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#394406 - 10/08/07 12:34 AM Piper and Trichomonads? Again?

Well, I've been watching Piper closely for about the past week or maybe a little more because I was starting to get that niggling feeling that something wasn't right, but there was nothing concrete.

For those that don't know/remember, my gliders have had some nasty bouts with diarrhea and intestinal parasites in the past. But it's been about almost a year since the last time.

So you know when there's just that slight hint that gives you the feeling that something's up, but it's not anything you can really tell a vet? I mean, she was coming out and playing at night, but it seemed like she was in her pouch more often than usual when I checked on them. On the other hand, maybe I just happened to be looking in when she happened to be taking a nap. A couple of times there was some poo smeared in their wheel, but maybe she just happened to step in it while it was fresh and she was running in the wheel. I wasn't sure it was diarrhea, and there were plenty of completely normal poos around.

I checked her frequently for dehydration. I even weighed her and she's still the right weight (74 grams. She and Peeps both have always been petite.).

Well, finally this morning (Sunday, of course) there was a definite gooey bit of diarrhea on the bottom of the cage. I started to take her to an e-vet I knew of but had not yet used, and they said they don't treat gliders. I could have sworn someone had told me they did and I even thought I'd called and talked to one of their vet techs about them a couple of years ago, but okay. If she had been dehydrated, I probably would have bullied them into seeing her and at least subQing her, but she's not that bad.

Oh, and this morning I took the sample of diarrhea and put it under the microscope I bought "for my daughter" last Christmas. I could see some organisms in it, but I don't know enough about doing fecals to know if they were actually trichomonads or just bacteria or something normal in the poo. I suspect they were trichs, though. I've looked at their poo a couple of times before when they weren't sick and I don't think I saw these organisms in it.

Tonight, Piper doesn't want to come out of the pouch, but she is still eating when I offer her food from my finger. She only took a couple of licks from the water bottle I offered her though. I switched her to my version of the "BRAT" diet a couple of days ago, before I was even really sure she was having diarrhea. I think that made a big difference in her recovery last time. It's basically just rice, applesauce, oatmeal and maple syrup. Obviously not a complete diet, but very bland and easy on the gut.

I'm trying not to panic. We've been through this before. Hopefully tomorrow I can get a vet to do a fecal, confirm it's trichs and get us some metronidazole for both of them. Then a BIG hopefully it will clear it right up and everything will be fine again. I just hope I don't ruin all their pouches and toys when I start bleaching and boiling them again. ohwell

I guess I'm not really asking a question. I'm just making this post to keep you guys informed, request some prayers, and get a little moral support.


#394413 - 10/08/07 12:37 AM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: ]
USMom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 7356
Loc: Austin, TX
I am right here with you and am off tomorrow if you need help. ((((HUGS)))) Please let us know how it goes.
Who are you networked with? Networking could save your gliders life. Create one now.

#394423 - 10/08/07 12:42 AM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: USMom]
Kitkatt1216 Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 1763
Loc: Connecticut
Hoping and praying for a speedy recovery for Piper this time! I remember when you were struggling with this last time, because you helped me out when Kieko became sick at the same time with info. on what had helped you, it was actually the first post I made here. That BRAT diet was wonderful, so it's good you have her on it again. Let us know how you make out at the vet tomorrow.
Owned by Murphy and Peanut

**RIP My loves Amunet, MiaKoda, and Kieko**

#394442 - 10/08/07 01:01 AM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: Kitkatt1216]

Thank both of you for the replies and prayers.

Shawna, PM sent. I just may need that help! I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to get her to the vet.

#394446 - 10/08/07 01:08 AM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: ]
Xfilefan Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 8899
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Aw, Sundra, hope she gets better fast! Don't know if this will help any-I'll try and find some better ones, but here's an image search result for trichomonads...

Edit: here's a second one with pics from fecals (Iguana)-the organism should be the same tho:

Edited by Xfilefan (10/08/07 01:10 AM)
Jen/Colin :bb: Commander Riker 12 16 02-10 04 12 you will be FOREVER missed :wfb: Sinbad, :wfb: Gabby, :grey: Baby, and :grey: Alley

#394451 - 10/08/07 01:21 AM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: Xfilefan]
Xfilefan Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 8899
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Trying to get you some more pics (I'd say to mostly ignore context):

Here's some info on how it's passed/contracted in birds:

Here is also some possibly concerning new research that says almost a third of these infections may not respond to Flagyl:

And here's one on trich in cats:

And this looks like a decent vet one on trich and giardia:
Jen/Colin :bb: Commander Riker 12 16 02-10 04 12 you will be FOREVER missed :wfb: Sinbad, :wfb: Gabby, :grey: Baby, and :grey: Alley

#394515 - 10/08/07 07:14 AM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: Xfilefan]

Thanks, Jen.
This one: Trichs looks the most like what I saw. The rest were mostly higher mag than I used. I have an oil immersion lens, but I didn't use it, so I was using the 40X objective with either 10X or 12 X oculars. Not sure which.

#394516 - 10/08/07 07:37 AM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: ]
Xfilefan Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 8899
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Let us know how the vet visit goes. hug2 Poor girl. frown
Jen/Colin :bb: Commander Riker 12 16 02-10 04 12 you will be FOREVER missed :wfb: Sinbad, :wfb: Gabby, :grey: Baby, and :grey: Alley

#394549 - 10/08/07 09:31 AM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: Xfilefan]
kthiessen Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 06/04/06
Posts: 4526
Loc: Columbia, Missouri
hug2 Praying for a speedy recovery.
~ Kathy ~

#395406 - 10/09/07 02:19 PM Re: Piper and Trichomonads? Again? [Re: kthiessen]

I've kinda got two threads going on this. The other one is here where I was asking about vets.

The other thread details how the vet visit went, so if you're interested, you can read it there. For this one, I just wanted to tell what I found out about what I saw in the microscope. Apparently, doing fecals is not as difficult as I thought. I described to the vet what I saw and how big it was on the magnification I was using and the way they moved and she said pretty much what I saw was at least flagellates. As to whether they were trichomonads or giardia, it's hard to say, but I guess it doesn't really matter all that much because either one is treated with Flagyl/metronidazole.

I always figured there were thousands of possible organisms I might see on a fecal smear and I'd have to know all kinds of microbiology to be able to tell if it was something pathological or something normal. But apparently that's not really the case. She said basically the things that you might see moving in a fecal smear are either bacteria or protozoa. Protozoa would most likely be flagellates or amoebas. I remember learning about paramecia too, but she didn't mention them so I don't know if you'd see them in a fecal or not.

If what she said is true, then having a microscope will make it much easier to know whether they've got parasites or not, because I'll be able to check multiple samples without having to pay $40 each. I won't have to wonder when a negative result comes back on a fecal if it was just one clean sample and they really do have them or if it was clean because parasites really weren't the issue. I really think, at least with my gliders that we can't get completely rid of the trichs and occasionally they'll flare up, maybe in response to stress or maybe just for no reason, but I'm glad to have a way of checking myself.


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