Boa Constrictor with Inclusion Body Disease....?

Submitted by PSC on 2/20/02. ( )

I have a boa constrictor that I plan to tan and mount. It died from a disease called IBD - inclusion body disease. It is said to be similar to AIDS for snakes. The disease is caused by mites.
Has anyone worked on a snake with this disease?
Are there any special precautions (other than the usual) that I should take?
I have learned that IBD is not contagious to humans.
But, one can never be too careful.
Let me know if you have any info. on this.
Please post here. My email is down right now.

Thanks for the help.

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This response submitted by shawn on 2/20/02. ( )

The disease is caused by a virus from the family retrovirus. HIV is also a retrovirus but you've got to remember there are a couple thousand different viruses within this extended family. Freezing the animal should de-actvate the virus as they aren't too hardy @ 10 degrees and/or outside the body. Wear gloves if you like. Later!

Just wanted to make sure.

This response submitted by PSC on 2/21/02. ( )

Thanks Shawn.


This response submitted by on 2/21/02. ( )

Be very carefull when skinning. There is no way of transfering it to humans, especially if you freeze it as Shawn states. The problem is the small mites attach themselves to the inside of the skin, and the flesh on the carcass. I did a rhino viper recently that had this disease. It looked totally perfect before skinning, but afetr skinning and fleshing I noticed about 100 small BB sized holes in the skin. When you peal the skin off the carcass it leaves snall microscopic pieces of the skin on the carcass. You will not notice them till you skin it completely as they stretch a little during the removing of the skin. The holes are small and if using a form, which I guess you will not be doing with a BOA unles you are carving your own, you can mount it conventionally and thn retouch them with your airbrush when done and they will not be noticed. However, most people do noit know about the outer epidermal layers on constrictors. After it is mounted, you will have to wait about 45 days till it dries rock hard. You will notice that all of a sudden the scales on the outside are milky white and shriveled. You will have to get a gum(putty) eraser and gently rub the skin from head to tail to remove this layer of scales. The underlying second layer will be exposed with all its color and brilliance. Some of thes scales can be tough though and ned to be forcefully dislodged from their sockets, so be carefull !

IBD in a viper...?

This response submitted by Ola on 08/14/2002. ( )

I'm really confused? What I've heard the IBD virus is only infecting boid snakes, pythons and boas. How is it possible for your rhino viper to have a disease that's not infecting his family? Have the disease come to infect other snakes also, do you have a vets statement that it was IBD? Just asking, felt little bit of confused you know... Thanks.

Does anyone know if mice and rats can transmitt IBD?

This response submitted by Marcia on 10/05/2002. ( )

My husband and I recently purchased a ball python at a reptile show. We were told that the snake had suffered bites from a mouse that had been left in it's cage over night. I felt so bad for her...and if that was the care the gentleman was taking then I didn't want him to keep her. We have had her for 2 weeks now and she has shown the typical star gazing symptom. We were told to destroy her, but instead I contacted the seller and he denies the possiblity that she has IBD. He has agreed to take her back, but now one of the rats who's cage is being kept in the same room as the snake seems to be showing the same star gazing symptom. To be honest I never payed much attention to how the mice or rats acted (mainly because the snakes would always eat) but it doesn't seem normal? Any advice or info would be appreciated.

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