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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This disease (or talk of it) seems to crop up with some regularity on US forums, and having read of a case where a well-respected breeder's entire collection was wiped out by it I wonder if it is very wide-spread (or known of even) here in the UK? A very brief google search revealed nothing and I've never seen it mentioned on any UK forums, though TBH I haven't felt any other UK forums worth hanging round on like this one :2thumb:
 

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Yes I have read about it and I maybe over cautious but this is why I dont have any boas in my collection as its beleived that they carry the disease without showing sympoms and infect pythons.
 

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It's about many a breeders have lost animals due to it and a study done (i cant find the link) showed that most captive boas had it present in their systems but just carried it and would only become infected if they became immuno-supressed. It's not very well documented here because not a lot is known and also breeders dont want to say yes by the way i had IBD so all my boids could be carriers for generations to come it's a nasty cacth 22 situation. There's a piece written on anapsid.org but melissa kaplan is notriously AR involved so some bits can be taken a bit tongue in cheek.

Rachel
 

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There was a case not all that loong ago of a UK breeder losing a lot of stock to IBD.. cant for the life of me remember who but it came up on livefoods when it happened I think.
To my knowledge (though I am SO not into boids!) IBD is in the UK (not surprising considering how much importing goes on in fairness) and most boid keepers are well aware of it.
 
G

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I have heard of isolated reports of it in the UK but many breeders are very select with who they buy from now because of this that we may be able to nip it in the bud.The thing is no-one likes to admit that they have had a problem so in more cases than not we dont hear about it.I would say for every case we hear of there is probably 2 others that we dont.
 

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I have heard of isolated reports of it in the UK but many breeders are very select with who they buy from now because of this that we may be able to nip it in the bud.The thing is no-one likes to admit that they have had a problem so in more cases than not we dont hear about it.I would say for every case we hear of there is probably 2 others that we dont.
How true! It certainly wouldnt do anyones business a favour of people found out they had IBD in their collection..
Im wondering now if the breeder mentioned on livefoods was brian actually and not a UK breeder. Either way Im sure there is a bit floating round the UK.
 

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inclusion Body disease was relatively common up till about ten years ago when people started to become very aware of the possible losses they could incur,and while i dont know of anyone actually being especially careful when buying snakes,everyone must have tightened up on their quarantine etc because as soon as it became a well known disease it petered out,possibly its re-emergence is as much to do with it being forgotten about and therefore not considered by "newer" herpers that it may regain a foothold.
be aware though that IBD can remain dormant for several years before becoming apparent so normal quaranteen is ineffective.
regards gaz
 

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IBD is indeed present in the UK reptile population, as are lovelies like the Adenos Virus (which is carried by both snakes and lizards)

there is no treatment for IBD and in most cases it is advised to euthanise the snakes.

it can be passed on by contact - touching one snake then the other - by poor hygiene - eg not washing bowls seperately.. also by ticks and mites moving from one animal to the next

it is possible to test for IBD in the bigger snakes.. this is done by a vet taking a sample of the spinal cord fluid from just behind the head.. it can only be done well on large enough snakes.. the sample is then sent for testing.

IBD is a retro virus, first identified in the mid 1970s, and has been found in collections in Europe, Africa, America and Australia. the incidence in wild snakes is not fully known, but it is generally accepted that IBD is a world wide problem these days

clinical signs vary from animal to animal but can include:
Boas
off and on regurgitation
head tremors
Dysecdysis (abnormal shedding) may occur.
Some develop chronic regurgitation and anorexia (they stop eating).
general weight loss
clogged nares (nostrils),
stomatitis
pneumonia.

in some cases this is followed by rapid progression to the nervous system indicated by signs such as disorientation, corkscrewing of the head and neck, holding the head in abnormal and unnatural positions, rolling onto the back or stargazing.


Pythons
burmese don't tend to re-gurge - they just show CNS damage faster (central nerve system)
many pythons develop
more pronounced and obvious neurological signs sonner than boas
Pythons don’t regurgitate as often as boas will. Pythons often show a progressive loss of motor function, usually in the back half of the snake, which may lead to bloating and constipation.

Both boas and pythons may hold their tongues out longer when flicking.

Chronic pneumonia in boids that is not responsive to antibiotic therapy and nebulization therapy may actually be IBD.

Some snakes with IBD are chronically shedding the virus and are capable of spreading it throughout a collection, before clinical signs of the sick snake are realized.

IBD can also be passed between mother and babies - to the egg or to the embryo in live bearers.

anyway.. some info on infected snakes and treatment follows..

Affected snakes either die acutely or starve slowly after several years of anorexia. It is possible to keep a snake alive by force-feeding, but one should not expect a snake to recover from IBD. Infected snakes are chronic carriers and are capable of spreading this disease to other snakes, so euthanasia is recommended if a firm diagnosis is made. Many other diseases can present with the same or similar clinical signs, so euthanasia should not be performed solely based on clinical signs.

Infected snakes should be euthanized. All new snakes should be quarantined for a minimum of 90 days prior to introduction to an established collection. Recommendations for boas is a 6-month quarantine period. Mite control and elimination is essential. Fiberglass cages that housed infected snakes should be thoroughly disinfected with bleach and then left out in the sun to dry prior to housing another snake. Wooden cages, unless sealed with urethane or some other impervious sealant, should be discarded. The same holds true for wooden hide boxes and cage decorations.

For a single pet that the owners would like to keep alive, force-feedings are necessary. Support care is vital. Controlling any secondary infections (bacterial, fungal or protozoal) is important. One nutritional supplement that I highly recommend for any exotic with nervous system signs is called DMG, Dimethylglycine (Vetri-DMG Liquid, available through Vetri-Science Laboratories of Vermont, A Division of FoodScience Corporation, Essex Junction, VT, USA 05453, Vetri Science produces pet vitamins, horse supplements, dog nutrition, dog vitamins, dog nutrition, dog supplements, cat vitamins, cat supplements, cat nutrition, horse vitamins, horse supplements, horse vitamins, equine, canine, feline). This product is very good for the immune system and really seems to be beneficial in controlling some central nervous system (CNS) signs in pets. An infected snake should be strictly quarantined away from all other snakes and reptiles, just to be on the safe side. Fastidious sanitation is mandatory.

If your snake hasn’t been injured, i.e. the cage top fell on it or it sustained some other trauma, then IBD is a consideration. Other conditions can cause the clinical signs that you are describing. Your vet will want to take radiographs (X-rays) to evaluate the spine and internal organs, and will draw blood for a blood count and chemistries. Biopsies may be necessary. There is a chance that your snake might have a problem involving the spinal column, spinal cord or vertebrae. Infections, tumors and other lesions involving the spine can cause flaccid muscle tone in your snake. I hope your vet will be able to help you with your snake. If your veterinarian is not familiar with IBD, you can always suggest that he or she set up a consult with the lab they use to speak with a consultant with more reptile experience. This is usually offered free of charge to the vets using the lab.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP has been an avian/exotic/herp animal veterinarian since 1981. She is a regular contributor to REPTILES magazine.
 

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There was actualy a case of it down this way not long ago (not me or cara) my vet informed me as he knew we had a large collection he couldnt tell me the name of the person obviously, but he did tell me any rehomes we get from a certain area will need to be put under strict quarantine for alot longer (at least a year even 2 if possible). So yes it is about in the uk
 

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it is possible to test for IBD in the bigger snakes.. this is done by a vet taking a sample of the spinal cord fluid from just behind the head.. it can only be done well on large enough snakes.. the sample is then sent for testing.
Can you provide a reference on that diagnostic procedure. That is the first time that I have heard of this.

The most accurate current diagnostic procedure on a live snake is a liver biopsy submitted for electron-microscopy to check for the presence of Inclusion Bodies. Liver biopsies can be performed on any size snake. neonates are actually easier to biopsy and the Iso kicks in quicker. Stomach, lung, and derma may also be used but are less accurate. There is another less invasive biopsy procedure being researched at the moment on a newly described anatomical part.

Very little is KNOWN about IBD. Most of what we accept is conjecture and inference. For example, we THINK that it is a retrovirus, but there is no proof as of yet. We THINk that it is transmitted through direct contact and external parasites, but we don't know. Hopefully we will know soon as the researchers now have the largest, most diverse, and most well documented group of samples they have ever had to work with.

Unfortunately, I have no input on the prevalence of the disease in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, very scarey stuff, and the latest one I did read on redtailboa forum. I have a python and a boa, our python came first and then the boa (from a recommended high-end morph breeder). I have always kept them in separate rooms. They never come out at the same time, and on days they do both come out the python is handled first then the boa and I've always been careful about them not using the same bowls. It's supposed be transmittable, as you say, by mites, snakes touching, bodily fluids etc, but in this case they're thinking it is indeed airborne virus too.

In boas I've heard it can be controlled, but in pythons it is always fatal. It gives me the creeps to go into pet stores and see python babies kept in with boa babies in the same incubator units.

Does the boa have to be showing signs of the condition in order to infect a python? Or can it give it to a python anyway even if it's a dormant and as yet undiagnosed condition? I don't think mine have a problem and I don't handle any other snakes from anywhere else unless I shower afterwards, but am getting a bit paranoid about it. I would have thought if the boa had it my python would have been infected (and died) by now.
 

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well 'ello there Mister Smith!! how are you :) long time no speak and all that :)

i will get back to you on it yes... i discovered it when i took on a rescue boa presenting with classic symptons.. i have a "safe" house with no other snakes where the animal was taken whilst waiting for tests..

was Mo collinson that told me about the test.. the vet near the safe house (in surrey) was aware of the procedure and carried it out, with the results coming back as negative.. (thankfully)

a fluid sample is taken from the spinal cord just behind the neck, and thats whats tested (or so i believe)

will come back to you on it :)

N
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can you provide a reference on that diagnostic procedure. That is the first time that I have heard of this.

The most accurate current diagnostic procedure on a live snake is a liver biopsy submitted for electron-microscopy to check for the presence of Inclusion Bodies. Liver biopsies can be performed on any size snake. neonates are actually easier to biopsy and the Iso kicks in quicker. Stomach, lung, and derma may also be used but are less accurate. There is another less invasive biopsy procedure being researched at the moment on a newly described anatomical part.

Very little is KNOWN about IBD. Most of what we accept is conjecture and inference. For example, we THINK that it is a retrovirus, but there is no proof as of yet. We THINk that it is transmitted through direct contact and external parasites, but we don't know. Hopefully we will know soon as the researchers now have the largest, most diverse, and most well documented group of samples they have ever had to work with.

Unfortunately, I have no input on the prevalence of the disease in the UK.
Hello and welcome to our UK forum. I think we were both typing at the same time!! I just cruise round on redtailboa net and don't actually post but would just like to say how sorry I was to read your awful news - especially when I saw the pics you posted of your animals - a very tragic thing.
 

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in boas it can be controled but never cured, the animal remains a carrier for life to my knowledge..

as far as i know, the boa does not have to be showing any symptons no..

apparently they don't even know the primary host for IBD yet... still so much to learn...

N
 

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if i remember rightly the other hot disease topic at the time was cryptosporidium,will be interesting to see if we get a spate of posts about this one too.
regards gaz
 

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bearing in mind the number of beardie keepers on here, i am suprised none of them have piped up about the adenos..

but anyway

is it a simple procedure...errr.. i guess it depends how good a vet you are?

my fluffies vet (i have 4 different vets i use for different animal types) would not be able to do it.. my herp vet i would have thought could do it standing on his head.. i would not be so sure my equine vet would be happy with it either!

N
 

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IBD is definately around and scares the crap out of me.

It is a somewhat "dirty word" and as such isn't mentioned much at all.

Nasty, nasty, nasty
 
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