Inclusion Body Disease and Reptiles
Let's discuss about inclusion body disease and reptiles, more specifically, IBD and snakes. If you own a pet snake, especially a python or boa, you may have heard of inclusion body disease. Unfortunately, many snakes, develop this fatal disease. This article will disease IBD it's causes and symptoms.
In severe cases of IBD snakes will suffer from seizures, stargazing, facial tics, and muscle spasms. They will also have difficulty try to roll and may have abnormal tongue flicking. The more common and less severe symptoms that snakes with inclusion body disease develop are weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and skin ulcers.
The tricky thing about this disease is that the symptoms may remain inactive or invisible. Many boa constrictor's actually have the disease for years before they begin to show signs of it. With pythons the disease is tricky because it happens so fast. Within a few weeks of developing the disease the snake can suddenly show signs of it and then die. Although, boas and pythons tend to be more susceptible to IBD, all types of snakes can get the disease.
IBD is a viral disease that attacks different organs. It can even affect multiple organs and body systems at one time. The disease usually starts as a retrovirus. It can be transmitted to other snakes in various ways including, breeding, bites, ingestion of an infected snake's feces, and also by snake mites which are parasites. Sometimes snakes contract the IBD causing retrovirus just by coming in contact with infected snakes.It is important to separate infected snakes from healthy snakes although this can be difficult since infected snakes may not show signs of IBD. If you ever suspect that your snake has IBD you can take it to a veterinarian to get tested.
Unfortunately, there is no way to cure snakes from IBD. They will not recover, therefore many snake owners may make the humane decision to euthanize their snake before they suffer.
The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.