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Old 05-04-17, 06:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Another IBD Post

Hey all,

I have been out of the hobby for a few years so have been doing my due diligence reading up on every thing herp related and came across the dreaded IBD. I normally keep pythons but received a male boa about two years ago (locality unknown) and I must admit my ignorance I know very little about boas habits (The only other "Boa" I have owned in the past are yellow anacondas and ATB)he doesn't seem neurologically impaired but does handle much different than my pythons (He is very grippy) . Reading up on IBD concerns me a bit. I do see some signs of stargazing but nothing like the agonizing vids you see on youtube. I attribute most of the stargazing posture to the fact that he is the only snake I have in a glass type tank that opens from the top (He came with a cage and seems well adjusted so I have been fussed to move him to my AP stacked cages or my racks). He's my little garbage disposal and eats everything that comes his way. Here is my concern; I have zero experience with IBD, I haven't even met anyone who has dealt with it. My fear is the fact the the disease can remain masked for years without symptoms. I have several expensive retics in the same room as him and I fear somehow IBD could rear it ugly head on my collection. Like I said he shows no symptoms like I have seen on videos and pics. When he is "stargazing" it is normally when feeding is going on or there is commotion in my snake room. He appears to be fully aware when in the "stargazing" stance. Should I house him in a separate room? Am I falling victim to the "Dr. OZ" disease of the week? If someone could please give me the proverbial slap in the face to calm me down or validate my concerns I'd appreciate it. I've actually been looking at Boa morphs to try to breed him down the road but IBD has really got me spooked about bringing any boa into my collection. I attached some pics of a typical posture he has in his cage. Sometimes he is raised quite a bit more.
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Old 05-04-17, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

I've luckily never come across IBD so can't comment specifically whether your boa has it.

However if you are at all concerned and given the implications if it is ibd and it gets into your collection I'd isolate out and get it tested to be sure.
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Old 05-05-17, 04:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

Boas are naturally more "grippy" than some pythons. My red tails always wriggle though my fingers holding onto everything.. While I sometimes have to catch my burm mid air because the stupid lump would just fall out of my hands.. A snake that is stargazing really is completely out of it, seemingly unaware of their surroundings untill "snapped out of it". Which usually requires someone actually physically touching them. Sounds to me he might just know where food comes from (above), and is expecting some. But if he's also doing it at random and with more elevation I do understand your concern. (Though the elevation in the picture doesn't seem very worrying to me unless he would be unresponsive) IBD is really scary stuff, and the reason I quarantine unknown animals for a very long time. If you fear IBD you could get blood tests or even a liver biopsy test, they're not 100% but it could help put your mind at ease. No other snakes show any symptoms at all? 2 years would be long for a symptomatic animal to not have gotten any worse, but IBD is a weird thing.
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Old 05-05-17, 01:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

Wow, I didn't even know about this, but after watching a few YouTube vids and reading some articles, I now know what to watch for.

I hope your snake doesn't have it, but if it does, don't wait too long to euthanize it.
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Old 05-05-17, 04:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

A Facebook friend of mine who happens to be the breeder of my only boa, has teamed with some researchers and come up with a promising experimental treatment. I don't know all the details, but you can read about it on her Facebook page. But please be considerate and don't bombard her with any negativity. She has lost most of her collection to this and has taken it upon herself to try to do something.

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?i...urce=typeahead
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Old 05-05-17, 05:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

From what I read, it's only transmittable by blood...which means, if you have mites, and the mites get into the other cages, you're in deep kimchi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eminart View Post
A Facebook friend of mine who happens to be the breeder of my only boa, has teamed with some researchers and come up with a promising experimental treatment. I don't know all the details, but you can read about it on her Facebook page. But please be considerate and don't bombard her with any negativity. She has lost most of her collection to this and has taken it upon herself to try to do something.

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?i...urce=typeahead
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Old 05-05-17, 05:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

There are cases of IBD spreading without the presence of mites.
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Old 05-05-17, 05:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

I stand somewhat corrected...

The etiology of BIBD is not yet confirmed; however, a viral infection (i.e., retrovirus, paramyxovirus, and, more recently and convincingly, arenavirus) has been considered (10,13). So far, there is no evidence that the disease can be directly (horizontally) transmitted. Nonetheless, BIBD spreads rapidly between animals, in particular, when the snakes show concomitant snake mite (Ophionyssus natricis) infestation (8).

Some other information from that same paper: "Boid inclusion body disease (BIBD), recognized since the 1970s in captive snakes, is an often fatal disease that can eradicate entire boid collections (2). The disease is known to affect boid species from several genera, boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), Haitian boa (Epicrates striatus), ringed tree boa (Corallus annulatus), garden tree boa (Corallus hortulanus), Burmese python (Python molurus), reticulated python (Python reticulatus), ball python (Python regius), and Australian pythons (Morelia spilota variegata and Morelia spilota spilota) (3). A similar disease has been described in colubrids, such as the Californian king snake (Lampropeltis getula) (4) and corn snakes (Elaphe guttata) (5), and in viperids, i.e., captive palm vipers (Botriechis marchi) (4)."

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Originally Posted by Tsubaki View Post
There are cases of IBD spreading without the presence of mites.
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Old 05-05-17, 06:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

You have the snake for 2 years... It won't have IBD, unless you have many more signs of an unhealthy snake.

From Mader: Reptile medicine and surgery, 1996 (old but great book)

Quote:
CLINICAL SIGNS
No clinical signs are pathognomonic for IBD. Any boid snake
with an acute onset of neurologic signs or a history of chronic
wasting should be suspected of IBD (Figure 60-5). IBD is
characterized by a variety of signs and symptoms that may be
slow progressing and difficult to differentiate from other conditions,
especially in Boa spp. Boas are often presented with a
history of regurgitation and progressive weight loss. In most
cases, determination of the time of exposure to the agent is
impossible; therefore, the term acute stage of the disease is
clinically more accurately described as a stage of IBD when
clinical signs are first noticeable. These can include mild
neurologic signs (e.g., head tremor, stargazing, and flaccid
paralysis of the musculature) or decreased activity levels. In
later stages of the infection, secondary bacterial infections
often cause respiratory tract disease, stomatitis, and dermatitis.
In several instances, cutaneous neoplasia and leukemias
have been reported associated with IBD.7 In the final stages of
the disease, affected boas are commonly anorectic and dehydrated
and exhibit severe neurologic symptoms, such as incoordination
and failure to right themselves when placed in
dorsal recumbency. Python spp. are most often presented with
acute onset of neurologic signs, including loss of righting
reflex, disequilibrium, and ophisthotonos (Figures 60-6 and
60-7). In pythons, the infection appears to progress faster
when compared with Boa spp., and clinical signs may be
present within a few weeks after exposure to the agent.4
Remission from IBD has never been observed, and infected
snakes do die.
The route of natural transmission is unknown and may be
horizontal (e.g., respiratory tract, oral). Arthropods such as
the snake mite Ophionyssus natricis may also serve as a vector.
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Old 05-07-17, 06:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

Thanks everyone for the responses!! Other than the occasional "stargazing" stance which is almost always when someone else is getting fed (he's a fat fat man haha) he has shown zero signs. The fact that I only catch him in the stance when I'm feeding and not when he is chilling makes me feel he is just searching for food. As with all my snakes I'm careful not to cross any germs (wash my hands between handling and sanatize my snake hook) I'll keep business as usual just will be taking extra care making sure he doesn't come in direct or indirect (mites) contact with my other pythons. Unfortunately IBD has scared me off of adding any other boas to my collection so he'll strictly be my little "pet" and not a breeder. Maybe with time and finding the right breeder IBD won't worry me as much.
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Old 05-09-17, 12:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Another IBD Post

I should upload my video of my woma python when she was stargazing while having some neurological issues. I have a boa that will perch, as you've described, and stare up into space, sometimes for 30 minutes. It's not always around feeding or activity either; I've walked into our room with him posing. It looks like stargazing, but he's just showing off his goods I guess.

boas can remain virtually asymptomatic for up to 2 years, as been documented by Mader et al, as well as Jacobson et al, who have developed the only known diagnostics for IBD at the University of Florida. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, given the clinical symptoms that you've described, your snake does not have IBD. But if you're worried, have him tested for the disease. It'll run you anywhere from $150-$300, depending on your exotic vet prep fees.
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