Fossorial Caecilians and Parasites


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Jan 3, 2021
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I have been considering the acquisition of some Dermophis mexicanus, as they are selling for a very reasonable price from a store in Ontario (CAECILIAN PURPLE | Port Credit Pets | Reptile Central). Since these are no doubt wild-caught animals, they are pretty much guaranteed to have some level of parasite load. In order to prevent possible contamination of other animals in one's collection, I can see that one might have to simply keep them in a permanent quasi-quarantine, such that they will not spread their parasites to other vulnerable species. However, the other route, as far as I can tell is to treat them with a broad spectrum anti-parasitic or a course of several anti-parasitics to rid them of their nascent parasite load.

Has anyone here attempted this? What protocol did you follow and what results did you have? Was there a risk of mortality?

I can't see D. mexicanus remaining forever importable (the same with other caecilians), so eventually captive breeding attempts need to be made for them to remain in the hobby. There might be breeders of fossorial caecilians in Canada but I can imagine they have pretty long waiting lists. I'd think part of the work would incorporate a de-contamination step of the first generation. This would prevent the next generation from acquiring their parent's parasitic load. Thoughts?
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