Diagnosis, treatment and post-release monitoring of an eastern black rat snake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) with ophidiomycosis and traumatic injuries

28 Apr 2020

Veilleux, J., Dombrowski, D. S., Allender, M. C., Lewbart, G.

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Ophidiomycosis, historically known as snake fungal disease, is caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola and has been reported in over 30 species of snakes. In July 2015, an adult female eastern black rat snake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) was found at Prairie Ridge EcoStation, a North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS) field site in Raleigh, NC, with traumatic lesions consistent with injuries caused by landscaping equipment. The snake was brought to NCMNS Veterinary Services and tested positive via dermal swabs for O ophiodiicola on quantitative PCR (qPCR). The snake was treated with terbinafine (Terbinafine, 250 mg; InvaGen Pharmaceuticals, Hauppauge, NY, USA) nebulised at 2 mg/ml for 30 min every 24 hours for 30 days, and tested negative on further swabs for O ophiodiicola on qPCR before release. From April 2016 to November 2018, the snake was tracked via radio telemetry with physical examinations, bloodwork and qPCR swabs conducted multiple times a year.