Difficult seller question

So, I recently had an outbreak of Nido Virus in my collection. I got it under control and now my collection is 100% Nido virus free. Unfortunately, I lost 8 animals to the virus before we figured out what was going on. We have spent enough time grieving and are now ready to start replacing animals we lost. My question is, I want to start reaching out to breeders do you think it is ok for me to ask to provide Nido virus testing for prospective animals before finalizing the purchase? To be clear, I would pay for the testing just asking the breeder to do the test and hold the animal until the test comes back. I would absolutely be willing to pay a deposit for holding the animal even in addition to the cost of the animals. What do you guys think? As sellers and buyers do you think this is fair solution?


I could see it causing some hang ups. Do you not have space to quarantine properly and just test them after they come to you?

Personally I would want to do that all myself not entrust it to someone else ESPECIALLY if I was paying for it.


On it’s face it doesn’t sound unreasonable. However, I see several issues that can/will arise.

The two biggest are test efficacy and competence of tester. How many manufacturers sell test kits for norovirus? How accurate and how complicated are they? Even if a beeeder tests them and say everything was done properly and they get a positive result is the error rate low enough that you are confident it’s not a false positive? Same situation test is performed perfectly comes back negative, snake is shipped out a day or two later what are the chances it was in the incubation period and not detected? Finally, I know very competent people in the herp world that still can’t follow directions on the box of Kraft mac and cheese…

I’m not even going to go into the option of vets that is a whole other topic between availability and competence.

For you specifically I would suggest, given your concerns, would be to get a reliable test kit, quarantine, and test yourself. It is easier to minimize variables when they are in your control.

I’m not trying to be a pri…, I think you pose a good question and am curious to see what other more experienced breeders think.


The main thing I am trying to avoid is the issue of ending up with a Nido positive animal. I have space to quarantine and test myself and have access to a very reliable lab and test. What I don’t have space for is a Nido positive collection on top of my current collection. So if I do get an animal that is Nido positive do I resell it? Do I keep it? What would you guys do?

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If it was me, I would.

  1. Not buy from anyone I bought from before, since I assume you’re not sure the original source.

  2. Buy, quarantine, test.

  3. If an animal did test positive…is it treatable? I’m assuming yes? I don’t know. I would not ever resell a sick animal that is extremely unethical.


well i am by no means a expert but having had animals for well over 10 years i have only ever had one animal test for noro and it was a boa i bought from someone years ago and i still buy from this seller and haven’t had a problem since. from what i have heard it is fairly rare and can be prevented from spreading if you quarantine so if i were you i would do all the test and everything myself.

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I don’t see why not if you pay for the test (from the test itself to shipping the sample out to the vet if necessary and you decide on testing for EVERYTHING Nido,IBD,OPMV) I don’t see why anyone would refuse.

If an animal did test positive…is it treatable? I’m assuming yes? I don’t know. I would not ever resell a sick animal that is extremely unethical.

Nido is not treatable and is a death sentence and can put a collection at high risk, thankfully while not impossible present in BP it is more prevalent in Morelia, kind of like IBD is more prevalent in Boas and Crypto in Lizards as well as Hognose, they can be found in any species but some species are more likely to be found with the issue.

So if I do get an animal that is Nido positive do I resell it? Do I keep it? What would you guys do? ]

You have the animal put down, Nido is not treatable and is a death sentence and put YOUR collection at risk because even with proper quarantine, mistakes happen, as for you knowingly selling an animal with NIDO you would possibly contribute to the loss of someone’s entire collection. You would be done as a breeder.


Right that’s my point. Nido is a death sentence once they show symptoms. Before they show symptoms they can live with the virus and be perfectly healthy. So most vets don’t recommend mass euthanasia. But I think the only way to prevent the spread is for the breeder to test first before selling the animal but it isn’t common practice. I do but I’m an exception. So I think the only fair thing is to reach out to breeders to try and get them to let me pay for the test and so on.

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If you feel that’s the best. I’m just saying if it’s a quality animal and I have one buyer who wants me to go get it tested and one who doesn’t…guess who is getting the animal.

If you quarantine them, and you disinfect yourself and equipment between working with them and your other snakes your potential to expose the rest of your collection should be very slim. I know the jury is still out on if it’s airborne or not but even if it is…if they’re in a different area they’re just not likely to often be breathing the “same air” so to speak. So unless you were planning on buying one and throwing it in to breed without quarantining it just makes much more sense to buy, quarantine, and test them yourself. To me anyway.

There is a very slight chance you could buy an animal with nido. There is for any of us. We assume some risk as a buyer, you had a bad experience just use best practices and get back on that horse.

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I suggest you do all the testing yourself from your qt, and only give the seller (Prior to purchase) the ultimatum that if positive virus results come back that they will issue a full refund With a split in shipping costs. As a seller I have not and would not have an issue with this,
if I was required for me to test prior to shipping I would charge a premium for the extra service…

I believe this approach would be the most cost effective and leave you with the most versatility in your purchase sources.

Thankfully I found a breeder who is local to me who is willing to work with me in the testing prior to purchase. Additionally they work with all the genes I need to finish out my collection. So I really lucked out. Thank you for all the responses it really helped me to negotiate a reasonable solution for everyone


Small point of clarification here: This is not accurate.

There are people that have nido-positive animals that are many years old and show no morbidity. This is one of the big unclear issues about nido that needs to be addressed and is still under investigation. Some animals seem to succumb quickly and some seem to survive fine with no indication of infection.

Personal opinion - I believe that the big scares that have happened with nido over-weigh the huge lack of knowledge we have on the virus. I do not deny that nido can be an issue, but I also suspect that if everyone with more than five snakes were to test their collections we would discover that nido is a LOT more prevalent in this hobby than most people suspect.

Practice good quarantine. Practice good husbandry.


I guess I should have clarified with once the animal becomes symptomatic it is a death sentence just like other viruses such as IBD, and Crypto that are technically not a death sentence either in that sense since animals can live for years before being symptomatic.

To me any animal that is positive for any of those becomes would be a liability asymptomatic or not.

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RAL labs (vetdna.com) will send you swabs in the mail and charge $25 for a nido test and $60 for a nido, arena, ferla panel. You pay overnight shipping and they email you the results within 24 hours of receipt. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you test for nido and arena. I just tested my collection and 25% came back positive for arena with no symptoms. I would ask anyone you buy from to agree to a refund if the animal tests positive and test as soon as it arrives. I had one arrive last week carrying arena and was refunded in full because I had the test results the very next day. These diseases are MUCH more common than people realize.


i would say if it tests positive, resell it but be honest and say the animal has Nido. that way, people will know what they are getting into.

So what if that person that it is sold to decide to flip it and not mention that detail?

an honest seller/reptile flipper would not do that, but if one were to do that, some unlucky person would be stuck with a snake they did not know was sick. when I resell my reptiles, I always do my best to be honest and make sure that reptile is going to s good forever home with people who know what they are doing.

some people enjoy giving animals a good last while of their life.

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Some people are actually very passionate about this, and will have entire ‘hospice-only’ collections of animals in those situations. If I’m understanding it correctly, Nido sounds like Koi Herpes Virus, FeLV, FIV, and IBD (the snake version, as someone mentioned), in the sense that it’s a viral disease that can have long asymptomatic periods while still posing a danger in terms of being infectious. If that’s the case, then an alternative with a known Nido-positive animal would be to contact reptile rescues/herp clubs to see if they know anyone locally that has a Nido-positive collection that is accepting donations. I do not recommend charging for an animal that is known to have a disease like that under any circumstances. I personally feel it is more ethical to euthanize than to do that, assuming one doesn’t feel completely confident in maintaining stringent decontamination standards.


It makes no real sense at all for a seller to sell a animal with noro. it is just not ethical, plain and simple. HOWEVER i do understand that people like to run a hospice sort of operation for reptiles like what @mblaney mentioned but other then rare situations like those it actually makes no sense at all and in my personal opinion i wouldn’t let the animal suffer through something like that. If we go by the standard that all animals should live out their condition until they die then that would mean that animals with debilitating diseases would just suffer and would not have a comfortable end of their life. Since it does not make sense for a seller to profit off a sick animals or one with a disorder that is why those animals are much cheaper than those that are perfectly healthy. A good example is that a normal adult female clown can go for 1200 to 1500 but i have seen some with kinks or other problems sell for as little as 150 bucks and the reason being is that it just doesn’t make any sense to try and profit off a animal like that and it also wouldn’t be a good look for a breeder to do so.