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Re: Making people care about mixing

pl259: This thread is a split from a mixing discussion in the General Forum

First, wouldn't such diseases likely be passed to the other members of the viv regardless of species? I.E. Say you have a 40 gallon with 4 of the same species and one has a disease mentioned; all other things being equal (which I know they aren't necessarily) wouldn't the other three have the same chance to get the disease as if they were all different species? (not recommending putting 4 different species in the same viv, BTW)
I don't remember if anyone responded to this or not, so excuse me if it's already been addressed. However, I think you're viewing this from the wrong angle. If you've got 4 frogs of the same species from likely the same source then the diseases they're bringing to the viv to share are going to be the same. For arguments sake, say they each arbitrarily bring 2 diseases with them. The tank still only has 2 diseases since all the diseases they brought are the same.

Bring in 4 different frogs from different sources(including different species, different parents, and possibly different rearing enclosures) and they can each bring different diseases. Say again for argument sake that each frog brings in 2 diseases. Now in the tank with a minimum of two and maximum of 8 unique diseases. That's how I see it. It's a risk not a guarantee of failure, but I personally don't see the point in risking it to begin with.


I was also wondering if anyone had an outside source of the diseases that captive darts or even captive frogs at large carry or a list of health risks associated with mixing darts or amphibians in general. I'm looking around for a journal article or something credible but I can't seem to find anything concrete. Just people saying "hookworm, chytrid, etc" but I'm not finding any source that that's being taken from. I know someone must have something like this, not everybody is just saying what they've read on the board. Thanks guys.
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I don't remember if anyone responded to this or not, so excuse me if it's already been addressed. However, I think you're viewing this from the wrong angle. If you've got 4 frogs of the same species from likely the same source then the diseases they're bringing to the viv to share are going to be the same. For arguments sake, say they each arbitrarily bring 2 diseases with them. The tank still only has 2 diseases since all the diseases they brought are the same.

Bring in 4 different frogs from different sources(including different species, different parents, and possibly different rearing enclosures) and they can each bring different diseases. Say again for argument sake that each frog brings in 2 diseases. Now in the tank with a minimum of two and maximum of 8 unique diseases. That's how I see it. It's a risk not a guarantee of failure, but I personally don't see the point in risking it to begin with.


I was also wondering if anyone had an outside source of the diseases that captive darts or even captive frogs at large carry or a list of health risks associated with mixing darts or amphibians in general. I'm looking around for a journal article or something credible but I can't seem to find anything concrete. Just people saying "hookworm, chytrid, etc" but I'm not finding any source that that's being taken from. I know someone must have something like this, not everybody is just saying what they've read on the board. Thanks guys.
I said all thing being equal. I understand that things won't always be equal and I imagine you could come up with hundreds of possibilities where a mixed tank could potentially introduce more disease. What I'm wondering about is the likelihood of a mixed tank introducing more disease than a single species tank. It is also theoretically possible that all 4 of the frogs in the single species tank have different diseases, and introduce each one to the other frogs, correct? You can say it's less likely to happen than with a mixed species tank, but is it really? Are there any statistics on this matter? Is it really as big a deal as it is being made out to be? (not the diseases themselves, but the possibility of frogs transmitting them to other frogs; or the possibility of mixed species being more likely to carry different diseases which will be spread to the other frogs).
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I was also wondering if anyone had an outside source of the diseases that captive darts or even captive frogs at large carry or a list of health risks associated with mixing darts or amphibians in general. I'm looking around for a journal article or something credible but I can't seem to find anything concrete. Just people saying "hookworm, chytrid, etc" but I'm not finding any source that that's being taken from. I know someone must have something like this, not everybody is just saying what they've read on the board. Thanks guys.
Amphibian Medicine and Captive husbandry, 2001, Krieger Press

JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

http://www.jvdi.org/cgi/reprint/11/2/194.pdf

http://ccwhcit5.usask.ca/atlantic_blog/wp-content/uploads/chytridiomycosis-forzan-et-al.pdf

Helminth biodiversity of Costa Rican Anurans (Amphibia: Anura) - Journal of Natural History

Google scholar can be your friend..... these are only a small sample of the mountain of literature available through the search feature...
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I said all thing being equal. I understand that things won't always be equal and I imagine you could come up with hundreds of possibilities where a mixed tank could potentially introduce more disease. What I'm wondering about is the likelihood of a mixed tank introducing more disease than a single species tank. It is also theoretically possible that all 4 of the frogs in the single species tank have different diseases, and introduce each one to the other frogs, correct? You can say it's less likely to happen than with a mixed species tank, but is it really? Are there any statistics on this matter? Is it really as big a deal as it is being made out to be? (not the diseases themselves, but the possibility of frogs transmitting them to other frogs; or the possibility of mixed species being more likely to carry different diseases which will be spread to the other frogs).
You may want to look up ranavirus and how they can be local and site specific as one example.... or the history of mycoplasma infections in native Gopherus ssp... or even the possible translocations of viral infections into new populations by the release of box turtles...
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

You may want to look up ranavirus and how they can be local and site specific as one example.... or the history of mycoplasma infections in native Gopherus ssp... or even the possible translocations of viral infections into new populations by the release of box turtles...
I understand what you're saying. I'm not saying diseases can't be site specific. I assume none of us are planning on releasing frogs, or live in an area where they could thrive if they escape. I guess some may so I should say I'm going under a couple assumptions.

1. As stated above.
2. Someone keeping a mixed tank plans to cull offspring. They do not plan to sell any frogs. They would just keep the viv until the frogs died.

Now, I'm talking purely about statistical probabilities. Do 4 frogs of different species have a higher probability of one or more carrying a disease than 4 of the same species?

Again, I'm not condoning this at all. FWIW I'm not going to attempt a mixed tank and would certainly not recommend one. I like to play devils advocate not to start flame wars, but to have healthy, informative debate. I'm learning from all this, and I enjoy soaking up this information :) I'm not trying to annoy anyone, but if it comes across that way, I apologize and will stop.
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

Amphibian Medicine and Captive husbandry, 2001, Krieger Press

JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

http://www.jvdi.org/cgi/reprint/11/2/194.pdf

http://ccwhcit5.usask.ca/atlantic_blog/wp-content/uploads/chytridiomycosis-forzan-et-al.pdf

Helminth biodiversity of Costa Rican Anurans (Amphibia: Anura) - Journal of Natural History

Google scholar can be your friend..... these are only a small sample of the mountain of literature available through the search feature...
Thanks. I've already been on google scholar and working through the university database search (which has a lot not available through google scholar) and I'd come up with very little that relates diseases in captive populations and wild populations or that directly implicate mixed-species vivaria as a source of the spread of those diseases. I read the middle two articles about chytrid already but I'll give those other 2 a read through as well. Thanks again.
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I'm not sure what you mean then by "all things equal". I thought my example was pretty fair as far as keeping things equal.
I just meant stress level within the viv and the likelihood that a disease would be transmitted from frog to frog in the viv is the same in both cases (mixed and single species). Is it impossible for 4 frogs of the same species from the same local to each bring in a unique disease?

Basically, my question boils down to this:

Do 4 frogs of different species have a higher probability of one or more carrying one or more unique diseases than 4 of the same species?

Right now I'm basically sleepwalking because I woke up early to work an 11 hour day (though I did get to post here while at work), so I may not be communicating things in a very easy to understand manner at the moment. For that I do apologize. I don't think I can stay up anymore tonight so I'll pick up on this again when I get another chance. I appreciate your response.
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I have no scientific literature to back this up, but my gut tells me anytime you have frogs from different sources (breeders, locations, walks of life, etc) your risk for disease in general gets higher. This risk is usually mitigated by the fact that most of the time our frogs are kept in separate enclosures. Of course, if you order another frog and add them to the viv after quarantine then you have likely increased the risk of disease in the viv. So, your likelihood of disease is highest in a mixed tank due to all the different sources of the frogs seems somewhat logical to me. I can get behind that just because common sense makes it seem reasonable.
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

Yes, definitely a higher probability(unless your getting all 4 from different sources). If your getting one morph from one breeder, they'll all have the same thing if they were kept together. If you start mixing and matching, you'll also be collecting new parasites along w/ new frogs. If any of them were clean in the first place they won't be after a week in a mixed viv if any of the frogs have anything. Coccidia is the one you definately don't want to get as it's incurable.

I understand what you're saying. I'm not saying diseases can't be site specific. I assume none of us are planning on releasing frogs, or live in an area where they could thrive if they escape. I guess some may so I should say I'm going under a couple assumptions.

1. As stated above.
2. Someone keeping a mixed tank plans to cull offspring. They do not plan to sell any frogs. They would just keep the viv until the frogs died.

Now, I'm talking purely about statistical probabilities. Do 4 frogs of different species have a higher probability of one or more carrying a disease than 4 of the same species?

Again, I'm not condoning this at all. FWIW I'm not going to attempt a mixed tank and would certainly not recommend one. I like to play devils advocate not to start flame wars, but to have healthy, informative debate. I'm learning from all this, and I enjoy soaking up this information :) I'm not trying to annoy anyone, but if it comes across that way, I apologize and will stop.
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

Yes, definitely a higher probability(unless your getting all 4 from different sources). If your getting one morph from one breeder, they'll all have the same thing if they were kept together. If you start mixing and matching, you'll also be collecting new parasites along w/ new frogs. If any of them were clean in the first place they won't be after a week in a mixed viv if any of the frogs have anything. Coccidia is the one you definately don't want to get as it's incurable.
Coccidia is also one of the things you can't avoid as there are lots of diffterent strains found globally and can be transmitted to the frogs by insects.. so to avoid coccidia, you would have to start with clean frogs (which means having the gut biopsied to make sure they are clean, as coccidia isn't always shed consistently..it can have long periods without any sign of it), excluding rodents and insects from the rooms, having totally 100% insect proof enclosures, keeping feeder cultures 100% protected from outside insects and rodents, using autoclaved materials (as some coccidias are resistent to everything but live steam or straight ammonia) for decorations and builds....
Attempting to prevent coccidia from being in your collection is considered so difficult by institutions that they simply monitor for it, which is done by routine fecal testing. It can be readily controlled with a fairly simple treatment regimen....
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

Funny, I had coccidia in some tricolors that didn't produce for years and had everything tested around that tank and the rest of my collection and never found any signs outside that one group. Why doesn't everyone have it then? Why didn't it spread here? Are you sure there aren't different strains that spread differently? Also couldn't the coccidia in zoos be spreading from fecal material from other animals like geckos or mammals? Zoos are a bit different than a small collection of darts.

I guess if you call fairly simple a drop on the back every day of their life.

Also Tb mycobacteria as there isn't a test for that unless you draw fluid from an infected spot. Kinda like poking in the dark.

Coccidia is also one of the things you can't avoid as there are lots of diffterent strains found globally and can be transmitted to the frogs by insects.. so to avoid coccidia, you would have to start with clean frogs (which means having the gut biopsied to make sure they are clean, as coccidia isn't always shed consistently..it can have long periods without any sign of it), excluding rodents and insects from the rooms, having totally 100% insect proof enclosures, keeping feeder cultures 100% protected from outside insects and rodents, using autoclaved materials (as some coccidias are resistent to everything but live steam or straight ammonia) for decorations and builds....
Attempting to prevent coccidia from being in your collection is considered so difficult by institutions that they simply monitor for it, which is done by routine fecal testing. It can be readily controlled with a fairly simple treatment regimen....
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I have no scientific literature to back this up, but my gut tells me anytime you have frogs from different sources (breeders, locations, walks of life, etc) your risk for disease in general gets higher. This risk is usually mitigated by the fact that most of the time our frogs are kept in separate enclosures. Of course, if you order another frog and add them to the viv after quarantine then you have likely increased the risk of disease in the viv. So, your likelihood of disease is highest in a mixed tank due to all the different sources of the frogs seems somewhat logical to me. I can get behind that just because common sense makes it seem reasonable.

It actually isn't mitigated that much unless you practice good hygiene between cages.. If you go from cage to another without washing your hands, your frogs may as well be kept together.... You also need to have your cages tight enough to prevent wild insects from being able to enter (if you've had fungus gnats in your tank, it isn't that tight), or insects from being able to escape one cage and enter another....

People routinely put materials in thier enclosures that cannot be sterilized (wood) or get live plants that were from cuttings in other people's frog's tanks, or trasfer cuttings between tanks for plantings.. and so forth.

Compared to all of the other things people do with thier enclosures worrying about parasites from different frogs is only a small tip of the iceberg.....
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

Funny, I had coccidia in some tricolors that didn't produce for years and had everything tested around that tank and the rest of my collection and never found any signs outside that one group. Why doesn't everyone have it then? Why didn't it spread here? Are you sure there aren't different strains that spread differently?

I guess if you call fairly simple a drop on the back every day of their life.

Also Tb mycobacteria as there isn't a test for that unless you draw fluid from an infected spot. Kinda like poking in the dark.
Did you have all of the frogs necropsied and histopath done on them? That is the only way to find it in a frog that isn't shedding... It runs about $250 a frog...

Aaron, I suggest you review the literature on treating coccidia.. it is not a drop on thier back twice a day...

If you review the literature, the Tb that is most commonly found in frogs (M. marinum group) is found everywhere in soils and moist enviroments. You cannot exclude it from the enclosures....
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I just meant stress level within the viv and the likelihood that a disease would be transmitted from frog to frog in the viv is the same in both cases (mixed and single species). Is it impossible for 4 frogs of the same species from the same local to each bring in a unique disease?
People often bring up the stress issue.. we have no indication that the stress of interaction between two different species is any greater than the interaction between two frogs of the same species. There is stress but we can't say it is greater or lesser without proof.


Do 4 frogs of different species have a higher probability of one or more carrying one or more unique diseases than 4 of the same species?
Unique isn't the correct way to look at it.. many pathogens eventually end up in a balance with the host they normally use.. but if they jump to a novel host, there isn't the same balances. We have seen this with a number of pathogens (although some of the examples with iridoviruses are probably the most clear when looking at anurans) in a variety of taxa.
In reality, the risk of a pathogen jumping between species doesn't stop simply because the frogs are housed in seperate cages. If this is really a concern for those keeping frogs then frogs from different localities regardless of species should not even be housed near one another in the same room, as this is considered a major risk for cross contamination.....
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I understand what you're saying. I'm not saying diseases can't be site specific. I assume none of us are planning on releasing frogs, or live in an area where they could thrive if they escape. I guess some may so I should say I'm going under a couple assumptions.

1. As stated above.
2. Someone keeping a mixed tank plans to cull offspring. They do not plan to sell any frogs. They would just keep the viv until the frogs died.

Now, I'm talking purely about statistical probabilities. Do 4 frogs of different species have a higher probability of one or more carrying a disease than 4 of the same species?
Just as a clarification.. you don't have to release the frogs to introduce parasites.. dumping water or materials from the tanks into the enviroment can pass along pathogens.

There have been anecodtal estimates that over 90% of the frogs in captive collections have one or more parasites..

Given that most of the bacteria that cause issues with frogs are always found in thier enviroments and/or part of thier normal gut flora, we can comfortably move that to approaching 100%....
 

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Yep, 3 histopathologies and multiple fecals from multiple vets and it wasn't found again. I think the strain may be of importance on how detrimental it is and how easily it's spread, from my experience. And the tb I imagine would be strain related as i've had galacts w/ it that died and never had problems w/ the rest of my collection. Maybe it needs sickly frogs to infect or something but your references don't match up w/ my experiences.
Also the vets i've talked to say it's a drop on the back every day for coccidia. I wasn't aware of another treatment regime.

Coccidia is also one of the things you can't avoid as there are lots of diffterent strains found globally and can be transmitted to the frogs by insects.. so to avoid coccidia, you would have to start with clean frogs (which means having the gut biopsied to make sure they are clean, as coccidia isn't always shed consistently..it can have long periods without any sign of it), excluding rodents and insects from the rooms, having totally 100% insect proof enclosures, keeping feeder cultures 100% protected from outside insects and rodents, using autoclaved materials (as some coccidias are resistent to everything but live steam or straight ammonia) for decorations and builds....
Attempting to prevent coccidia from being in your collection is considered so difficult by institutions that they simply monitor for it, which is done by routine fecal testing. It can be readily controlled with a fairly simple treatment regimen....
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

I can't get proof, i can only observe and make decisions. From that I've seen worse problems w/ different species inhabiting the same viv. Usually one stresses the other moreso than the same morphs from my observations.

People often bring up the stress issue.. we have no indication that the stress of interaction between two different species is any greater than the interaction between two frogs of the same species. There is stress but we can't say it is greater or lesser without proof.




Unique isn't the correct way to look at it.. many pathogens eventually end up in a balance with the host they normally use.. but if they jump to a novel host, there isn't the same balances. We have seen this with a number of pathogens (although some of the examples with iridoviruses are probably the most clear when looking at anurans) in a variety of taxa.
In reality, the risk of a pathogen jumping between species doesn't stop simply because the frogs are housed in seperate cages. If this is really a concern for those keeping frogs then frogs from different localities regardless of species should not even be housed near one another in the same room, as this is considered a major risk for cross contamination.....
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

Yep, 3 histopathologies and multiple fecals from multiple vets and it wasn't found again. I think the strain may be of importance on how detrimental it is and how easily it's spread, from my experience. And the tb I imagine would be strain related as i've had galacts w/ it that died and never had problems w/ the rest of my collection. Maybe it needs sickly frogs to infect or something but your references don't match up w/ my experiences.
Also the vets i've talked to say it's a drop on the back every day for coccidia. I wasn't aware of another treatment regime.
I suggest getting a copy of JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie and reading it. If I remember correctly it is where they discuss the only viable method of detecting it is post-mortum. Unless the person reading the histopathology is really good at it and the whole intestine has been sent out for histopathology, the infection can be missed on necropsy. If your vets only did a gross necropsy then they could easily miss it.

Look at page 316 first paragraph top left part of the page..

I would have to look up the dosing regimen but the whole regimen is much shorter, the maximal regimen is 21 days... again see page 316... and this also references that coccidia is still present post extensive treatment.
 

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Re: Making people care about mixing

Yes, JSTOR always does that for me.. but I really don't care as the link still works if you choose to click on it...

Ed
 
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