Do all bearded dragons carry salmonella?

Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs that can transmit and make you sick. Always take steps to stay healthy around your bearded dragon. Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings, even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies, habitats, and anything in the area where they live.

Bearded dragons are one of the most popular breeds of reptiles that are kept as pets. With a relaxed attitude and a rarity of bites, they are a great addition to a home. Like most reptiles, bearded dragons carry diseases, the most common of which, salmonella, can be transmitted to humans. Learn how to protect yourself from this virus, while enjoying the company of this great species of reptile.

Things can get a little “complicated” for those with bearded dragons as pets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bearded dragons appear to be the source of a new Salmonella outbreak that has already left at least 44 people sick and 15 hospitalized in 25 states. Salmonella can be present even in healthy bearded dragons, but one who is sick may have a higher concentration of bacteria in their digestive system. CDC and public health officials from several states investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Muenster infections linked to bearded dragons.

Originally from Australia, bearded dragons have become one of the most popular pet lizards in the entire country. Bearded dragons that arrive alive at pet stores and are bought by humans often languish in enclosures that are too small where their extremely complex (and costly to accommodate) needs are not met. For example, if you need to wash your bearded dragon yoga pants, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards before touching your face. A normal pregnant bearded dragon (with eggs) may not eat, but it is usually still bright, active, and alert.

Bearded dragons can have several unique problems; understanding these issues will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care problems. CDC will continue to work with state public health partners to monitor Salmonella infections related to contact with bearded dragons as pets. Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs that can make people sick, even if they look healthy and clean. Grabbing a bearded dragon of any size can cause it to fight and move in an attempt to escape, causing anxiety.

In Reptiles by Mack, PETA researchers documented the deaths of more than 675 animals, including this bearded dragon, which could not open its mouth or left eye and was left to suffer by a manager for hours before being killed. Abscesses, which are occasionally seen in bearded dragons, usually appear as hard, tumor-like swellings anywhere on the pet's body. Therefore, the risk of Salmonella alone shouldn't deter you from having a bearded dragon nearby, assuming your immune system isn't weak in any way. You can get sick from touching your bearded dragon or anything in your environment and then touching your mouth or face and swallowing Salmonella germs.

CDC and public health officials from several states investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Muenster infections linked to bearded dragons as pets. In the wild, bearded dragons can live to be 8 years old, but in captivity, it is estimated that up to 75% of “pet reptiles” die within the first year of life.

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