Zoonoses......

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Zoonoses......

Post  Admin on Mon May 14, 2012 2:42 pm

There are a variety of diseases that can be transmitted from pet reptiles and amphibians to humans. However, by practicing good sanitation and personal hygiene, keeping herps out of the kitchen and food preparation areas, it is possible to minimize the risk. It is also important to have all new herps examined and tested prior to introducing them to your home.

Non of us like to think about it but the truth is that any pet animal (including your cuddly cat or dog) has the potential for carrying a disease that could be contagious to us humans. Zoonoses cover a broad range of diseases with different clinical and epidemiological features and control measures, because the causative organism may be viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoal, parasitic or any other communicable agent. Zoonotic infections in man can be transmitted by a variety of ways.The risk of contracting a disease from a reptile or amphibian is generally small, as long as owners practice good hygiene. However, people with a suppressed immune system are more at risk than the general population.

Probably the most recognized zoonotic disease is Salmonellosis, caused by the Salmonella bacterium found in the gut of many animals, including reptiles.There are over 2000 strains of salmonella bacteria. Many of these strains are species specific and cannot cross over from one species to another. Many of these strains do not cause symptoms in their host but may make another species quite ill if the bacteria is one of those that is able to infect another species.

Another bacteria potentially carried by reptiles which can cause serious illness in humans is Campylobacter, which causes serious gastroenteritis, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever. Tuberculosis can also be transmitted to humans through scratches and bites, when handling and cleaning the cage of an infected reptile. Other infections include fungal and viral infections and many reptiles will harbour a population of protozoan organisms capable of causing diseases.

The following guidelines are designed to minimize the chance for you to become infected by zoonotic organisms. (Please note, that they do apply to other domestic species as well.)

1. Always wash your hands after coming into contact with your reptile.

2. Wear gloves when handling feces or cleaning your pet’s cage. Many of the organisms
that are passed from reptile to human are shed in the feces. By minimizing exposure to
potentially infected materials, you minimize the risk.

3. Wear gloves when handling your reptile if you have open cuts or sores on your hands
and arms.

4. If you are scratched or bitten by your reptile, wash the lacerations well with soap
and water and apply a bandage. If necessary, you should seek medical attention.

5. Avoid contact with reptiles if you are immunocompromised in any way.

6. Educate and supervise children when they are handling your reptile. Children
have a tendency to put their hands into their mouths. This is one of the most common
ways people can become infected .

7. Observe the overall health of your reptile. If you notice diarrhea, poor appetite,
odd behaviors, or any other strange things, you should call your veterinarian.

8. Careful trimming of the nails on your reptile can help decrease the severity of
cuts that you may receive while handling your pet. Since some infectious organisms can
be introduced to humans this way, trimming nails can decrease the risk.

Keeping any pet poses a variety of health risks regardless of whether that pet is a dog, cat, bird, or reptile. Attention to simple hygiene precautions is always necessary, The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of your regular veterinarian. Please do not hesitate to contact your regular veterinarian if you have questions regarding your pet.

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Re: Zoonoses......

Post  The Herp Father on Mon May 14, 2012 4:37 pm

Here is my response to this in the form of an article I did some time ago, it is a lighter look but I think the point is there. http://reptileapartment.com/2010/08/10/why-you-shouldnt-wipe-your-a-with-a-snake-2/
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