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Thread: Quarantine Reminder

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    10,613

    Default Quarantine Reminder

    Hello everyone,

    I just wanted to refresh the recommendation to quarantine your new snakes for a minimum of three months after you bring it home to protect your previous pets. There is a potential case of Boid Inclusion Body Disease in the Edmonton area. This has not been confirmed, but quarantine is all about risk management, so protect your animals.

    Please use this thread to discuss what you recommend as adequate quarantine for your collection. Please no finger pointing, let us focus on what we can do, and not what we think other's could have or should have done.

    For my collection, quarantine includes:
    1. A separate room for new animals (although I am guilty of also using this as an overflow room). This room is on the second floor, while my main room is in the basement. No close quarters.
    2. Limiting access and exposure to new animals. Monitoring for illness, parasites, appetite, behavior etc. but largely hand's off. Only entering the quarantine room if absolutely necessary
    3. Tending to quarantined animals last, and not returning to my main collection afterwards.
    4. Using strong disinfectants within quarantine (quatsyl and chlorhexadine as necessary)
    5. And of course, what happens in quarantine, stays in quarantine All hides, cages, tongs, spray bottles etc. are not used outside of the quarantine room.
    6. I use a 3 month base quarantine. I prefer a year, and stick to this for tortoises, boas and pythons because these groups have known diseases that can be latent without immediate symptoms to be observed. Of course this can easily still be present in other groups in yet to be discovered pathogens.
    Ian Kanda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Drumheller
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: Quarantine Reminder

    I would like to add that after adding a new animal to the quarantine the timer is reset for every animal in that room. They could potentially be contaminated by the introduced animal. The same could be said for any animal that is brought to an expo or meet.
    5.7 Carpet Pythons - 1.1 Woma Pythons - 0.0.1 GTP - 1.1 Mandarin Ratsnakes - 1.1 Unicolor Cribo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    10,613

    Default Re: Quarantine Reminder

    That is an excellent point. Quarantine rooms are an "all in - all out" scenario. Another thing to reset the timer is illness. A three month quarantine is three months after the resolution of any problems observed (mites, diarrhea, upper respiratory symptoms etc).
    Ian Kanda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4,969

    Default Re: Quarantine Reminder

    Another thing I was looking at currently is that there are LOTS of collections being dumped right now as well as 'batch deals' (seeing this mostly in the gecko and ball python areas). People are jumping on some amazing deals (sadly I'm seeing many whim purchases) but I question how many buyers are quarantining. In cases like this (a) you have NO way at all to tell which specific animal may have been ill when it arrived; (b) which became ill first and, (c) in cases where several collections are being bought within close proximity of dates, which collection contained the sick animal and have you just contaminated EVERY animal. Breeders, also seem to feel they are immune to having to quarantine. I see many many trades in the hobby (mostly balls but I am hearing lots of guys are trading for other species or morphs they may want). In the past, ANY time I brought in anything from another breeder, I would quarantine. I no longer buy/trade (at least not for animals) so it is no longer a necessity for me, BUT, on occasion you may have an animal that shows signs of 'something' wrong. Even if you have had this animal for a year or better I recommend pulling it and putting it into a separate rack on paper towel for observation.

    Ian just mentioned Inclusion Body Disease. IBD blows stuff like mites, scale rot, mouth rot out of the water. (Ian or Colin, please correct me if I am wrong), it is a FATAL disease, no cure. Can only be diagnosed after death although many symptoms may present. Just be cautious when involved in sales or trade deals that appear to be 'too good to be true'...they usually are!

    ~~~~~
    Taken from the Merck Veterinary Manual:


    Few viruses have been clearly proved as etiologic agents of disease in reptiles, but several have been linked strongly enough for them to be considered the causative agent until proved otherwise.

    Inclusion Body Disease (IBD) of Boid Snakes

    Boa constrictors and several species of pythons are most commonly affected by IBD. Boas are considered to be the normal host for this retrovirus because so many are infected, and they can harbor the virus for years without signs. Early signs, possibly precipitated by any factor causing immunosuppression, include a history of unthriftiness, anorexia, weight loss, secondary bacterial infections, poor wound healing, dermal necrosis, and regurgitation. In essence, IBD should be considered in every sick boa. Typical findings in the acute phase of the disease include leukocytosis and a normal chemistry panel. As the disease progresses, WBC counts tend to decline to subnormal levels. Blood chemistry results vary depending on how debilitated and dehydrated the boa becomes, but organ damage may appear. As the disease becomes chronic, some boas exhibit neurologic symptoms ranging from mild facial tics and abnormal tongue flicking to failure of the snake to right itself when placed in dorsal recumbency and severe seizures.

    Pythons are thought to be an abnormal host to the IBD retrovirus because the course of disease is more acute and neurologic symptoms more profound. Most pythons present with severe neurologic disease. While the active disease can linger for months or more in boas, most pythons die within days or weeks of the onset of clinical signs.

    Exposure to this retrovirus appears to be due to a transfer of body fluids. Breeding, fight wounds, fecal/oral contamination, and snake mites have been implicated as common ways of transfer. A tentative diagnosis is based on the history and clinical signs. Blood work varies depending on the stage of the disease, but few diseases in snakes will cause such elevated WBC counts in the early stages. On blood smears, inclusion bodies are frequently found in the cytoplasm of leukocytes. A definitive diagnosis is obtained via biopsy of internal tissues in which the characteristic inclusion bodies are found, eg, the liver, kidney, esophageal tonsils, and stomach.

    IBD is not curable, and many clients choose euthanasia. However, individuals may elect to isolate their snakes and treat with supportive and palliative measures. It is essential to educate clients not to sell infected specimens or their offspring, as this has caused the disease to spread worldwide.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    10,613

    Default Re: Quarantine Reminder

    THank you for sharing that Tracey. The "characteristic inclusion bodies" can be somewhat misleading. Other diseases and virus' can cause inclusion bodies. Finding them in the blood smear is difficult, and their presence is largely a luck of the sample. If it were easy, we'd be diagnosing a lot more with a simple blood test. Unfortunately, the tissue with the highest concentration of inclusion bodies is the brain; something that can only be viewed after death. The next highest concentrations are usually found in the tonsils and pancreas. These are risky to biopsy, and while a positive sample gives you an answer, a negative sample does not clear IBD as possibly being present elsewhere in the body. Any tissue can carry the virus (inclusions can be found anywhere).

    Also of note, and this is an aspect of quarantine that can be harder to grasp, is that IBD (and other diseases) can be subclinical indefinitely. If you quarantine for three months instead of one month, you are more likely to see symptoms show up if the disease is present. But if you quarantine for 1 year instead of 3 months, you are even more likely to see symptoms show up. The longer the quarantine, the less risk there is of that animal bringing in unwanted disease. However this risk only reaches zero if the animal never leaves quarantine because you can always keep it there longer.
    Ian Kanda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Re: Quarantine Reminder

    I'd like to stress something that Ian has mentioned, but few people really clue into. Most people view quarantines as a "time" issue, which is not really accurate; quarantines are a "barrier" issue. You do a quarantine to give yourself time to thoroughly analyze the animal and be more sure that they are free of disease, but if you do not establish barriers, then you are not quarantining anything. As has been stated, anything that is in your quarantine room, or more accurately, anything that comes into contact with the animals in quarantine, should never come into contact with your regular stock. This means more than just things like water dishes and snake hooks. In a true quarantine, as Ian hints at, even the caregiver, ie. YOU, should not come into contact with the animal in question. This means utilizing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). While many think this is perhaps extraneous, all I can say is compared to the cost of some animals (especially certain morphs), the cost of utilizing disposable gloves, masks, bonnets, protective gowns, and booties, and thoroughly disinfecting EVERYTHING with something like Virkon doesn't compare to the loss if IBD/Bd/mites/etc infects and wipes out a healthy colony worth several thousand. If you touch a quarantined animal and then go handle an established animal, you do not have a barrier. If you use the same garbage can for your established animals as you do for your quarantine animals, you do not have a barrier. If you wear gloves and booties while handling quarantine animals, scratch your nose, then go work with your established animals, you do not have a barrier. Your quarantine could be a full year, but if a contact surface can move between the quarantine area and the established area without disinfection, you do not have a barrier, and therefore you do not have a quarantine. Quarantine does not mean just housing the animals in a different area.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Quarantine Reminder

    Thanks for posting this.

    Another thing to consider is - a lot of keepers think mites are no big deal. You just spray them down with a little something, maybe soak the snake and do whatever mite patrol it is you do, and the are gone.

    However. I personally am absolutely terrified of ever getting mites. I know they say every keeper will have them at least once, but I plan on doing everything in my power to never let that happen.

    The reason mites can be so scary is that they can spread diseases. So while mites may not be a big deal to some, I personally think that treating every incoming animal as though they have mites is a no-brainer. All "new arrival" bins are sprayed down with Provent-A-Mite before I even go pick up/receive the snake, and then are observed carefully.

    I cross my fingers for whoever is potentially dealing with IBD. If it is IBD, that is horrifying

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Red Deer
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: Quarantine Reminder

    I haven't read the whole article yet, but I found this link on The Reptile Report. Looks like there is soon going to be testing available that allows testing of IBD by a simple blood test. Great news for the hobby IMO.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...cienceDaily%29
    ~Hand selected, high end, Corns, Kings, Milks, House Snakes, Night Snakes and Boas~
    http://www.5starserpents.com
    Love what you do and it will show through! http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/foru...d.php?t=347936

    5starserpents@telus.net

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