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How to Avoid Catching Salmonella from a Pet Turtle

Learn how to avoid catching salmonella from a pet turtle in this Howcast video featuring veterinarian Alix Wilson.


Salmonella is a bacteria that can be found normally in the digestive tract of any reptile, including turtles and tortoises. There is some very basic things that you can do to avoid getting sick from salmonella, and those things revolve around hygiene. Anytime you are handling a turtle you want to be sure that you wash your hands afterwards. You don't necessarily get salmonella directly from the turtle. You can also get it from the turtle's environment. Whoever is cleaning the tank, the water, and the bedding, again you want to make sure you wash your hands very well after that. You do want to keep young children away from small turtles that they can easily handle. There have been many cases documented of young children getting salmonella from a small turtle. They tend to not handle the larger ones quite as much. You also want to be very careful around reptiles, including turtles, if you are immunocompromised or elderly. Again, salmonella, you don't have to worry that much about it if you practice good hygiene but it can make you very sick.

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