Coccidia Chronicles

bbyoda

Avid Member
Hey folks,

Got some bad news at the vet today. My Yoda has coccidia. I read a lot about other people's experiences which has been helpful and wanted to share mine as another data point.

My vet, Dr. Bruce at Animal Veterinary Hospital of Orlando, seemed optimistic about the medicine taking care of everything. Today Yoda got .02ccs of Ponazuril and he'll get another dose in 48 hours.

He's .18 lbs and otherwise in great health - good grip, active, alert, no signs of mbd, some initial signs of thermal burns which I'll treat with Silvadene topically and troubleshoot with his basking light to prevent future issues.

The vet visit and meds cost me $114, which I found to be reasonable.

Dr. Bruce said to come back with another fecal sample in a month to retest.

He encouraged me to clean out his enclosure with a bleach solution (or F10, which I don't have on hand). I threw everything in his current enclosure away and now his enclosure just has bare bones branches and fake plants (that weren't in use before).

I had a bioactive enclosure but it had some water and drainage issues that I wasn't able to fix so throwing everything out today wasn't too disappointing since it was going to happen anyway. And the whole point of me taking him to the vet was to catch any parasites so I wouldn't transfer those to his big boy bioactive cage anyway so it's great I did this and caught it! Honestly seeing so many people here recommend them encouraged me to prioritize it.

I have paper towels on the bottom and will be cup feeding. Thinking about cup feeding with different cups each day to minimize potential reinfection but not sure if I have the right disposable cups to make that work.

Dr. Bruce suggested not feeding crickets anymore since they tend to carry parasites so I'm going to try and switch him over to roaches. Crickets are Yoda's favorite but he eats a lot in general so I think I can make that transition. Plus I agree with many of you that crickets are gross.

Finally, Dr. Bruce said it's unlikely that anything I did or any feeders actually gave Yoda coccidia. It's more likely it came with Yoda from his breeder. Which was FLchams. I know a few other folks have mentioned their chams from FLchams had coccidia as well. Can't prove anything, and I don't harbor any resentment or ill will toward the breeder, but that is what the vet thought. Knowing what I know now I would buy from another breeder.

I'll keep you all posted on how things go. For now, I'm going to keep him in his bare bones enclosure until I get a clear fecal test. It's a shame since he's unhappy in his baby enclosure, but I don't want to transfer the coccidia to the new bioactive dragonstrand I have set up.

Happy to hear any thoughts, advice, or suggestions y'all might have. Thanks!

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there sorry to hear of this. Yoda is strong and healthy so it looks good for him. Tossing everything that he had contact with that is porous is a very good idea. I used 40 volume liquid peroxide to clean the non porous things like the cage.(not to be used when the cham is in or near it) Take it outside. Wear gloves and eye protection. Everything else I was tossing. As far as cup feeding your good. Just don't leave the cup and then clean it really well with dawn soap and hot water. It transfers from the fecal matter so that is what you have to be on top of spot cleaning out of the cage. Paper towels on the bottom will make this easier.
 

bbyoda

Avid Member
Hi there sorry to hear of this. Yoda is strong and healthy so it looks good for him. Tossing everything that he had contact with that is porous is a very good idea. I used 40 volume liquid peroxide to clean the non porous things like the cage.(not to be used when the cham is in or near it) Take it outside. Wear gloves and eye protection. Everything else I was tossing. As far as cup feeding your good. Just don't leave the cup and then clean it really well with dawn soap and hot water. It transfers from the fecal matter so that is what you have to be on top of spot cleaning out of the cage. Paper towels on the bottom will make this easier.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply @Beman. I appreciate it. I plan on being diligent with the spot cleaning and can clean out the cup every day as well. It is a small price to pay to get him clean and free of parasites. I'm feeling chill about it because the vet set a positive tone and he's healthy otherwise, and I've had gnarly parasite experiences with some foster feral cats with roundworm and giardia that transferred to my other cats via litter box, ugh. So much medicine, so much litter scooping. It remains to be seen if this coccidia experience tops those!

The worst part of all this is that Yoda already has such a strong negative reaction to me. Having to give him meds and handle him to give him treatment worries me that he'll never trust me or want to willingly walk out of the cage towards me. The vet said not to worry so much about that and it might help him get socialized a bit and realize I'm not doing to eat him. Yoda liked the vet and vet tech more than me. 🙄 Maybe he doesn't like women, lol.

Either way, I must focus on the parasite issue first. Then we can rebuild trust with treats hopefully!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the thoughtful reply @Beman. I appreciate it. I plan on being diligent with the spot cleaning and can clean out the cup every day as well. It is a small price to pay to get him clean and free of parasites. I'm feeling chill about it because the vet set a positive tone and he's healthy otherwise, and I've had gnarly parasite experiences with some foster feral cats with roundworm and giardia that transferred to my other cats via litter box, ugh. So much medicine, so much litter scooping. It remains to be seen if this coccidia experience tops those!

The worst part of all this is that Yoda already has such a strong negative reaction to me. Having to give him meds and handle him to give him treatment worries me that he'll never trust me or want to willingly walk out of the cage towards me. The vet said not to worry so much about that and it might help him get socialized a bit and realize I'm not doing to eat him. Yoda liked the vet and vet tech more than me. 🙄 Maybe he doesn't like women, lol.

Either way, I must focus on the parasite issue first. Then we can rebuild trust with treats hopefully!
I injected the feeders and immediately fed. It was easier to do with hornworms. But then I felt bad for making the hornworm suffer lol. So with Beman when I was treating for pinworms I got him to take a feeder and then put the medicine in his mouth while he was chewing. aiming for the back of the mouth. That was much easier then forcing it in.

It is a lot to deal with. But you will be good. I wish this was not your experience. It is very unfortunate to me. I do not believe any baby should be sold without having fecals done. But that is my opinion.

Anyways if you have any questions or need help. Or just need someone that understands to talk to then feel free to message me. ❤
 

bbyoda

Avid Member
I injected the feeders and immediately fed. It was easier to do with hornworms. But then I felt bad for making the hornworm suffer lol. So with Beman when I was treating for pinworms I got him to take a feeder and then put the medicine in his mouth while he was chewing. aiming for the back of the mouth. That was much easier then forcing it in.

It is a lot to deal with. But you will be good. I wish this was not your experience. It is very unfortunate to me. I do not believe any baby should be sold without having fecals done. But that is my opinion.

Anyways if you have any questions or need help. Or just need someone that understands to talk to then feel free to message me. ❤
I read about you injecting hornworms!!! I wouldn't be able to do that at all. I couldn't kill the hornworms outside on my papaya plant. I just picked it off and hoped a bird would come eat it.

The good news about Yoda not liking being handled is he hisses and gapes a lot. Makes giving meds easy - although me doing it tomorrow is different than watching the vet do it!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I read about you injecting hornworms!!! I wouldn't be able to do that at all. I couldn't kill the hornworms outside on my papaya plant. I just picked it off and hoped a bird would come eat it.

The good news about Yoda not liking being handled is he hisses and gapes a lot. Makes giving meds easy - although me doing it tomorrow is different than watching the vet do it!
Yeah if you have a love for all living things then injecting is not for you. I cried when I did it. Kinda the worst thing ever lol. Your gonna do great. Just aim for the back of the throat to avoid the airway in the front.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey folks,

Got some bad news at the vet today. My Yoda has coccidia. I read a lot about other people's experiences which has been helpful and wanted to share mine as another data point.

My vet, Dr. Bruce at Animal Veterinary Hospital of Orlando, seemed optimistic about the medicine taking care of everything. Today Yoda got .02ccs of Ponazuril and he'll get another dose in 48 hours.

He's .18 lbs and otherwise in great health - good grip, active, alert, no signs of mbd, some initial signs of thermal burns which I'll treat with Silvadene topically and troubleshoot with his basking light to prevent future issues.

The vet visit and meds cost me $114, which I found to be reasonable.

Dr. Bruce said to come back with another fecal sample in a month to retest.

He encouraged me to clean out his enclosure with a bleach solution (or F10, which I don't have on hand). I threw everything in his current enclosure away and now his enclosure just has bare bones branches and fake plants (that weren't in use before).

I had a bioactive enclosure but it had some water and drainage issues that I wasn't able to fix so throwing everything out today wasn't too disappointing since it was going to happen anyway. And the whole point of me taking him to the vet was to catch any parasites so I wouldn't transfer those to his big boy bioactive cage anyway so it's great I did this and caught it! Honestly seeing so many people here recommend them encouraged me to prioritize it.

I have paper towels on the bottom and will be cup feeding. Thinking about cup feeding with different cups each day to minimize potential reinfection but not sure if I have the right disposable cups to make that work.

Dr. Bruce suggested not feeding crickets anymore since they tend to carry parasites so I'm going to try and switch him over to roaches. Crickets are Yoda's favorite but he eats a lot in general so I think I can make that transition. Plus I agree with many of you that crickets are gross.

Finally, Dr. Bruce said it's unlikely that anything I did or any feeders actually gave Yoda coccidia. It's more likely it came with Yoda from his breeder. Which was FLchams. I know a few other folks have mentioned their chams from FLchams had coccidia as well. Can't prove anything, and I don't harbor any resentment or ill will toward the breeder, but that is what the vet thought. Knowing what I know now I would buy from another breeder.

I'll keep you all posted on how things go. For now, I'm going to keep him in his bare bones enclosure until I get a clear fecal test. It's a shame since he's unhappy in his baby enclosure, but I don't want to transfer the coccidia to the new bioactive dragonstrand I have set up.

Happy to hear any thoughts, advice, or suggestions y'all might have. Thanks!

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Just read through this, I’m starting to wonder if FL Chams has a coccidia problem. 3 weeks after receiving mine from them I found out he had coccidia. My Cham is from the Spike line. It was a pain to hold him and give the meds but it’s been about a year and he is fine. We rebuilt trust. As far as cleaning, I used the same methods as Beman.
 

bbyoda

Avid Member
Just read through this, I’m starting to wonder if FL Chams has a coccidia problem. 3 weeks after receiving mine from them I found out he had coccidia. My Cham is from the Spike line. It was a pain to hold him and give the meds but it’s been about a year and he is fine. We rebuilt trust. As far as cleaning, I used the same methods as Beman.
Yoda is from the Spike line too! So he's a half brother to your cham. 🤗 That's a shame about the coccidia but great to hear about rebuilding trust. Today I gave Yoda his second dose and I was hoping he'd be riled up and hiss at me to make things easy, but he was pretty chill and I had to massage / press gently on the sides of his mouth to make him gape. It wasn't as bad as I thought!

My boy came from FL chams and also had medium-high counts of coccidia.

He was from the Driskel line.
Sorry to hear this. I think I saw you mention that in another post. I wonder if it's worth reaching out to encourage FLchams to test and resolve so others don't go through what we did.
 

bbyoda

Avid Member
Hi everyone - I could use some advice. It's still a few weeks to go before we get the all clear on parasites, but Yoda's pretty unhappy with his enclosure, and I noticed that he nibbled on the fake vine I have in there. I've been keeping a close eye on that since I know Veileds are prone to eating vegetation, but I've never seen him eat plants before now. Would it be safe to put a new pothos or plant in there for now, since he's finished his medicine, so long as I keep diligent with cleaning out his poops? He's pooping daily and usually in the same spot, so I think it could work, but plants are porous and harder to keep clean, so I'm worried about reinfection. His eyes are looking a little sunken in these photos. I think that's because he was scared of me, since his urates are a nice white color and they look fine now. Open to any other thoughts or feedback on ways to keep his halfway home safe and as comfortable as possible, given the situation.

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi everyone - I could use some advice. It's still a few weeks to go before we get the all clear on parasites, but Yoda's pretty unhappy with his enclosure, and I noticed that he nibbled on the fake vine I have in there. I've been keeping a close eye on that since I know Veileds are prone to eating vegetation, but I've never seen him eat plants before now. Would it be safe to put a new pothos or plant in there for now, since he's finished his medicine, so long as I keep diligent with cleaning out his poops? He's pooping daily and usually in the same spot, so I think it could work, but plants are porous and harder to keep clean, so I'm worried about reinfection. His eyes are looking a little sunken in these photos. I think that's because he was scared of me, since his urates are a nice white color and they look fine now. Open to any other thoughts or feedback on ways to keep his halfway home safe and as comfortable as possible, given the situation.

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I would pull the fake vines... Typically they recommend a bare cage until you get a clean fecal. The way the meds work in the system is that he will start passing the parasite in the fecals. This is why we strip the cage. The issue of putting the plants back in right now is that he is a Veiled and will eat plants. So the chance of reinfection is higher with them. The fact that he is actually biting into the fake ones puts him at high risk for an impaction. So those need to go asap.

I know this is particularly awful watching them struggle not having what they want and need but right now it is so important to be as cautious as possible.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
when I have a cage that I know I will have to ditch the plants etc. after isolation, I put pothos vines in a water bottle secured to the sides of the cage. I have a mother pothos that I use for this but you can just buy a new one.with long vines. I can put 3-4 strands of cut pothos vine in the water and it will grow roots and live quite a while. They can't drink the water because the vines block the mouth of the bottle and I just toss it all out at the end of quarantine and replace it with a potted plant.
 

bbyoda

Avid Member
Quick update here - I added in a fresh pothos vine. I don't have any plastic bottles but was able to use a mason jar to the same effect. (My boo and I have holes drilled in some of our mason jar lids to use for smoothies - it's awesome.) The pothos is in a corner farthest away from the basking area, where Yoda typically poops, so I'm hoping the risk for reinfection is low. Yoda is much happier with one area of foliage to hide in.

Staying diligent with the paper towels and cleanings is definitely tough. One recent night I missed the window between misting and lights off and came in to change the paper towels after he was asleep and found him asleep on the floor on the wet paper towels. Needless to say, that was an emotional low point for me. I want to express my gratitude for @Beman, since I reached out to her in that moment of sadness and she was super encouraging and supportive. After that night, I got the pothos set up.

Just a few more weeks til the next fecal.

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