Unknown Intestinal Parasites

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RedDrgn, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    What in the world are these little tan-colored buggers?

    [​IMG]

    They move, and they move well, in the fashion of a leech or inch worm; stretching forward (the longer looking ones in the photo) and then pulling their back ends up (the shorter looking ones). They don't last long, though. After about 1-2 minutes after the poo is dropped, they're all immobile (presumably dead). They are also only on the outside of the poo (yes, I checked; yes, gross).

    The part that is stymieing me is that we take fecal samples in for vet analysis twice per year. We just took a sample in 5 weeks ago and got a hit on roundworm eggs/larvae. So we treated the entire flock with 0.5cc/bird (SF) of SafeGuard (10% fenbendazole suspension), and then retreated with the same 9 days later. No issues or problems observed during or after treatment. It didn't seem to phase any of them whatsoever.

    Now,it's usual for me to take a look at a fresh poo if I'm near a chicken that just dropped one. It's just a habit from growing up with dogs, cats, and rabbits and often doing visual screening of their droppings for evidence of potential problems. So 2 nights ago, one of my hens dropped this gem and voila! THESE. They don't look/move like any roundworm or tapeworm I've ever seen, and stalking the rest of the flock around since then, it looks like we've only got 1 hen out of 9 chickens doing this. The entire flock is eating/drinking/behaving perfectly normal, though 3 of them (including the one dropping these critters) are molting.

    So do any of you know what these are and what to treat them with? Is it even alright to treat during a molt, or should I wait until they're done molting since it's not apparently causing any harm at the moment? Thanks!
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi. Must confess I haven't a clue what they are but it strikes me that if they are only on the outside of the poop, then the infestation is probably in or on her vent area. Have you checked the hen over? Perhaps get a cotton bud (Q tip) and dip it in vegetable oil and gently insert it and see what you find. It looks like a really heavy infestation to deposit so many on one poop though!
    Hopefully someone with experience of it will be along soon to advise better than me. .
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Quote:
    Yes, I have checked her over. I checked all of the others, too, just to be sure. Nothing of note observed, even around their vents. All plump, healthy, and happy, though indignant that they were being restrained for my investigation, haha! No, I didn't put anything in any vents. I definitely would need my DH to pin them good before trying that, and I was alone at the time. If I can't find anything out that's fairly concrete here, I'll take another run to the vet with a sample at the end of the week.

    It is a puzzlement to me with regards to their numbers, too! Either fenbendazole is not effective against whatever these are, or they multiply fast; the flock got their last treatment only about 3.5 weeks ago now. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  5. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    I keep looking at photos of tapeworms, but they don't seem the same....now scrutinizing the vid you sent, the motion seems similar (though the ones in my hen were actually much, much faster and more active and then they just stop, almost instantly, which I've never seen before). I have been looking further into efficacy of fenbendazole, which I thought DID treat tapeworms, and have found it does....sort of, at least SOME types of tape worms. Hmm.

    So you may be onto something, and looking through your thread link, need to track down some Equimax or other praziquantel-containing anthelmintic if so. I will start looking into that! Thanks!
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Fenbendazole won't get tapeworms; I think praziquantal or albendazole, again not labeled for chickens and no known withdrawal time for eggs or meat. Did you take that nasty sample in? Ugh! I talked to Dr. Fulton here in Michigan, who said that tapeworms aren't likely to cause illness in chickens (in Michigan?) so to not bother trying to treat them. My birds range, so they get worms, bugs, and maybe an occasional frog, but they have no access to a pond for the critters there. Mary
     
  7. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    No, I didn't take that one in, but I know who is making them, so getting another won't be an issue. [​IMG]

    Yeah, tapes are pretty good at being parasites and don't usually cause problems in whatever their host is. But this is just....a lot. I don't know. Up until 5 weeks ago, in the 3 years we've had the flock, nothing has ever showed up on fecal parasite scans except a few coccidia cysts now and then; looks like our luck ran out and time for hands-on learnin'. [​IMG]

    Ours range, too, and they have access to a open areas, wooded area, and a creek, so they get plenty of opportunities for exposure to parasites. Was just a matter of time, really. As long as they're not sick, we'll probably keep screening and I'll keep eyeballing their feces and make the call to treat or not from there. I don't expect to keep them "clean", but don't really want them carrying heavy parasite loads, either. Have to find a middle ground/comfort level in here somewhere.
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Maybe just treat that one hen, and don't eat her eggs for a month? She must like to eat pond critters! Mary
     
  9. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    That's what I was thinking since there is no direct transmission of tapes between chickens, anyway. She'll eat anything that moves! XD Apparently they could pick up tapes from earthworms, ants, some beetles, and pond critters, so....yeah, doomed unless I can muzzle them. XD
     
  10. jenndera

    jenndera Out Of The Brooder

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    This looks like tape worm to me. When I foster kittens they usually have tape worm and it looks exactly as this.

    The medicine to kill tape worm is different than roundworm, so that could be why the roundworm treatment didn't help. I know you can get tapeworm treatment for cats and dogs on amazon and it works well. Not sure for chickens, though.
     

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