Salamonella from a iguana - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Salamonella from a iguana

My neighbor was going to get an iguana for her Grandson but she heard from some lady she knew that had on that she got bit and got salmonella. Have you ever heard of anyone getting salmonella from an Iguana?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 10:10 AM
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No, not if you keep the Iguana in ideal living conditions and practice washing your hands before handling and after.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 10:14 AM
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Yeah, as long as you wash your hands, it would be pretty unlikely to spread salmonella (and it would be unlikely to cause any problems unless the person was a child, elderly person, or had a compromised immune system). How old is the grandson? An iguana may not be an appropriate choice if he's a child anyway (because of the level of care required).

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 10:57 AM
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yes i agree. practicing proper hygiene should keep you safe

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 11:11 AM
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I use to have a iguana - no one ever got sick from her. You have to, however, make sure you keep things clean - especially the cage, and always wash your hands after handling them.

However, iguanas take a LOT of work. They can get very large and sometimes very aggressive. They also require special diets and lighting. Make sure your neighbor and her grandson do lots of research and are ready to take on an iguana. They are definatly not the right pet for everyone.

There are lots of other lizards that, in my opinion, would probably make a better pet. Leopard geckos and bearded dragons come to mind.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 11:27 AM
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i wouldnt advise an iguana for a child. most are too impatiant if they get a young one to tame it. i have had mine for 4 months now and hes still not overly tame it takes lot of work, and a lot of space, and alot of time, and alot of determination. Plus they live a really long time (20 years) so its alot of responsibilty long term to give a kid.

the likely ness of getting sick is slim but it happens, same with any reptile. I kiss mine all the time which is not a good thing and havent gotten sick... but it does happen with some iguana's and some people.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 12:05 PM
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How old is the grandson?

All reptiles and amphibians can carry the salmonella bacteria. Thats why you need to wash your hands before and after you touch or hold them. Also you need to make sure you keep the habitat clean.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 02:02 PM
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As long as he washes his hands he should be fine. Hamsters and many other animals can carry salmonella, too .

But I wouldn't recommend an iguana for a child. They are very expensive pets that require a lot of care. It takes a lot of work to tame them too.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 07:39 PM
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No...wash your hands after handling them and it's fine...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-25-2007, 05:39 AM
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No, washing your hands isn't enough.

There are numerous cases every year of people/children contracting Salmonella from their pets.

It is shed through fecal material. You need to be extra careful when you are cleaning cages, bowls and anything else that goes in or out of the cage.

And just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. Salmonella is shed intermittently. That means the animal can have the bacteria and not shed it for weeks/months/years at a time. So it's impossible to accurately test for the disease. You should ASSUME that every reptile is a carrier and act appropriately.

One common scenario is someone cleaning the animal's food bowls in the sink, and then NOT sterilizing the sink area. When human food utensils/bowls/plates are "cleaned" there, they become contaminated. This happened with the bottles of an infant in one case, and the infant died.

Reptiles should not be kept in households with small children or immune suppressed individuals. You're risking someone's life if you do. Sure it's a small risk, but the life of a child is worth more than what can sometimes just be the selfish gratification of having a lizard or a snake. If it's your job or livelihood, that's one thing, but if it's just an indulgence, that's something else altogether.

So there are other ways to get it, if you think just washing your hands is enough, you're wrong. You have to be careful about everything, and small children should never handle it or anything that's been in contact with it.

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Last edited by Mygala; 05-25-2007 at 05:44 AM.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 02:13 PM
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I agree with Mygala. It's not just washing your hands. It's washing them for at least 30 secs with hot water and antibacterial soap and making sure not to touch your face before you do so. It's also making sure that if you just reach in to feed or give water you also wash up if you touch anything the animal has touched. It's also making sure that either A. the animal does not touch surfaces like beds, sinks, tables etc or making sure these surfaces are totally disinfected.
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