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Can we 'over-treat' / medicate our frogs ?
#1
Maybe so...

Why More Parasite Diversity is Good News for Frogs-Flukes that parasitize amphibians

Discover Magazine Blog 5/24/12

The enemy of my enemy is my friend—especially if I’m a frog and my enemies are competing parasites. A recent study in PNAS found that frogs populations exposed to a more diverse set of flukes actually had lower rates of infection, with fewer frogs in the group afflicted with tiny hitchhikers.

Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder bred Pacific chorus frogs in a lab and put their tadpoles in different tanks with anywhere from one to six different types of flukes. On average, 40% of the frogs that came into contact with only a single fluke species developed infections, while 34% of frogs exposed to four flukes and 23% of frogs exposed to six flukes were infected (the numbers for two, three flukes followed a roughly similar trend). Additionally, some of the fluke species make frogs sicker than others, and oddly enough, the frogs exposed to a greater variety of flukes had a lower proportion of infections from these dangerous species.

Most research on host-parasite interactions has focused one host–one parasite, but as this study shows, it’s a lot more complicated in the natural world. Preserving biodiversity—even biodiversity of creatures, whether flukes or microbes, that we’re not fond of—might be an important part of keeping disease down. Why that is isn’t exactly clear—the scientists who did this study, for instance, aren’t sure why frogs were better off with lots of flukes around.

But it could be analogous to what happens in humans who have the biodiversity of their gut microbes disturbed by antibiotics. Once healthy, or at least relatively harmless, microbes are wiped out, it’s easy for dangerous bacteria like C. difficile to take over their real estate and cause life-threatening disease. Something similar seems to happen with viruses: having certain viruses in your body can keep you from getting infected by other, more harmful pathogens.

In fighting off infections, thus, it could help to have allies among the enemy.
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#2
Interesting read, Phil. Interesting theory, also.

This may be off subject (well, pretty much is). I'm a firm believer that we use too many "decontamination devices" here in the US. Things like disinfectant wipes, gels, antibacterial/antiviral hand soaps, the list goes on. I also feel that we shelter our children too much from "dirty" things. Truth is, kids need to go out an get dirty! It's how they build a healthy immune system!

Back on track with the competing parasites; Google "Intestinal Parasites reduce Allergens". Quite interesting, really.

I feel that we transfer the same mentality from ourselves, to our own pets/critters. In some cases, germs and bugs are GOOD. And when it comes to a species we know so little about, such as amphibians and reptiles, sometimes correcting what we think is "wrong", actually makes things worse!

Enough of my babbling. Oh, this was my first post, also Big Grin!
0.0.3 D. tinctorius, "Brazillian Yellow Head" - 40 Breeder, normal
Working on a 40 Breeder Vert, unknown species to be housed.
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#3
BEST first post ev-ah !
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#4
I cringe when I hear people say..."my frogs are clean"......ugh...
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#5
Frogs are much tougher than they look. Many exist in ''swampy'' terrain, amongst all sort of worms and 'nastys'.

I think we have to be VERY careful with ANY medication administered. It's very easy to upset a delicate internal balance in a small animal.

Just some thoughts.
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#6
Philsuma Wrote:Frogs are much tougher than they look.

Sometimes, in some cases. Sometimes " it's very easy to upset internal balance". As I'll point out below.

Philsuma Wrote:It's very easy to upset a delicate internal balance in a small animal.

As an example of when they are not so tough;

Someone who refuses to test their frogs has a high load of parasites, keeping them in a viv which has been continually crapped upon by parasite infested darts for years.
Now, in their natural environment they don't tend to stand in their own unnaturally high load of crap. The parasites are diffused.
So, this frogger who thinks it's somehow "natural" to have high loads of stuff like coccidia (not natural in WCs...) or high loads of stuff which lives by burrowing into the body and all sorts of body parts as a natural life cycle now decides it's time to sell to get new froggies.
The unnatural situation of high parasite loads compounded by the very unnatural situation of taking a truck ride, plane ride, truck ride again and a car ride (at the very least) has now presented a situation of stress for the frog.

When stressed by bad sexing ratios , moves, high temps swings, shipping, too much or too little food stuffs, wrong food stuffs, etc. the nasties which are in an unnatural situation within your frogs start doing harm.

Understanding what captive husbandry entails includes understanding that there is nothing natural about our frogs' situations and
darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there's no known benefit to the frogs with either situation.
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


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