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View Poll Results: Do you regularly treat your frogs for parasites?
YES - I treat my frogs on a regular basis as a preventive measure 18 7.96%
NO - I do not treat my frogs at all 100 44.25%
ONLY - if something is found in a fecal I treat as needed 108 47.79%
Voters: 226. You may not vote on this poll

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2008, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

I agree great information, though I have a question.

I thought too much vitamin A was also very risky. What would be your recommended supplementation methods, and products?
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Thanks for the great post.
I think it may help if we throw out the layman's terms for the Strongyloides (hookworms , I assume are ones you refer to), Cryptosporidium (a protozoa , as is Coccidia) and Rhabdius (lungworm). So when people get their fecals back positive for large loads of these three big killers , along with Coccidia, they understand these are the ones you feel can be devastating to the collection.
And some to people if passed along.

Rich

Last edited by Rich Frye; 10-30-2008 at 02:34 AM. Reason: inability to use caps and apostophes
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745 View Post
I agree great information, though I have a question.

I thought too much vitamin A was also very risky. What would be your recommended supplementation methods, and products?
Hi Kyle,

Unless Kevin has some information I don't (which is possible), as long as the ratio of vitamin A to D3 isn't higher than 10:1 (and should be close to it) then you should be in safe territory. Within the last few months I have started including a supplement that contain retinol as the source of vitamin A in my supplements by rotating it in with the herptivite and rep-cal once every ten days. Depending on what I see, I may increase the rotation.

Ed
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Quote:
Depending on what I see, I may increase the rotation.
What, specifically, are you looking for?
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwrightdvm View Post

I assess a collection's overall health, recommend regular fecal parasite examinations (fresh are best, generally observed within a few hours of deposition; if older, I recommend splitting a fecal and looking at some by direct wet mount and some preserved in polyvinyl alcohol and sending to a lab for identification of protozoa/cysts) to assess what is really going on in the collection, and coming up with a targeted preventive medicine program based on the species, the fecal fauna identified, and the morbidity & mortality of the collection.


Kevin Wright, DVM
Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital
744 N Center Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital

So, only doing 1 of the 2 tests on a fecal collected the previous day will not give an accurate result of what is going on with the collection. Since most of us do not have you in our back yard, what kind of information could we share with our local vets to ensure they are checking fresh fecals (EDIT) correctly and interpreting the results correctly?

Thanks for sharing the info, it really sheds some light on some additional facts for getting accurate results in fecal exams.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:48 AM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa68 View Post
So, only doing 1 of the 2 tests on a fecal collected the previous day will not give an accurate result of what is going on with the collection.

This may be a bit of an assumption. And is not what Dr. Wright wrote . If a simple fecal float from one day old poop comes back positive for large loads of hookworms, lungworms, and coccidia, it is safe to say there may be a very good idea of "what is going on" with the sampled frog/frogs.

Rich
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Actually, that is what he wrote, here is the quote again.

Quote:
I assess a collection's overall health, recommend regular fecal parasite examinations (fresh are best, generally observed within a few hours of deposition; if older, I recommend splitting a fecal and looking at some by direct wet mount and some preserved in polyvinyl alcohol and sending to a lab for identification of protozoa/cysts) to assess what is really going on in the collection, and coming up with a targeted preventive medicine program based on the species, the fecal fauna identified, and the morbidity & mortality of the collection.
"His" recommendation & procedures checking the overall health of a collection are stated above. In that, he say that unless you use both methods on fecal tests of older (more than a few hours) fecal material, the 2nd test should be done in addition to the first to "assess" what is going on in the collection and properly medicate.

Yes, a simple 1 day fecal float may return some of what is going on with the collection, but not everything. That is why he suggests doing the 2nd test to get "the rest of the story".
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Melissa,
I'm not going to get into a fight involving semantics with you. I can read, and interpret, even without the bolds, highlights, italicizing, or yelling.
But I do fully agree that we should share this information. My brother would love to offer any testing available. Such as histiopathy by labs. Expensive, yes, but well worth it at times.
And thanks again to Dr. Wright for the recommendations.
Does anyone know what the cost of the additional 2nd test of sending the fecal to a lab for identification of protozoa/cysts will cost the veterinarians? That cost will have to be passed along, and actually in most cases it will have to be doubled due to overhead, consultation, and the like. If Dr. Wright could post that info it would be great. But I have to guess that he may check in here time and again, but not really check this post/the Board as much as many of us. I checked his website for fecal information and could find no information other that "be sure to bring in a fresh sample".
So, Melissa, in order to help the other vets be able to offer this added testing could you maybe contact Dr. Wright, or a lab if you know of one that does this testing, and pass along that cost to us so we can get an idea of what it will cost the froggers to get both of these recommended fecal tests done?
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

The cost in CA to send a fecal to the lab for microscopic exam (what we would charge clients at our hospital) is about 32.00. As Rich said more in depth testing would be expensive sometimes extremely expensive. Just to put it out there, the technician performing a fecal will know if they see a parasite egg. They can look for pictures online or the DVM can post on a DVM website to find out what they are looking at. Just remember though the benifit to sending your fecal to a DVM who has experienced technicians in exotic medicine will know exactly what they are seeing without having to try and research it. Protozoa / cysts in a frog will be much smaller then those in a dog or cat, yet all can have coccidia, hookworms or lungworms. Another benifit of sending your fecal off to a DVM specializing in these is lungworms in dogs and cats are normally only seen in tracheal washes. This is not something that the normal practice looks at. It is sent off to an outside lab after the tracheal wash is performed, or referred to a specialist who will do the entire procedure at their hospital. Yes the fresher the fecal the better. The longer the fecal sets the more chance you are taking of the protozoa / cysts not being present. I believe (and rich correct me if Im wrong) as in dogs and cats if you are going to send the fecal place it in refridge until you send it and send it with ice packs to keep it cool. This will help preserve the life of the protozoa / cysts. Keep in mind most hookworm species look the same under a microscope, just varrying sizes as does coccidia. I am going to be doing fecals on my own frogs (just came in yesterday) as I want to see if I can find anything as well as send them out to Dr. Fry and possibly my outside lab. Just my 2 cents. Sorry if I am repeating anyone.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2008, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

I have no doubt the 2nd test would be more expensive. I was just thought it was very interesting & reiterated the point that a fecal float on 'non fresh' poo might not tell the entire story.

Not everyone will be willing to go the extra mile to have the 2nd test - but for those that do, they will have the peace of mind of knowing the entire story of what is going on with the frog and not taking a roll of the dice.

As Dr. Wright has said in his book (considered the standard of amphibian medicine) & in his post above, sometimes the cost of achieving a parasite free frog is is detrimental to the frog.
Quote:
I started out 20 years ago approaching frog parasites (and dendrobatid frog parasites in particular) with the approach that any parasite was a bad parasite. Lots of work has shown the huge parasite population found in healthy newly captured dendrobatids (and what happens following collection). In the past decade (and even since I wrote the book) I have concluded that failure to find a parasite in a dart frog is simply failure to look hard enough and often enough, and that the cost of achieving this "negative" state was often detrimental to the frogs with poor reproduction, poor body conditions, and outbreaks of random illnesses occuring that I could only attribute to the stress of treating asymptomatic frogs for parasites I perceived to be a problem but that may not have actually been problems in and of themselves. Since that time, papers have come out demonstrating that fenbendazole is not benign and causes immunosuppression and liver changes even at levels lower than have been advocated as benign and appropriate for prophylactic management of nematodes. When I stopped being so aggressive and just monitored fecals for existing levels of parasites and only treating where I saw frogs that were unthrifty and had white blood cells and red blood cells in their feces, along with parasites, I experienced a much more healthy frog population with fewer incidents of random deaths. In fact, I know of dendrobatids with high levels of various nematode parasites, flagellated parasites, and even amoebas, that lived long lives with good bodyweight and successful reproduction and recruitment/survival of offspring.
I also found this part of his post interesting as well. Often, people assume a frog which is not doing well has a parasitic infection & the advice is to send a fecal.... I think the first place to look is husbandry.
Quote:
I know this opinion may not be a popular one but it is one derived from 20 years of experience with captive amphibians including several years managing a large captive collection of amphibians at the Philadelphia Zoo. It is amazing how many "parasite infections" turn out to truly be poor nutrition, poor husbandry, or underlying diseases such as ranavirus, toxicoses, or other problems.
I just find it refreshing & valuable to see a professional, with 20 years of experience post on this board and share his views and experience.

I was actually excited when I saw Dr. Wright's post on this board, and thought....well, maybe enough time has gone by where I can share my thoughts and opinions on this topic without ..... ? Guess I was wrong. I will go back to being a lurker in this area.
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:35 PM
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Melissa,
I'm not sure why you would feel the need to go bye-bye. Nobody is beating you up.

Now, I feel it very important to point out a few things, as I belive once again that Melissa , and a few others, do not really get what my brother and myself have been trying to get across for the last few years. When I use the term "clean" it does not mean parasite free or sterile. This may come as a huge surprise , but I know for a fact that there are some parasites such as some protozoa and some worms that will do no harm to the darts. No good either, as defines by the term parasite, but no harm. I totally agree (why would I not) with everything Dr. Wright had posted. Period. My, and what I assume would be most vets definition of clean would be a clean bill of health. That's it. This may vary a bit from frog to frog and from vet to vet , but I am not looking for a sterile , parasite free animal. I would also point out that as per ASA "three clean fecals " clean is the operative word here again, it is this clean fecal the ASA and many other institutions are looking toward as a goal before animals are taken out of quarantine. Does this mean parasite free or sterile? No.
To achieve this three clean fecal testing by the two method recommendation it is unfortunately out of the financial reach of many froggers out there, including myself at this time. Quick math tells me that if we triple (at the very least for three clean fecals) the "home vet's" test #1 fee at an average of $18 (could be much more, have not seen it much less) and then at least triple the fee that Marshall quoted of $32 per #2 test for protozoa/cysts being sent out to a lab, we come up with a sum of $150 , if all the tests come back with no need for further testing. I have about 40 vivs running right now. 40 times $150, no need to press the = button for me. At this time in our hobby it is sometimes hard to get froggers to send one fecal for that #1 $18 fecal...
Just a few facts on where I stand and the hard monetary issues involved with more than a nice base test.

Rich
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Rich, I think it is time your brother posts for himself. Its fine to post your opinions on the matter but he needs to post his own.

We do value your ideas on the matter but the back and forth with Melissa is a perfect example why this thread as many others will most likely die. No one, including myself has the time or energy to argue minuscule points with you. Make your points, post your thoughts, and move on.

In this case I think Melissa has a point and obviously it would be more costly. My take on the point is that such things can be hard to identify or find so testing twice would make sense based on this information.

My thought on the matter and to be upfront as possible, I am by no means questioning the skill required to be a vet yet simply stating it may make sense for people with larger collections. What about checking yourself, the price of a microscope and supplies would be a upfront cost but save a lot over time. If something is found then use a vet as a confirmation. Over time you could also learn what to look for. Also in this day and age why do we need to send the poo, why not a picture from the microscope. Pay for the research not the transport... Sort of like a car, sure mechanics are fine but its a ton cheaper to do it yourself.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745 View Post
We do value your ideas on the matter but the back and forth with Melissa is a perfect example why this thread as many others will most likely die. No one, including myself has the time or energy to argue minuscule points with you. Make your points, post your thoughts, and move on.
I don't think it is fair to blame Rich for all this. People have different opinions and that is the value and beauty of this board. What works for one may not work for another. You may see arguing, but I see a discussion and I wish there were more discussions like this on Dendroboard so I can read them, learn from them and create my own opinion.

This is an important issue and I thank all who have posted here for their knowledge and intellect. The more we learn and open our minds to new ideas is what leads to an increase in the understanding of the hobby. This thread has been and I hope it continues to be a great read.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2008, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by kyle1745 View Post
Sort of like a car, sure mechanics are fine but its a ton cheaper to do it yourself.
Until they come to my shop after they "fixed" it and now I have to fix even more than was initially needed Just pestering and back to the real topic which I'm finding very interesting.
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2008, 11:19 PM
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Jason, I'll start a thread in the feedback section so we don't take this thread any more off topic.

boogsawaste, I agree and which is why I tried to preface it with its not a substitute.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kyle1745 View Post
Jason, I'll start a thread in the feedback section so we don't take this thread any more off topic.

boogsawaste, I agree and which is why I tried to preface it with its not a substitute.
I'm just messing with you kyle. But it does happen. Back to the topic.
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Old 11-02-2008, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745 View Post
Jason, I'll start a thread in the feedback section so we don't take this thread any more off topic.
Wow.
What exactly are you going to start up? A post on me "making my points, posting my thoughts, and moving on"? You seem to be the only one here that is distracted or agitated , other than Melissa, by my input.
Or are we starting a thread on getting my brother back as a member here so he can post his thought and I don't need to pass along his professional opinions second hand?
If you read my posts Kyle I state a few times that I not only agree with Dr. Wright , but also with Melissa . Correct?
If people do not want to debate topics that are most certainly debateable, don't. Period. Just read what is posted. Or not.
There has been a thread started already about doing your own fecals. If any other vets would like to jump in here and state the relative difficulty or ease of running them and IDing each and every bad, bad, and benign parasite in them, please do so. To be able to take pics of all these critters and get someone to go through them may also be harder than it is worth.
It may just be me, but once again I am feeling a bit singled out here. I'm not one to sit on the pity-pot either...

Now, yes, let's get back on topic.

Rich

Last edited by Rich Frye; 11-02-2008 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 11-02-2008, 02:54 PM
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Looking at the poll results, I wonder why over 41% of the pollsters do not treat their frogs at all? I doubt that 100% of the frogs owned by those who do not treat are 100% healthy and not in need of some kind of treatment. Do they think that medicine is some kind of hoodoo? You will not find a vet out there that recomends not treating at all. Just curious what's behing this thinking.

Rich
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:22 PM
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not trying to get off topic and im only posting this once.. but i agree with kyle its fine to post your opinion but i always ALWAYS read about oh my brother this my brother that. he says do this .. you should have him post.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:26 PM
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Hi Dom,
There is a reason for that. Read post #57.
Time to reinstate my brother's memebership here?

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Old 11-02-2008, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Frye View Post
There has been a thread started already about doing your own fecals. If any other vets would like to jump in here and state the relative difficulty or ease of running them and IDing each and every bad, bad, and benign parasite in them, please do so. To be able to take pics of all these critters and get someone to go through them may also be harder than it is worth.


Rich
Hey Rich, I take care of very large(30,000 gal +) aquariums with trophy fish(bass, striper and such) and the like. One of the responsibilities that I have is being able to take biopsies and such from the fish and check them under a microscope for parasites and such. We do have a very good system that we are able to log into and see pics of different things to help diagnose what we have. We're then required to send pictures and water quality reports to a vet which in turn will verify our findings and give us the required treatment. We keep most of the meds that we will ever need on site so we just get the dosage and start treatment.

There may be a system set up like this for amphibian keepers...if so I'm not aware of it. While it's intimidating to get started doing these kinds of things it is by no means difficult. I currently have been doing my own fecals, but I take findings to a local vet - my sister. A project of getting a database going with pictures and descriptions to help the frogger identify the problems could streamline the entire system and would not really cause much of a strain on the vets either. I can run a fecal, send pics to the vet and have a treatment protocol in less than an hour most times if I have an idea of what it is I'm looking at. You didn't really post an opinion on how you feel about a system like this, but I think if done properly could be a very useful tool for the hobby.
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Old 11-02-2008, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jubjub47 View Post
Hey Rich, I take care of very large(30,000 gal +) aquariums with trophy fish(bass, striper and such) and the like. One of the responsibilities that I have is being able to take biopsies and such from the fish and check them under a microscope for parasites and such. We do have a very good system that we are able to log into and see pics of different things to help diagnose what we have. We're then required to send pictures and water quality reports to a vet which in turn will verify our findings and give us the required treatment. We keep most of the meds that we will ever need on site so we just get the dosage and start treatment.

There may be a system set up like this for amphibian keepers...if so I'm not aware of it. While it's intimidating to get started doing these kinds of things it is by no means difficult. I currently have been doing my own fecals, but I take findings to a local vet - my sister. A project of getting a database going with pictures and descriptions to help the frogger identify the problems could streamline the entire system and would not really cause much of a strain on the vets either. I can run a fecal, send pics to the vet and have a treatment protocol in less than an hour most times if I have an idea of what it is I'm looking at. You didn't really post an opinion on how you feel about a system like this, but I think if done properly could be a very useful tool for the hobby.

Hi Tim,
I also think it would be a great thing if this system actually were out there. It is not at this time. One of the reasons may be the fact that this hobby is in it's relative infancy compared to fish keeping and fish medicine. And as Dr. Wright stated, the dosage and understanding of some drugs has changed in the last few years. A relatively short period of time. In his book that came out this decade he states that Panacur is relatively safe and in his post in this thread he states that this has changed a bit and that relative safeness is not quite as safe as previously written in his book. I'm glad that I no longer prophylactically treat my frogs and that during the relatively short period (and small dosage) that I did there were no adverse side effects of this treatment. I have to assume they would have shown up by now.
I doubt though that there are very many hobbyist who will go to this suggested extent to test. As I stated, it is hard enough to get everyone to send out fecals at the cost of $12. I can't see every, or even many, homes with a microscope and camera utilizing this sort of database in the near or distant future. Unfortunately.

Rich

Last edited by Rich Frye; 11-02-2008 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:16 PM
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I agree Rich. I used to treat very similarly to what you were saying back when I was breeding chameleons and leaf tail geckos. Fortunately I never had any problems that I was able to detect from it. I know that most hobbyist aren't going to purchase a microscope and other supplies to do this. My thoughts were posted towards to keepers of larger collections that would have staggering amounts of money invested into fecals. These are the keepers that would be necessary in any development of these databases and such since they're likely to see a larger variety of parasites and things. While I'm not a member of ASN, I do agree with most of the practices and feel they would probably have a good opportunity to set up such a database. With the way that meds recommendations can change quickly it would always be best to show your findings to a vet trained in amphibians. I see a lot of potential out there for a system like this, but maybe your right and a database like this is just ahead of it's time for this young hobby.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:35 AM
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I've read through the comments that have been passed around since my posting. I am likely going to be only an occasional visitor to dendroboard and will likely remain somewhat challenged with navigating, posting, and the like. (I'd like to spend more time but opening a new hospital got in the way.) So, if what I am posting is more appropriate elsewhere, someone can quote me as a new thread.

If I can recall the various questions people asked.

Vitamin A deficiency

Metamorphs and rapidly-growing juveniles are most commonly affected, but it may occur at any age and should be suspected with low reproductive success (low fertilization rates, low numbers of eggs produced, early deaths of larvae, and failure of larvae to complete metamorphosis), as well as frogs that bloat and in collections where there are outbreaks of infectious disease without a common pathogen being found.

The goal is to provide a supplement with a balance of fat soluble vitamins, A:E. Typically, these vitamins should be present at ratio of 100 iu A:10 iu D:1 iu E. Where vitamin A is <100, there is an increased risk of developing the disease. This often happens with aged or inappropriately stored vitamin products (i.e., high heat or humidity).

On the other hand, excess levels of vitamin A will inhibit the absorption and utilization of vitamins D, E, and K. High dosages of vitamin A may cause corneal ulcers, hyperkeratotic skin, long bone deformities, and other unusual signs develop.

This is an extremely prevalent condition in captive amphibians. Due to its prevalence, any ill amphibian should receive vitamin A supplementation as part of its initial treatment. Some amphibians develop the disease despite being fed items dusted with supplements rich in vitamin A. This is likely due to inappropriate storage of the product with concomitant degradation of the vitamins. However, species-specific needs for vitamin A may be a factor.

Avoid the use of supplements that list beta-carotene as an ingredient unless there is clearly stated a different primary source of vitamin A. I have started to recommend that at least once a week a frog's food is dusted with a supplement rich in vitamin A, even grinding up a human grade vitamin A tablet (again, make sure it is not beta carotene). There are many pet vitamins out there but unfortunately the quality control varies quite a bit among companies and even among different batches you may by from the same company; that's why I often recommend human vitamins. There are some new supplements out on the market for frogs that have high levels of vitamin A but I do not have experience with them.

Cost of Fecals/Worth of Fecals

I do "distance diagnosis" and will be happy to set-up a relationship through my office with someone who wants to do so by contacting my hospital.

That said, I agree that having a local vet who can look at your fecals is best. However, I consult with lots of veterinarians and am often frustrated by their inability to describe what they are seeing or to take a digital pic (easy to do even with a microscope that isn't adapted for cameras) to send to me. Thus I may only be able to say "sounds like a hookworm but if you can't tell me what's inside, it could be something else". As an example, one protozoal cyst looks almost identical to the egg of a fluke, so if the wrong identification is made, a frog may undergo pointless treatment for the fluke! There are many resources to identify parasites but they require some effort to acquire and the willingness to spend money on obscure things that are likely not going to make that veterinarian much money.

As far as cost, the direct fecal exam cost will varies from vet to vet and cost is not always a guide to reliability. A direct fecal is much more than just looking at "the bad guys". It is looking at the presence of other cells (intestinal lining, white blood cells, red blood cells), mucus, overall abundance of "the bad guys" and knowing what is normal for a particular group of amphibians. It takes many years to reach that level of knowledge and, frankly, I believe that what I charge for a direct fecal exam is fair no matter what other vets are charging for running the same test. Vets in Phoenix charge anywhere from $20 to $38 (and might be more, I didn't call some of the known high end clinics).

The client costs for polyvinyl alcohol identification of protozoal cysts may run $35 or more depending on the lab that is used. Often, a vet has to go to a research lab and make friends with a parasitologist to get some of these identified as the commerical lab may only be able to tell you "protozoal cysts". That might be done for free or a donation to the parasitologist's research may be requested. And, unfortunately, sometimes identification just cannot be made on preserved specimens.

What tests you run depends on what your collection's overall health is and what your overall goal is with regard to morbidity/mortality and identifying underlying causes. Someone with 40 tanks must take a herd health approach while someone with 3 or 4 tanks may be more likely to take an individual pet approach. As a veterinarian, I offer what I think is best and then work from there to come up with a plan that is right for a client's particular situation. If you tell me your budget is $200 for 40 tanks, then obviously we have to pick and choose what preventive measures we can take.

Discussing and prescribing medications
I will often discuss medications in general terms in a forum like this. I am uncomfortable offering certain advice due to the regulations governing veterinary medicine in Arizona. I cannot legally prescribe medications for pets unless I have developed a doctor-client relationship. In today's litigious world, lawsuits have flared over someone taking internet forum advice and applying it to their pet and having the pet die (whether or not the advice ahd anything to do with the pet's death). So I am happy to talk about some things but I will rarely, if ever, post a specific dosage for medicine or even a recommendation on a particular brand of a product (notice I did not tell you the vitamin supplement to use). Sorry, but that's what I have to do to cover my butt!

Now I know I forgot something
But it's 1:30 am and I need to get to sleep!
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:37 AM
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I don't know why there is a smiley in my sentence. It should be ratios of A to D to E. Apparently putting in colons triggered the smiley!
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:09 AM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Thanks again for the great information.
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:37 PM
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Thanks Kevin. One thing though. I have used herptavite exclusively for years now and it has no Vit A just beta carotene. I have seen no adverse effects w/ this supplement regime. Most of my pairs breed regularly and produce good froglets from the start at well under a year old. I only feed crickets(gutloaded w/ strictly leafy greens) once a month or less now so springs fed yeast and ff`s and supplement is all they get anymore. I don`t know where they could be getting the vit A from other than converting beta carotene. There was a scare years ago about oversuplementing A by using nekton because of the huge amount of A in this form. It was said this was more for snakes and monitors who ingest the livers of mammals?
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Vitamin A levels may vary quite a bit depending on species, what's going on in the vivarium, etc. Most captive amphibians that have been on a diet that does not have a source of vitamin A that have had liver analysis done are extremely low (often undetectable) levels of vitamin A. There is a risk of oversupplementation but with a once weekly dusting, the risk is extremely low. I listed some of the known signs of toxicosis just for that reason.

My assumption now is to think a vitamin A deficiency is playing a role in any problem unless I am able to conclusively rule out otherwise. It would be interesting to look at the frozen livers of any of the frogs that may die (for any reason) that are on a supplement lacking vitamin A to see what their levels are. Sometimes "good reproduction" will found to be actually "low reproduction" compared to frogs that are normalized with respect to vitamin A levels.

Sadly, it is a vastly underexplored and undocumented field, amphibian nutrition, and I know that there are many factors that affect individual hobbyists' success beyond what is in the bottle!
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Old 11-04-2008, 11:33 PM
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Thanks for the input. I may get some nekton again and try it out.
I hate that there isn`t more of a call for the info on cb frogs. Sooo many questions and so few outlets.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:37 PM
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I have been pondering the vitamin A as retinol issue for awhile now and with respect to dendrobatids, a source of vitamin A may be in the diet of the flies but it will depend in a large part on the components of the media used to rear the flies and the conditions in which the flies were reared... if the media contains sufficient carotenoids that the fruit fly can use as a precursor then the fly will synthesize 11-cis 3-hydroxyretinal from the carotenoid..
However basic potato flake recipes (standard used in labs) contain very little in the way of carotenoids like beta carotene (about 21 mcg of beta carotene and 88 mcg of vitamin A as retinol per cup of rehydrated flakes). This is then subjected to a fermentive culture in which the flies are reared and fed causing the maggots and the flies to compete with the yeast and bacteria for these food items potentially resulting in the published analysis that fruit flies are deficient in retinol.

The levels may also be affected depending on when the flies were removed from the cultures.. so earlier batches of flies may contain greater levels of 11-cis 3-hydroxyretinal than later batches of flies.

So to get to the point, if a media was used that contained a sufficient source of carotenoid the flies would have a higher level of 11-cis 3-hydroxyretinal which when combined with a supplement allows for a sufficient supply of vitamin A to the tadpoles. This could be one of the possible differences seen in the success of some people with obligate egg feeders.

Now this train of thought is not proven but you can see the connections together above...
Some thoughts..

Ed
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

Ed - not to sound chemistry or biology challenged, but what type of additional Vitamin A source are you/do you suggest to use in cultures, quantities, etc...?

Taking this a step further, what do you suggest to use for the dusting (I know some of this info is above) of fruit flies to increase this as well? Frequency?

Be kind - most of us are not working around or have access to lab scales, or reading technical journals that you might - so if you could translate some of your info that would be great. Not that we can't figure out what you are saying - just at the moment I am feeling challenged .

On a side note - Has anyone thought about or used folic acid to dust fruit flies before? As an essential building block necessary for human development I wondered if anyone has ever considered using it or have used it. I have tried it a few times - think I have noticed an improvement in egg/tad development success but have not tried to quantitatively or qualitatively monitor it's use. Usually, I will toss it into my dusting powder when I remember - could be 1-2 times a month or 3-4 times a year. Like I said - I am not sure if I had any positive results that I can back up - just curios what others think or if they have tried this.

Thanks




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
I have been pondering the vitamin A as retinol issue for awhile now and with respect to dendrobatids, a source of vitamin A may be in the diet of the flies but it will depend in a large part on the components of the media used to rear the flies and the conditions in which the flies were reared... if the media contains sufficient carotenoids that the fruit fly can use as a precursor then the fly will synthesize 11-cis 3-hydroxyretinal from the carotenoid..
However basic potato flake recipes (standard used in labs) contain very little in the way of carotenoids like beta carotene (about 21 mcg of beta carotene and 88 mcg of vitamin A as retinol per cup of rehydrated flakes). This is then subjected to a fermentive culture in which the flies are reared and fed causing the maggots and the flies to compete with the yeast and bacteria for these food items potentially resulting in the published analysis that fruit flies are deficient in retinol.

The levels may also be affected depending on when the flies were removed from the cultures.. so earlier batches of flies may contain greater levels of 11-cis 3-hydroxyretinal than later batches of flies.

So to get to the point, if a media was used that contained a sufficient source of carotenoid the flies would have a higher level of 11-cis 3-hydroxyretinal which when combined with a supplement allows for a sufficient supply of vitamin A to the tadpoles. This could be one of the possible differences seen in the success of some people with obligate egg feeders.

Now this train of thought is not proven but you can see the connections together above...
Some thoughts..

Ed
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Regular treatment for parasites?

I wonder if making sweet potato, squash, etc. cultures would help.

Quote:
The orange-colored fruits and vegetables including carrots, apricots, mangoes, squash, and sweet potatoes contain significant amounts of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin.

Green vegetables, especially spinach, kale, and collard greens, also contain beta-carotene, and are the best sources of lutein.
WHFoods: carotenoids
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa68 View Post
Ed - not to sound chemistry or biology challenged, but what type of additional Vitamin A source are you/do you suggest to use in cultures, quantities, etc...?
This to some extent is all guesstimates as I have yet to see an analysis on it.. Personally I add some spirulina to my ff media to bump up the levels of available carotenoids as not only does it contain several different carotenoids but depending on the strain it can have a lot more beta carotene than carrots or sweet potatos.
For those who want to peruse ff nutritional requirements see The Nutritional Requirements of Drosophila Melanogaster -- BEGG and ROBERTSON 26 (4): 380 -- Journal of Experimental Biology

As to amount, given that the flies are in effect living in a uncontrolled bioreactor with all kinds of other organisms.. your guess is as good as mine. For more than a year now I have been adding about a teaspoon per cup of dry media at the time I make up the cultures (otherwise the spirulina is stored in the freezer to dimish oxidation).



Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa68 View Post
On a side note - Has anyone thought about or used folic acid to dust fruit flies before? As an essential building block necessary for human development I wondered if anyone has ever considered using it or have used it. I have tried it a few times - think I have noticed an improvement in egg/tad development success but have not tried to quantitatively or qualitatively monitor it's use. Usually, I will toss it into my dusting powder when I remember - could be 1-2 times a month or 3-4 times a year. Like I said - I am not sure if I had any positive results that I can back up - just curios what others think or if they have tried this.
At least some of the common supplements already contain folic acid as do the ffs and the brewer's yeast used in many of the cultures....
It should be stored in the liver and the occasional (stress occasional here) addition is unlikely to be harmful but real excesses can cause problems including seizures.

Some thoughts,

Ed
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