The case of the unlucky lizard
A bearded dragon was presented to a Veterinary Teaching Hospital due to lethargy and crusting of the eyes. A fecal analysis was requested as part of the clinical examination. The fecal flotation with Sheather’s sugar solution revealed the following structures:
Image 1: Parasite identified on fecal flotation measuring 22 x 24 µM.
A common coccidian found in captive bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) commercially bred. It infects enterocytes of the small and large intestine. In experimental infections, gross changes in the feces have not been observed, however young lizards can be severely affected with up to 15% mortality. The prepatent period is between 2 to 3 weeks, which is essential to consider when introducing new animals into a colony.
The oocysts are 22.7 to 25.4 µM in diameter with a bilayer wall (Image 2). The micropyle is absent and the sporulated oocysts contain two sporocysts measuring 11 to 17 µM. The sporocysts are single layered with a smooth wall.
Have feedback on the cases or a special case you would like to share? Please email us. We will appropriately credit all submittors for any cases and photos provided.