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Amphibians, reptiles and fish
Diagnosis, treatment and post-release monitoring of an eastern black rat snake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) with ophidiomycosis and traumatic injuries
  1. Jacob Veilleux1,
  2. Daniel Steven Dombrowski2,
  3. Matthew C Allender3 and
  4. Gregory Lewbart4
  1. 1College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Veterinary Services, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  4. 4Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Jacob Veilleux; jjveille{at}


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.

  • biosecurity
  • fungal diseases
  • wildlife
  • snakes
  • PCR
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  • Contributors We thank Shane Christian for his work on the study and healthcare of the animal from the start. We also thank Sidney Smith for her assistance with data gathering and radiotracking. Dr. Bryan Stuart assisted with administering the project.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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