How can IBD be positively determined or excluded?

According to the most recent knowledge not at all!

 Dr. med vet. Wolfgang Heuberger and his wife Dr. med. vet Katharina Heuberger run the Lower Bavaria Reptile Clinic. Here is their report:

Based on ten years of practical experience, it is our opinion that there are a multitude of factors that may appear to be antigens affecting the immune system, yet they may not have anything to do with IBD. A clear distinction does not seem to be possible, because – according to both the Department of Veterinary Medicine in Detmold (Germany) and the “IBD experts” in Liverpool (UK) – it is not currently possible to diagnose IBD in a live animal, despite earlier indications suggesting otherwise.  Since reliable diagnoses are not possible in live specimens, we generally discourage our customers from having their animals tested for IBD. Of course, in cases of animals with obvious neurological symptoms that test positive in blood tests, the relevance of those results is certainly debatable.
However, even the relevance of those post-mortem examinations, in which inclusion bodies are detected, is heavily debated because several groups of viruses can produce inclusion bodies, and we are barely able to classify a tiny portion of reptilian viruses at large, and even fewer of those that are specific to snakes. If you think about how many viruses are known in humans, and how much fewer are known even from traditional pets, then the assumption that we are barely scratching the surface in reptilian virology seems logical.

Even if inclusion bodies are diagnosable, it does not provide any information regarding the pathogenic characteristics of the viruses that are causing the inclusion bodies, since it is often not possible to determine which virus produced them, and whether or not they are merely cellular waste that was left over from a previous viral infection. In the history of IBD, many animals have been euthanized based on diagnoses that would have been interpreted differently by other institutions.

Yet, whenever symptoms occur that match those of the inclusion bodies (suspected neurological symptoms, respiratory infections, etc.), it is frequently alleged (or claimed?) to be a case of clearly diagnosed IBD.  


Inclusion Body Disease | Boa constrictor IBD | Boa Aids | Stargazing | Boa constrictor  turns the head | Boa constrictor Koordinationsstörung | inclusion bodies | Inclusion body disease Boa constrictor | Paramyxovirus | Boa Virus | Retrovirus | Boa disease | Snake shows | Boas in shows | Boa bites | Boas on stage | Boa constrictor weird behaviour |

Reptiles in Shows

Unfortunately there is a trend for using non-venomous snakes as props in the entertainment industry. The snake serves as an exotic accessory to give an excited audience the chills.

In our opinon wild animals have no business being on stage since this is increasing the exposure to this hazard of people with no animal handling training as you can see in this video clip:

She had it coming, one could say.

Much more tragic is a case that was reported to us by an ophtalmologist in London in April 2011. A 42 year old, Brazilian female tourist presented to the Western Eye Hospital casualty having been bitten in the right ocular region by a boa constricter.  The incident occurred early the same morning at a London nightclub. The patient explained that the snake was put around her neck for a picture and as the flash went off, it bit her in the right eye. She suffered pain and reduced vision and was rushed to the eye casualty department.

Fortunately the sight of the woman had been saved by a surgery.

Boas are not cuddly toys! They must be treated with the respekt a wild animal is due.