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Parasites , Testing, Curables, and Un-curables
#1

I've noticed a sudden "bump" in the questions involving the treatment of parasites on Dendroboard and since some of those members are also members of this board I would like to start a thread here where my brother and myself are able to post. Also dosage has been brought up. Done it all on Frognet to death but have not gotten into too in-depth here.
There are a great number of parasites in the hobby now. Some are curable some are only treatable. Some are not so bad for your Darts in small numbers but bad in large loads and some are pretty much a death sentence if let gone unchecked. If I read "If it ain't broke don't fix it" one more time I am going to vomit all over my computer. The saying should go "First test your collection. If it ain't broke don't fix it. If it is broke , FIX IT. " The ONLY way to know for sure if "it" is broke is to test.
I am alway amazed how those that have no valid argument against testing for parasites bring up the fact that my brother and myself used to prophylactically treat our frogs on a rather regular basis. The thought process has been gone over before (a number of times) and we do not suggest for everyone to go out and buy up a bunch of Panacur and start throwing it at your Darts. Test and go from there.

My brother has found in the thousands of Dart fecals he has done that WCs tend to have a substantially smaller number of parasites than their CB counterparts. The reason behind this is not very surprising. In the wild Darts are not standing around in their own infected crap all day long. Nature also have a number of ways to clean the poop out and away from the Dart's stomping grounds. A 10, 15, whatever gal viv has no way of being cleansed of parasites once they have been introduced to the viv other than breaking down the viv and doing a meticulous sterilization. Not fun.

There is no natural immunity to some parasites in darts and once a small load of worms has made it into a Dart it will almost alway grow , not recede in numbers. This may not be a huge deal until the infected frog is stressed and it may take quite awhile for the parasites to build up , especially if you have giant vivs, but to this date there are ZERO parasites that are know to be beneficial to Darts. Zero.

I completed a 300 mile move recently in the coldest snap we have had in what I am told is 20 years. Very nasty, but I had no choice but to move when I did. I have a pretty large collection and I know there were frogs that went through stress. I also went through a great deal of stress. After taking inventory I had lost exactly one frog who's tankmate had succumb to a nasty infection only a couple weeks before my move. It also died of an infection I had not caught before the move. I am very pleased that the death toll was not larger and I have full faith in the fact that the successful move owed quite a bit to parasite free (or as free as I can keep them) Darts.

If anyone has some questions about parasites, medications, treatment, testing, whatever, my brother and myself have some interesting experiences.

One last thing I hear is that there are a good number of "gurus" out their that have never tested or treated there frogs and they have had them for 5, 10, 12, however many years and they are "just fine and not broken". These frog can live in the wild for over 30 years. As soon as someone comes forward and tells me that the average frog in their collection has just broken the 20 year mark we can say they "ain't broke".

Again, there are a number of Dendroboard member I have great respect for and since I am not able to post over there I would greatly appreciate the chance to go over some of the opinions I may not have thought about or heard voiced.
I'd also love to add a " Yes or no have you tested your Darts for parasites" poll but just can't seem to enter the poll option. I know, I am a true computer illiterate.
Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#2

http://dartden.com/viewtopic.php?t=2427

Rich, what are your feelings regarding the way(dusting flies, drops etc) to administer panacur to darts.

-chris
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#3

Hi Chris,
I meant to poll "tested" not "treated". Been a long day.
Panacur dust works well. It is very safe and the amount it would take for a Dart to "OD" or suffer adverse effects works out to such a huge amount it is almost impossible for a Dart to ingest that amount. Never used liquid Panacur.

Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#4

i have only ever dusted flies with panacur, but have been reading on other boards about the 'absolute inaccuracy' of dosage when administering this way. In my limited experience dusting has been effective, but again I wasn't sure if there was a more appropriate method.
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#5

Hey,
I guess an analogy to the inaccuracy dosing thing would go something like this.
We are supposed to get X amount of vitamin C in our diet every day. An orange may give you exactly the right dose. If I eat two or three or four oranges in a day it is most definitely not going to do me any harm. May even be better for me than the 100% "recommended" daily amount.
A crude analogy ( and I'm not the doctor) but for the average Joe in the hobby it works.
I think when the dose calculations were done it was found that a Dart would have to eat an equivalent of it's own body weight or more to see adverse effects. I've been using panacur for almost four years with zero negative effect, tons of positive.

Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#6

The prophylactic topic has come up in the poll.
A simple analogy. How many froggers out there have dogs? How many froggers who have dogs treat monthly , prophylactically ,for heartworms , as suggested by their vet?
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, not not interpret this as a decree to treat your darts prophylactically . TEST. Test and decide.

Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#7

I personally started having fecals done on my frogs earlier this year. I've been in the hobby a little over a year now and am enjoying myself. I'm to the point now where want to keep my collection healthy and happy which is why I decided to test and treat as needed. I'm in good understanding of what worms do and how to get rid of them etc. Coccidia is something I'm still trying to learn more about. From what I can read some people consider ALL forms of coccidia to be bad, and some others types maybe not so bad. I'm curious to know what is considered bad. Is it only bad if you see a side effect of some kind? If so, what kind of side affect would be seen. I'd just like some more understanding of coccidia, what it is, what it does, and really in general how much do we really understand about it?
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#8

Hi Tony,
The problems with coccidia are numerous.The fact that it is un-curable , only treatable is one. Another is the fact that there are so many types it is impossible to say this coccidia will kill in X amount of time, this one will kill if the Dart is stressed Y amount and this coccidia will not kill unless it builds up to large loads of Z, is untreated, and the Dart is stressed. The main thing to remember is there are no known beneficial parasites to Darts. Some parasites can be cured rather easily but coccidia can not. It is a pain in the butt to have to treat the infected frogs and make sure that they do not infect the rest of your collection . At the very least , if a frog has coccidia it has it for life and may see adverse effects. At opposite end of the spectrum it could kill your Darts and infect your whole collection. Herpes is un-curable, effects different people at different levels, and does not kill. Nobody I know wants herpes.

Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#9

Hi Rich,

I have a question regarding a particular frog of mine. This frog is in quarantine and being treated for worms from a fecal test that was done. Treatment has consisted of dusting flies with Panacure once a week for the past three weeks. I feed every day and other than the days that I dust with panacure I alternate between dusting with calcium and dusting with vitamins. This week when I moved the frog to a new enclosure it had a seizure. Note: I try not to even touch my frogs when I put them into a new/clean enclosure but try to catch them when they are already in an enclosure or cup if possible. I have since witnessed one other seizure

I have read that seizures are usually a sign of calcium deficiency. My calcium supplement had not expired yet and was just a tad past 6mo from being opened. I threw out the old calcium supplement and purchased new just to be sure. I also got calcium gluconate and have diluted it to a 2% solution and just started treating by dropping one drop onto the frog once a day.

Is there any other likely cause that would have a seizure as a symptom other than calcium deficiency?

If you think this is the right approach how long do you think I should I treat?

If it is a calcium deficiency how long should it take for the calcium gluconate to start having an affect (no seizures)?



Also, since the topic of Coccidia has being brought up I have a few questions that you might be able to help with. I have been reading up on coccidia in the Amphibian Medicine and Captive Husbandry book not so that I can be an expert on the subject but for my own understanding and understanding of the procedures that a vet uses to test (or should be using to test).

There are several sections that reference coccidia (pg 105 – 106, 205, 312, 316 & 444-445). I was surprised to read that in several sections it reference that coccidia is very difficult to identify just from a simple fecal (I thought this was how it was found)? The book even mentions on page 312 that it is difficult to diagnose antemortem. From reading the text my understanding is that you don’t actually look for coccidia cells but rather look for blood cells in the feces as an indicator of infection and that a specific stain must be used to do this (Wright-Giemsa)? If blood cells are found then you can sporulate coccida from the fecal (I gather this is something like culturing bacteria)? And then this is used to actually positively identify coccidiosis.

So if my basic understanding is correct then I have a few questions:

Should this Wright-Giemsa stain always be used on all samples or only thoes with suspected coccidiosis?

Are there other acceptable stains?

What microscope magnification should be used to look for blood cells (seems like it would have to be higher powered than what is normally used to find parasite/ parasite eggs)?

Do you ever find coccidial oocysts in fecal samples with out having to ‘sporulate’ the sample?

Sorry for the long post and lots of questions but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get opinions from such frog experts Smile

Thanks,
Erin
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#10

Hi Erin,
What species Dart is the frog?I have had Fants seize from nothing but a simple move. More than once. Some darts just don't seem to handle the stress of moving well, especially if they are parasite burdened. I am not a doctor, that would be my brother, so I don't want to give out guesses of how to treat or how long to treat. My brother would also be the guy to ask about the coccidia recognition but I am fairly sure he is quite able to ID them via a fecal. It may be difficult, one of the reasons I say to leave the fecal IDs to the pros and not be a do it yourself doc, but I have seen him point them out to me if I remember correctly. I could be that he has done thousands and has come up with a good method. Maybe David can jump in here. Good questions.
Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#11

Hi Rich,

The species of frog with the seizure is allobates zaparo. I have wondered if the seizure could be the stress from just being moved, this is good feedback. They aren’t to terribly shy when being viewed and although I try to make the stress as minimal as possible it does seem stressfull to move them (for both of us). I think I can corral my thumbnails and get them moved easier than the zaparos. The parasite burden should be significantly reduced or gone (hopefully) since I have been treating for a few weeks but I guess it still could have taken its toll.

I would be very interested to know if anything special needs to be done to look for coccidia in a fecal. Again not so I can be an expert but so that I can talk intelligently with my vet as most vets are not frog experts. If there are special procedures that need to be done a non frog expert vet might not think to look for it unless the right symptoms were there as I don’t think coccidia in a snake or lizard means the same think as it does in a frog from my understanding.

Thanks,
Erin
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#12

Rich asked me to post a quick reply. I am closing on a house tomorrow and am booked up with appointments today, so I don't have long to type, but....

The main consideration with coccidia in darts is that they are the only amphibian that coccidia is known to adversely effect. Also they have no known immunity to coccidia. This means that when I am viewing a fecal float or smear (stained or unstained) coccidia is often present in vast numbers in effected frogs. A dart frog with a huge amount of coccidia in its feces is fairly easy to identify if you know what coccidia looks like.

That being said their are many different kinds of coccidia. Few amphibian varieties are named, and few have been studied to any extent. Some seem to be much more damaging than others.

I know I haven't answered all of your questions, but if I have some breathing time this weekend, I'll try to answer a few more. Hope this helped a little anyway.

David M. Frye, DVM
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#13

Erin,
I have not worked with zaparo but from what I have heard from a friend who breeds them they are very skittish compared to many other Darts. I'd have to guess that the seizures may have been stress induced.
Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#14

really good stuff. i'm anxious for the next installment.
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#15

Hi Frye Brothers Smile

This information is very helpful. Many thanks to both of you.

David,

Thanks for taking the time to post with such a hectic schedule. When you get the chance I would love to hear what else you have to say on the subject(s).

Thanks again,
Erin
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#16

RichFrye Wrote:Erin,
I have not worked with zaparo but from what I have heard from a friend who breeds them they are very skittish compared to many other Darts. I'd have to guess that the seizures may have been stress induced.
Rich

I have heard that as well, when I have seen them for sale, oftentimes, the seller won't ship because of the skittishness.

Brian T. Sexton
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#17

Another comment Erin, I combine my vit/calcium supplements together and dust the combo when I feed. It helps me when trying to remember what day it is and when I last fed what to who. What set-ups do you have that you feed every day? I feed my frogs and froglets at most three times a week , usually the average is closer to twice a week. This practise tends to stimulate a more natural hunting response and produce stronger frogs.

Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#18

Rich,
I'm curious about your froglet set ups that allows you to feed the 2-3 times a week.
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#19

Cindy,
Most are in 1.5 gal tubs that only house one or two froglets. I plant them very heavily and place charcoal with tons of springtails. Melano FFs are fed 2-3 times a week but the springtails almost kept constant. I guess to be accurate they have food at all times but this allows me to only have to top off the FFs the 2-3 times per week. I really like to see an up and down to the amount they have to eat . This seems to be a more natural way of feeding and helps with the hunting instinct.

Rich

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#20

Ah, thanks for the clarification!
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