Hello Torty Owners!
Sorry it has been quite some time since we spoke but we have been involved in lots of exciting things here at Wormcount.com and have been so busy worm counting that we have had little time for anything else! We have introduced a new lungworm test for dogs and that has considerably increased our workload as you can imagine! Can’t even remember the last time I tweeted! So much poo………
Anyway, this month I thought I would talk to you about protozoa. We have seen quite a few in the tortoise poo tests that have come through. Amongst the flagellates and ciliates we have seen are: Trichomonadida, Balantidium, Entamoeba and even Nyctotherus (in an imported tort from USA).
Current research has shown that protozoa, in small amounts, cause little pathogenic problems and are a natural part of the animal’s gut flora and fauna, essential for good health. However, in large concentrations they can cause diarrhoea, gut irritation and even urinary infection. If your tortoise suddenly starts producing really loose poo he may be harbouring some uninvited guests. Too much of a good thing is always bad for you!! Of course, loose poo can be caused by a variety of other things including diet and worms! If in doubt and the poo is simply soft, then consider having a faecal worm egg count done. If, on the other hand, the poo is watery or jelly-like in consistency then there may be something a lot more sinister going on and would certainly warrant a trip to the Vet.
The usual treatment for excessive protozoa is Metronidazole (Flagyl) which is available from your Vet. Flagyl is an antibiotic and as such is open to abuse by over-using just as human antibiotics have become so it is a requirement that you visit your Vet to obtain this medicine. There are other, over-the-counter remedies for proto infection, but your Vet will tell you what is needed. If you have a worm count done by Wormcount Dotcom and you have a result which shows a high protozoan infection, take the result along to the Vet who will help you and your tortoise.
Well, I expect that all of you who hibernate your torts will be gearing up for the big sleep. Some torts, I hear, are already snoozing. Please don’t forget to add a worm count to your preparations if you suspect your pet has a few extra ‘friends’ on board, as hibernation is an excellent breeding ground for Ascarids and Oxyurids who will multiply unchecked and can cause a very serious gut blockage. Order your worm count kit now from www.wormcount.com for peace of mind and a quick result which still gives you time to worm if necessary. Buy worm count kits here
Until next time
Bye for now.