Wednesday, December 13

Small pets are adorable, but some carry dangerous bacteria

Hey guys, you know what's really cool? Small pets! They can be so adorable and bring so much joy. But here's the thing: some of them can actually carry bacteria that can be harmful to us. So, it's important to be aware of that and take the necessary precautions when handling them. Safety first, right? Turtles, iguanas, frogs, and other small pets can actually carry germs that have caused outbreaks of illness in multiple states. It's pretty crazy, right? Just thought I'd share this interesting fact with you all!

You know, when it comes to picking pets for kids, a lot of people go for small animals like turtles, iguanas, and frogs. They're pretty popular because they're super easy to interact with and don't require a tonne of attention, which is great for families with a lot going on. They may be enjoyable, but it might be best to stay away from them.

So, here's the deal. The reason behind all of this is... drumroll, please. Did you know that reptiles and amphibians can actually carry germs that can make us humans sick? It's true! According to Dr. Elizabeth Hohmann, who's an expert in infectious diseases from Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the most common germs they carry is the Salmonella bacteria. It's important to be cautious when handling these reptiles and amphibians in order to stay healthy! Did you know that these animals actually prefer to live in warm and wet environments? It's crazy, right? And guess what? Salmonella, that pesky bacteria, just loves those kinds of places too! It's like a match made in heaven for them.

Have you heard about all the recent outbreaks of illness happening across the US? It's been pretty crazy!
Reptiles and amphibians sometimes have Salmonella. It's pretty interesting because, even though it doesn't make them sick, they can still carry the bacteria around. The CDC's warning on adopting those cute little pet turtles. Apparently, there have been some serious outbreaks of Salmonella illnesses and hospitalisations in 24 states. It's gotten pretty bad this year, so they're advising people to be cautious. Oh, by the way, did you know that other small pets like mice or hamsters, and even farm animals like chickens, can also carry and spread the bacteria? It's pretty interesting, right?

Salmonella can actually be spread to people in a bunch of different ways. It can happen when we come into contact with animals, their poop, food, or even things like toys and food dishes. Even the habitats where these animals live, like cages, tanks, aquariums, and water, can be sources of Salmonella exposure.

Dr. Hohmann says that they get the bacteria on their hands and then accidentally touch their mouths or noses. You know, this is something that tends to happen more often with younger kids.

People who are exposed to the bacteria can develop salmonellosis.

Who has a higher chance of falling ill?
Salmonellosis can affect anyone, but individuals 65 years of age and older, children under the age of five, and those with long-term medical conditions are more likely to experience severe symptoms, including hospitalisation.

Young kids sometimes struggle with personal hygiene and understanding safety rules when it comes to handling animals. As we get older or if we have chronic conditions like diabetes, our immune systems can become weaker. This means that we're more likely to get sick and catch illnesses. It's important to take extra care of ourselves and stay healthy! In really severe cases, those pesky bacteria can actually make their way into our bloodstream. And once they're in there, they can spread to other parts of our body and cause infections.

What signs and symptoms does this infection have?

The main symptoms of this thing are diarrhoea, fever, and abdominal cramps. If you happen to get infected, you might start experiencing these symptoms within six hours to four days. They usually stick around for about four to seven days before finally going away.

If you have a pet that might have Salmonella, it's a good idea to reach out to your paediatrician or primary care team for some advice. They'll be able to give you the best guidance on what to do.

There are definitely some situations where seeking immediate medical care is super important. For example, if you're experiencing severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, or sudden numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, it's definitely time to head
If you or your child start experiencing any of these really serious symptoms, it's super important to get medical help right away.

diarrhoea and a temperature greater than 102°F; bloody diarrhoea that is so severe that you are unable to keep liquids down; Symptoms of dehydration include little to no urination, dry mouth and throat, or lightheadedness when standing up.


What happens if you already own a turtle as a pet?

If any of you happen to have a pet turtle or any other high-risk pet, I just wanted to share some important safety steps from the CDC that we should all keep in mind. It's crucial to follow these guidelines to keep ourselves and our pets safe. It may be necessary to remind kids to wash their hands frequently and to play safely.

Wash your hands. Every time you handle or feed your pet, as well as clean the area where it lives and roams, give yourself a thorough 20-second hand wash with lots of soap and warm water.

Make sure you play safely! Just a reminder: let's try not to kiss or snuggle the pet too much, and also avoid eating or drinking around it. It's just to make sure we keep things clean and safe for everyone. Make sure you don't bring it into the kitchen or any other place where you eat, store, or cook food.

Make sure you clean everything properly. When it comes to cleaning up after our pets, it's a good idea to have dedicated cleaning materials just for them. You know, like a wash tub, sponge, and scrub that are exclusively used for our furry friends. It helps keep things hygienic and prevents any cross-contamination. So next time you're tidying up after your pets, remember to grab those special cleaning supplies! Clean cages, aquariums, and other pet supplies outside at all times. You run a higher risk of contaminating your food if you use a kitchen sink.

The best advice to stay safe is to just not have these animals as pets. Or, if you really want to, maybe wait until your kids are older. That's what Dr. Hohmann suggests, and it makes a lot of sense, right? You know what? I think it's probably a better idea to just stick with dogs and cats. They're familiar, and we know how to take care of them. Plus, they're super cute and cuddly!



  1. This is a nice post.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yes, I've heard about the recent outbreaks of Salmonella illnesses associated with reptiles and amphibians. It's essential to raise awareness about these risks, especially when it comes to adopting certain pets. The CDC's warnings are crucial for people to take precautions and ensure their safety.

  3. Hellow. I don't know to say, since my English is very poor. I liked the text about the pets. These information is inportant to share. Thanks your words in my blog. bye.

  4. Hygiene is the basis :)
    I wash my hands after every contact with a dog or cat :)
    Until now, I associated Solomonella with food poisoning

  5. Anonymous12/13/2023

    Ohh, good to know... we have a pet frog!


  6. I have had over the years a number if small dogs, thankfully without any issues but that was mostl ikely luck on side.

  7. Olá,
    Adorei o seu post, informação nunca será demais.
    Então, a salmonela pode ser pega de várias maneiras
    até por alimentos mal lavados ou mal cozidos.
    O melhor é sempre ensinar as crianças desde cedo a lavar
    as mãos. O Brasil é um país tropical umido com muitos animais
    e répteis a salmonela quando ataca por aqui tem haver com
    falta de higiene, mas são problemas pontuais.
    Obrigada pela sua visita e comentário.

    I loved your post, you can never have too much information.
    So, salmonella can be caught in several ways
    even due to poorly washed or undercooked food.
    The best thing is to always teach children how to wash from an early age.
    the hands. Brazil is a humid tropical country with many animals
    and reptiles, when salmonella attacks here, it has to do with
    lack of hygiene, but these are specific problems.
    Thank you for your visit and comment.

  8. Thank you Melody for being so kind as you stopped by to say hello. Your blog is very interesting and entertaining because of the variety of topics. You are right, the dog is currently an excellent companion friend but, we must know that it should be treated as an animal and not as a human being since it is a carrier of bacteris, viruses, etc. that it would be long to list as you tell us. My love from Argentina.

  9. Os animais domésticos são encantadores, mas é preciso observar todo o tipo de bactérias que podem transmitir aos humanos.
    Agradeço o teu comentário tão belo e erudito.

  10. Siempre hay que cuidar d el a salud tanto de las personas como de los animales. Los animales tambien tienen sentimientos y no deben ser desechados como basura. Te mando un beso.

  11. I didn't know that they carried Salmonella. Thank you for sharing this information!

  12. Hello Melody:=)
    Such a delightful name, and you are the only person so far that I'm in contact with who is called Melody. I'm a dog person, and have had small dogs for 70 years so know how to care for them, and myself by washing hands etc. What I didn't know was about amphibians transmitting Salmonella. Thank you for the information, and thank you for your lovely comment on Breathtaking.
    All the best

  13. The first thing we must do when preparing to safeguard animals within the home is to practice good cleanliness. should make sure that the pet's health is always maintained and that the home is cleaned thoroughly every time.

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