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Thread: PARASITES! help!

  1. #1

    Unhappy PARASITES! help!

    I can't believe I didn't catch these sooner! I was changing my frogs water bowl and found an earthworm had gotten stuck in it, and the surface of the water was FILLED with dust sized white mites/parasites of some kind! They're scattered through the soil, not nematodes, more like drastically scaled down fleas or springtails, none of them where larger than a comma, they have bug like, narrow, even, bodies and kind of glide along the surface of the water, I don't know if they came from the earthworms or my frog already had them and they're population exploded due to stress, but I suspect them came in with the soil. I didn't see any on my frog (checked around the eyes/mouth/and vent as best I could but she's very small and untouchable.), I've got some worms from the same bin in water to see if they were carrying the parasites.
    More concerning I found about three worms of some kind, short worms, they're definitely a different species, found in no particular area of the tank, there aren't many of them, about a centimeter long maybe? They are white with segmented bodies, dark heads, and a slight darkness at their rump, you can see the vein in their back, too small to get an image.

    I would send these in for testing+ make a vet trip (though maybe too stressful anyway) but #1 my frog hasn't pooped and #2 pay was just cut, and extra went into a small trip recently, there's absolutely nothing left and I'm on my own treating this, my dad has suggested I mix a drop of pure Neem oil into a water bottle to spray the tank while my frog is in a new bin nearby, would this be safe enough? It is supposed to degrade quickly and be the safest option for pest treatment I know, I'd just take the tank out to bleach but it has a background with live plants and may not even contain the mite/things. If they're mites will ladybugs eat them?

    I will disinfect the entire tank tomorrow and use a sterile bin for the next month at least, I'm also giving her a long warm bath. I don't know how to control this IF they really are parasites and are in my frog..

    I moved my frog into a small observation container with nothing but paper towel, a little water, and a quickly made hide. The poor girl has been on a hunger strike and I've been leaving her alone except when necessary (offering food at night, cleaning tank, changing water, and once replacing her hide with something more secure) she's just not settling down and every action stresses her out. I'm thinking I may need to be force fed but the extreme stress of that could just make thing even worse, especially if she's been infected. She NEEDS to eat, and soon, still plump enough and active, but it's been a week and even before that her appetite was spotty.


    For identification I can't get a picture, but maybe someone on here has dealt with similar to what I'm describing, or at least know a general treatment for parasites just in case, I won't know if they live inside the animals until tomorrow, but I have a high powered microscope if there is something to look for..

    I haven't slept all night so I've got to go, sorry for the ramble, just trying to get some information down before I leave.. I can't find any similar images either, so if you have a good resource for identifications, please tell me! I'm so scared.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    OKAY worm like thing MIGHT be fruit fly/drain fly/gnat larva... it is kinda larva like.. I do have gnats

  4. #3

    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    Update: Good news and really really bad news! They're not parasites!
    After soaking the 'infected' worms over night, no new mites appeared, on closer inspection I think are just something common from outside that was left unchecked in the terrarium. The worm is definitely from gnats or drain flies.

    BAD NEWS
    My frogs plumpness was from water! She's lost weight and is extremely stressed,I stupidly tried to force feed, it seemed time, at least while having a panic attack.. but she wouldn't open her mouth (I did this by gently but firmly holding her and rubbing the prey lightly by her mouth, she is too small to use a card.) I had no idea they could absorb that much water, had thought she'd eat more recently but found the worm shrunk under the heat, brown, hidden, as well as a couple other bugs I'd searched for but not found..
    I'm leaving her alone for a day or too to recover from the stress. Not even trying to feed, just leave her in the dark and warm for while. Her room is also a quite one luckily.
    I'll pick up a few crickets soon, can't afford to run out and get them now, petco wants like $7 a bag, but I'll get them in a day or two from a local shop, these are what she was fed in the store so I think they may stimulate her apatite.

    I'm replacing her substrate with paper towel while I try to get her health up, lots of dark caves and a rock she can climb onto to dry off.
    I'm not treating the tank with anything, I think just a good clean and removing the soil will take care of the infestation.

  5. #4
    100+ Post Member elly's Avatar
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    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    It's hard when a frog won't eat. All I can suggest is trying gently to put something between her "lips" so she opens her mouth, but you said she's too small for a card? I have a fairly small tree frog that I use only the corner of a card for. Is she showing any interest in prey at all?
    Leaving her alone when possible seems like a good option.
    Do you use distilled water? That could be a source of bloating, though really it could be anything.

    I'd suggest ReptaBoost for a frog that's lost a lot of weight although there's a cost factor and also it involves getting a frog to open its mouth.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    Thanks for replying! I don't really have anyone to hold her for me so I can slip the card in and bug at the right time, but she's smaller than my thumb, I'm scared to rip the skin of her lip trying to wedge the card in. Are they very delicate or tend to keep their mouths open for a moment when pried?
    She did show interest earlier in the week in a dubia, no running after anything but really she tried to get it and sadly got dirt instead. Otherwise she doesn't respond unless something bumps into her and she withdraws her eyes. However she's always watching me back when I check on her so I can't say if she hunts while I'm gone. She spent about three or four days fully burrowed a couple days ago, but she had strength to snap at my finger when I accidentally bumped her nose checking the soil and then hop around her tank angrily until she found a new burrow. She's up today, after being moved the other night. Hopefully she'll stay up tonight so she can see the new food.

    I use tap water treated with Tetrafuana aqua safe for reptiles and frogs.

    Heading to the store for crickets right now, I will check if they have reptaboost, if I can I will get it. Otherwise I'll wait on that and try feeding dusted bugs unless it gets worse by payday.

  8. #6

    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    Got crickets, they were out of mediums and I had to get the small, but I got enough to grow in the next week or two to a better size and I think some of them are large enough to catch her attention. They did have ReptaBoost available but I'll wait and see if she'll take the crickets first before getting it.


    Do babies like higher temps than adults? (thermostat varies by a few degrees over the day but it's averages about 80-83)

  9. #7
    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    My pacman Truffle soaks up a lot of water, too, and she rarely uses her water bowl unless she's shedding. I think it's a trait held by many terrestrial amphibians who don't always have access to water in their natural environment. Whenever I disturb her for cleaning or soaking, she always pees it out and it's pretty crazy how much it fluffs them up. I don't think it's anything to be alarmed about unless they are unable to release the water (edema). Just a method of survival, to my knowledge.

    How are you feeding her? Do you just throw the food in and let her go at it, or have you tried tong feeding? I'm sure you've told me in the past, but I can't remember. I only ask because she seems pretty alert and her chasing the dubia is telling me she wants to eat, but may be getting dispirited by her inability to catch it.

    I'm pretty sure babies like the same temperatures as adults.

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  11. #8

    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    SHE ATE!!!
    Not only did she eat but whipped around to watch the cricket as the first one fell into the tank, looking at it crickets and possibly mealworms are all they fed her in the store, maybe she didn't recognize some of the other bugs as food and may have been discouraged by the texture of the dubias, she's got a bad aim and took a mouth of cocofiber too, but she spat it back out quickly, the rest of her tank is clear of the stuff for now but she's not ready to explore it yet. These crickets are definitely a little small for her but she caught at least two last night and she spun around to follow a new one just now, got a little little dirt again..but she spat it out. :/ Kept count of how many are in there too see how she did when it's time to change the water dish.
    I can't believe this was such a stupid problem! gah. Not out of the woods yet of course, but it's a start.
    -
    I've just been throwing the bugs in, around wherever she happens to be, and picking the leftover's out later as well as I could without disturbing Gorf. I tried tong feeding but my tongs were maybe a little short and with my hand in the tank she didn't show any interest so I use those for spot cleaning now. I would like to get some better tongs soon and try again, are the metal ones for lizards safe on her jaws? They do sell those nearby but none of the softer wood ones or rubber.

    I knew they absorbed a little but wow! That's quite the effect, maybe it was more dramatic because she'd usually soak in her bowl daily and this time she'd spent several days in the substrate, she puffed up a little again being in a wet tub for a few hours while I was cleaning out the old one, I can see the difference in weight a little better now, vs when she was fat & puffed up with water.

    She does seem to gets a little discouraged by her ability to hunt sometimes, although she'll keep trying for quite a while, once she dug a new burrow chasing a bug into the dirt..even though there were several others right next to her..

  12. #9
    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    That's good! It sounds like Gorf is just having some trouble getting her food or recognizing it, as you said. I think the metal ones are okay for reptiles who will simply eat off the tongs, but since frogs always lunge, I don't think they're safe for them. I use bamboo tongs for Truffle and my WTFs and I haven't had any issues. Truffle will even wrestle with them while chomping down on a worm sometimes.

  13. #10

    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    There are no bamboo tongs nearby, I'll have to order them soon.

    She pooped!
    I think she's had at least three or four small crickets, last night she got a little stressed and tried to hop up the wall when I went in to change her water, so no eating, but she seemed to calm down after not too long.

    But now she's had algae water because my city didn't tell anyone the water was infected for a week and that water has been sitting around in a tub potentially growing while I gave it to my animals!!!

  14. #11
    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    Oh no. I hope your animals are okay. It's very irresponsible that no one in charge notified people sooner, that can be a health risk to the immuno-compromised.

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  16. #12

    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bynny Ribbit View Post
    Oh no. I hope your animals are okay. It's very irresponsible that no one in charge notified people sooner, that can be a health risk to the immuno-compromised.
    Thanks <3 I think they will be, I pushed it a little with their water supply last night but no one dried out before we could get bottled water. Hopeful not much had grown in the jar over the week.

    And yeah, it absolutely was, the water can effect pregnant women too, hopefully people get out of this okay! I think they're changing water sources.

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    100+ Post Member elly's Avatar
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    Default Re: PARASITES! help!

    Oh, I didn't know it was so small or I wouldn't have suggested the card. Glad she ate! And I hope she stays okay. Probably, she will

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