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Constipation or parasite killing fish? (Camallanus worms)
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NancyD
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Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Massachusetts, US

PostPosted: 2006.12.10(Sun)10:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Menagerie mom, I'm so sorry. I tried to read that article you cited but all the % solution stuff was more than I felt like trying to understand. The ONLY accurate way to figure drug doses with all the different forms they come in is mg of active compound per weight or volume (or ppm).

Maybe in addition to lots of water changing you can add a generous amount of carbon to your filters. Do you have any spare filters you could run as carbon only to try & remove as much drug as fast as possible? Extra water movement is always good too. Don't give up yet.

Nancy
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menagerie mom
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPosted: 2006.12.10(Sun)23:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeesh. This chemistry stuff is making me crazy. I agree that the article is confusing. That's why I went with the dose he stated in the article, and I didn't bother to check his calculations. I think it is clearly an overdose, though. I'm going to do another big water change tonight, then leave the tank alone for a few days. I'll try another SMALLER dose of levamisole later in the week.

Some of the fish are looking a little better today after yesterday's water change, and the angels ate a few nibbles of food tonight. Most of the other fish look about the same. Some still have visible worms, and some have strange bloating that I assume is internal worms (not like dropsy). I can't say that any of the fish except the recently added angel fish look any better at all after the medication. It may just be too late.

Nancy, you've been great to try to help me figure out the medication dosing. Thank you! I'm going to take a look at it tomorrow when I finally have some time to see if I can make sense of it for myself. I'll post again with updates or if anything changes.
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menagerie mom
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPosted: 2007.01.03(Wed)16:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just want to update the status of my battle against the worms from H***. Evil or Very Mad

For whatever reason, the Levamisole did not seem to have much effect on the worms, but I'm not sure I was using the correct dose. I asked my favorite and trusted LFS if they have any experience with them, and sure enough, they do. Although they had heard of treating with Levamisole, they recommended a medication containing praziquantel, and that seemed to kill the worms within a couple of days. Unfortunately, some of the fish were so heavily infested that they were not able to expel the worms, and I expect to lose many more in the coming weeks as the worms decay inside the fish and poison them from the inside out (yuck!). So far I've lost 5 fish, including the female from my breeding pair of Bolivian rams. Its mate looks as if it isn't going to last long, though. The clown loaches and brand new angel fish seem unaffected by the worms, and the snails and shrimp seem to have survived both the worms and medications. I have only been able to spot 2 of my 5 otos, but they are typically hard to spot anyway.

I have been very careful to keep all equipment used with this tank separate, and I plan to do one final dose of medication and will disinfect everything with bleach and then air dry after a thorough rinse to make sure any lingering parasites have been killed. Thankfully, my other tanks (including my grow out tank of 150 bolivian ram fry) seem to have escaped the worms. This has been a real nightmare, and I'm still scratching my head over where the worms could have come from. Now I will just wait for several weeks for the rest of the fish to either recover or not, then I can start restocking my tank.

Thanks Cathy and Nancy for the information and support!
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menagerie mom
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPosted: 2007.01.03(Wed)16:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from the other worm thread below this one:

Cathy G wrote:
PraziPro(Praziquatel) is a cestocidal drug it by definition has no effect on camallanus, which is a nematode.

This is from a vet... be careful, if you have camellanus worms, get the stuff that will do the trick. Fenbendazol will also work. There is a new product - supaverm? It is a combination of mebendazol and closantel and should work.


Yikes - now I'm worried that I don't have the upper hand on these blasted worms!! Aren't nematodes a kind of worm? (Sorry - high school biology was a LONG time ago...) The worms protruding from my fish were never red, but were more like black bristles. One of the websites I found explained that the end of the Camallanus worm is dark and doesn't appear red. But do they sound more like I have a different kind of worm?

Are those medications you cited available for aquariums, or do they have other applications?
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Cathy G
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2007.01.03(Wed)17:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Menagerie Mom,

Did you ever go to that link I posted - the inmkr site? Email the guy and ask him what he recommends and than buy it and follow his directions. He is a great guy and a vet.

Cath
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menagerie mom
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPosted: 2007.01.03(Wed)18:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Cathy -

Yes - I sure did! I described the symptoms to him, and he thought it sounded like Callamanus worms, and recommended levamisole. I had ordered some from Nancy D's source before I was able to get in touch with him, but followed the dose rate recommended in his article. If you read back in this post, there was a lot of discussion about the dosing rate, as apparently the rate I used may have been too high. (My fish looked very sick from the medication.) After several days there was no improvement, and I could still see worms protruding from the fish, so that's when I went to my LFS, and they recommended the medication containing praziquantel. The bottle of medication says it treats flukes, tapeworm, flatworms, and turbellarians, but Ihave no idea if Callamanus worms fall under one of those, or if the worms my fish had/have are those at all.

Whichever medication did it, some of the fish are looking better, but some are worse. I just want to try to be sure I've actually killed those blasted worms! Evil or Very Mad
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NancyD
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Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Massachusetts, US

PostPosted: 2007.01.04(Thu)15:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Menageriemom, I'm sorry the levamisole didn't work, now I've got what I think are camallanus worms too. I was too low on the dosage, for these worms at LEAST 5 ppm is recommended & up to 8 or 10 ppm.(2 ppm works for other nematodes).
I found this new Norwegian study abstracthere. It says the camallanus larvae can live for more than 3 weeks & that no intermediate host is needed for reinfection, direct or indirect transmission. That means we'll need to treat for a lot longer than I had thought. No wonder it is so hard to get rid of these evil things.
Fenbedazole or flubendazole is also effective, I'm not sure if they are over-the-counter here or prescription, I'm doing levamisole since I have it & it has a wide margin of safety. (did your fish survive the high dose?) A guppy site suggested dosing levamisole every 3 days for 9 days then I'm thinking maybe once a week to get the larvae, I haven't decided yet.
Lots of gravel vacuuming ahead.
Nancy
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menagerie mom
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPosted: 2007.01.04(Thu)17:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nancy -

I'm REALLY sorry to hear the worms have come to your tanks. Those darn things are awful! Thanks for the link to the article - it sounds like we're in for a long battle.

Some of my fish seem to be doing better, some have died, but some seem the same, or worse, although none currently show any external signs of the worms. I don't know if that means some of the meds worked, or if the worms have just moved on to the next phase of their life cycle. My harlequin rasboras in particular still show significant bloating of their bellies, so either the meds didn't work, or the worms died without being expelled. My remaining bolivian ram doesn't seem bloated, but is obviously in distress and has developed fungus, tattered fins, etc., and doesn't look as if he'll live long. He did have visible worms at one time. On the other hand, my new angels, as well as the clown loaches and otos I've had for months show no signs of worms - yet. I never did see any dead or expelled worms on the bottom of my tank, but it is heavily planted, so it's possible I just couldn't see them.

After dosing (overdosing?) my tank with the levamisole and observing the stress it caused my fish, I did large water changes for 2 consecutive days, and they perked right up. I have lost some fish, but attribute it to the worms, not the meds. One of the sites I found reported signs of distress as well as premature fry drop in guppies who were treated with levamisole, so it does seem to have some risks with high doses.

I just finished another extensive "search and read" of websites about these worms and various treatments. I am not sure there is a tried and true cure for them, and I suspect it is difficult to spot early infestation, and difficult to treat once visible in the fish. I feel like I'm flailing around at this point, but yesterday I dosed again with praziquantel (some sites say it is ineffective with this particular worm), and will wait a few days, then do large water changes for a couple of days, then try levimisole again. And probably again.

I did a quick search for fenbendazole, and it seems to be a common dog and small mammal dewormer. I couldn't find any dosing information for fish, though. Do you have any information about that?
Let's keep in touch about what seems to be working, and what isn't. Thanks again for your help - keep me posted!

mm
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