at Sun Dec 28 10:04:28 2008 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by marcp ]
Sorry about a late response. How is your tortoise doing? I have had tortoises, some for 25 years, and any time I have acquired wild caught tortoises I have dewormed them with Panacur. After a few weeks or more I keep an eye on their stool and if they get the slimy, green diarrhea I would check it with a microscope and it usually contained protists. At that time I would treat with metronidazole orally and do it again 10-14 days later. It almost always cleared up the protist infection. They would usually start eating about 5-6 days after the first treatment. keeping them hydrated was important during the treatment.
I have also purchased captive bred tortoises that came in looking healthy and feeding. For reasons I am not sure of they would develop a protist infection after a month or two even though I kept them quarantined, clean, warm... all the things you need to do. I had some cb leopard tortoises that went from 90grams to 30 grams because of a protist infection. Treating orally with metronidazole worked and they gained back the weight in a month and did not have any problems again.
I suspect that even captive bred tortoises are stressed when shipped or entering a new environment. They must pick up airborne protist cysts and the stress triggers the cycle.
I did have a vet try injectable metronidazole but it did not work. It had to be oral.
I never heard of using the drug you mentioned so I hope the flagyl worked for you.
Also, if you check stool for protists it has to be fresh, almost right from the tortoise to see live protists. Any longer and they seem to die from being "out" of the tortoise. The cysts are difficult to spot so it pays to have a microscope to check fresh stool.
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