Inclusion Body Disease (IBD)

Symptoms:

  • loss of appetite
  • regurgitation
  • weight loss
  • head tremors
  • clogged nostrils
  • chronic pneumonia
  • abnormal shedding
  • undifferentiated skin sarcoma
  • neurological symptoms (stargazing, corkscrewing, rolling onto the back, etc.)

Cause:

  • direct contact between infected and healthy snakes
  • poor hygiene in breeder facilities and pet stores
  • may be passed between snakes via mites

Treatment:

No treatment — although it effects both boas and pythons (boids), Inclusion Body Disease is always fatal in pythons. Euthanasia is the most humane course of action after diagnosis.

Ensure that you haven’t purchased an infected animal by quarantining it in a bare-bones enclosure with paper towels for at least 3-6 months. It sounds unpleasant, but it’s much better than accidentally introducing a fatal virus to your collection.

For more information about Inclusion Body Disease, read Symptoms For Inclusion Body Disease In Snakes by Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP.