Parasites

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Credit: Petr Necas

Parasite myth unleashed...

There is repeatedly a myth presented by chameleon breeders I would like to address...

Myth: Feeding native US (or European) field plankton (bugs) is risky because they are full of parasites and they can infest my chameleons

Response: NO RISK.
Chameleon parasites are extremely specific and in most of cases they have complex live cycles need also other specific hosts for their development
US and EU based insects (even reptiles) are not vectors/hosts of any chameleon parasites, so from this perspective, feeding wild insects is Safe. They can transmit diseases and parasites, however, they will not infest chameleons.
Basically, offsprings are Parasite-free once they hatch. They can just get contaminated by the contact of unclean environment in captivity, where before, parasite infested chameleons were housed and the space has not been properly cleaned.

Caution is only recommended in the case of obtaining chameleons from unreliable sources, as
1. They can claim being CB and instead, they are WC
2. They can be animal dealers not taking care of hygiene and quarantine measures, thus parasites can be transmitted by their improper practice
3. Some of big breeders obtaining shipments of wild caught animals do not take proper care for he above as well

Caution is to be taken when interpreting fecal samples, as some parasites can be present as pseudoparasites (parasites of the eaten food items) and have no significance for the health state of the chameleon.
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not sure what is being said here.

So if I get a fecal done on my new chameleon and he comes back clean. The only way he can get a parasite in the future is if he is by another infected reptile such as being at the vet?
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
If your pet store sells crickets for instance and when they find a loose cricket in the store they throw it back in the bin with the others and this cricket was just feasting on or walked thru infected poo then they will be selling infected crickets for a while.
Petr is right most parasites are host specific meaning a specific species of parasite can only infect and reproduce in certain species or maybe a whole genus of animals. What he fails to mention are
"Accidental or incidental parasite
These are parasites that establish themselves in or on a host in which they do not normally live. For example, it is common for nematodes, normally parasitic in insects, to live for a short time in the intestines of birds or for a dog flea to bite a human."
It is uncommon and this kind of infection will not produce offspring for the parasite it can cause mild or severe symptoms for the incidental host. If you do feed field caught insects you should let your veterinarian know you do so should any problems arise.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chams can eat crickets infested with nightmare producing horse hair worms all day long.

There are several on this site that try to get "most" of the staples via wild caught insects in home made traps. They never have problems.

Other than if they spray for bugs, i have no problem feeding wild caught insects. Cicadas and earthworms are good eatin.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Most but not all parasites tend to infect the host by the fecal oral route. Which meant poo eating or poo contaminated food or water.
As in poop from an infected chameleon infecting another chameleon. Not insect poop laced food infecting chameleon. Correct?
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Right the horse hair worm is a parasite of crickets so the life cycle begins and ends with them. Only another cricket could get parasitized by them.
Yes I should have mentioned that it has to be poop from the same or similar animal. Infected chameleon poop = parasite potential for chameleons
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chams can eat crickets infested with nightmare producing horse hair worms all day long.

There are several on this site that try to get "most" of the staples via wild caught insects in home made traps. They never have problems.

Other than if they spray for bugs, i have no problem feeding wild caught insects. Cicadas and earthworms are good eatin.
Cant remember which podcast episode this was on, id link it if I could. Buy they talk about how it infected, wrapped it way around the eyes and basically murdered the chameleon because it wasnt the correct host. Actualky I think it was the chameleon vision epeisode.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cant remember which podcast episode this was on, id link it if I could. Buy they talk about how it infected, wrapped it way around the eyes and basically murdered the chameleon because it wasnt the correct host. Actualky I think it was the chameleon vision epeisode.
I recall that episode - it wasn't horsehair worms that caused the problem though! It was a worm of some sort, but the name and specific host escapes me.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are filarial worms that can live under the skin of chameleons. They are found on wild caught chameleons occasionally. I don't know if this is what you saw I haven't seen/heard that episode
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
Interesting so this might be the perfect place for this.

While at the vet I started to talk about coccidia and he said that the cocis in the cricket doesn’t actually effect the Cham at all? He said all vets do there own types of research and in his he’s found that the cricket stain doesn’t actual affect reptiles. Don’t kill me ppl I’m just saying what the sexy chop man told me
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Interesting so this might be the perfect place for this.

While at the vet I started to talk about coccidia and he said that the cocis in the cricket doesn’t actually effect the Cham at all? He said all vets do there own types of research and in his he’s found that the cricket stain doesn’t actual affect reptiles. Don’t kill me ppl I’m just saying what the sexy chop man told me
Is he in the belief it’s transmitted through poop ?? or they naturally carry In their GI ? Some sort of stressed make an explosion ?? Or he have a complete different beliefs ?
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
Is he in the belief it’s transmitted through poop ?? or they naturally carry In their GI ? Some sort of stressed make an explosion ?? Or he have a complete different beliefs ?
He believes it’s only transmitted throw an already infected Cham and believes it’s more from wild caught chams. His words “ no captive breed chameleon should have this parasite. If they do more then likely they had contact with a wild caught Cham that had the parasite”
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
He believes it’s only transmitted throw an already infected Cham and believes it’s more from wild caught chams. His words “ no captive breed chameleon should have this parasite. If they do more then likely they had contact with a wild caught Cham that had the parasite”
No Wc in a collection then no coccidia. Which would mean 0 in Gi track .
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
What is to stop parents from giving it to their offspring? Coccidia can survive once sporulated for 2 years in the environment. That means they could be on the shell of the eggs, as they come out the same hole as the feces. In live birth situations the young are born into the females cage and could easily lick the leaves or branches and become infected.
I wish it was that simple but it's not.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
What is to stop parents from giving it to their offspring? Coccidia can survive once sporulated for 2 years in the environment. That means they could be on the shell of the eggs, as they come out the same hole as the feces. In live birth situations the young are born into the females cage and could easily lick the leaves or branches and become infected.
I wish it was that simple but it's not.
Of course in a perfect world obviously , not saying he’s right of course there are lots of stuff that comes into factors that need to be evaluated as well
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I just wouldn't tar and feather someone because their second or third generation wasn't parasite free and convict them of selling wild caught as captive bred.
I find it interesting that he is saying eggs shouldn't be moved or cleaned after they are laid as this might be how we are reducing the rate of parasite infection down the line.
 
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