Deworming snakes.

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Deworming snakes.

Postby Jantus » Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:23 pm

I recently purchased a Malaysian Blood Python.
He looks a bit underweight for his size. He's got a good appetite and never refuses a meal, he's just not picking up weight and I have a suspicion that he might have a worm infestation. I will get some feces samples to the vet ASAP but I'm almost 100% sure that is the case.

What is the best way to deworm a snake?

At the moment I'm just injecting the rats that he eats once a week with flagyl and panacur.

I do however think that it will take forever if he just gets it in only once a week.

I don't want to use the tubing method as it is too risky.

What other methods are there that can be used every day or every other day.

Thanks
Jantus
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Postby Bushviper » Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:51 pm

Blood pythons do not have metabolism the same as the other pythons. Feed the python every 4 days and see if he does not pick up weight quicker. I had a similar problem with a red blood python and once he got fed every 4 days he suddenly blossomed.

Injectable worm medicine has to be halved for Blood pythons as well.

Weigh him every week before meals and keep a chart. Let us know how he does.
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Postby Jantus » Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:20 pm

Thanks for the advice Bushviper.

I feed him 2 large rats every 7 days at the moment. Should I still feed 2 large rats every 4 days or just one at a time?

At the moment he weighs just over 3 kg's. He is over a meter in length.
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Postby Bushviper » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:10 pm

Give him the 2 large rats every 4 days and see how his weight improves. If it does not pick up soon then have him dewormed orally.
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Postby Jantus » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:28 pm

Will do.

Thanks again.
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Postby firefly » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:07 pm

Have you gotten a sample to the vet?? i can do a feacal for you, but the thing that you should remember, IS THAT ALL REPTILES HAVE PARASITES, ALL THE TIME. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A WORM FREE ANIMAL. It is a very bad idea to 'deworm' the rats you give him, as the parasites would build up resistance towards the anthelminthics and then there is no cure. you end up with super infestation and this will kill your snake. you should be worried about lungworm and coccidia. rather deworm the snake, give it a stong dose and get it over with. the snakes immunity wil do the rest. just dont od it like bv said.
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Postby Jantus » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:47 pm

I am going to take his next feces to the vet.

I think you may have misunderstood me. I don't deworm the rats, I only feed frozen thawed rats and just before I put the rats in his enclosure I inject a dose of flagyl and panacur into them.
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Postby Bushviper » Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:54 am

Jantus that is the same thing. The worms in the snake get a steady dose of medicine that does not kill them and eventually they are resistant to the medication and you cannot treat the snake at all.

Thats why he said "deworm" the way he did.

Remember to take fresh faeces and put them in the fridge (not the freezer) and get the to the vet the next morning or as soon as possible.
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Postby Jantus » Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:27 am

Just a question. Is it then a whole different procedure deworming snakes to deworming other reptiles like lizards and geckos.

Because that's the way I deworm my geckos and lizards. Give them a dose according to their weight everyday or every other day.

And yes I know that a snake’s metabolism is much slower than a lizard’s or a gecko’s.

Thanks for the help so far.
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Postby Bushviper » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:04 am

Jantus it depends on what medication you use. I have used some which means you only dose once and others where you dose once a week and another which you dose every day for a week.

Dont use Ivermectin on Blood pythons.

I would try the new feeding regimen and the fecal sample analysis first before doing anything else.

I would not bother deworming most geckos and lizards unless there is a medical report that makes it necessary.
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Postby Jantus » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:31 am

I use panacur and flagyl.

I deworm all my geckos and lizards once a year. I have done this without any ill effects whatsoever and my vet also told me that it is fine and a good idea. It has proven to keep my animals in top condition year round.

Also all new animals (not hatchlings) that I aquire get dewormed whether they show signs of heavy parasite loads or not. Just as a precaution.

I only just started out keeping boas and pythons thus my question, whats the best way to deworm a snake.

Im just waiting for him to defecate and then I will immediately take a sample to the vet for analysis.

Will let you know what the results are...
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Postby Bushviper » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:06 am

Flagyl has caused cancer in boas and pythons. I would definately not use this routinely.

The only time you should deworm a snake is if it tests positive for worms. All medications have side effects and this could show up in other ways. Low hatch rates, brittle eggs etc.

How your geckos or lizards are going to get worms beats me. Unless you are keeping them in outside cages and giving them pond water to drink I have no idea where the worms would be coming from.

Your vet thinks this is a good idea because he sells you the medication and he cannot think of a good reason why you should not treat the animals.

Research done many years ago by two german students showed that very few of our indigenous reptiles had internal parasites. They really had a problem to collect and identify parasites despite going through the whole Transvaal Museum collection of many thousands of reptiles.
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Postby Jantus » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:01 pm

Like Firefly said, all reptiles do have a certain amount of internal parasites.

You get harmful and beneficial internal parasites.

Different parasites have different needs. Parasites which have a simple life cycle require one definite host all of its life. Parasites which have a complex life cycle require different hosts throughout it's lifecycle to reproduce thus spreading from host to host through feces etc.

In captivity an animal, if kept alone or in small colonies will continually re-infect itself because there aren't any or many other animals for the parasite to travel to and the animal won't be able to move away from the site that it defecated thus the parasite load will continue to grow within the one animal as the parasites reproduce and this will eventually cause problems if not treated. I try to keep my enclosures as clean as possible but it’s not possible to always remove feces as soon as they appear.

Wild animals do not experience the same problem as they can move freely and aren't in contact with feces like captive animals are. They defecate and move on.

Worms are also ingested through feeder insects and especially rodents fed to the animal.

Thanks for the warning about Flagyl.

What is the safest yet most effective deworming agent to use with boas and pythons?
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Postby Bushviper » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:19 pm

If you insist on this then go ask your vet what he thinks is the best deworming agent for boas and pythons. I am not gonna continue with this discussion.
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Postby Jantus » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:31 pm

I am not insisting on anything.

I am not planning on deworming the python again before I know that it is the right thing to do.

I am only asking your oppinion as I am sure you and many others have more experience in this matter than me.

If I knew everything about this topic I wouldn't have asked.
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