Category: Antifungal

  • Infectious Diseases That Your Pet Reptile May Have

    Companion reptiles such as bearded dragons, lizards, snakes, and turtles have been well-favored than other more common household pets. Their unusual appearance, as well as their general peaceful trait, make them perfect to look after. Nonetheless, these docile pets may carry with them infectious diseases that owners may not be even aware of. Small children, pregnant women, and those with serious health problems are susceptible to such infections. Thus, it is vital that one has a better understanding of these contagious reptile diseases.

    Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases in reptiles are sometimes caused by primary pathogens or microorganisms. However, they can also be the result of health-compromising conditions, such as inadequate temperatures, humidity, enclosure hygiene, overcrowding, and inappropriate hygiene management. Treating fungal and bacterial diseases generally requires addressing the handling inadequacies.

    Common Infectious Diseases In Reptiles

    Many contagious reptile diseases may be passed through its owners and handlers if not properly and promptly treated. The most common of these diseases are the following:

    1. Salmonella

    Salmonella is commonly present in every type of reptile. It can also spread from reptiles to humans. This happens when anything that has been contaminated with reptile feces comes in contact with the mouth. Not only are pet owners susceptible to the disease but also their families.

    This can happen when the pet handler or owner is not careful enough when taking care or managing his or her pet. Animal droppings infected with salmonella can contaminate anything inside the enclosure. If the owner touches any of the contaminated things (including the food and water bowls, the soil where the feces were), he can pass the infection to somebody else in the family. Salmonella infection may result to having diarrhea, headache, fever, and also stomach cramps. More severe infection may cause septicemia or blood poisoning. Dehydration can also be severe when an infection like this is acquired.

    2. Botulism

    Another contagious and serious reptile infection is Botulism. It can also be life-threatening. This disease is caused by a toxin released by the Clostridium bacterium. These bacteria remain in a dormant state until conditions in their environment allow them to grow. Once active, these bacteria can produce a powerful toxin called botulin. Anyone infected with this toxin may be paralyzed and die. They are quite resistant to adverse environmental effects. This makes it very difficult to eliminate these bacteria.

    Clostridium is found in the environment, including in the soil and mud found in the pet enclosure. Exotic pets that live near the ground are usually contaminated with this bacterium. Clostridium usually contaminates reptiles, most specifically aquatic reptiles. Adults and older children likewise have a range of bacteria that overgrow these spores. However, small babies below one year old have not yet developed such protection, hence are most susceptible to the infection.

    Considering these, pet owners who have young children should think twice when considering having any aquatic animals as their pet. These pets are not fir for small children and should never be kept in the home where there are children below five years old.

    Careful handling and management of these animals is a must to ensure that not only the pets are kept healthy, but more importantly your family.

    Other infections that these exotic pets may have include campylobacteriosis (a bowel infection), leptospirosis (a liver disease), trichinellosis (a disease of the muscles, nervous system, heart, and lungs). These contagious diseases have been associated with reptile handling and managing. While most of these conditions are treatable, some can be quite serious.

    Safe Pet Animal Handling

    1. Look for the pet that will be most suitable to your household. Those with young children below five years old, pregnant women, and house members with existing health conditions should not consider reptiles as pets in their houses.

    2. All reptiles are possible carriers of these contagious diseases. Proper handling and management is a must.

    3. Always wash your hands with antiseptic soap and water after handling your pets.

    4. As much as possible, reptiles must be kept in their enclosures. If you need to take them out, make sure that you make extra precaution, such as carrying hand sanitizer, using disposable hand gloves, and keeping them away from other members of the family who are prone in acquiring their infections.

    5. If you need to bring your pet reptile to an educational institution, make sure there are proper hand-washing and cleaning facilities in the location. Never bring your pet to a kindergarten or a daycare center.

    6. Keep your reptile tank or enclosure properly cleaned. Never leave anything unclean (water and food bowls, decorations, even the beddings). Make sure to clear away animal droppings properly.

    7. Clean your pet’s enclosure in a well-ventilated area. Wear latex or vinyl gloves when cleaning your pet’s enclosure. You may also need to disinfect everything inside the enclosure to ensure that any trace of fungus, germs, bacteria, or virus are totally eliminated. When you are done cleaning the enclosure, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and antiseptic soap. You may also need to clean your hands with rubbing alcohol.

    8. Wash with hot water every surface that your pet has come in contact with.

    9. Wash your pet in its own wash basin. Never wash your pet in the sink or in the bath. The wash water should also be disposed of properly through the drain outside the house.

    10. Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling your reptile, even when cleaning its tank or any other equipment in its habitat. Never kiss or allow your kids to kiss or hug your reptile pet.

    11. Take off any garments that have come in contact with the reptile while you are handling it. Wash them with hot or warm water.

    12. Always remind children not to put their hands in their mouth, especially when they are handling a reptile. They should also be warned of the dangers that these reptiles may carry and what they can do to prevent any contagious diseases from transferring to them.

    13. Consult local veterinarians for more information in the proper handling and management of your pet reptile.

    Every family member needs to understand fully how to safely handle pets in the house to ensure everyone’s safety.

  • Tips On Preventing and Treating Toenail Fungus

    If you are not in the habit of having your toenails done, and if you would rather wear closed shoes, you may probably not pay much attention to the health condition of your toenails. However, there is a very pertinent reason why you should always keep your toenails healthy. For one, there is a nail condition known as onychomycosis that can spread to your nails if left untreated. As they can hardly be noticeable, those who may already have it may not even know that they exist.

    toenail fungus

    Keep Toenail Fungus At Bay

    It may be impossible to not come into contact with any contaminated things where this fungus breeds. Needless to say, it is best that you keep your feet thoroughly clean and dry, as well as trim your nails properly to keep your any possible infection at bay. However, if you unknowingly get into contact with these microscopic organisms and caused an infection.Keep these tips in mind to the best toenail fungus treatment:

    1. Wash your feet with soap and water thoroughly and wipe them off dry before putting on your shoes.

    2. Trim your nails straight across making sure that they don’t reach the tip of the toe. This will help keep protect the sensitive tissues underneath your nails.

    3.. Wear the right shoes. Tight-fitting shoes can easily bruise your skin. They can also damage the skin. These can provide an easy access for bacteria and start breeding on the affected area. You also need to change your socks whenever you feel your feet getting damp to avoid any fungal infection from spreading.

    4. Apply antifungal cream or spray on an antifungal solution on your feet and on your shoes to boost the protection that you are providing to your feet.

    5. Don’t go barefooted in public places. Either wear shoes or slippers.

    6. Clean your nail clippers and other nail tools properly. Rub alcohol on them as well to keep them sanitized.

    Toenail fungus can be a total pain. They may keep coming back if you are not able to maintain a good hygiene as well as apply this preventive measures. If any medical treatment plan is provided, you need to make sure to adhere to it carefully to make sure that the fungus on your toenails will be totally eradicated.

    Toenail Fungus Treatment

    Superficial onychomycosis is normally accompanied by the formation of small, white patches of fungus on the nails. They can just be trimmed or filed off the nails. An OTC or over-the-counter topical treatment, such as miconazole nitrate (Fungoid Tincture), may then be applied on the nails to ensure that all fungi are removed from the nails. Repeated application of the topical treatment is necessary to ensure that the fungus won’t have a chance to grow back on the trimmed off nail.

    Severe infections need to be treated by a specialist, however. A severe onychomycosis is characterized by thick and discolored nails that can become painful.

    Treatment plans that are normally provided by podiatrists include:

    1. Removal or debridement of the affected portion of the nails. This will lessen the pain and will allow any topical treatment that will be applied to the affected area to penetrate better.

    2. Application of a topical medication. Fungoid Tincture and the prescription treatment ciclopirox (Penlac nail lacquer) are usually applied on the affected nails. They don’t seem to be as effective as the first treatment method as the medication won’t be able to penetrate well on the thickened nails.

    3. Taking oral medication. Terbinafine hydrochloride (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox) are the two oral medications that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as oral treatments for toenail fungus. They are generally taken continuously as prescribed and up to three months to successfully remove the infection.

    Most serious cases of the infection will require the surgical removal of the affected toenails. The may also be dipped on an acid. If this option is required, an artificial nail is usually placed on the nail bed to protect the skin tissues underneath until a new nail grows back.

    There are also home remedies that may be used to prevent or treat toenail fungus. Here are some of them

    1. Vicks Vaporub. A clinical case study conducted by Richard Derby, MD., et. al. indicated that this over-the-counter mentholated ointment is effective in treating onychomycosis. You just need to apply a small amount of the ointment on the affected area regularly until the nails retain its normal features.

    2. Snakeroot extract. Researchers at the Centro de Investigación Biomédica del Sur, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) conducted a study that evaluated the effectiveness of Ageratina pichinchensis (snakeroot) extract in treating onychomycosis. The study revealed that this solution is as effective as the prescription antifungal medication ciclopirox.

    3. Tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is used for health and beauty purposes. This also includes treating nasty toenail fungal infection. You may just apply the oil directly on the affected area. Make sure to wash your nails and feet thoroughly before applying the oil. Do this two times a day until the condition of your nails improve.

    4. Vinegar. Though there has been no clinical study conducted to prove the efficiency of using this solution in treating toenail fungus, many anecdotal pieces of evidence support it. Vinegar is also known for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and other health benefits. To use it as a treatment method for this condition, mix one part of vinegar to two parts of warm water and soak your feet in the mixture for about 20 minutes daily.

    5. Garlic. Like vinegar, garlic has been used for medicinal purposes. It is also found to be effective in curing nail conditions as onychomycosis. Place chopped or crushed garlic clove on the affected areas for about 30 minutes daily until your nails recover its natural state.

    6. Listerine. Listerine is proven to be an effective dental cleaning agent. Many have found this solution to be effective in treating toenail fungus as well. Those who used this treatment recommend soaking the affected foot in Listerine for about 30 minutes every day.

    It is always recommended that you keep feet clean and thoroughly dry to ensure that they will be free from any fungal infection. It is also best to check the health condition of your feet regularly to ensure that no nail changes that could possibly be tell-tale signs of this condition will not go unnoticed.