Intranuclear Coccidiosis

deadheadvet

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The first documented case here in the US was in 1994 in a Radiated Tortoise from St. Catherine's Island. It is believed that there likely was a previous case in the same species in the early 70's. They didn't have all the advance histopath techniques as they do now, so it was suspected but not proven. The animal also came from the original group from St. Catherine's. It has been documented in at least a dozen species of Tortoises. Since transmission is unknown at this time, it is a very difficult organism to control. There likely is a subclinical state which allows spread to other animals without showing any outward signs of illness. Strict quarantine is a must with any new acquisitions.
 

Berkeley

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That's horrible. Mind sharing any more information when you get the chance? For example do any of the other species have it? Or get have they been tested for it? Any new tortoises arrive recently that could have spread it? Did you notice any symptoms?

I echo G-stars sentiments. The more I know of this, the better. Please, share the stories.

T.G.

Sure; sorry it has taken me a couple of days though to respond.

I don't know if any of the other species I keep have it, though I am certain that they do. From what the vets told me, it can be carried- symptom free- in other species and not affect them at all. I had gotten a new star and a new gopher tortoise about a year before, but both were quarantined separately from the rest of the collection and each other. But the radiated group had not had any additions since 2011 I believe.

I have not done any tests yet. I will be having fecal floats or whatever needs to be done sometime in the future though, just have not had the money or the time to do it yet.

In regards to symptoms, most of them crashed and died in less than a week. The vet staff remarked for the couple that I was able to get in to them just how quickly they went downhill, even in their care. They would become suddenly lethargic, not moving at all. Not eating, eyes closed. The one exception to that was the biggest female who was eating and moving completely normally one day, then literally the next morning at lights-on check, she was dead. There really were not many external symptoms which was the scariest part. The vets said that if they had come in sooner, there was a chance they could have been saved. However, since they weren't showing any real symptoms (aside from the lethargy, which I at first attributed to the environmental change of just getting put in the barn for the last time for the year) there was no reason to think that they needed medical care. However, as deadheadvet mentioned, the mortality rate is something like 90%, and the vets here reported it to be even higher.

I hope that's helpful.

--Berkeley
 

deadheadvet

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Testing is only via PCR at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Zoo Animal Diagnostic Laboratory. Cloacal Swab is method of choice. Since this is an intranuclear protozoan, regular fecal exam will not identify this species of Eimeria.Treatment is hopeful but expensive. Ponazuril is the drug of choice and current recommendation is 55mg/Kg B.W. daily until 2 negative testes are found. Can take up to a year or longer depending on how many copies are found on PCR. I routinely screen my group just to be sure all is well. And yes, I have to pay for the tests just like everyone else. This is the desired result.
 

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Berkeley

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Testing is only via PCR at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Zoo Animal Diagnostic Laboratory. Cloacal Swab is method of choice. Since this is an intranuclear protozoan, regular fecal exam will not identify this species of Eimeria.Treatment is hopeful but expensive. Ponazuril is the drug of choice and current recommendation is 55mg/Kg B.W. daily until 2 negative testes are found. Can take up to a year or longer depending on how many copies are found on PCR. I routinely screen my group just to be sure all is well. And yes, I have to pay for the tests just like everyone else. This is the desired result.

Interesting, thanks for the info. Good to know about the testing and location. UGA said that it would be fecal floats they would do and it would be done there. It sounded odd to me when they told me that, but I figured there was some way they would be able to determine results. They drive me crazy sometimes, but I don't have another exotics option. I knew about the Ponazuril, found out about that in my research.

Thanks again for the information.
--Berkeley
 
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