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History

An 18-year-old sexually intact male ball python (Python regius) housed at a local Indiana zoo was found moribund without prior clinical signs and was transported to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University. On arrival at the diagnostic laboratory, the snake was alive, yet extremely lethargic; it was placed in a carbon dioxide–filled chamber until completely immobile and unresponsive followed by decapitation prior to necropsy.

Clinical and Gross Findings

Caretakers of the snake did not note any clinical signs prior to the sudden onset of lethargy. At necropsy, the snake was lean with atrophied fat bodies;

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association