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Otocinclus - Anatomy or Parasite?


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Ok guys, need a little advice/reassurance here from people with Otos. 


A few weeks ago, my largest Oto was hanging on the glass right in front of me and I noticed a weird small white "thing" sticking out of his/her vent area that I hadn't noted before. I stared at it, and swear I saw do an "inch-worm" thing that didn't seem normal for fish anatomy, more like a worm hanging out from inside. I also watched the gut when I could (had to do this over a couple sessions, because fish doesn't always like to stay right in front, of course) and thought I saw a non-normal digestive wiggle in the lower part of the intestines. Pooping still happens normally, right alongside the "thing" and the fish is behaving normally, although always my biggest eater. Also always has the roundest belly of them all. 


I freaked out, contacted a fish-vet friend, and got some advice for some fish dewormers and protocols I could use that would also be shrimp safe. I've done two prolonged-immersion baths with fenbendazole (thinking it was a nematode) for all three fishies, and am due to do the last (ok, actually ovedue, but the schedule didn't work out quite right). The "thing" is unimpressed and still present.


I can move on to praziquantel (if it's a flat worm) and should be pretty easy (maybe easier than the fenbendazole),

But, I have been wondering if maybe I'm "treating" normal anatomy.  :unsure:


So thought I'd ask around! If everyone could now squint closely at their Oto's private bits, and compare... :D


Thing is, I don't see the "thing" on either of the other two Otos, only this one. Every once in a while, I think the poo may come *through* it though, which has me wondering. It's so hard to catch him in the act and see! (yes, waaaay too much time watching a fish poo)


Here are some pictures... best I could do, especially since s/he refuses to hold still for my sub-par camera! It appears to come through the vent and extend up into the body to my eye, but we are talking translucent little fish-bits after all....


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