No announcement yet.


This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Entomeba

    I recently lost a very gorgeous Suriname red tail (BCC) to a protozoa called entomeba, that turtles carry. We do not now, nor have we ever owned or housed a turtle. We loved this snake very much and miss him... The thing that just keeps nagging at me is how he could have gotten it. It is supposed to be very contagious, yet all of my other snakes fecals have come back clean. So I know that it was not spread from one of my other snakes or lizards. Please help, so that I may be able to avoid such a heartbreak, let alone the financial impact in the future.

  • #2

    How old was your Boa? Did the person you got him from have, breed or sell turtles. Need more info.


    • #3

      The boa in question was only about 5 mos. old. He came from Miller Reptiles( No, Gary Miller does not have, and never has had turtles. He felt so bad about the whole thing. He was genuinely upset and immediately had fecals done on his entire collection, upwards of 150 boas, pythons, and gila monsters. He also is giving me pick of the litter on his next clutch of Surinames, just because it might've come from him. He is a truly great guy, and his snakes are some the most stunning you will ever see anywhere.
      This is why I have this whole mystery. It doesn't seem to go back to anywhere, like it just showed up. But, that's impossible I think.


      • #4

        Unless he's got it from his mom, my guess it was in the rats, do you feed fresh thawed rats products this kills the rat parasites when they are frozen.
        If you get another snake try another sorce for rats and Maybe a rat breeder like rodent pro.
        Most parastites don't kill the host animal unless something else may be wrong. Be sure your temps are high enough for a bcc.
        My vet told me with a sick snake once, to remember their immune system is extremly temperature sensative, even on antiobiotics they may need a slight increase in temp to help their immune system to function, if you have a cold spot or cool spot in your cage <82 you could cause all kind of problems..

        I bought a infared temp gun at radio shack for 30.00 bucks and found huge temp gradients in what I assumed was a stable cage.
        Hope this helps, I have two bcc and had problems that first year with mine..


        • #5

          1st off sorry for your loss.just to touch on what doug said..make sure before you house your new boa that you clean out the cage very very very very good.if you house the new boa in the same cage w/ out cleaning it. you might be posting another post like this. the way i cleaned out my cage is this. i used 50% bleach 50% water. i know its a strong mix. but why take any chances? not much can live in 50% bleach. i soaked the water dish in the mixture ( not the same i used to clean the cage ) in a bucket for an hr. then washed it off let it air dry.if you used a feeding tub,tongs, or anything that came in to contact w/ your 1st boa. make sure you clean that out as well.why take any chances?don't reuse the same substrate. throw that out and use new.if you reuse the same substrate you may loose the 2nd boa. if your using like a rock hide or something that water wont hurt it.if you cant wash it or soak it.might want to get a new 1..just soak it in another bucket like you did the water dish.just make sure your not reusing the same bleach water. also something you may want to do is wash your hands w/ a anti-bact soap before and after handling your new snake so nothing gets passed on.
          you may want to feed frozen/ thawed rats. what i did is used zip-lock sandwich bags to thaw the rats in.i got a box of these bags and used them only for thawing. just remember to wash your hands after thawing the rat before you try to handle your new boa,and make any 1 that comes in contact w/ your new boa before handling to wash there hands to especially kids.they might have been out back playing w/ a frog or turtle. just remember to clean anything and everything before you add in the 2nd boa so it dont get passed on from your 1st boa.hope this helps..


          • #6

            The boa was in a new cage, which was gutted and cleaned once a week, sometimes more if necassary. All the stuff in it was dishwasher safe, and was thrown in the dishwasher alone. He only ate frozen thawed , out of a ziplock. I use a temp gun, a truly stable cage. The protazoa in question, is a true snake killer though. We wole up that morning, he was weak and kind of slow moving. We heated him up, misted him down, and kept a close eye on him. By noon, his mouth was hanging open, by 1:00, he was dead. Something I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to have to watch. My vet and I, actually , were almost certain of IBD. The only relief out of the whole thing, was finding his biopsy to be inclusion bodies free.


            • #7

              Sorry about your loss, if it wasn't in his food then he had it from his birth, was the mother wild caught, many wild caught animals are full of parasites and becuase they are adult can tolerate the well.
              Most BCC donot breed as easily as BCI so many breeders are importing wild caught to their collection's for breeding stock the adults tolerate the parasites , but the babies are not yet immune to the parasites, Many young animals are almost immune compramised that first few months. It takes time for the immune system to fully acclimate and start producing antibodies againts parasties and such.
              Bcc are much more difficult to keep they seem extremly sensative and will regurge very easily. My ideal temps ambients for my Guyana are 88- 82 on the cool side no part of the cage is less than 82, if the humidty drops below 60% i had shed problems and noticed the snakes were less active and would not feed well.
              This is my observation and may not be the norm for most Guyana and Suri owners.
              My four year old is basking on the top shelf with the temp at 86 ambient the lower shelf is warmer under the che and cooler in the corners but no place in the cage is less than 82..
              Food sources are critical to your animals health rats are vectors for mites, fleas, protazoa, and many worms tape thru round. its very important to only feed frozen thawed animals from a reputable rat farm that feed hi-protein food loaded with vits and minerals. thats the only food to feed your snakes. Most snake breeders know this.
              Good luck with your new animal take a stool to the VEt for parasite check when first recieved I have a feeling they are getting it from MOM..

              ps, A boaphile cage may be the perfect solution for the new snake I didnt see any mention of the cage your using other than its clean.
              I never clean my cages with harsh chemicals, I use fresh tap water and paper towels, most cleaners either have ammonia, toxic soap's and worse bleach the fumes alone can gas a reptile. KNow one knows the effects of certian cleaners on reptiles immune systems and organs.


              • #8

                :-[ Im really sorry. I think this may just be one of those freak things that happen. I'm sure there is more then one way that you can get Entomeba then just from turtles. Its a sad thing to loose a snake or any animal for that matter. It sounds like you did everything you could. Once again I'm sorry for your loss..


                • #9

                  ;D I am in the medical field and I was researching "Entomeba". I believe what your snake had was Entamoeba Coli with humans being infected by ingesting food or water contaminated with cysts (human fecal material). If someone is infected with this organism, it means they have been (or are currently being) exposed to human fecal material. Entamoeba coli is not the "E. coli" that humans can get from eating raw or undercooked meat and that has been associated with a number of human fatalities in the past few years. The other "E. coli" is a bacterium (prokaryote), Escherichia coli

                  Know it could quite possibly be this. Which is moe likely..
                  Entamoeba invadens (intestine of reptiles; nonpathogenic in turtles; pathogenic in snakes)

                  Entamoeba Infections: Entamoeba is a water-borne protozoan that can cause acute diarrhea or more serious invasive liver abscesses. This parasite is a single-celled eukaryote. They have a simple life cycle that consists of an infective cyst stage and a multiplying trophozoite stage. Transmission of this infection occurs when cysts in contaminated water are consumed. Infection can lead to amoebic dysentery, resulting form trophozoites invading the intestinal wall, amoebic liver abcesses, resulting from the spread of trophozoites from the intestine via the bloodstream. Generally, aquatic turtles are carriers of this parasite, but it can be highly pathogenic with other animals, especially with tortoises.

                  This is an actual vet report from The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
                  Department of Veterinary Pathology

                  CASE II - 42412 (AFIP 2787174)
                  Signalment: Adult, female, Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis)
                  History: The lizard developed skin lesions on its tail, possibly from aggression with enclosure mates. The lesions progressed and ultimately the distal 1/3 of her tail was amputated. Despite apparent healing at the amputation site, her condition declined over the next two months. She was euthanized after developing a large oronasal fistula.
                  Gross Pathology: A large (1.1 x 20.0 x 0.8 cm) defect was present in the rostral right hard palate connecting the oral cavity to the nasal cavity. Thick dark brown exudate covered the exposed surfaces of the nasal cavity. The tail tip was blunt and covered by smooth black skin (healed amputation site). Coalescing firm, tan nodules distorted approximately 80% of the liver. One nodule was confluent with a similar mass in the caudal left lung. A 5 mm in diameter red ulcer was present in the stomach.
                  Laboratory Results: Not applicable.
                  Contributor’s Morphologic Diagnoses: 1. Liver: Severe multifocal to coalescing subacute to chronic necrotizing and granulomatous hepatitis with intralesional protozoa (Etiology: Entamoeba invadens)
                  2. Liver: Moderate multifocal portal fibrosis and edema
                  3. Liver: Parasitism (trematode eggs)
                  Contributor’s Comment: In addition to the liver, amoebic infection was present in the lung, stomach and spleen. Entamoebiasis in reptiles occurs worldwide and is a common cause of morbidity and mortality, mostly in lizards and snakes. Although E. invadens is occasionally pathogenic in turtles, it is likely that turtles (and possibly
                  03WSC14 - 3 -
                  crocodilians) more commonly serve as reservoir hosts. The organism is transmitted by ingestion of cysts that have been shed in the feces of another reptile. The cysts develop into trophozoites in the intestine and either invade the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract or are transformed into cysts to be excreted and continue the cycle. Diagnosis of the infection can be made antemortem by identifying cysts or trophozoites in feces or a colonic wash. Trophozoites are 10 to 15 um (up to 30 um) in diameter and have a single nucleus with a single central endosome and a ring of peripheral granules beneath the nuclear membrane. Cysts are 11 to 20 um in diameter and have four nuclei. Entamoeba invadens is a member of the Entamoeba histolytica group of amoebae, some of which are listed below.
                  Entamoeba histolytica group
                  E. anatis (ducks)
                  E. dispar (primates; nonpathogenic)
                  E. equi (horses)
                  E. hartmanni (primates; nonpathogenic)
                  E. histolytica (primates; canids; swine)
                  E. invadens (reptiles)
                  E. moshkovskii (primates; nonpathogenic)
                  E. ranarum (amphibians)
                  The fibrosis and edema seen in many portal regions are not typical of amoebiasis and suggest biliary obstruction. A likely possible etiology is biliary trematodiasis (as indicated by scattered trematode eggs present in most liver sections) although no adult flukes were detected in the bile ducts or gallbladder.
                  AFIP Diagnoses: 1. Liver: Hepatitis, necrotizing, acute, multifocal to coalescing, moderate, with numerous amoebic trophozoites, etiology consistent with Entamoeba invadens, Caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis), reptile.
                  2. Liver: Hepatitis, granulomatous, multifocal to coalescing, mild, with few trematode eggs.
                  Conference Comment: The contributor has provided a concise summary of the obligate protozoan parasite, Entamoeba invadens. Conference participants discussed which morphologic changes should be attributed to amoebiasis and which were induced by trematodiasis. Trematodes that are important in reptiles are usually of the order Digenea. These parasites typically penetrate the intestinal wall, cross the peritoneal space and subsequently invade the liver. They migrate through the hepatic parenchyma and ultimately enter the bile ducts to mature and lay eggs. Adult trematodes incite an inflammatory response in the bile ducts, which can result in fibrosis in chronic cases. In this case, the severity of periportal fibrosis varies significantly between slides; all agreed trematodiasis is the likely cause.
                  Contributor: Zoological Society of San Diego, CRES/Department of Pathology, P.O. Box 120551, San Diego, CA, 92122-0551

                  Hope this helps Good luck.



                  • #10

                    Thank you everyone for all your help. I think it was just a freak thing, and I have from the begginning. I do know that the mother was not a wild caught, it was from Tudehupe bloodines, and the father was from Lemke. He was such a beautiful little fella. I miss him so much. Cesare was the very first non rescue snake I've ever had die on me. Even with over 30 rescued lizards and snakes, he's only the third.
                    Either way, the new Suri will be from the same father, but a completely different mother. I insisted on it not being from the same mother, just in case. Also, I don't want to give Barry Miller any bad names. He's a great guy, and all of his snakes are top notch. He's kept in constant contact with me throughout everything. I truly believe he is just as upset by the whole thing as I am. I would reccommend him to absolutely anyone.
                    As for the cage, it is a treated pine box with two thermometers and a heated shelf. I built myself. That and all the boa cages.
                    As for the kids maybe passing something on, they wash their hands before they can even go in the snake room. I don't believe I had let them handle Cesare yet, it was still a very small snake for such little hands!
                    Thank you all again.


                    • #11

                      Thank you Jayson. That was it, I just had the spelling wrong. E. invadens. That was quite a bit more info than I had gotten from my vet. She told me it was a protazoa carried by turtles that was a killer in snakes and lizards. It's very nice to have more information, but the same old questions are still lingering.
                      My vet did tell me one other thing though, it is a very contagious pathogen! That's why all the fecals were done. Other than that, I just don't have a clue...


                      • #12

                        i thought you couldnt keep snakes in or around pine since its toxic them ?? even tho its treated could it still be toxic and what do they treat it w/ ????


                        • #13

                          No, you can't put snakes in or around cedar. The oils of the wood, which makes it a great insecticide, are toxic to every type of reptile.
                          The pine boxes I build are treated with Thompson's water sealer. It is completely dried before I even start to construct the cages. Otherwise the wood would rot.
                          My next cages with be made with hollow core plastics, that we have started using at my job. With the quantities we buy of it, it will actually be cheaper than buying the wood. Plus no treating or cutting. I'll get the sheets in at size.
                          Either that or I'll get some cages in from Animal Plastics. Haven't quite decided yet. I absolutely detest carpentry! Evils of the trade though


                          • #14

                            Glad I could help. Good Luck with the new baby you get.