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Thread: Pinworms - how to get rid of eggs?

  1. #1
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    Default Pinworms - how to get rid of eggs?

    Hi all,

    my chahoua Urmel was found to have a high pinworm load last week. He is being treated with Pyrantel Pamoate (3 treatments every 7 days, then re-check 7 days after the last dose).
    I keep him in a sterile plastic tub with disposable decor for now.

    He normally lives in a bioactive tank, and I have not yet found the time (or the heart) to chuck all the substrate and plants, sterilize everything, and start over. So while Urmel sits in his plastic tub, I was reading a little about pinworms. I mostly found information on human pinworms, but what gave me a glimmer of hope is that pinworm eggs apparently only remain viable for around two weeks. Does anyone know if this is true for reptile pinworm eggs as well? I would be overjoyed if all I had to do was wait for 2-3 weeks to get rid of the pinworms in the tank.

    I hope someone knows...
    1.1.0 Crested Geckos "Jackson Pollock" and "Pumpkin Spice" 1.0.0 Chahoua "Urmel" 1.1 Red eared sliders "Freddy Krueger" (25 years) and "Mucki" (45 years) RIP Peppermint (Green Anole)

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    Hey, long time forum creeper, first time responder -- stumbled upon this post while looking for breeding behavior info, so I'm sorry if you've resolved the issue. I'm a Medical Laboratory Tech and am particularly fond of the microbiology and parasitology aspects of my job. And while very familiar with human nematode infections... I'm afraid that without the proper identification of the species in your chahoua there's no way of knowing how long the eggs are viable // if they are self-fertilized due to a hermaphroditic species, etc.

    Safest thing for Urmel would be, unfortunately, to start over after he is free of parasites and the tank has been disinfected.

    I really hope he's doing well!
    GARGS: ECHO. DELTA. CHARLIE.
    SPOCK the Hypostomus plecostomus

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    Wow, I feel honored being the recipient of your first response!

    Of course I have no idea what species of nematodes I am dealing with, and my vet agrees that I should completely disinfect the tank :-(.
    I guess I am turned off of the bioactive setups for now. I had fecal tests done on my gecko multiple times, and they all came back negative, including one only one month ago. And now I still have a contaminated tank.

    Fortunately, Urmel is doing very well. I took him to the vet for a different reason (I thought his vent was swollen, but it was rather his hemipenes that responded to breeding season). He just kindly pooped while he was being examined. The vet was actually quite surprised he had a high parasite load, given that she thought he looked great. At least I caught it in time, before he actually got sick.


    I decided to get my own microscope and a fecal float kit and do regular fecal exams myself, to keep an eye on my geckos' parasite load. Until a month ago I thought they were all finally pinworm-free. But I wanted to get the equipment for a while. I am a scientist myself, so a part of me actually enjoys the parasitology part of reptile-keeping, even though I normally do not deal with biological samples :-).
    1.1.0 Crested Geckos "Jackson Pollock" and "Pumpkin Spice" 1.0.0 Chahoua "Urmel" 1.1 Red eared sliders "Freddy Krueger" (25 years) and "Mucki" (45 years) RIP Peppermint (Green Anole)

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    If your gecko was fine for a long time, and now has them, it most likely came from a live food source, or unwashed/not-washed-enough veggies/fruits (or someone feeding un-cleaned veggies/fruits to your feeders before you got them, or not being up on sanitation; if you don't buy breeder direct bulk.) Or if you let it run around on the floor or outside, especially on the ground. And yes, the only safe way to go is to totally break the enclosure down and sterilize everything very well. (I use bleach for super duty, and chlorhexdine for regular duty) I've dealt with lots of parasites over the years in many kinds of animals, quarantine and super sterilization sucks, especially on a big set up. (I've had to toss 300 lbs of reptile calci-sand because several of my dragons came down sick, in different cages.) I bought some baby ball pythons in January because they were the morphs I wanted and "on sale", had them tested before I started feeding them. They had 4 different internal parasites between them, and externally mites. My "good deal" turned out to be very expensive. They got clear of those parasites, and then they tested positive for pin worms, which they hadn't before in 3 other tests. I had them in isolation quarantine conditions, the only way they could have gotten them was from the live mice. Thankfully they switched to frozen/thawed, so that won't happen any more. I've finished the third round of treatment on them two weeks ago and now I am waiting for their second poops, to have them tested to see if they are clear. I like to wait for at least the second poop after stopping treatment because sometimes it will knock to parasite load down enough that testing the first poop will be negative, but the second one will show positive because they've had time to grow again. I have one snake that will not eat f/t, so I made inquiries to local (and not so local) feeder breeders, who either didn't respond about my health questions, or gave me a lecture about the safety of feeding frozen (I've had snakes for 20 years, I know about it). I finally went to a reptile store, about an hour away, over a toll bridge, got a proper sized feeder, had it tested for parasites. It came back clear, so that's where I get my one live feeder each month. It's not cheap driving that far, but it is cheaper than vet visits and deparasitizing treatment and stress on my snake (and me. It's not easy slipping a catheter down a squirming upset snake's throat to dose them). The only reason I ended up with a bad source of feeders, was because my normal place, and back-up place, I'd gotten them from for 15 years, one closed down because the owners retired after 40+years, and the other stopped carrying feeder rodents at all. If I could, I'd breed my own, but I don't have the space and my husband won't let me. I bred lots of different rodents when I was a kid so I know how. I've also bred meal worms (super easy), super worms (easy but you need some special equipment), and silkworms (not real easy). I had to stop because I kept getting mite infestations in the first two, no matter what I tried. The silkworms are kinda finicky and it went into late fall and I just couldn't keep them warm enough. It sucks, but better to re-set-up things that you know are safe than risk reinfection. And pin worms that people get, the eggs can survive the winter in a dormant state, like lots of other pests. So I think it might be reasonable that the eggs of the reptile ones (assuming they are significantly different) may be easily infectious for a few weeks, then go dormant, and then become infectious again later when conditions are right again. All power to the bleach.

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