. I would contact a local veterinarian who has experience with reptiles, explain your situation and request the metronidazole. I would recommend you provide a copy of the test results for your veterinarian. They may ask you to bring in your tortoise for an examination. In some localities this is required by law for a veterinarian to prescribe you treatment medications.If you liked and appreciated my answers please rate my answer and click on the accept button so I can receive credit for my time and effort. It would be sincerely appreciated.Dr. Adamski
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi thank you again but you did not answer about pannacure. Thank you
Reptile Expert: Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Sorry, I did not see a new question about panacur. Panacur is the trade name for fenbendazole which is the actual name of the deworming medication. They are the same medication. You may or may not need to treat the roundworms your tortoise has. They are pretty low numbers of infections and should not cause a health problem. However if you wish to be extra safe then you can treat. I provided the dose in my original response. Depending on the laws and regulations in your area, you will probably need to see a veterinarian and get a prescription for this medication as well.Overall, the balantidium Protozoa is your more serious problem. Even this parasite is not considered to cause serious disease in most reptiles. However, because of the relatively large number present I would recommend treatment. I hope this answers your questions. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. All the best.Dr. Adamski
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok Thank you for the help I will wait and go to the vets and see what they suggest as you said the roundworms was low I think I wont treat it straight away Thank you
Reptile Expert: Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Not a problem. It was my pleasure to help. I hope your tortoise brumates well and everything works out well for the Spring. All the best.Dr. Adamski
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Reptile Expert: Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
If you liked and appreciated my answers please rate my answer and click on the accept button so I can receive credit for my time and effort. It would be sincerely appreciated.Dr. Adamski
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Reptile Expert: Yankmedic911, Reptile Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Yankmedic911
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