Salmonella Transfer

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Salmonella Transfer

Postby Farli » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:31 pm

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Hi there,

I need to know all about salmonella transfer from Bearded Dragons to humans. I initially thought that salmonella was a result of transfer from feces to humans. However I recently heard that Beardies' skin is actually covered in salmonella regardless of fecal transfer.

This means a few things. First of all it means my beardie can no longer run around freely on the floor, because everywhere she walks will be contaminated.

Secondly the items in her cage, and she for that matter can no longer be bathed in our tub because there is no way to be sure that it is totally clean.

My fiancee is susceptible to salmonella and we just cannot afford to be exposed to it.

Does anyone have any true knowledge about this? I need to know what the risks for exposure really are.

Thanks
Ben
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby TheWolfmanTom » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:34 pm

Most reptiles carry it.
With regular hand washing and cleaning your more likley to catch salmonela from undercooked chicken.
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby MissT » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:46 pm

TheWolfmanTom wrote:Most reptiles carry it.
With regular hand washing and cleaning your more likley to catch salmonela from undercooked chicken.


Yep, most of them have it... but Im not convinced about their skin being covered in it. If that was so then my vet would not have had to do mouth and fecal cultures to determine if Kazi has it.

If you are worried, you could have a culture done just to see if she is a carrier and if she is what strain it is and whether it needs treatment.

My Kazi has salmonella - hes having anti-biotic treatment at the moment for the salmonella (and another infection) as the strain he has is causing him problems. We keep hand sanitisers around the house. If we handle either of the beardies, hands are immediately washed and then sanitised but, as Tom said, im more concerned about catching it from chicken!!
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby Farli » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:23 pm

Saying "all beardies have it" is really kind of missing the point. The reason we don't have raw chicken lying around is because of the risk of infection. We all leave beardies lying around all the time. Each day this increases our risk of being infected.

Beardies DO pose a risk of infecting humans with salmonella. So no matter what we do we are just reducing the risk, we can never eliminate it.

If it's true that beardies make it on their skin there is literally no safe way of caring for them.

But I need to know if it's true.
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby TheWolfmanTom » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:30 pm

Not saying it hasnt happened, but I know of noone that has contracted salmonella from a reptile of any kind.
I have been in the restraunt business my whole life and know of several cases of salmonella from food.
Sorry if that isnt what your looking for but its all I got...lol
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby spyder79 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:43 pm

Farli wrote:Hi there,

I need to know all about salmonella transfer from Bearded Dragons to humans. I initially thought that salmonella was a result of transfer from feces to humans. However I recently heard that Beardies' skin is actually covered in salmonella regardless of fecal transfer.

This means a few things. First of all it means my beardie can no longer run around freely on the floor, because everywhere she walks will be contaminated.

Secondly the items in her cage, and she for that matter can no longer be bathed in our tub because there is no way to be sure that it is totally clean.

My fiancee is susceptible to salmonella and we just cannot afford to be exposed to it.

Does anyone have any true knowledge about this? I need to know what the risks for exposure really are.

Thanks
Ben


Who told you this exceptionally incorrect information? The only reptile known who's skin (or in this case soft shell) carries salmonella is baby turtles (under 4 inches their soft shells can and do carry salmonella).

The only way to get salmonella from a bearded dragon is to literally ingest their feces.
salmonella definition
Salmonella organisms are bacterial organisms that infect a wide variety of vertebrate animals and can be transmitted from one animal to another through direct contact with feces, or through contact with something which has been contaminated with feces.


So basically so long as you keep your animals environment clean and sterile you have maybe a .000001% chance of catching salmonella from your beardie.
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby Twobeardieguy » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:52 pm

The saying goes just don't kiss or lick your beardies poop or butt for that matter. :lol: :wink:
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby Farli » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:26 pm

I got the info from the CDC. They're saying that the risk exists feces or no.

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/ReptilesSalmonella/

That's why I am so concerned.
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby remi1 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:57 pm

Salmonella lives in the GIT, not on the skin. The reason that there's a risk from handling reptiles is that they crawl around on the ground and inevitably crawl through their own fecal material, which gets on their skin and then onto the person handling them. This fecal-oral route of transmission happens all the time, even when we think things are clean. But salmonella definitely doesn't live on the skin, just resides there transiently from contact with feces.

I just want to point out that the CDC once recommended that people don't own pets period because of the risk of infection from zoonotic diseases. This included cats and dogs, but they have since changed their standpoint. My parasitology prof has mentioned this a couple of times and isn't too impressed with their sometimes misguided recommendations. That article never specified where salmonella originates in the body; it just mentioned the risk from handling.

I once talked with the bacteriologist at the state vet lab. He said that it's not incredibly common for people to get salmonella from reptiles, but when they do, they do get pretty sick because reptilian strains are generally more virulent. You could get your beardie tested for salmonella (I did once for kicks and giggles, it was free and the tech in the bacteriology lab was curious) but it's pretty much a moot point. For a normal person I'd say the risk is minimal, especially if things are kept clean. I also know of people who are immunocompromised who own reptiles with no problems, but I would be cautious.
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby Elijahsmom » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:50 pm

I agree with most of the people that have replied to this post. I worked in Petsmart for the better part of 10 years and I was taught as an employee that would be selling reptiles to warn people of the risk of contracting salmonilla from any reptile. I have never heard of an actual case of it. Either way I keep hand sanitizer right next to Elijah's cage and whenever I put him back in the cage I just use it. I still let him wander about, I just don't drag my tongue on the carpet. :D I have had Elijah for months now and I have never gotten sick from him. If it really concerns you that much then may be a reptile just isn't the pet for you. The worry will probably make you sicker.
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby vickson420 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:27 pm

Ok I think you must have misunderstood something in the article.No where does it say they carry it on their scales and point in fact they do not so they could not truthfully say that unless they were speaking of water type turtles alone.This is just not the case and if you look deeply into that link you will see various scientific articles that they based their opinions on, all which all pointed to this one and only fact:
"Reptiles carry a wide variety of Salmonella serotypes, and fecal carriage rates may be as high as 84%-94% (9). "
(by the way how clean do you think human fecal matter is? :D )

So again unless you have very bad sanitary habits,dont maintain a clean environment for your animal or as stated lick their butts(not sure why one would...lol) then you have nothing to worry about.The CDC is very quick to condemn all animals truth be told and if were up to them we wouldnt even be allowed dogs or cats either so I would not panic.I have been handling some form of reptile almost my entire life and have never had any issues(knock on wood).I did however once get food related salmonella from bad chicken at a Boston Market so what does that tell you? Trust me you have more of a chance of getting sick eating a raw salad then from a bearded dragon.
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby TASTIGER » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:37 pm

they will say anything to "keep the public safe" i agree that you are more likely to get sick from undercooked meat unless you go around eating the lizards crap. they are trying to bann reptiles from being pets they have been able to in some areas.
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Re: Salmonella Transfer

Postby Bella12898 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:38 pm

Salmonella is in their poop. I never heard about it being on their skin. I kiss Pablo all the time on his head ( its not the smartest thing to do) but im fine. But besides that its only in their poo and im sure a little bit on the butt. As long as you wash your hands with water or sanizizer your fine.
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