Quarantine, pathogens and parasites in captive reptiles

ArborealsAnonymous

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
122
I am very curious as to what various keepers use as best practice methods for quarantine and colony health. While it is commonly accepted that new caledonian geckos are simply not susceptible to these ailments, the reality is that they exist wether we acknowledge them or not. I regularly see breeders do things such as purchase a new animal and immediately pair them with our existing animals, or quarantine them for only a few weeks (I am personally guilty of this, im not throwing stones here) or sending animals out on breeding loan and expecting that everything will be fine. While things may work out for now, sooner or later these practices will catch up with that. We've seen this with other commonly kept reptiles such as campylobacter, leptospirosis, cryptospirosis, nidovirus in various reptile genus, etc. We also need to be concerned with parasites which can be carried by our feeder insects. What are we doing to get ahead of this before we have major problems in our own community?
 

Joffrey

Chahoua Egg
Messages
3
Unfortunatly I have had my share when it comes to diseases. I quarantine every new animal and allways get there faeces tested. Only when I have had 2 negative results do I consider them as 'clean.'

My qt room is a different room. I adjust all care practices in such a way that the animals in qt are the last in line. I dont touch anything in the qt terrariums unless it is absolutely necessary. If I do have to touch anything, I wash my hand before treating the next qt tank with a desinfectans. They all have there own water spray bottle. The tanks are set up in line with there 'suspiciousness' or according to the severeness of there infection. After treating all my qt tanks, I wash my hand again with a desinfectans (usually dettol).

I buy my live food items at a store that does not have any live animals.

I am probably a bit to extreme in this but I have really had some bad luck. About 50% Of all new animals that I buy seem to carry parasites (!). They are found mainly in my new frogs (3 out of 4 new projects), a bit less often (40-50% of all new projects) in faeces of geckos that live in moist or semi moist climate (like chahoua) and only sporadically in faeces of geckos from drier climates. At least that seems to be my experience.

Now I do believe that animals can live a long and happy life as carrier of some parasites, but they need considerably more food to stay in prime form, they go down hill fast if something happens (extreme stress, old age, eggbound etc) and tend to lay less clutches or calcium crash more easily (again this is my experience, other people might have other experiences).

I also believe that animals can carry parasites unnnoted in very very low quantities. Only after a stress periode do they seem to have detectable levels of parasites in there faeces. It is the reason why I test all new animals twice, the first time not earlier then 10 days after purchase.

Ps: i only treat animals when they are subadult. I have found that young animals don't allways grow the way they should if they have been treated. So sometimes I rear up infected young animals in qt untill they are at least subadults. That gives me the best results.
 

Joffrey

Chahoua Egg
Messages
3
Ps allmost forgot: flaggelae are a part of there normal intestine flora/fauna. They only pose a problem in large quantities. Large quantities also seem to reflect a stress situation ( a second reason why I only test faeces 10 days after purchase and why I test them twice - flaggelae seem to diminish fast after a stress periode). Most of the times flaggelae infections must be treated by finding the stressor as well. Sometimes removing the stressor is even enough to lower the flaggelae-county to a normal number. Examples are overcrowding, movement stress, not beding compatible with there inmates, to much moisture etc.
 

Michael

The Chahoua Chamber
Staff member
Messages
337
Location
Atlanta, GA
I am very curious as to what various keepers use as best practice methods for quarantine and colony health. While it is commonly accepted that new caledonian geckos are simply not susceptible to these ailments, the reality is that they exist wether we acknowledge them or not. I regularly see breeders do things such as purchase a new animal and immediately pair them with our existing animals, or quarantine them for only a few weeks (I am personally guilty of this, im not throwing stones here) or sending animals out on breeding loan and expecting that everything will be fine. While things may work out for now, sooner or later these practices will catch up with that. We've seen this with other commonly kept reptiles such as campylobacter, leptospirosis, cryptospirosis, nidovirus in various reptile genus, etc. We also need to be concerned with parasites which can be carried by our feeder insects. What are we doing to get ahead of this before we have major problems in our own community?
Great topic - sorry it took me a second to reply :)

I think I've had pretty good luck over the years, only getting one chahoua that died within a few weeks of arriving here. As a rule, I don't QT in a separate room but I did move two geckos into another room this year when it seemed like I had a hard time getting them to pick up weight and eat like I thought they should. It made me a bit uneasy and I didn't want to risk the rest of the crew possibly getting something if those geckos were carrying a parasite or infection. I do generally use individual QT tubs or tanks and make sure everyone is eating and pooping like normal over 4-6 weeks :)

This season, I made a lot of new purchases and many of them arrived in mid/late November. Two of those geckos are finicky about food and haven't put on much weight, so I've been hand feeding them and keeping them away from everyone else. I need to get fecals done on both soon. I bring up the point about timing because I wonder if shipping/receiving geckos at that point when most have started to brumate and slow down is a bad idea. I've always had good luck buying new geckos and getting them plugged into my husbandry, but these two are just a little difficult and I wonder if the timing is part of the reason. None the less... still need to get fecals done.
 

Canvas_geckos

Chahoua Hatchling
Messages
57
I QT in a different room as well, all newcomers and injured are in there. QT room are last in line on feeding and care, hands & midway up my arms are washed thoroughly before & after QT group. Hands disinfected between tubs. But this winter this ya been leaving my skin horribly dry. Someone suggested plastic gloves, but that seems like an awful lot of gloves unless the gloves are washed.
 
Top