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#10313 - 10/07/03 12:12 PM FYI: Regarding Regular Fecal Testing

I can't stress enough the importance of regular fecal testing for our gliders every 3 months. It can be done either via a direct fecal smear or a fecal float to rule out parasitic conditions such as giardia and trichamonas. It's a lot less costly having precautionary fecal testing done than having your glider develop one of the aforementioned parasitic conditions which could require a vet stay, possible calcium injection & hydration therapy in addition to the cost of the medication. The reason I bring this up is that one of my mated pair of gliders was diagnosed with trichamonas on 12/18/02 and Flaygl given. However, the female (PenPen) was a stinker about taking her medication and tended to spit at least half of it out almost every time. Anyway, after finishing the 5-day round of Flaygl, I waited 7 days and then took fecal samples in on them for testing. The results were negative for trichamonas. Since that time, I have taken fecal samples of all my gliders in for testing in March 2003, June 2003 but forgot to do so in September of 2003. Then over the last 4-5 days, I noticed the female who'd been treated in December 2002 was getting up earlier and eatting more than usual. I also noted her feces was a lighter brown in color so I began checking on her/her mate each day and noted that her feces was getting lighter and lighter in color each day although it was firm during this time period. PenPen also was maintaining her weight but I just knew in my heart that something wasn't right and suspected trichamonas immediately.

Fortunately a vet visit had already been set up for today for nail-trimming of all gliders & I asked the vet to do fecal testing as well. 5 gliders came back clean. You guessed it. PenPen was positive for trichamonas again. The vet & I believe it is because she did not get all of her Flaygl doses down back in December of 2002 as she was spitting out about half of each dose. PenPen & her mate (although he tested negative) are both on Flagyl as of today for 5 days. They will then be off the Flagyl for 5 days and have a followup round for another 5 days in order to get rid of the trichamonas once and for all. They will then have repeat fecal testing done 7 days after the conclusion of the second round of Flagyl to be sure everything is O.K. I already have a date set in January 2004 for the next general round of fecal testing on all gliders as a precaution.

I guess I'm saying that if I had not been attentive to the fact that PenPen was eatting more (the trichamonas microorganisms attach themselves to the wall of the small intestine and siphen off the nutrients/minerals an animal needs to remain healthy) and if I had not noticed that the color of her feces was getting lighter and lighter each day, her condition could have rapidly deteriorated possibly even resulting in death. Because we caught it early enough before PenPen began exhibiting symptoms such as diarrhea, vomitting and dehydration, PenPen should be O.K. I also feel it's invaluable to have regular bacterial cultures done via cloacal swab to rule out nasty bacterial infections such as enterococcus and listeria. Believe me when I tell you the cost of such regular testing far outweighs the costs associated with vet care for a glider who is diagnosed at a later stage of such diseases and whose immune system is so compromised by the disease that the glider barely has a fighting chance of survival. As Cynthia Whiteshell used to say:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />


<hr /></blockquote><font class="post"> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/muchlove.gif" alt="" />

#10314 - 10/07/03 05:32 PM Re: FYI: Regarding Regular Fecal Testing [Re: ]
KarenE Offline

Registered: 03/25/00
Posts: 41396
Loc: LittleRock, AR USA
[:"blue"]Thank you so much for posting your story.

Like you, I believe that wellness checks are so very important and in some cases can catch an illness before it gets out of hand.

I think that people sometimes hesitate taking their glider/s to the vet for wellness checks, but from my experience it is relatively inexpensive especially when you way the wellness cost against illness costs <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> They can be staggering.

Again, thank your post and I will keep you little one in my prayers. [/]
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#10315 - 10/07/03 09:36 PM Re: FYI: Regarding Regular Fecal Testing [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
One of my gliders a few years back poped up with Geridia. Had to treat the whole glider room twice a day for five days and for three rounds. Total of 50 gliders. Have never had Geridia rear it's ugly head since that one and only time.
Web site:

#10316 - 10/07/03 09:52 PM Re: FYI: Regarding Regular Fecal Testing [Re: ]

I don’t think it is hesitation of brining the gliders to the vet so much as the lack of vets around that deal with furbutts! The ones that do charge extravagant prices due to them being “exotic”. Are they so exotic anymore?

#10317 - 10/08/03 10:54 AM Re: FYI: Regarding Regular Fecal Testing [Re: ]

Judie: When Pip & PenPen were diagnosed with trichamonas in December of 2002, I thoroughly scrubbed their cage every other day and washed their food dishes, water bottles and bedding/blankies each day for 10 days (5 days while on Flagyl & 5 days after conclusion of the Flagyl). Additionally, I thoroughly wash my hands if I've been to one cage & before I go to the next cage and even change my clothing if I plan on handling the gliders in another cage so cross-contamination doesn't seem to be an issue. My vet & I believe that while the Flagyl killed the majority of trichamonas organisms, there were perhaps a couple of the trich organisms in the inactive stage (cyst stage) which may not have shown up when subsequent fecals were done but were present in her system because PenPen was spitting out about half of the daily doses of Flagyl .

At the end of July, I visited my daughter for 9 days and took all gliders with me in their big comfy travel cages but none of the cages were next to each other. However, I know for a fact that PenPen stresses easily so the vet & I tend to think that maybe the stress of a different environment caused a multiplication of the trich organisms slowly until I noticed the light-colored stool and increased eatting over the last 5 days. In fact, according to my vet and per my own research, I know for a fact that the giardia/trichamonas organisms can be present in an animal's system for a prolonged period of time (at least 3 months) without the animal showing symptoms of the condition if the animal is on a good diet and has a good immune system generally. This is why regular fecal testing every 3 months is so important.

I started PenPen and Pip (even though his fecal test was negative, he is PenPen's cagemate) on the Flagyl. I crushed one 250-mg Flagyl tablet and then added 20 ml of papaya juice (instead of apple juice) to the crushed tablet to make the oral Flagyl suspension this time & PenPen doesn't seem to be spitting the medication out as much as she did when I used the apple juice. She's a sweet little girl but really hates her medicine. Hopefully with getting 2 rounds of the medication this time, the trich will be resolved once and for all. Needless to say, I have already scrubbed their cage and washed their sleeping pouch/blankies, toys, etc. with a disinfectant solution. In fact, the toys will be kept out for now to reduce the amount of time it takes to wash/disinfect everything regularly while they're on the Flagyl. I sometimes think the disinfecting of the cage & its accessories, etc. is the worst part of the whole scenario.

Crazy 4 Gliders: While I have regular WELLNESS CHECKS done at least twice/year, my vet never forces me to pay for an office visit/exam on the gliders if I'm just bringing them in for a nail trim or am bringing fecal samples for testing. Nail trims run $10.25 and direct fecal smears run $12.25 per glider. The charge for an office visit/exam is $41.50 so I'm glad I don't have a vet who refuses to trim nails or do fecals without demanding to see the glider for an office visit/exam otherwise I'd have to work two full-time jobs instead of one full-time and one part-time job. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />


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