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#5160 - 07/27/02 01:28 PM TRICHOMONAS FOLLOWUP

...regarding trichomonas. Washing/de-skinning those fruits/veggies is just not enough to guarantee ridding them of possible trichomonas and/or giardia. I would ask you consider freezing all fruits/veggies & not give them to your gliders until they are frozen completely through. The reason is that freezing causes the cells of these organisms to expand/explode so that they are destroyed & cannot wreak any intestinal havoc. If you live in a rural area, please consider buying bottled water or getting a filtration system that will filter out these nasty organisms. Lastly, I know many gliders like to stalk their prey/eat their crickets/mealies live. However, my vet has indicated that if any of the food/water resources used to raise these insects is contaminated, gliders run the risk of developing trichomonas/giardia by eatting these insects live so you may want to consider freezing them thoroughly as well before feeding to your gliders. With mealies, I have found it takes up to 3-4 days of being in the freezer to guarantee they are indeed dead.

On the health side, I would ask that all GC members monitor their gliders closely regarding weight, hydration, quality/color of their feces and their eatting habits as my vet advised that a glider can have trichomonas or giardia for quite some time without showing real evidence of it. This is due to the fact that their immune system will try to fight it off in the initial stages. S/S (signs & symptoms) noted as trichomonas and giardia worsen include:

1) weight loss.
2) vomitting.
3) diarrhea/possible other changes in the feces
including a change in color (feces tends to
become almost a golden color), mucus in the
feces, undigested food passing out with the
4) dehydration & subsequent lethargy.
5) refusal to eat (even favorite things).

If any of the above S/S are noted, please get a fecal sample & take to your vet to have a "direct fecal smear" done to rule out tirhcomonas and/or giardia. Your glider's life could depend on it.

I am posting this warning due to the fact that as I think back, the first thing I noticed with BooBear was a change in the color of his feces about a week ago. However, he was eatting a lot of fruits that were yellow or golden in color & I mistakenly attributed the color change to this. By the time he began to exhibit other of the S/S noted above, his health was so compromised, he sadly no longer had a real fighting chance of beating the trichomonas.

The other reason I am posting this warning is because BooBear was housed with his brother, Pip and both had daily visitation with their parents to keep the family bond going. This has put this parents & brother at risk for contracting the Trichomonas as well. I, therefore, started weighing these gliders yesterday, checking on how well they were eatting/drinking and monitoring their feces. As of this morning, Bear seemed O.K. but his mate Helen had lost 1 gram of weight although her feces was looked fine & she was eatting well. It was another matter when it came to Pip this morning. He had weighed 144 grams yesterday morning. This morning Pip weighed 142 grams and his feces was a golden color and much moister than yesterday although his appetite during the night was normal. Needless to say, I got fecal samples from all three gliders & showed up unannouced at the vet's this A.M. requesting direct fecal smears. Bear & Helen's results were O.K. but Pip's was positive for trichomonas although the number of organisms were not as extensive as they had been in BooBear's case. Pip has already received his first dose of Flagyl for today. In addition, I requested a 1-liter bag of lactated ringers and two 3-cc syringes with 25-gauge needles to have on hand should any of Pip's symptoms worsen over the weekend. If they do & Pip starts to dehydrate, I will be able to provide necessary hydrating injections for him. I thank God right now that I am a nurse & will be able to keep him hydrated if neccesary until the Flagyl takes over & kills off those nasty trichomonas organisms.

I guess, in summary, the most important thing you can do for your glider is to be ever vigilant about their food/water, any kind of change noted in their eatting, weight, hydration and fecal habits. Any kind of change could indicate a health issue warranting a vet visit. Better to err on the side of caution than live with the regret of not having been cautious enough. If only I had questioned the change in color of BooBear's feces that week & gotten him to the vet for a fecal smear, the trichomonas would have been diagnosed, treatment started earlier & my BooBear might very well still be here with me. I will never forgive myself for not questioning the change in the color of his feces. It most likely shortened what should have been a long, happy & loving life for my little boy.

<small>[ 07-28-2002, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: Glideroo ]</small>

#5161 - 07/29/02 12:49 PM Re: TRICHOMONAS FOLLOWUP [Re: ]

UPDATE: Pip continues to maintain his weight, is eatting/drinking fine, is very active (have more scratches today from weighing/giving him his medication), shows no dehydration & best of all, his feces is becoming a darker brown again. His parents (Helen & Bear) also continue to eat/drink well, are active and continue to have normal-looking feces. I have begun weighing Tia & Piper, monitoring their eatting/drinking habits/activity levels/feces and all looks well with them at this time. However, I will be taking samples of all 5 gliders to Dr. T. on Thursday to check for any possible signs of Trichomonas. Pip finishes his 5 days of Flagyl on Wednesday & I'm crossing my fingers that his fecal test will come out negative this time.

I know it can be confusing as to what the difference is between a fecal float & a direct smear, so I have attached a link which explains how they work & what the Pros/Cons of each is:

Fecal Tests

<small>[ 07-29-2002, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Glideroo ]</small>

#5162 - 07/30/02 04:15 PM Re: TRICHOMONAS FOLLOWUP [Re: ]

Update: all gliders are maintaining their weight, are well-hydrated & continue to eat/drink without problems & have normal-colored feces except for Pip. He had one lighter-colored BM this morning but the other BMs were a more normal color so I'm hoping the Flagyl is continuing to kill off those nasty trichomonas organisms. From what I have learned, trichomonas organisms can be just as difficult to get rid of as the giardia organisms. However, a lot depends on how much control the organisms have gained in the cells lining the small intestine. Hopefully we caught it in time with PIP so that one round of Flagyl will be enough.

The bad news is that the daily weighing and Flagyl dosing BID (twice/day) have caused a setback in Pip's trust of me. Last night it took over an hour to get him to climb on my arm. He kept scurrying away from me. Then for the first time ever this morning, he crabbed at me when I took his pouch out of the cage. He knew what was coming so I had to give him yogurt licky treats a few times before he settled down. It makes me feel terrible that Pip is beginning to be distrustful of me because of the medication treatments. He absolutely hates getting the flagyl even though the pills have been crushed and made into a suspension using apple juice. I guess we are going to have to spend a lot of special bonding/play/licky treat sessions together so I can get his trust back to where it was previously. Maybe I should try to contact the PET PSYCHIC so she can explain to PIP that I'm not trying to torture but help him. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />

#5163 - 08/01/02 03:06 PM Re: TRICHOMONAS FOLLOWUP [Re: ]

Took fecal samples to the vet on Bear, Helen & Pip for followup direct fecal smears & just got a call from the vet with the results. The original fecal smear on Pip Sat. (7/26) showed lots and lots of trichomonas organisms. Today's followup fecal smear showed none. <img border="0" alt="clap" title="" src="graemlins/yelclap.gif" />

Bear showed no signs of trichomonas while Helen showed only one trichomonas organism in her fecal smear. After the research I've done, I already knew that most animals can show signs of a few trichomonas organisms which does not mean that treatment is automatically warranted. Since Helen has no symptoms & only had one trichomonas organism found, the vet & I agreed that I'll continue to monitor her & the other gliders for possible trichomonas symptoms over the next week and then have repeat fecal smears done again next Thursday. The vet also checked for other parasitic organisms & found none. <img border="0" alt="jump" title="" src="graemlins/multi.gif" /> Hopefully, all gliders will have negative results next week & I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.


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