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:
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.
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. (more…)