Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

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M.J.FRANETOVICH
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Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » June 26th, 2011, 3:30 pm

This is a sad turn of events, I don't usually get to personal on the forum but I need your help. A few months back a acquaintance of mine asked if he could use a male California mountain king (that was given to me about 6 years ago, by my cousin who saved it from a brood of savage campers while up I'n the local mountains). So I agreed and hibernated the little snake like I have each year since I acquired him. The snake was I'n perfict health and I used a preferred cycle of hibernation that has worked well for me as long as I can remember. At the end of my cycle the snake was brought out slowly and fead several times (keep I'n mind the snake was I'n perfict health) at this point it was picked up and I'n the custody of what I thought to be a responsible person.

When the snake was returned after 6 weeks, something was wrong, it was completely lethargic coiled I'n a tight ball like position extremely stiff won't crawl or move and this is where it gets real wired that snake goes I'n and out of blue eye with no shed and his color is getting dull and faded and the stiffness has progressed to the point where you can't even straighten the snake out by hand he just springs back I'n to a tight stiff position..

What do you think it is?

How did it arise so quickly?

I have herd every thing from over treated with pesticides to a heat strok
A good friend of mine is a vet has prescribed some antibiotics that I administer through injection. It doesn't seem to be getting better.
I looked into Zonata disease but it does not add up?

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Mel :(

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by rosy-man » June 26th, 2011, 4:47 pm

dont let him suffer too long...........

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by sdFH'er » June 26th, 2011, 5:07 pm

Are you able to provide any more history on the animal? Any recent exposure to other herps (perhaps in the acquaintance's collection)? Any previous illnesses? Age of the animal? Any signs of trauma when he was returned? With the sudden onset and the fact that antibiotics are not working I would venture a guess that it may be something viral or perhaps environmental. Definitely does not look long for this world. Very sad. As stated earlier I think my concern at this point would be to not let it suffer.....poor guy looks pretty far gone.

I was able to find this via "not allowed": All credit I believe goes to Rick Staub.

Lampropeltis zonata are also susceptible to a disease or syndrome that has
yet to be fully characterized. Herpetoculturists have coined the name
"zonata disease" simply because the subspecies of L. zonata appear to be
the only snakes that are susceptible to it. Currently it is unknown
whether zonata disease is caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, or some
other agent. The specificity that the disease seems to show for L. zonata
would suggest that it is the result of a virus but this is speculative.
"Zonata disease" does seem to be highly contagious but this is also
difficult to judge without knowing what causes the disease. Characteristics
and symptoms associated with "zonata disease" are as follows:
(1) The skin becomes rough and dry as if the upper scale layer has been
removed. Typically this is first observed on the eye caps which look as if
they have been scratched with sandpaper. Snakes with the disease will often
go through repeated shed cycles.
(2) The snake becomes dehydrated probably from the erosion of the scale's
ability to retain moisture. Hatchlings are at an increased risk of
dehydration due to their small size. Typically infected snakes will
continue to feed and appear otherwise healthy.
(3) As the disease progresses, partial paralysis begins of the lower third
of the body. The snake will often arch its back as it crawls in what
appears to be an attempt to minimize contact with the substrate. This may
also be the result of an increased sensitivity on the eroded belly scutes.
(4) Most if not all subspecies of L. zonata can acquire zonata disease
though the Baja mountain kingsnake (L. z. algama) appears to be the most
sensitive. Other closely related species like the Arizona mountain
kingsnake (L. pyromelana) do not seem to get the disease, but, could still
act as carriers as could other species.
(5) For L. zonata the disease is usually fatal. Some individuals do
eventually "shed out" of the skin disorder but the partial paralysis often
remains at some level. Providing moist conditions seems to help increase
the probability of survival possibly by just preventing death due to
dehydration and allowing the snake's own immune system to eventually
overcome the disease. Individuals that survive the disease do not appear to
be contagious.
It should be noted that L. zonata are highly stressed when conditions
become too hot and dry. We have noticed several individuals that acquired a
skin condition very similar to that described above minus the paralysis and
marred eye spectacles. The skin condition in these individuals cleared up
after moisture and cooler conditions were provided and the snakes completed
one or two shed cycles. We do not know if this alternative skin disorder is
also zonata disease but just in a less virulent form, but the temperature
and moisture conditions in the cage do seem to be related, possibly for
both cases.
Preventing the spread of "zonata disease" is difficult since the causative
agent is unknown. Obviously quarantine procedures for newly acquired
animals and isolation of potentially infected animals should be followed.
Additionally good husbandry practices such as not moving uneaten food,
water bowls or other items between cages should be strictly adhered to.
Sadly, we have observed specimens exhibiting "zonata disease" in the wild.
A population in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California had
several animals that displayed the typical symptoms described above.
Whether this resulted from the careless release of animals or is actually a
naturally-occurring phenomenon is unknown at this time.

And the link: http://forum."not allowed"/king/messages/38660.html

Best of luck.
-Shaun

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Mike Waters
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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Mike Waters » June 26th, 2011, 6:12 pm

I would bet my pay check it was an over dose from homemade might spray.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by herper79 » June 26th, 2011, 6:24 pm

Sorry to hear about your Z. Looks pretty bad, I would freeze it at this point. You might get more help in the herpetoculture forum.
Nick

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by erik loza » June 27th, 2011, 5:39 am

Not "zonata disease", that's a different thing. I agree with the others. Looks like someone OD'ed him on permethrin or something else that attacks the nervous system. I would put him in the freezer, he appears to be suffering.

Poor snake, sorry for the owner.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » June 27th, 2011, 1:23 pm

The Zonata was given a small dose of a mild sedative and then placed I'n a deep freezer, I was already leaning toward this, you guys just confirmed it!

I learned two very valuable lessons I'n this!!!

#1 don't trust amateurs who are lacking professional skill or experience :x

#2 never loan out somethig you hold dear, I house a small collection but each one of them are special to me and I spend quit a bit of time with them. :(

Mel

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by KingCam » June 27th, 2011, 1:38 pm

How terrible, I am incredibly sorry for your loss :(

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Ryan Sikola » June 28th, 2011, 11:31 pm

Well, since I have nothing to hide I'll explain my side of this awful story.

In October of 2010, my king went through zonata disease (including every symptom even the paralysis of the latter half of her body).

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She rebounded and eats fuzzy mice, instead of hoppers. I cooled her down all winter, brought her out late and she went back to eating fuzzy mice.

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I was loaned M.J.FRANETOVICH's male and for the whole time nothing seemed wrong, he fed and bred with no issues, but my female never laid eggs, not even duds. She is still a picky eater.

I work at a pet store that takes in reptiles from the public and doesn't quarantine, there used to be a bad mite problem, until Mike Waters told me to cut out inch sized squares of OFF! brand no pest strips and put them in deli cups with pin holes poked in them. Instructions were to take out heat elements, keep the cages well ventilated and take the deli cup out after 24 hours.

When I bring home aspen bedding from work, I open the bag and throw in the deli cup for a day. I never want to bring mites home from work.
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The day before I gave his mountain king back to him, I changed his bedding with my bedding...

So it is my fault, and I'm sorry :oops: :(

I didn't intentionally treat your Z for mites, I didn't use any permethrin, sprays, and he didn't over heat.

Lessons I learned:

#1 Never borrow other peoples snakes on breeder loan, accidents can happen and it can ruin trust/friendship.
#2 Don't use pest strips in the quarantine closet.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by KingCam » June 29th, 2011, 6:03 am

I applaud you for coming forward and accepting blame.

You keep all of your snakes on shavings treated with OFF even if they don't have mites? :shock: I've gotta say, that cannot be good for your animals. Not only are you not using a veterinary approved method, you're continuing treatment even after the condition is non existent. I'd rather my snakes have mites than be exposed to dangerous chemicals for the duration of their lives.

If the pet store you work at is incapable of keeping their animals healthy maybe you should find a new place to buy supplies. Just because you work there doesn't mean you have to shop there. No quarantine? Really? That's just irresponsible.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Zach_Lim » June 29th, 2011, 6:54 am

If you are in CA, why are you breeding zonata? I mean, unless you possess a non-commercial license and plan to gift all the babies away, what was the point? Also, wouldn't placing a snake with one that has had Z disease, or any type of illness like that, just be a bad choice anyway?

Edit: not trying to flame you, but I don't get the logic

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Mike Waters » June 29th, 2011, 6:59 am

Zach_Lim wrote:If you are in CA, why are you breeding zonata? I mean, unless you possess a non-commercial license and plan to gift all the babies away, what was the point? Also, those two Z's seem to be different ssp?
I would assume they were being bred to make babies so they could gift them out to people so they wouldn't have to collect them from the wild. Who cares why they were doing it. Maybe they have a permit? What harm is being done? And they are same ssp as well as same locality.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Mike Waters » June 29th, 2011, 7:03 am

I don't get your logic Zach?

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Zach_Lim » June 29th, 2011, 7:18 am

Mike-
First off, I edited out "ssp" query since you stated they were same ssp/locality, to clear any questions from yuor quote of my previous post.

Second-My post, upon reading it over, seemed a bit confusing. First, there was no mention of having a breeding permit, so I was just curious as to why this atttempt at breeding occured. Not a law enforcer or anything, just didn't get it. Furthermore, wouldn't the introduction of a speciment that has had/may still be carrying Z disease to another Z be kinda irresponsible in the sense of spreading illnesses?

So hopefully you get my logic?
Not trying to be an ass, just interested.

Sorry to OP for his loss.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by erik loza » June 29th, 2011, 11:50 am

Dichlorvos, the active ingredient in pest strips, is nasty stuff. Back in the college years, I worked in a mom-and-pop pet store and used Shell strips for mite control all the time. Pretty sure I killed a few snakes in the process, because of it. We didn't know any better.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » June 29th, 2011, 2:45 pm

Ryan, first off I was never going to name you on a public forum, that's not my style you can thank your self for that one. Until now only a couple of my closest friends new you had the king! And I didn't make this post to provoke you, people make mistakes and I forgive you!!! How ever I do feel you should make this right, and our friendship is not beyond repair. And the trust issue well" you should have told me the female previously had Zonata disease and that you where battling mites that information would have changed my mind, I was doing you a favor and wanted nothing in return I told you that right out the gate!

My friend who is a vet has a machine I'n his office that can detect chemical influence I'n blood and tissue, it is used primarily on peoples dogs and cats that eat and get into chemicals such as glycol, eater, acetone, pesticides, just about any thing a small animal could ingest or absorbed into it's blood stream they need to pinpoint the toxins to properley treat the patient. My point is this he has agreed to test my snakes blood and tissue as sort of a trial run, he has never uses it on reptiles.

So I'll call you with the results when I get home from Alaska! And we will talk further.



Zach!! Not sure I understand what your getting at either, a non-commercial licens "Dude seriously"?
Who's op and what does ssp mean, I'll never understand why people use acronyms if you have something to say just say it no need to abbreviate.


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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Kyle Dickerson » June 29th, 2011, 3:20 pm

M.J.FRANETOVICH wrote:Not sure I understand what your getting at either, a non-commercial licens "Dude seriously"?
(1) Permit Required. Except for pet shops as provided in subsection 43(f), every person, who, for commercial purposes, sells, possesses, transports, imports, exports or propagates native reptiles pursuant to subsection 43(c), or who propagates native reptiles for noncommercial purposes pursuant to subsection 43(b), shall have a native reptile propagation permit that has not been revoked or suspended issued to that person. The permit or a legible copy of the permit shall be in the immediate possession of the permittee while native reptiles are being displayed to the public, taken, transported, or sold. The permit or a legible copy of the permit shall be kept where native reptiles are maintained. No permit is required for the purchase of subspecies of native reptiles authorized pursuant to subsection 43(c).

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Natalie McNear » June 29th, 2011, 3:23 pm

M.J.FRANETOVICH wrote:Zach!! Not sure I understand what your getting at either, a non-commercial licens "Dude seriously"? I used to breed gopher snakes just to feed them to my cobras! There is no law against breeding your snakes I'n captivity as long as it's for privet interest and not the pet trade and as long as it's not for profit!
Just thought this needed to be clarified... In California, it's illegal to possess more than four native gophersnakes at a time, unless you can prove they are captive bred by a breeder who had a commercial captive propagation permit (i.e., keep your receipt). If you collect two wild gophersnakes and they produce offspring, you have 45 days to give them away until you are back within your legal limit (four). Or.. You can get a non-commercial captive propagation permit and then have up to 30 gophersnakes at a time for your own use as long as no more than four are wild caught. It's not illegal to breed your snakes, but it is illegal to keep the offspring for more than 45 days (even if you freeze them for later use) unless you have a the proper permits.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Kyle Dickerson » June 29th, 2011, 3:29 pm

Natalie McNear wrote:It's not illegal to breed your snakes, but it is illegal to keep the offspring for more than 45 days (even if you freeze them for later use) unless you have a the proper permits.
The 45 day rule only applies to animals that were gravid when collected. You still need a permit to breed for noncommercial purposes.

(d) Progeny resulting from pregnant native reptiles or amphibians collected from the wild must be transferred to another person or to a scientific or educational institution within 45 days of birth or hatching. Persons receiving such progeny shall comply with the bag and possession limits specified in sections 5.05 and 5.60.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Natalie McNear » June 29th, 2011, 3:51 pm

Ah, thanks for the correction, I wasn't aware it was only for animals gravid when collected.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » June 29th, 2011, 4:28 pm

Thanks Kyle? That wasent my point, I was confused as to why Zach was concerned about The breeding I'n the first place. I guess it doesn't really matter!




Wow Natalie!!! That was fast :lol: I took that remark down right after I posted it, I thought it sounded a little, ua? demeaning (for a lack of better words). Any ways ya once up on a time I breed gopher snakes to feed to a pair of King cobras, as you well know some snakes only eat other snakes, and Thease Cobes where wild cought (not by me), and only wanted to eat snakes! And so goes the circle of life. And you would think if I was housing cobras over the limit on gophers would be the least of my worries? :lol: :lol:

And before any one goes attacking me fore this statement it was a very long time ago! So 'let him with out sin cast the first stone'


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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Zach_Lim » June 29th, 2011, 7:25 pm

upon re-reading my post, yeah, I wonder why I was concerned about the breeding in the first place :oops: ! Sorry, I think I was reading the "gifted zonata" thread in the herpetoculture forum and got all my marbles mixed up.

"Dude seriously?"--?

OP means "original poster"
SSP-sub species

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » June 29th, 2011, 11:39 pm

Ok now that we have all that out of the way :roll: Could we please get back on topic? I have posted this a few orher places around the Internet as well as emailed a few collage zoology departments any thig on Zonata disease or pesticide overdose would be helpful.

Its funny how people jump at the chance to correct someone or point out there short comings but do very little to help or provide valuable information :|
FOOD FOR THOUGHT!


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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Mike Waters » June 30th, 2011, 6:34 am

Crote Junky wrote:I usually stay prety quiet around here, because of some unruly imachure egotistical people. But I think I can help with this M.J.! can I have a sample of the decided specimen?

Sorry this happened, you shouldn't let it go I'n vain, if it is infect Zonata disease that frozen specimen could hold vital information.
If Ryan's z had and recovered from zonata disease it too could be useful

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » June 30th, 2011, 6:40 am

Crote Junky wrote:I usually stay prety quiet around here, because of some unruly imachure egotistical people. But I think I can help with this M.J.! can I have a sample of the decided specimen?

Sorry this happened, you shouldn't let it go I'n vain, if it is infect Zonata disease that frozen specimen could hold vital information.

That's a really big mouth full to say about people you have never met, then again I don't know your past experiences on this forum!! There are alot of really good people here and some as you said!!!

And as far as the sample goes you can "pm" me your intension and we can discus it further!

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by rpecora » June 30th, 2011, 9:03 am

Once a specimen is frozen can it still be useful in diagnosis of disease?

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by rpecora » June 30th, 2011, 9:07 am

Mike Waters wrote:
Crote Junky wrote:I usually stay prety quiet around here, because of some unruly imachure egotistical people. But I think I can help with this M.J.! can I have a sample of the decided specimen?

Sorry this happened, you shouldn't let it go I'n vain, if it is infect Zonata disease that frozen specimen could hold vital information.
If Ryan's z had and recovered from zonata disease it too could be useful
What's remarkable is that Ryan's z recovered from zonata disease. I don't remember hearing that a z could recover from the disease.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by Mike Waters » June 30th, 2011, 9:50 am

Me either. From what I understand z disease means certain death. I'm not calling BS but that's the feeling I get

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by erik loza » June 30th, 2011, 11:02 am

Freezing typically renders tissue samples useless, since cell walls burst, etc. Of course, if someone is trying to perform a toxicology test, maybe it doesn't matter?

Re. the zonata disease, I had an small agalma about 10 or 12 years ago that either had it when I got it or developed it shortly after I got it. The snake was given to me and I immediately recognized there was something wrong with it, so kept it away from the others. My initial reaction was that it was some sort of fungal infection. I thought was to dry the animal out but Rick Staub (I thin? It's been a while...), who I guess had some experience with it already, told me to keep the snake moist, instead.

Anyway, the snake ate and hung in there for the better part of a year. Even shed several times but the weird skin-thing never truly disappeared. Never noticed any contortions or nervous-type affliction but it was just one animal and possibly I was managing the disease enough to avoid major symptoms. I ended up putting the snake in the freezer since it became clear after while that whatever this was, was not going away, and I did not want to risk transmitting it to any of the others.

If someone out there has concrete knowledge about this disease, please discuss it.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by sdFH'er » June 30th, 2011, 11:08 am

Mike Waters wrote:Me either. From what I understand z disease means certain death. I'm not calling BS but that's the feeling I get
Per Rick Staub's description of the disease process it is possible for snakes to recover given favorable circumstances and multiple shed cycles. It sounds like the survival rate is extremely limited but not unheard of.
-Shaun

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by erik loza » June 30th, 2011, 11:28 am

Anyone out there have a long-term captive z. that got this disease, had it clear up, and been symptom-free for some time? I've lost touch with all my old zonata buddies.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by erik loza » June 30th, 2011, 12:49 pm

Sounds like a virus, then. Once the immune system comes back up, the snake goes asymptomatic.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » June 30th, 2011, 1:59 pm

Paul that's an extremely interesting fact, you say it hit every couple of years? Do you think it was coming I'n from the wild? Or did it just materialize I'n captivity? I understand it's extremely contagious. What little I know about it, I also understand it is restricted to zanata I wonder if it's genetic? Possibly like diabetes I'n humans.

Ryan says my male breed his female several times with no eggs, if I'n fact she did have it and survived, I wonder if it rendered her sterile?


Does any one know of any research that is being done or has been done that gets into dept with this?


Thanks guys
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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by sdFH'er » June 30th, 2011, 3:04 pm

erik loza wrote:Sounds like a virus, then. Once the immune system comes back up, the snake goes asymptomatic.
Or bacteria (bacterial meningitis could possibly be seen as similar in human pathology as it effects multiple organ systems with the root being neurological). If it is a virus, seeing as it went in fairly uniform cycles in a captive population could also give cause to think that it may be a permanently acquired virus (ie a retrovirus); hence the recurrent outbreaks. Theoretically even a fungi could be the culprit. Like others have stated I would love for someone who has studied this in depth to share their thoughts. Terrible for all involved but none the less an intriguing pathology.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by erik loza » June 30th, 2011, 6:44 pm

Interesting observations, Paul. Thanks for sharing.

The next question is, "What is unique about zonata biology that allows only them to become symptomatic?".

It is puzzling because Lampropeltis is so genetically plastic, you would think whatever this is could jump ship easily, so to speak.

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Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » July 1st, 2011, 1:08 am

I spent hours trying to research this, there really is not much out there!!!
I did find this and found it very fascinating, you might want to check it out

http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/reprint/39/2/431.pdf

I also learned there is a group/entity called "Wildlife Disease Association" I don't have time right now but I'm going to email info and photos on my case to them and see if they can help.

Maybe some of us can pull together an see if we can't push one of these agencies into launching a investigation/study/research. Im not talking about my case I'm talking wide scale. I think it would be very beneficial if we understood what was going on with this race/species in correlation with Zonata disease.

><)))&>
Mel

erik loza
Posts: 244
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by erik loza » July 1st, 2011, 5:16 am

That's an interesting find. Know nothing about Adenovirus but was thinking back on it and this thing acts in ways like Shingles, which is Herpes virus. It's significant that PL apparently caught multiples in the same rockpile that all were symptomatic.

What's the vector? A food item? Another snake that is sympatric, like Night Snakes or something. I don't ever remember seeing or hearing about this infection in z from northern California, only southern California. is that significant? Morer questions than answers.

User avatar
M.J.FRANETOVICH
Posts: 538
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:54 pm
Location: Deadhorse/California

Re: Illness and disease, (sick Zonata) questions?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » July 2nd, 2011, 1:01 pm

Ok here's what I have learned, I received the toxicology report today and the sample tested positive for Dichlorovinyl dimethly phosphate also know as (DDVP) this is the main ingredient I'n pest strips. How ever there where two other foreign chemicals that the available technology could not identify, So I had to spend some money and the sample was sent over to a toxicology laboratory for futher testing. The results where disturbing? The second test (a far more advanced one) reviled three foreign chemicals.

#1 Dichlorovinyl dimethly phosphate, active ingredient I'n pest strip MSDS to follow
http://www.amvac-chemical.com/products/ ... 194_17.pdf

#2 Pyrethrins commonly found I'n mite spray MSDS to follow
http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/msds/ ... 20MSDS.pdf

#3 Bifenthrins this is found I'n pesticides and rodeacides MSDS to follow
http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides ... hnical.pdf


But I'm not exactly cirten this is all not all of the symptoms coincide with one another, it just doesn't add up!

><)))&>
Mel

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