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Salmonella??

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by Momshra, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Momshra

    Momshra Member

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    What is the latest information out there on whether or not you can get salmonella from holding a tortoise??
  2. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Yes.
    I believe you can if you're very bad about sanitation.
    But it's rare.
    I used to have hand sanitizer stations all over my back yard and patio. Used to.
    Now I don't even think about it.
    For the very young, very old or otherwise ill I'd suggest making sure to always wash your hands after handling them.
    For everyone else, I'd say relax.
    Use care. Don't place your dirty hands in your mouth, etc.
    That is assuming that your animal is even carrying salmonella.
    Kendra North, Momshra and Cowboy_Ken like this.
  3. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    For the most part, I echo what ZEROPILOT has said here. Adult attention needs to be applied with children and tortoises and turtles.
    A large part of the 4” law with salmonella illness was the unfortunately high amount of young children that became ill. Surveys done at the time revealed that children as young as 5 years mold had not just taken their quarter-sized red-eared sliders out of the holding tank, they were putting these hatchlings in their mouths. Some had gone so far as drinking the water these turtles lived in. I ask where, oh where, were the parents during all of these bad moves? I always recommend cleaning tortoise water dishes and food dishes that do not come in contact with anything that could remotely end up in my innards. But then I tend not to like turd-water from anything or even myself to enter my body orally, I believe this avoids many potentially very real and potentially very dangerous infections setting up shop in my body. Make sense?
  4. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    This was taking place back when Sears and Monkey-Wards were still selling “pets” other than fish. For under $1.50 you could get a baby, farm raised red eared slider turtle, and a nice little round turtle bowl complete with a small island and plastic palm tree for your new best friend of the week. LOL. True story all that, although I’m not 100% sure on the cost involved. I was a kid at the time and I had a large tub of 20-30 gallons at home for my new buddy.
    Momshra likes this.
  5. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Nothing about it has changed. If you touch an animal that has salmonella poop on him then put your fingers in your mouth, chances are good you will get salmonella. By the same token, if you touch chicken, money, turtles or tortoises and wash your hands before putting them into your mouth, chances are good you WON'T become infected. I've heard that sometimes lettuce or vegetables picked in fields are sometimes contaminated.

    Just remember to wash your hands. Or better still - keep your hands out of your mouth.
  6. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    I slept with mine : ( he didn't survive.
  7. nextut

    nextut New Member

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    Well, chances are high to get salmonella but if you wash your hands with soap and water afterwards, then you don't really have a problem.
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  8. Momshra

    Momshra Member

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    Wow...just wow.
  9. Momshra

    Momshra Member

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    Well thanks everyone that was very informative....I will just stick with leaning towards that safe side of things and wash my hands ;)
  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Not true. Chances are very very low, as evidenced by the extremely low number of cases per year compared to the numbers of pet turtles and tortoises in people's homes. And some of the cases can be attributed to other sources than the family pet. Some brands of chicken have a 70% contamination rate. If you cultured most people's cell phones and computer keyboards, you would find salmonella. And as Yvonne noted, many times produce comes out of the field contaminated with salmonella. So how many salmonella cases per year that are attributed to pet chelonians, are actually due to other sources?

    To put this in perspective, here is a quote from the CDC: "From 2006 to 2014, CDC investigated 15 multistate Salmonella outbreaks linked to turtles; 921 people were sickened, 156 were hospitalized, and an infant died." Over an 8 year span we had 921 cases that were assumed to be from all pet reptiles and amphibians, and/or handling their food. That's a little over 100 per year in a country where millions upon millions of people have pet reptiles and amphibians in their homes and handle them and their food regularly. The article doesn't give any details about how it was determined that each case was from a reptile or amphibian, and not from the chicken they ate for dinner. Here is the web page in its entirety:
    https://www.cdc.gov/Features/salmonellafrogturtle/

    In conclusion, chances are not "high". Chances are infinitesimally low.
  11. Loohan

    Loohan Well-Known Member

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    I recall around 1962-3 seeing hundreds of baby RESes at Gemco for 59c each. Climbing over each other in a mass in an aquarium. Half of them were natural-colored and the other half had a red flower stencil-painted over bright yellow paint coating their entire shell.
    Standard care was to keep them in one of those little dishes with the plastic palm tree, and feed them canned ant eggs.
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  12. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I totally agree with you Tom. It is much more dangerous to handle raw chicken meat, eat eggs or chicken products to get salmonella as when handling a reptile.
    Salmonella is everywhere in our environment.
  13. Rhea

    Rhea Member

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    Having any pet means you can get just about any bacteria or parasite. Look at chickens, they too can carry salmonella or e.coli. Plus other parasites like round worms or tape worms which cats and dogs can carry. So try not to worry too much. I worry more about getting the flu or strep from a human. Pratice safe handling and wash your hands. It’s simple and easy! I doubt you play or touch your tortoise and then eat or stick your hands in your mouth. Plus keep proper husbandry. Keep environment clean.
    Momshra likes this.
  14. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Having a pet means to me that my immune system is well trained and strong. I don`t have fear to get any sickness from my pets. Studies had shown that kids that played with pets are much more healthier than kids without pets.
    I am such a kid. Growing up with pets and owning a lot until now I have no allgergies and I am very healthy.
    Even to have some worms should be good for the immune system I have read.:)
    Sometimes I give my tortoises a slight kiss. They survived !:D
  15. Momshra

    Momshra Member

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    I know right....lol .And we have both. My hands are such bone dry from the hand washing. Lol .Owell
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