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The Rodents Can Have Parasites too

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  • The Rodents Can Have Parasites too

    Many times new reptile owners donot realize that every species of animal can have its own problems with parasites and insects, the food we feed our snakes may be food for many species of parasites , worms, amebia's, ova (eggs), and tape worm (proglottids) pieces of the tapeworm can break off ,and become a new tape worm. All parasites have a primary host they prfeer, but if they have bad luck and their host is consumed by another speicies (SNAKE) they will try to survive and reproduce in the new host (SNAKE). This occurs in wild state and can also occur in our cages.
    So here's a good parasite link that was designed to educate rat keepr's, how to care for their pets.
    Almost each and every species of parasites mentioned can survive in their new host the snake.
    PS the best method to irradicate parasites is to allow a complete freezing of the food items and allow a little addtional time frozen ,to be sure the food item is free of worms and their eggs , thats why most snake owners prefer the thawed and warmed method for feeding their pets. The feezing produces ice needles inside cells that destroy the parasites and their eggs.
    Here's the link its pretty well done.

    Man those worms give me the creeps ..

    Common terms used with parasites..

    Host: An animal infected by a parasite

    Definitive Host: The final host in which the parasite reaches sexual maturity and is able to reproduce itself
    Intermediate Host: A host that the parasite passes through the larval or asexual stages of development.
    Pathogenic Parasite: A parasite that causes disease in its host.
    Dead Host: Host that a parasite infects, but is the incorrect host for the parasite, leaving the parasite unable to continue its development. The parasite then dies a natural death with no treatment.
    Direct Life Cycle: Parasites that do not require an intermediate host to complete its life cycle. Those with a direct life cycle such as some tape worms are often easier to treat.
    Indirect Life Cycle: Parasite that does require an intermediate host to complete its life cycle. It can pass from host to host infecting many during its life cycle.
    Granuloma: A mass of granulated tissue that has formed in repsonse to a chronic infection, inflammation, foreign body, or of unknown cause.
    Last edited by Doug; 12-07-2005, 06:04 PM.

  • #2
    Re: The Rodents Can Have Parasites too

    Thanks will Doug do.
    2nd Alarm Reptiles
    Pastels "R" Us

    Viiper (Virginians Interested In Protecting Every Reptile)


    • #3
      Re: The Rodents Can Have Parasites too

      Doug, i hope it is cool if i add to your post. A study was done by the FDA at universities in CA about the affect of freezing on worms that have infested fish. The results were very surprising. To say the least, the sub-zero temperature you freeze at is crucial. the following is an excerpt from the article which can be read at

      Gustafson used heavily infested portions of Sebastodes flesh and froze them in 120g packs in still air in freezer cabinets at several temperatures. Thermometers were placed in the packs to record their internal temperatures. Samples were removed at intervals, the nematodes recovered by enzyme digestion of the samples, and the number of dead and live nematodes determined. Freezing and storage at -5°C or -10°C, even for several days, did not kill all the larvae. After 12 days at -10°C, 38 out of 1029 larvae recovered, 4%, were still alive. On storage at -17°C, one pack taken out at 6 hours had reached an internal temperature of -14°C and 33 out 600, 5.5%, of the recovered nematodes were alive. The next sampling time was at 24 hours and at this time, and longer, at -17°C, the core temperatures had reached the freezer temperature and no live nematodes were recovered.

      Gustafson also froze samples to -20°C or below under different conditions of freezing - in still air or by immersion in a methyl cellusolve/CO2 bath. No live nematodes were recovered from any of the samples frozen to below an internal temperature of -21°C. One of the seven samples frozen to an internal temperature of -20°C or -21°C, that frozen in still air at -42°C for 2 hours, to an internal temperature of -21°C, had 15 live nematodes out 850 recovered, 2%; no live nematodes were recovered from the other 6 samples.

      He also froze 45.4kg (100lbs) blocks of herring by placing them in still air at -30 to -33°C for 16 hours then transferring them to a store at -12°C. He does not report the internal temperature reached. Two samples taken at 24 hours of this sequence did not yield any live nematodes.

      SO, the moral of the story is that if you intend to freeze your own rodents, allow AT LEAST a month to pass if you are freezing in a normal freezer. most conventional freezers will hover about 3-5 degrees below 32F.

      So be careful, great post doug!


      • #4
        Re: The Rodents Can Have Parasites too

        When I used to work in The blood donor center we use dry-ice products to quick freeze blood components this is really cold.
        I know many reptile breeder use co2 to kill humanely and probably have really cold freezers to help expedite the cooling, many lab freezers easily maintain -60deg f. And if your going to ship , the colder the product the longer it last plus packing it in dry-ice may kick it down to -70 so that may help finish any parasite residual from the freezing process .
        Hope I am right.

        psps if you get a large shipment and its packed with dry-ice , mine is usually still smoking cold, I use my best leather gloves to un-pack the rodents to prevent freezing my fingers, touching anything that cold can burn you in a second or less and freeze your hand to what ever, and leave a bad burn and scar.
        I went and did some research on cold water fish and found their blood and tissue have a built in antifreeze that protects them form extremely cold water, this may also protect any of their parasites inside their body, that why fish parasites may survive freezing temps... good info...

        Protein keeps cold fish from becoming frozen flounder, new study shows

        Thanks for the input this could be useful if your raising your own rats and freezing in your average not so good needs defrosting freezer with ice over 1/4 inch thick hehe...
        Last edited by Doug; 12-08-2005, 05:23 PM.


        • #5
          Re: The Rodents Can Have Parasites too

          I actually seem to have picked up a parasite this way - coccidia isopora or something like that. I grabbed some cheap mice for my new boa at the same reptile expo I bought him at, next thing I know his fecal is showing these isopora guys. I call the breeder I bought my snake from, they have no parasites according to their last fecal. I usually get my feeder rats from a reptile zoo, so I highly doubt they'd sell a bad product, so that rules them out.

          That only leaves the unknown cheap mice. I never did get them directly tested because this was a hindsight thing.

          I talked to my vet, which is also part of the vet team of said reptile zoo, she said that some parasites need to be frozen for up to a month for a 100% kill rate. She didn't specify temps though. So I could very well have gotten a parasite via frozen rat. Always know where you get your food, and have a rat intended for food tested once in a while.

          Anyways I treated with this stuff called novo-trimel solution at a dosage of .07ml PO-OD for 7 days. I just finished the meds and he hasn't pooped yet for an updated fecal. I fed him and he immediately went into shed after the food was digested though. We'll find out soon I guess.


          • #6
            Re: The Rodents Can Have Parasites too

            Thread necromancy. This one actually pre-dates me.

            Not that it isn't good info. Always get your feeders from reliable suppliers, kids.

            -Sean in NoCal
            “Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood – the virtues that made America.”
            -Teddy Roosevelt.


            • #7
              Re: The Rodents Can Have Parasites too

              Yeah, 12 years later, "it's ALIVE!" Hahahahaha... still good info anyway