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Reptiles/CWD possible worms


I just got a Chinese Water Dragon from a pet store about a week ago.  I found out recently that his tank mate from the store had worms so I'm worried that my dragon might have worms as well.  The only problem is that the closest vet that will care for him is over a 2 hour drive away and I'm not sure I can transport him that far safely.  It would also be about 500$ and I just don't have that kind of money right now.  Is there any way to know if he has worms or not without the trip?  He's active and bright, eats well, and isn't having any trouble pooping.  The only thing that concerns me is his past tank mate since they spent about a month together.

Hi Jessica,

It is always a good idea to have a routine faecal test done for parasites on any new arrival but especially in your case, with a known potential source of infection.

Do you have a vet that you deal with for non-exotic pets? If you do I would suggest asking them if they would do a routine faecal float test for you. It should be done on a fresh or refrigerated stool sample  This is the same type of faecal test that is done on cats and dogs. The parasites would also look the same under the microscope although they would be different species. That type of test is usually around 20 to 30 dollars unless they also charge for an exam.

A negative test would put your mind at ease.  If it is positive, the treatment protocol and dosages for reptiles are easily found on line through reputable veterinary sites or your vet could have a phone consult with a vet who treats reptiles. The medications are standard and even a "regular" vet would have them on hand.    

If a faecal exam is not possible then you will just need to keep a good eye on his weight, appetite etc. Make sure his temperatures are optimal as that will keep his immune system fully functional and pay good attention to cage hygiene, removing droppings promptly.  


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I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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