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Help with nematodes of tortoise

Francois Dreyer francoisd at wcape.agric.za
Wed Sep 8 03:25:17 EST 1999

I wonder if any of you could help in the following.
Our laboratory was presented with a tortoise for post mortem examination. 
This was the 7th one to die from the same owner.  The owner has 29.
One of the veterinarians had a look but did not find much wrong and samples
where taken for bacteriology, histopathology etc.  I decided to do a faecal
flotation and what do you know! A very large number of eggs.  I went back
to the tortoise and in what seems to be a organ like the caecum (we are not
tortoise experts) I found A LOT of nematodes.  There seems to be two
genusses present.  The largest being ±5mm in length (female) and the other
±1,5 - 2mm in length.

Two questions:
1. Any idea of the worms that might be found in a tortoise.
2. Deworming the rest of the tortoises?  I was only able to find 6
literature refs. so far that deals with this.  Anyone out there with first
hand experience in deworming tortoise.  Anthelmintic to be used, dose, and

Any advice either to the group or directly to my email will be appreciated

Francois Dreyer
Chief Veterinary Technologist: Parasitology section
Western Cape Provincial Veterinary Laboratory
Private Bag X5020, Stellenbosch, 7599
Tel: +27-21-887-0324
Fax: +27-21-886-5341
francoisd at wcape.agric.za

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