Parasites

RainsOn

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Recently had my Russian tort to vet. Had to mail in fecal sample. Came back that Digger has a parasite - not worms - but, a parasite the vet wants to give him medicine for. Says I need to bring him back for a dose. Don't remember what the vet called this parasite.
QUESTION: What do they do in the wild? I am not keen on drugs for my tort. Is it necessary he gets the med? Is there something I can do to rid him without meds? Is there something I can do to avoid this situation in the future?
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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My Russian has only ever had worms that were treated with oral worming medicine. I’m curious to hear what parasite requires a in-office treatment...
 

ZEROPILOT

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So, the vet found a bacterial issue?
"A parasite" sounds a little vague.
Is your tortoise acting normal?
Eating normal?
If so, I'd wait for clarification.
 

ZEROPILOT

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My Russian has only ever had worms that were treated with oral worming medicine. I’m curious to hear what parasite requires a in-office treatment...
Me too.
It sounds like that vet is late on his LEXUS payment.
 

jsheffield - In Memoriam

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My impression is that nearly all torts carry some degree of parasite load in their guts for most of their lives, and so long as the parasite populations don't explode into huge numbers it's not really a problem.

I think if your tortoise is eating and drinking and moving around and looks healthy and not dropping weight, I wouldn't expose them to vets who may not know much about torts....

Jamie
 

ZEROPILOT

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My impression is that nearly all torts carry some degree of parasite load in their guts for most of their lives, and so long as the parasite populations don't explode into huge numbers it's not really a problem.

I think if your tortoise is eating and drinking and moving around and looks healthy and not dropping weight, I wouldn't expose them to vets who may not know much about torts....

Jamie
Agreed
Tortoises with parasites are actually pretty common
 

RainsOn

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Thanks, puts my mind at ease. I read up a bit on this and find that Zeropilot is in agreement with my book on Russians. Digger seems just fine by all intents and purposes. To be on the safe side, I am going to empty the terrarium and replace with new bark and sprinkle in some diatamacious earth (sp?). He gets regular soaks and nothing irregular there. For now, we are going to ignore this issue and remain alert for symptoms.

This vet is new for us but he seemed knowledgeable and did have other amphibians in his waiting room.. A "tech" called with the news and was supposed to get back to me about mailing meds. He didn't get back to me. I figure it can't be too serious.
 

madelinenunez

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I would personally not risk and take those med for russian tort.
 

Jan A

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I would personally not risk and take those med for russian tort.
Thanks, puts my mind at ease. I read up a bit on this and find that Zeropilot is in agreement with my book on Russians. Digger seems just fine by all intents and purposes. To be on the safe side, I am going to empty the terrarium and replace with new bark and sprinkle in some diatamacious earth (sp?). He gets regular soaks and nothing irregular there. For now, we are going to ignore this issue and remain alert for symptoms.

This vet is new for us but he seemed knowledgeable and did have other amphibians in his waiting room.. A "tech" called with the news and was supposed to get back to me about mailing meds. He didn't get back to me. I figure it can't be too serious.
I'd see if they send you meds or call you to set up an appointment. Ask again what it is and/or what they want to treat him with & get back here or pm Zovick, Tom, ZEROPILOT, etc., before taking your tort back to the vet or administering the med, as long as your tort is eating, pooping fine & acting normally.
 

Tom

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While I generally agree with all of the above posters, we are just guessing here. In order to give you a better answer we need more info.

Exactly what did the vet find and in what sort of quantity, and what does the vet want to treat it with? Without having any idea what sort of infection we are talking about and what med is being proposed, I don't feel like I can offer any sort of helpful opinion.
 

biochemnerd808

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Recently had my Russian tort to vet. Had to mail in fecal sample. Came back that Digger has a parasite - not worms - but, a parasite the vet wants to give him medicine for. Says I need to bring him back for a dose. Don't remember what the vet called this parasite.
QUESTION: What do they do in the wild? I am not keen on drugs for my tort. Is it necessary he gets the med? Is there something I can do to rid him without meds? Is there something I can do to avoid this situation in the future?
So, without knowing WHICH parasite the vet found, it really is not OK for folks here to just dismiss this. First, this is not bacterial, because the vet would have talked about 'infection', not 'a parasite'. If it is 'not worms' the possible other options are flagellates and other single cell organisms. Do you want to have a pet with giardia, which could get your dog and other humans sick? Or coccidiosis? Neither of those are fun, and they can be really bad for your tortoise, too.

Yes, in the wild tortoises live with a so-called dirty gut. But they are known to eat mildly poisonous plants to control the parasite population in their gut, and they aren't stressed in the wild from a multi-week trip in a cramped, poopy crate.

Treatment with (probably) fenbendazole or another med in proper dosage and frequency determined by your vet is less harmful for your tortoise than letting it live with a high parasite population in its gut.

If this was my tortoise, I would ask exactly which parasite or parasites were found, and then ask for proper treatment.

Just make 100% sure your tortoise is not given Ivermectin. This would kill it.
 

Rstalder

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Recently had my Russian tort to vet. Had to mail in fecal sample. Came back that Digger has a parasite - not worms - but, a parasite the vet wants to give him medicine for. Says I need to bring him back for a dose. Don't remember what the vet called this parasite.
QUESTION: What do they do in the wild? I am not keen on drugs for my tort. Is it necessary he gets the med? Is there something I can do to rid him without meds? Is there something I can do to avoid this situation in the future?
I gave happy mojo drugs to kill the parasites..twice..as they were bad when I got him from Petco..He is doing wonderful..just hard opening the beak..but reptile vet was a great coach as it can harm hearing if done wrong..might ask vet to help. advice?
 

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