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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Awesomethepossum's Avatar
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    WLP getting tested for Inclusion body disease.

    I wanted to ask here, since I'm trying to get more informed on the disease.


    A bit of backstory:
    I have a 1-2 year old WC WLP that I've had since March. Got him from a reptile expo, seller held onto him for a month beforehand and treated him for internal parasites. Zero issues for the first 3 months or so. This guy was doing fantastic. Awesome appetite, gentle to handle, active, great sheds, healthy weight, poop, etc. All that good stuff.

    Anyway, around July, he suddenly lost interest in eating and he was hiding more. I thought maybe it was stress, but saw no improvement. I finally started offering live mice and he ate a couple of times. But last week he even refused that.

    I decided to take him to the vet. They drew blood and tube fed him (with some Metronidazole added) so we could collect a fecal to test since he wasn't giving us anything to to with. Not ideal, but I didn't want to put this off longer since he was starting to lose some weight.

    Fast forward to today, vet confirmed that he had hookworm eggs in his stool, and that his WBC count indicated he was fighting an infection. She voiced concern that he had IBD, but the results for that will take longer. He was prescribed Fortaz injections every 3 days, which I administer myself, and tomorrow I'm bringing him back in to get another dose of treatment for the parasites.


    I'm not very familiar with the disease, but I read that pythons tend to express rapid onset with more overt neurological symptoms? I'm sure not all snakes show the same symptoms, but the only observable issue is that he isn't eating and has been hiding more, and obviously is weaker because...well, he hasn't eaten. I'm really hoping that's a good sign, but the vet didn't sound optimistic.

    I feel like hookworm can also cause these issues.. I wanted to check with you guys to see if anyone had any knowledge or even personal experience with the disease.

    Thank you

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  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Sorry for your difficulties with this guy. I sorta doubt it would be IBD (& I have zero personal experience with it but) just based on the common knowledge that it tends to overwhelm pythons rather quickly, & you've had him for quite a while in terms of the timeline I've read that other affected pythons suffered. It's obvious that he has "some" kind of health issue, but you'll need more tests- & to play "detective" to get to the bottom of it. You've got guts for taking this guy on, I'll say that. I hope you get some good answers soon & that there's a "fix" for what ails him.

    Also, a w/c & imported snake will have been exposed to a great many things, & the stress puts them at higher risk for their immune system to be unable to fend off whatever it is. And it could be more than one thing too- as you already know- he has hookworms + some sort of infection. But at least you're not seeing neuro symptoms, right? So I doubt it's IBD, & let's hope whatever it is, it responds to treatment.

    I'd also worry about things like cryptosporidiosis. Here's a link for that: https://www.addl.purdue.edu/newslett...r/snakes.shtml
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-08-2021 at 07:11 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran Awesomethepossum's Avatar
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    Re: WLP getting tested for Inclusion body disease.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Sorry for your difficulties with this guy. I sorta doubt it would be IBD (& I have zero personal experience with it but) just based on the common knowledge that it tends to overwhelm pythons rather quickly, & you've had him for quite a while in terms of the timeline I've read that other affected pythons suffered. It's obvious that he has "some" kind of health issue, but you'll need more tests- & to play "detective" to get to the bottom of it. You've got guts for taking this guy on, I'll say that. I hope you get some good answers soon & that there's a "fix" for what ails him.

    Also, a w/c & imported snake will have been exposed to a great many things, & the stress puts them at higher risk for their immune system to be unable to fend off whatever it is. And it could be more than one thing too- as you already know- he has hookworms + some sort of infection. But at least you're not seeing neuro symptoms, right? So I doubt it's IBD, & let's hope whatever it is, it responds to treatment.
    Thank you, I appreciate your response

    They didn't find any respiratory issues, or mouth rot and commented that he looked visually healthy otherwise. Aside from being lean (not emaciated). I told them to do whatever tests they needed to do the day I brought him in, getting it all out of the way instead of stretching it out over multiple visits and putting him through all that.

    No neurological or coordination issues. Only other thing is that it seems like his growth rate is slowed, but I feel like a parasite infection (and not eating) would influence that...

    I gave him the first round of antibiotics today, and he gave me his first bite, right on my middle finger. He still has a lot of spunk. I hate stressing him out with all this, but my hands are tied and we don't have any other choice.

    Aside from the parasites and infection, I really hope the treatment isn't too much for him. I guess only time will tell

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  4. #4
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    For sure the parasites have an effect- they're stealing his food, & can even cause internal damage or blockages. So hopefully that's all he's fighting but only time will tell. I just don't see anything that screams "IBD" to me- but maybe your vet has dealt with a recent case that's haunting her thoughts- so naturally it gets considered anyway. IBD is everyone's idea of a nightmare, so I think it springs to mind more often than is justified.

    It's heartbreaking to have a snake start off for several months doing so well, only to have them end up sick & not eating- but don't give up. I'd do the same thing you are- try to get all the tests at once if you can- to minimize his stress. If you only just now got your first bite from him, that's pretty good. It's for a good cause, anyway, & you're a great owner. If anyone can get him well, I'd put money on you. Keep us posted though, okay? He's in my good thoughts.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  6. #5
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    Re: WLP getting tested for Inclusion body disease.

    Research Associates Lab (RAL) has a "Boid Panel" that tests for multiple viral diseases including IBD. The panel is $60 and you need to have your vet collect and send off the blood sample so you would pay that to your local vet. They can also test for crypto but sadly after dealing with that (and dodging a bullet as I only lost the one critter who never cleared QT) she never lost her appetite, just constantly regurgitated what she did eat, I doubt your WLP has it.

    RAL's web site is https://www.vetdna.com/test-type/reptiles
    Last edited by bcr229; 09-08-2021 at 08:32 PM.

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  8. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: WLP getting tested for Inclusion body disease.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    ...They can also test for crypto but sadly after dealing with that (and dodging a bullet as I only lost the one critter who never cleared QT) she never lost her appetite, just constantly regurgitated what she did eat, I doubt your WLP has it...
    I sure hope not- I just figured the WLP might not be that far along yet (to be regurgitating). But that's the symptom (along with the mid-body swelling) that's most typical for crypto, I agree.
    Plenty of things to test for & hopefully rule out- keeping good thoughts. (It sure doesn't sound like IBD though- don't you agree? No harm testing in case though.)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-08-2021 at 09:09 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  9. #7
    BPnet Veteran Awesomethepossum's Avatar
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    Re: WLP getting tested for Inclusion body disease.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    Research Associates Lab (RAL) has a "Boid Panel" that tests for multiple viral diseases including IBD. The panel is $60 and you need to have your vet collect and send off the blood sample so you would pay that to your local vet. They can also test for crypto but sadly after dealing with that (and dodging a bullet as I only lost the one critter who never cleared QT) she never lost her appetite, just constantly regurgitated what she did eat, I doubt your WLP has it.

    RAL's web site is https://www.vetdna.com/test-type/reptiles
    I know they did send out a blood sample for testing, I'm not sure how many viruses they were testing or if it was just IBD, but it was $60. They said it could take 3 weeks to get the results. I have to bring this guy in tomorrow, so I can ask them more about the testing

    And thank you, I'm sorry to hear about your snake, and I hope you're right

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  10. #8
    bcr229's Avatar
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    If it were crypto you would likely have seen a regurge by now. Hopefully it's just parasites that can be cleared up with Metronidazole.

    Also a side effect of the Metronidazole (aka Flagyl) is that it stimulates the appetite, which is why it's commonly used to help WC reptiles get established.

  11. #9
    BPnet Veteran Awesomethepossum's Avatar
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    Re: WLP getting tested for Inclusion body disease.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    If it were crypto you would likely have seen a regurge by now. Hopefully it's just parasites that can be cleared up with Metronidazole.

    Also a side effect of the Metronidazole (aka Flagyl) is that it stimulates the appetite, which is why it's commonly used to help WC reptiles get established.
    I just took him back to the vet today, they gave him another dose of dewormer with food. Vet told me his organ function was good, but his white blood count was really high. He was down a few grams, but had a lot more energy.

    Again, she isn't really reassuring and said there was a 50/50 chance he has IBD... I asked her about him being consistently like this for a few months now without any escalation in symptoms, or neurological issues and asked if the symptoms would be similar to a parasite infection. She said yes. But again, mentioned his high WBC count. I don't really know much about any of that stuff, but I worry what that would indicate to make her lean towards the disease, as opposed to the body just fighting a parasite infection

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

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  13. #10
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I for sure don't understand why she still gives IBD such a high probability- as far as I know, many infections can cause a high WBC in a snake?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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