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Old 02-05-04, 11:29 PM   #46 (permalink)
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You know, now that I sit down, relax and start to think, I realize how stupid I was in seeking the source of this ball python, or where it was from. Who is to say that one of the boa constrictors is the source of the IBD, and it just managed to be transferred to the ball python recently?

I think what should be done now is the person with this case of IBD, snakelovers, should sit down and think. Think of all the people they have baught snakes from. Think of all the reptiles they have come in contact with. At this point, inform all these people what has happened, and to keep an eye out on their animals.
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Old 02-05-04, 11:36 PM   #47 (permalink)
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I will admit I am not well researched on IBD, It has never been much of a concern, that sounds likely to change.

The live snake reference I mentioned, came from a link provided in an above post. I do not know if this link is the best source of information - hopefully someone who knows more about IBD can comment further.
Frequently asked questions:

Q: Can the disease be diagnosed in live snakes?

A: Yes...through blood testing ("For hematologic and plasma biochemical determinations, 0.6 ml of blood was placed in each of three microtainer tubes containing lithium heparin. All samples were submitted for hematological and plasma biochemical determinations within 30 min after collection. Whole blood examination included RBC, WBC, differential WBC, and determination of PCV, and Hb concentrations. Plasma biochemical analyses included determination of concentrations of sodium, potassium, chloride, carbon dioxide, urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, calcium, glucose, phosphorus, total bilirubin, cholesterol, uric acid, total protein, albumin, globulin, alkaline phosphatase, SGOT, SGPT. For comparative purposes, clinically affected boa constrictors were arbitrarily categorized as either acutely affected (<2 months following onset of signs) or chronically affected (>2 months following onset).
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Old 02-06-04, 12:50 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Scales Zoo, it can be tested through blood. I had a scare for parasites and had a fecal done, and my vet had just mentioned in passing if I was aware that Boa's are the carriers of IBD, i didn't, anyway she said that it can be tested through a blood test. I have seen others who have mentioned this as well, but my understanding is it is expensive.. this is ust what I have had as experience with my vet...
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Old 02-06-04, 12:55 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Thanks Dark Angel.

And from another link already posted in this thread

To make a more rapid diagnosis, cytologic smears can be made from biopsies and stained using a modified hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) technique:

1. Fix 1 minute in 10% neutral buffered formalin
2. Stain 3 minutes in Harris hematoxylin
3. One dip into acid alcohol
4. Briefly wash in running water
5. Dip into 0.5%ammonia to blue the nuclei
6. Wash in running water
7. Counterstain in eosin for 40 seconds
8. Dehydrate in a series of alcohols: 95%-100%-100%
9. Place in xylene and mount as with a paraffin embedded section

I have found this staining far superior than using Wright-Giemsa staining. With Wright Giemsa staining the inclusions stain basophilic and may not be readily recognizable. With H&E staining, inclusions stain exactly the same as in tissues embedded in paraffin, sectioned and stained with H&E. It must be remembered that absence of inclusions in the biopsies does not necessarily mean the snake is free of IBD. In some cases inclusions may only be seen in the central nervous system, and in those cases may be few in number. The diagnosis is only as good as the portion sampled and biopsies routinely represent a relatively small portion of the entire tissue.

If inclusions are identified in any cells, euthanasia is recommended.
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Old 02-06-04, 01:55 PM   #50 (permalink)
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In regards to diagnosis:

An interesting note is that, to my knowledge, all information available on IBD is derived from a 5 page essay written by Elliot Jacobson. You'll notice his name repeatedly in the reference list above, and others listed would be basing research on what he has compiled. The fact of the matter is that IBD is not of major importance to those who fund scientific experiments, and little, if any work has been done apart from Elliot's. If you contact him at the University above, he will personally send you a copy of his essay.
What this means is that any vet or breeder that has diagnostic info on IBD are all, literally, reading the same book. Variations in opinions most likely result from reading derivative, and at times misinterpreted, info as can be expected with any generational communication.
Talking to many vets, who in turn have spoken with many other vets and pathologists on both sides of the borders alike, i have been led to believe that the key statement in the quote above is that the absence of inclusion bodies in a biopsy does not determine the absence of IBD. It just means that no inclusion bodies, also called fat, were found in places from which tissue was taken- which is typically the liver, kidney, blood, or the CNS.
To take this back a couple steps, it's interesting to look at the nature of lab testing and virus's themselves.
Lab values, such as an increase in leukocytes, can tell the pathologist that "something" is going on- that the body is mounting a counterattack to either a baceria or virus. Other tests can actually determine which one it is. But virus's, particularly retrovirus's like HIV and IBD, are especially tricky because they actually sit INSIDE of a cell's DNA- cutting and pasting themselves within it, until the host can no longer discern the virus from itself. The body fails to recognize, and therefore respond to, the invading virus. As a result, retrovirus testing is often a search not for the virus itself, but for a syndome, or collection of symptoms that imply a viral infection. In the case of IBD, this syndrome is comprised primarily of inclusion bodies (fat), found in all the wrong places. THIS IS ALL THEY ARE LOOKING FOR. Not the virus, but fat. In fact, an IBD virus has not even been isolated yet, but researchers, based on the bodies physiological responses to some kind of microbial invasion, feel they have every reason to strongly believe in just such a virus. Because other factors could possibly cause abberant fat bodies, there are even some people who do not even share the scientific belief in IBD's existence. That point aside, it is important to understand that an informed vet, who has actually done his research an not just consulted their garden variety Veterinary Manual, is most likely to tell you that IBD cannot be positively confirmed by any means other than a full necropsy.

"There's nothing more freeing than to be confined to live only in what you know is true..." John DeRuiter-
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