Little Garter Snake with a Big Problem

Student Blog by Yvonne Wong, VM 21

In November, a juvenile Common Garter Snake presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic. The little snake, just 30 grams or around 1 ounce, was found in a basement! It is not uncommon for reptiles to find shelter in residential homes during the winter months, but this choice is not always supported by the human inhabitants.

Patient on initial intake

Upon intake, multiple small skin lesions (abnormalities) were found along the snake’s body. Otherwise, the patient appeared to be healthy.

Based on the physical exam findings, clinic members were immediately concerned about one particular disease – Snake Fungal disease (SFD), an infection caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophidiiocola.

This relatively newly-discovered fungal pathogen (first seen in 2006) is highly contagious, and potentially fatal, to numerous snake species (including garter snakes).

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Critters Uncaged: Hibernation

This week on ciLiving, Dr. Reich brought spoke about the different strategies that animals take to ride out the long, cold winters experienced in Illinois and elsewhere!

Tim Holds a Snake!

Wildlife Medical Clinic at Illinois Dr. Sarah Reich shares insight about hibernation. #ciLiving #CrittersUncaged

Posted by ciLiving.tv on Wednesday, January 9, 2019