Transferable Diseases

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Harry89, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Harry89

    Harry89 Active Member

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    Hi All,

    From the body of knowledge out there, I know that same/same animals can transfer disease (python to python, dragon to dragon etc) but what about in similar, yet dissimilar groups? For example, can pythons infect colubrids, or elapids and can dragons share diseases with skinks and lizards? Is there a resource available to read up on such things? I am just curious for those with mixed species collections.

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. Neil j

    Neil j Active Member

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    Dr Shane Simpson has an ebook to buy on his website. Highly recommend it
     
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  3. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    In truth, very little is known about this. I've been watching for nearly 30 years, and what everyone including vets say one year turns out to be wrong the next, this is the only reliable thing I've seen. That and the fact that what they say is incompatible with the empirical evidence we see in the reality of herpetoculture. For what it's worth, I'm not some teenage two week herper, I've been keeping reptiles for decades and studied microbiology at university. Vets make money by saying 'Yep, I know my stuff!' and not from admitting they don't know what's going on. Every time the vets come out with a new version of the story everyone believes it despite the fact that without fair their previous information turns out to be wrong, and at the same time, almost literally no one acts on the information anyway.

    If you want to play it safe, practise good quarantine (and you'll literally be in the top less than 1% of keepers if you actually do practise effective quarantine!). For the record, I am one of those few and I think it's worth doing, but don't expect reliable information to be available about the pathogens we face. Our microscopic enemies are mysterious, and whether or not we have accurate information, at this point quarantine is basically our only defense. To give you an idea of how likely it is for a regular backyard herper to quarantine, even when studying microbiology at university, literally most of my fellow students were incapable of practising aseptic technique under laboratory conditions, so you can imagine how likely it is for untrained laymen in regular household conditions when literally working with multiple live animals!
     
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  4. Harry89

    Harry89 Active Member

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    Hi Sadji, I am familiar with your experience, practices and setup after seeing a few posts from you and know you always jump in with ample experience/knowledge. I also know I am not perfect with captive care and do what I feasibly can to keep all my herps happy and healthy in my small suburban home. I know there is little accurate information available but thought a sliver of knowledge better than a complete ostrich approach to animal care. So far *touch wood*, I have had no dramas with my little collection and I hope that does not change. Thanks Mate.
     
  5. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Basically, there are diseases which can affect all types of animals. In truth we really just don't know much at all about reptile pathogens; how they spread, how they affect the reptiles, how different types of pathogens affect different types of reptiles (there's speculation than some forms only affect pythons but not other snakes for example, but there's basically no evidence for these claims beyond flimsy anecdotes), incubation times, etc. The genuine research just hasn't been done. Constantly we get told that one disease or another is the big boogy man, and then is magically vanishes and there's something else. Sunshine virus is the current main boogy man, but I doubt we'll be talking about it in another 5-10 years, just as we now don't talk much about the previous one (OPMV) and we now never hear about the one before that (IBD) let alone the previous ones. IBD supposedly was everywhere, it was the vet diagnosis of the majority of snake deaths for many years, and then magically it just stopped being talked about, despite all they had claimed to know about it and were telling people about it and *charging big dollars to diagnose*. It is comical that Sunshine virus was discovered in Australia and is apparently the big issue, when the herp industry is astronomically larger outside Australia and Australia is an island... explaining the absurdity would take too long and I won't get into another one of my novella posts, but it's just silly.

    Whatever the true nature of these pathogens, it does make sense to practise good quarantine. We may not understand the way they work, but playing it safe doesn't hurt, and if nothing else it'll protect you from our most tangible enemy, mites. I suspect that for the most part, the microbes doing our herps the most harm are fairly common ones which tend to take hold when conditions aren't perfect. There is a huge amount of evidence to say that there just aren't prevalent boogy man viruses which will come in and wipe out a healthy collection which is otherwise in good health. Plenty of huge collections don't even try to practise quarantine and have animals coming in from literally all over the world - if what we were being told was true, these collections would all get wiped out but literally none of them ever have beenn. Pet shops can't possibly quarantine and their mascot animals serve as brilliant demonstrations that the virus stories are not true; if you wanted to design an experiment deliberately putting animals at the absolute maximum possible risk of exposure to pathogens, you could not do better than pet shop mascot animals, and the next best thing would be what we see in many zoos etc, and these effectively provide real world studies disproving the information we are lead to believe about pathogens. It's strange that when reality and 'official information' put out by people with a financial motivation for you to believe it are at conflict, people literally choose to believe the biased expert rather than actual reality!
     

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