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Old 24th January 2005   #1
paris
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this is a FYI thread, i will post some new photos and update them as improvements happen. i have some very thin newts i want to show before and after photos on-but since im not asking for help-i didnt feel they should be posted in the help section. photos and details will follow in additional posts.

first though-i had an incident the other day-i didnt see it coming -and i certainly didnt see the surprise at the end coming. i have only 2 juvie C ensicauda popei from last years batch living (my 2 year old died from eating a bad batch of worms-no joke there!) one is very robust and the other is very very thin. both were large when they morphed and late developers-the one very robust one i put in with the parents and offered them all live black worms in their temporary container (a plastic shoe box.) since i wanted to offer them all full access i put the small amount of water in that i normally use but omitted the paper towel on the bottom-so worms wouldnt hide in it. when i returned from school i saw that the parents had pooped up a storm in there-so i went to change the water. to my disappointment the juvie was having spasms and hadnt crawled out of the mess onto the patch of java moss i had in there. essentially she was poisoned by the fouled water. i put her aside in another container after flushing her throughly with clean water several times and giving her a double dose of batryl. this was a desperate move since newts at this stage before usually are on deaths door-but since the onset of the condition was so fast i had hoped that i might be able to 'flush' her system out. her skin had some of her leached toxins on her back as well as some chunks of skin-both bad signs. when i went to bed that night she was not breathing normally but would occasionally gulp for air and would move a bit if prodded or the box was jostled. her head was off the substrate-and this was a good sign. when i woke up the next day ,however, she wouldnt move(not even the tail, which will twitch in all but the worst cases) she had all 4 legs stiff and back, no signs of breathing, wouldnt move at all and looked dead-i was very disappointed and rolled her over to look at her from below-i saw a heart beat in her main vein in the chest and knew she wasnt fully dead-but so far i have never had a newt recover from this level. since she had the heartbeat i didnt dare toss her out, i just rinsed her off and put her back in her box and gave her a normal dose of anitbiotic-not giving up hope.(despite all my previous cases like this ending up in dead newts).
the next day i woke up to see she had moved, had her head off the substrate and was breathing normally-this was quite a surprise! she is still on sick watch and getting meds but she is alert and active and it looks as if she will be fine. i think the only reason this was possible was because of the quick onset of the condition and the initial double dose of meds to offset the bacteria attack. i have never had anything like this happen before.

photos of her and some others will be posted tonight.



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Old 26th January 2005   #2
paris
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ok here are some ill newt photos-i have had people ask 'what is thin'? so i took these to illustrate it plus also to use them to show before and after photos. first here is a male Cynops ensicauda popei. he was thin when i got him and didnt seem to put on weight in the month since. you can see there is no doubt this animal is way underweight-the ribs, shoulder blades and hip can easily be seen -not to mention the bones in the tail. the hospital set ups are all like this-white damp paper towel in a plastic shoe box.
Click the image to open in full size.
i had been offering him worm chunks-he took notice of the food but didnt persue them to eat-so i had to force feed him. i had him in the same hospital set up with the female below-so i didnt notice that he didnt keep the worm chunks down-it wasnt till after i separated them that i saw he threw up the worm chunks-i thought it was perhaps since the food was active so i fed him a piece of krill (again i had to force feed him)-i noticed less than a half hour later that he regurgitated that too-now i was worried since he didnt keep down dead food. i decided what to offer him that would be easiest on his system-blood, from blood worms. i decided to try the worms first-so i loaded up a small amount in a syringe that had the needle removed. i was able to get this into his mouth and inject it in the back of his throat-he was able to keep this down-and at the time of the photo above he has had 3 feedings in 6 days. both him and the female had ulcers on their bellies-the male still has 2-one is shown here
Click the image to open in full size.
although i had been giving him medication to help heal up the ulcer-since he wasnt eating he really wasnt getting better. the female did get better and was moved in with the others despite still being underweight.(more about her later) one good sign that the thin male was getting better was when i saw him shedding-and eating his own skin. the ulcer pictured used to have a ruddy hue to it-showing a layer below-so this is actually better than it was-since he has been able to keep food down he has been healing.-i will post more descriptions below.



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Old 26th January 2005   #3
paris
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ok here is the story on the female-by a brief glimpse of her in a photo -one might not know she is both ill and underweight. this species is very robust-but its not just the weight that indicates illness, take a good look at her skin...
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
i will post a healthy one for comparison below on another post-but by looking at her one might think she has ok weight-sometimes hip bones can be seen on animals with good weight-so it then becomes a case of 'how much can they show?', but with her you can also see shoulder blades, pronounced spine and the big giveaway for bad health is the smoothness of her skin. this species is a dry-ish bumpy skin variety-it helps to know the species because some will naturally show ribs and some will have smoother skin. but comparing her to this male-you can tell the difference
Click the image to open in full size.
this guy had skin like hers when i got him but has since put on enough weight and improved in health (feeding on his own). he still is a little thin-but he never got the ulcers and is a robust eater. the female is eating very well-but is still struggling to get better-her ulcer is all but gone (a faint shadow) and she is at the point now that i will allow her as much as she wants to eat-she gets worm chunks. (in the lower photo she is actually inspecting my hand for food-she took a nip at me)



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Old 26th January 2005   #4
paris
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here is a photo of a healthy good weight female C e.p.
Click the image to open in full size.
here is a comparison photo-both of these juvies are the same age, they morphed within days of each other! one fed well on its own-the other is very shy and well-you can see.....
Click the image to open in full size.
their mother is the female pictured in this post. i finally got the thin one to the point of taking a blood worm or two from me at the end of a tooth pick-but it takes alot of coaxing. she does chase black worms that move about her container-but usually misses them or looses interest-but i am hopeful she will recover now that i can get her to feed. the juvie with her is the one that went comatose the other day-as mentioned in the first post here. i will post photos occasionally to show improvement-its not impossible to get them back to health-it just takes effort and a little luck.

here is another photo of their mom-just cause shes so cute!
Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 26th January 2005   #5
Tim Johnson
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Paris, I have one popei that became just as skinny as the one in your first pic, probably due to having a high internal parasite load. I have solved the problem by removing it from the main tank and transferring it to my "parasite" tank, which includes three other popei and one pyrrhogaster with the same problem -- namely, they remained skinny even when eating as much as the other newts in their previous tank. Somebody (Mike G?) once recommended I deal with my parasite problem by just feeding them more, and I have done just that. They receive much more food and the problem as been solved, though they are quick to lose weight if I don't feed them "extra" (bigger volume, more regularly). If you haven't tried this already, I would suggest you try feeding that really skinny one, in the water, the highest quality, vitamin-fortified bloodworm you have available. I've seen newts turn their noses at the cheaper stuff and then readily eat more expensive line of Hikari-brand bloodworm. Good luck Click the image to open in full size.

(Message edited by TJ on January 26, 2005)



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Old 26th January 2005   #6
wyatt
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tim. i have turtles which is not like newts, but it said pumpkin and carrot are a natural dewormer. maybe if you mixed it up with some other food, you could deworm them.



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Old 26th January 2005   #7
Tim Johnson
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Hi Wyatt. Thanks for the tip. Interesting info.

I do have a liquid dewormer from my herp vet that would be easy enough to use, but I just haven't since the newts are doing just fine with the extra food they're getting, and I don't want to take any chances. I also have the burger-type dewormer for use with discus fish, but haven't tried it either.



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Old 26th January 2005   #8
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Tim - Do you fatten them up and then give them dewormer or do you just keep giving them more hoping the immuno system will decrease the infestation when the animal is healthier?



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Old 26th January 2005   #9
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Jesper -- I'm just fattening them up pending a decision on whether or not to use the dewormer. I was surprised how well they became with the extra feeding. Wild-caught newts naturally carry parasites, right? I'm have no clue as to what it is that determines the parasite load in an individual animal. The immuno system has something to do with it? I'd like to learn more about this before resorting to the dewormer.



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Old 26th January 2005   #10
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Hi Tim,
Ed and I had a little discussion on parasites the other day. I think the conclusion was that the immuno system can decrease the parasitic load but never eradicate it by itself. So I suppose fattening them up would decrease the parasitic load in the long term but not make it disappear - thus it might spread to your other animals even though the infected animals might seem alright and go back to eating less.

I think that, in nature, most animals have parasites but the infections don't become serious until the animal is weakened. I guess it is a matter of opinion if you should keep parasite-free or parasite-carrying animals really.

I don't know why we don't deworm sals and newts regularly like we do with cats and dogs.....



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Old 26th January 2005   #11
Tim Johnson
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Interesting.

What I have to use is Panacur (fenbendazole) but I've been told one has to be very, very careful in dosing.



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Old 26th January 2005   #12
leah
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Has anyone ever tried Pipzine or Discomed to deworm other than fish? I think it's made by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, and I've been wondering for a while now if it could also be used to deworm amphibians?



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Old 26th January 2005   #13
paris
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i only use flagyl-with veterinary supervision-since each animal has to be dosed according to body weight-but with my guys i am not sure if they are thin as a result of parasites-i have had others in the past get thin due to over aggressive eaters for tanks mates-essentially due to being meek. i was going to take micro biology this semester-but i am thinking of it in the fall-w/o being able to do a fecal and KNOW what im looking for-i cannot conclude that they have parasites, but now that they are at a lower weight and weaker system they will be easier canidates for parasites.



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Old 26th January 2005   #14
edward
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snip "Ed and I had a little discussion on parasites the other day. I think the conclusion was that the immuno system can decrease the parasitic load but never eradicate it by itself. So I suppose fattening them up would decrease the parasitic load in the long term but not make it disappear - thus it might spread to your other animals even though the infected animals might seem alright and go back to eating less."

Hmm, this is not really what I was trying to say. The immune system probably will not decrease the parasite load over time. If the parasite dies then it is possible for the immune system to prevent reinfection but this does not always work as the parasites are well adapted to evading the immune system (an important point to remember is that the immune system is temperature controlled in amphibians and decreases rapidly in its ability to deal with infections at lower temperatures.
One of the main reason parasite loads are usually not horrific in animals in the wild is that the offspring of the parasite gets diluted out in the enviroment and only a small number ever get a chance to infect a host. This is not the case in captive situations. The volume we keep the animals in is small enough that any dilution effects are negligible. So even if the immune system was able to prevent reinfection of 999 out of a thousand (made up numbers), the infection rate would still be way above wild animals. Immune systems (in any animal) do not prevent 100% of infections even by items that have caused an immune response in the past.


snip "I think that, in nature, most animals have parasites but the infections don't become serious until the animal is weakened. I guess it is a matter of opinion if you should keep parasite-free or parasite-carrying animals really."

See my comments above.
In general, my personal opinion is that the animals that are losing weight or having problems gaining weight should at the very least be monitored and animals that are showing problems be treated to deal with the problem. Treatment may need to be held off until the animal is stable and has put on weight but animals that chronically lose weight should always be checked out and treated.

Ed



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Old 27th January 2005   #15
jesper
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Interesting point Ed - parasites in a closed system(from the parasite's perspective at least).

Ok - so conclusion is always treat an infected animal in a closed system(sounds like a good idea ).

The main issue would be how efficient the immuno system of a newt is to track down and kill adult parasites...Would the infestation reach a non-threatening steady state in a closed system or will it go rampant?

So why don't you zoo guys just treat all animals regularly? Or is the therapeutic window so narrow that it is a high-risc project??



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Old 27th January 2005   #16
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Just some additional info:
mebendazol(Vermox - Sweden) and fenbendazol(Panacur) is imidazolderivates that specifically affects nematodes by disturbing their glucose-absorption(i.e. they starve to death).
Very low amount of side-effects in general(humans) - not sure how newts respond though(Ed?).



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Old 27th January 2005   #17
edward
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There is some indication that the ..dazoles are not as nontoxic as was once was thought. There are some studies looking into the issues.
In general, most of the parasites that can reinfect the host continue to escalate in the numbers of larva that can be detected in the fecals in closed systems (at least in my experience). Parasites that require more than one host stage, tend to remain in a steady state unless we are providing secondary host allowing them to complete development (the establishment of invertebrate cultures in the enclosures).
We only treat the animals if necessary (at work we only treat the animals that are positive for a parasite load).

Ed



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Old 29th January 2005   #18
william
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Glad they put on some weight Pairs.



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Old 2nd March 2005   #19
dani
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this last week i saw a newt thinner than the thin one you have pictured here. sooooo sad. i had stopped into a pet store that is next to my bank, just to see what they had in stock for live foods. was checking out their paddletails and some frogs they had, when this little fella caught my eye. c.orientalis, very very tiny [just over two inches] and as i said, thinner than the newt pictured. it was in a tank with some small water frogs and a betta. i was appalled to say the least! never has this pet store had anything this unhealthy, as far as i have seen. anyway, i pointed out the sickly creature to a staff member i am acquainted with, and she was more upset about it than i was. apparently, there was no knowledge of any firebellies in the store and the belief is that this guy somehow got into the filter when they were last in stock, and has just reemerged. she quickly removed him to a small portable tank and took it upon herself to hand-feed him. having read enough of pet store newt ignorance, i gave her a few tidbits of info [ie, temp, careful refeeding, etc]. i was tempted to offer to take him home and care for him myself, but i just dont have the space.



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