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Leachie with giardia

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  • Leachie with giardia

    I got a GT captive-bred leachie from a zookeeper friend back in July and he was in good health (I trust that my friend took good care of him, and he seemed perfectly fine). He's about four years old and 210-ish grams. Well, my housemate took her African fat-tail gecko to the vet yesterday and they diagnosed him with coccidia, which they told us probably came from supplies she might have borrowed from my bearded dragon. Just to be safe, I sent a fecal sample from my leachie to the vet today and - to my surprise - no coccidia, but giardia. I have no clue at all as to how he could have gotten it. My housemate and I have so many reptiles and we mist their cages so frequently that our spray bottle always has fresh water. The water that I provide for him in his dish is always fresh water, as is the water that I mix with his Repashy.

    I really don't see how it could have come from the tap water that I give him. Could it be because he might have pooped in his water at one point and then drank from it? (Though that still doesn't solve the issue as to how the giardia got in there in the first place.) I'm going over so many scenarios in my head, and I just can't pinpoint how giardia could have infected him. I never let him, nor my other reptiles, explore outside. If I do take any of them out, I always hold them.

    Extra info: He is housed alone in a 30-gallon vertical tank with some wood pieces (one of which I got from outside, but I baked it when I got it - perhaps I didn't bake it enough...?), a plastic plant, and sphagnum moss as substrate. Kept in my living room at room temperature; no additional heating/lighting. I mist him about 3 times daily. The room that he's in is shared with 7 other reptiles: Bearded dragon, red-eyed crocodile skinks (2), cresties (2), African fat-tail gecko, and corn snake. All are housed separately.

    I'm taking him to the vet on Thursday (I wish it could be sooner, but my class schedule doesn't allow for it). Hopefully they can help me figure out how he got giardia, but until then - any ideas? And is there any special care I should give him before Thursday (besides cleaning his tank religiously)? Thanks.

    (By the way, I just realized that I should have put this under the "Health" forum; so sorry about that! A moderator can move this thread.)
    Last edited by Transylvania; 02-26-2013, 01:40 AM.

  • #2
    Giardia spores can come from the tap water. Check your local water report, it's usually rare, but there in minimal amount. Start misting and filling water bowls with RO water or distilled water, and you shouldn't have this problem again.

    Downside, getting rid of it is a PAIN. Bleach everything, everyday. A completely sterile environment, plus medications are pretty much the only way to keep him from reinfecting himself.

    I haven't had to deal with it yet, but it's a constant worry for my chinchillas, and can quickly kill them.


    • #3
      I took him to the vet. She thinks that he might have gotten it from his previous owner and could very well have had giardia this whole time I've had him. Sounds like a longshot, but he's being medicated now. I bleached his cage and baked his cage decor (I'll repeat this process every time he poops). I also took away his moss and replaced it with paper towels. Thanks for the tip, I'll use distilled from now on.


      • #4
        You're welcome. Good luck with him!