How likely are you to get salmonella from a bearded dragon?

Although your chances of contracting salmonella from your pet's bearded dragon are very slim, you, as the owner, should follow some guidelines to ensure that you and your pet stay safe and healthy. Salmonella is a bacterium found in bearded dragon feces. Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings, even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies and anywhere in the area where they live and roam.

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. All reptiles have the potential to transmit Salmonella to humans, as do birds, especially poultry. A bearded dragon pregnant with dystocia doesn't eat either, but quickly gets sick, lethargic, or doesn't respond.

Health officials add that bearded dragons are not recommended for children under 5 and adults over 65, along with people with weakened immune systems. If bearded dragons roam around the house, the CDC also recommends cleaning anything they come in contact with and doing it in a laundry room or bathtub. 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. While turtles are most commonly incriminated for causing bacterial Salmonella infections in children, bearded dragons have also been determined to be a source of this infection.

Bearded dragons, like most reptiles, carry salmonella bacteria in their intestinal tract, which they excrete in their droppings, according to the Reptile and Amphibian Veterinary Association. This problem is more common in iguanas than bearded dragons, but can be seen in young bearded dragons housed in low humidity conditions. 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. CDC recommends owners of bearded lizards always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching or feeding their pets and after touching or cleaning the area where pets live and roam.

That means don't cuddle or cuddle with your bearded dragon or whisper sweet things in each other's ears while watching romantic comedies on Netflix. Todd, who is not part of the ongoing research, speculates that a food marketed for bearded dragons or other popular pet lizards could be involved. Public health officials are investigating a multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to pet bearded dragons that has sickened dozens of people for nearly a year. Originally from Australia, bearded dragons have become one of the most popular pet lizards in the entire country.

But officials say the actual number of people sick is likely to be higher as people recover from salmonella without medical care. Pet owners can get sick by touching their bearded dragon or anything in their environment and then touching their mouth and swallowing Salmonella.

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