The objective of this study was to survey blood cultures from a healthy population of wild western ratsnakes (Pantherophis obsoletus). Fifteen healthy, adult, free-ranging western ratsnakes were collected from the grounds of the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City, OK. Health assessments included examinations, whole body radiographs, complete blood cell counts, and plasma chemistry analyses. Blood samples were submitted for aerobic and anaerobic blood cultures. Blood cultures from 12 (80%) of 15 snakes were positive for bacteria. The most common bacteria isolated were Morganella morganii, Citrobacter freundii, and Proteus vulgaris. These results may support the possibility of an apparent normal microflora in the blood of healthy western ratsnakes.
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Vol. 27 • No. 1-2