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Re: On topic......

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Posted by regalringneck on March 20, 2003 at 21:53:50:

In Reply to: Off topic, or perhaps not re: introductions posted by TexIndigo Gal on March 18, 2003 at 20:36:53:

Hi B&J, perhaps the slow response is eveyones too flippn busy....or mebbe [like me n mojo]...theyre pissed that you 2 live in Fl. & wont go road cruising.... taking fotos of wild indys for the rest of us to drool over....

Heres a nugget, Rule 1....Never keep new aquistions in the same room as your clean & healthies. Ya gotta assume infection in all new purchases (not so though w/ wc) or you will get stung [actually you're going to get stung anyway if you fool around w/ this stuff long enough]. Rule 2...Never work/handle your new aquistions the same day & especially before you handle/feed your long term specimens. Rule 3...Water bowls belong to their cage, dont mix them up. Rule 4...If they regurg. isolate them, cease handling them completely, check your temp gradient & then try live natural prey to gut innoculate them, if they then regurg 3 more the residue, demand a refund, & ultimately euthanize the beast humanely.
Now from mojos cut & paste dept...

Cyberscript...I want a copy of any final compilation, C&B;jg

John Gunn
xxx W. Portobello Avenue
Mesa, Az. 85210

September 9, 2000

Re: Squamate regurgitation syndrome.

I have learned the hard way how easily this pestilence (cryptosporidium) can move through a collection via cage cleaning/handling/feeding/Re-using containers/etc. Unless disposable gloves are employed (as in your doctors office), the entire collection becomes in jeopardy (handling the infected snake then working/feeding in another cage).

As approximately 10-25% of the herps currently sold via the I-net have this infection, I now have strict quarantine procedures in place for new squamates to prevent large losses as I've suffered before. I never work with a new or suspect animal on the same day I work w/ my other critters.

I believe many if not most, breeders are in denial & thus spreading this plague continually (their stock rotates thru the same cages). One of the sure signs is anyone who encourages feeding "small meals", Another is when you visit their "snake room" & the unmistakable odor of regurgitated mouse is in a tub or trash can.

I have kept innumerable snakes over a period in excess of 30 years, I have fed huge meals to a number of healthy snakes, meals so big they could not crawl afterwards, requiring 10 days to 2 weeks to process them. Virtually never have these snakes regurgitated these huge meals.

The symptoms of regurgitation syndrome are a very retching contraction of the snake/monitor, the prey usually looks 50-75% digested. Sometimes its hard to tell if the item is a scat or regurgitation. The odor associated w/ each is unmistakable though to the experienced keeper. The second consecutive regurgitation event [for me] is proof of a disease issue.

My last experience, 3 years ago was obviously via a new San Felipe boa (first boa to regurgitate). I was too slow to respond...By the time I gave up 18 months later w/ Flagel treatments, vet & lab costs, etc. I wound up euthanizing 9 beautiful boas. I gave away (w/ lots of warnings) 4 more suspects. My fellow biologist who gave me the boa denies to this day he had (has) a problem, he recommended I feed it smaller meals!

I believe the offending microorganism (s) can survive freezing; I once (for an experiment) froze a regurgitating yrlng boa & 1 month later fed it to a kingsnake, the kingsnake was regurgitating 1 week later.

Regurgitation should be very rare in healthy squamates. Any captives that regurgitate w/o apparent reason (cold or rough handling) should be assumed infected. They should be treated by an experienced veterinarian if they are valuable enough, preferably euthanized. Flagel treatment appears to be generally ineffective.
Treated animals should be assumed to be carriers [forever!] & always be maintained under quarantine procedures.

Prior to purchasing a squamate, you should inquire about your dealers business procedures in case you have to later deal w/ this issue.

All tubs/containers that held sick squamates should be thrown away or used to store tools. Used cages, even nice ones such as Neodesha are w/o value unless you explicitly trust the previous owner, or have access to an autoclave.

All breeder loans (bad idea) & new arrivals should be maximally quarantined through a shed to shed cycle.

My experience with microbiology leads me to believe that squamate gut microecology is so unknown, we ought not to assume too much & instead trust a few million years of evolution & try to manage for natural conditions, rather than the typical western medical dogmas such as sterility. Many of these micro-organisms that we crudely observe & subsequently label as parasitic, are likely mutualistic, synthesizing vitamins or serving as catalysts for other complex biochemical reactions & interactions. Typical lab analysisís will find a host of what we believe are nasty bacteria & protozoans, thus most samples will appear "sick" & "need treatment". I use this method; start natural & stay natural; feed natural foods in addition to the usual sterile lab mice. I have never known a wild-caught snake to exhibit the syndrome unless it was processed through the cages of a commercial dealer.

We herp enthusiasts have a duty to personally commit to doing our part to eliminate this plague & stop denying its existence & facilitating its insidious spread.

Cheers & Beers, John Gunn

:I have posted this question in four other forums already, and have received a grand total of 1 (one, uno, un) response.

:There are caresheets a-plenty for every species known (and some known only to the poser), but if there exists a general guide for handling new acquisitions to an existing collection, I haven't found it. Some of these issues Iím very familiar with, thanks mostly to following this forum for the last year or so, but Iíve never seen the information gathered together in a useful format in one place. If this guide exists, please point me to it.

:Otherwise, I bow at your collective feet in obeisance to your superior experience (if not your sometimes-dubious wisdom) and request that you share same with me. I will be glad to consolidate your responses into a unified whole. Provide me email addresses and I will submit drafts to you for review for accuracy. The finished product will bear the names of contributors as the authors, and I will be the editor or compiler, depending on how much synthesis is required. It could be posted on or tossed into the circular file, as you deem appropriate.

:Iím happy to provide my CV to anyone with concerns about my ability to take on this task.

:My concern is this: sooner or later a second herp comes into the home, and Lo, And Behold, a Collection exists.

:What are the prudent steps to take with the new herp (either wild caught or bought) to insure that neither parasite nor disease enters with the newbie?

:Since no one (almost) on the other forums saw fit to respond to me, letís only talk about snakes, particularly the Drymarchons.

:1) How do I evaluate the health of the new animal?
:2) What are the common parasites?
:3) What do I look for as evidence of parasites?
:3) How do I eradicate parasites?
:4) What kind of complications should I be alert for when treating for a given type of parasite?
:5) What are other health concerns to be aware of?
:6) Which ones require immediate attention?
:7) How do I decide what I can do vs. what should be done by a veterinarian?
:8) Detail things that a (intermediate experienced) owner can do at home
:9) Explain quarantine Ėwhy, how, where, when, how long?
:10) What are the other factors that Iíve omitted mentioning in the above list?

:Again, if thereís already a resource for this stuff, tell me where to find it, and Iíll shut up, and save myself a lot of time and energy. I wish I had archived every thread that discussed any of these things here, but I havenít.

:Broiling already in Stink Petersburg, FL

:BTW, I just took anniversary pics of my Tex, should be able to post ďthen vs. nowĒ as soon as the film comes back on CD.

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