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Should I be seeing live pinworms?!?!?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by OkAdiza, Oct 21, 2019.

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  1. OkAdiza

    OkAdiza Member

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    Ok, so I am freaking out a bit over here. I took my Hermann's to the vet Oct.10 for a general health appointment and found out he had two types of parasites; pinworms and some type of amobea. I was given two different medications for him; Pyrantel dewormer to take 3 days in a row then I will need to repeat in three weeks and then Metronidazole that he took five days in a row after the first dose of the Pyrantel. I believe I had seen some dead ones in his poop a few days after the first dose, but today I was soaking him and he pooped out a rather large looking live one:eek:. Horrible on my part, I never asked if I should have taken out all his substrate or if I should be seeing live worms. Should I be seeing live worms? Do I need to completely clean out his enclosure until he has finished his next round? I just started reading some older forum posts, but wanted to ask because I didn't see anything about live ones. Are they really that big??? Yuck!
    Thanks for any help.
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  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I've never used that first de-wormer, having only ever used Panacur (fenbendazole) for pin worms and Flagyl (metronidazole) for the microscopic parasites. If your tortoise had a very heavy parasite load, then, yes, you might see a bunch of dead parasites along with a live one or so occasionally.
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  3. OkAdiza

    OkAdiza Member

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    Oh ok. Should I be concerned about the dewormer he is on? Also, I saw in an older post you mentioned cleaning out the substrate and leaving newspaper until the treatment was done. Would you recommend that for this situation? Removing all the substrate? He won't start taking the next three doses until Oct. 31. I was told it wasn't a very heavy parasite load, but enough to need the meds.
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  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Yes. They shed eggs along with poop and pee and usually the eggs aren't killed by the dewormer. So for economy reasons, and ease of care, it would be good to keep on paper until treatment is finished.
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  5. OkAdiza

    OkAdiza Member

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    Ok, got it. I didn't realize the treatment didn't necessarily kill the eggs too. I have a tarp under my substrate as a liner. Take that out too? OR just clean it and lay newspaper over top? Thank you for your help.
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  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Just newspaper over the tarp for now, but discard everything , including the tarp, when treatment is finished and you're ready to add substrate.
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  7. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I've seen both NO worms passed, and I assumed they were digested. And I've seen dead worms pass after treatment.
    But I've never seen live worms pass.
    I'm curious to see the outcome.
    Live worms passing are usually indicative of a heavy parasitic load. But I suppose it could also be a reaction to them (the parasites) being mildly poisoned. And that would make me theorize that the dosage or type was not strong enough.
    But its only my theory.
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  8. daniellenc

    daniellenc Well-Known Member

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    Never seen live ones either after treatment but definitely newspaper only. No substrate until you get a an all clear from the vet and change the newspaper daily!!
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  9. OkAdiza

    OkAdiza Member

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    Thank you. I got paranoid before reading your response and just got rid of the top. I've laid large garbage bags over the bottom of the enclosure and covered that with lots of newspaper. Thank you again.
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  10. OkAdiza

    OkAdiza Member

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    Eeek! I hope they are dying. I'll definitely let everyone know what happens. He will have the second dose of meds starting next thursday.
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  11. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    It's a few days on. A few days off. Then a few days on again?
    That's how the PANACUR is also administered.
    It's to kill the adults. Then kill any hatching eggs.
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  12. OkAdiza

    OkAdiza Member

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    Oh ok. Yes, except this was a dose three days in a row then redo in 3weeks.
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  13. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The de-wormer makes living in a poisoned intestine uncomfortable and the worms vacate the premises.
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  14. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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  15. JMM

    JMM New Member

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    Pyrantel paralyzes the worms in the intestine, but it doesn't kill them. The paralyzed worms are expelled as a result of intestinal motility. They can "wake up" after being expelled and that is likely what you are seeing. Because tort intestinal motility is fairly slow, seeing live worms is to be expected. Fenbendazole (Panacur) actually kills the worms. Neither pyrantel nor fenbendazole prevent re-infection. Thus, to ensure your tort does not become re-infected while it is still shedding parasite eggs, it is very important to change out and clean whatever surface you have your tort on at least once a day and ideally, clean up any waste as soon as possible.
  16. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Thank you for the explanation of how Pyrantel works.
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  17. OkAdiza

    OkAdiza Member

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    Thanks so much. That makes sense. Do you know if it’s easier to have re-infection on med since worms aren’t being killed?
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  18. JudyM

    JudyM New Member

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    I took my 22 month in for a physical and a runny nose, with a stool sample. He had pinworms so they treated him at the office by inserting a tube in his throat to get the correct dose of droncit, an oily worm treatment. I returned a week later for his 2nd treatment and he would not come out of his shell. They had to sedate him and keep him overnight same a week later for his 3rd treatment. After the 3rd one I kept him in the bathroom (heated floor) and had to empty over 100 pounds of dirt out of his home, clean his home with 10% bleach / water solution and let it air dry, everything in his enclosure was also soaked in the bleach solution. I could see worm eggs in some of the dirt, like little pieces of rice... ICK!!! Make sure the dirt that is dumped is where the tortoise will never go, worms DO NOT DIE when it is cold. I then added 80 pounds of fresh dirt back and was able to return him to his home a day ago after no more pinworms were seen in his poop. Tomorrow I'll take a fresh stool sample for the vet to check. No more runny nose! Vet told me he probably has had them since birth, they get them from what they eat. Not the same pin worm that dogs & cats get. FYI (central Indiana)
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  19. OkAdiza

    OkAdiza Member

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    So sorry! I feel your pain. I had to get rid of four 24-quart bags of Reptibark that was in my torts enclosure :(. Hopefully after the next treatment he will be cleared. He does not like being on the newspaper.
    Are you sure you saw eggs? I thought pinworm eggs were not visible to the naked eye? I just realized the worm I saw is actually a roundworm.
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  20. JudyM

    JudyM New Member

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    It was like a white piece of rice. Never want to see that again, in the poop after his treatment.
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