Salmonella infection is a bacterial disease that is found in feces. There are many different kinds of Salmonella that can make you sick. Some symptoms of Salmonella are diarrhea, bloody stool, fever, stomach pain, and vomiting. Animals can carry Salmonella and pass it in their droppings. Therefore the main way people get Salmonella is by digesting the feces. If you are handling an animal that may have walked or swam in its own feces, then after handling it you do not wash your hands, now you have bacteria on your hands. Let’s say you go make a sandwich, and there you go, you just ingested Salmonella. The best way to protect yourself from this is to wash your hands with warm water anytime you touch an animal, or clean an animal’s enclosure. Here are some of the main Salmonella carriers.
- Reptiles – Lizards, Snakes, and Turtles, etc., defecate in there enclosure and may walk, slither, or swim through the feces, causing them to be high carriers of Salmonella. Reptiles have the highest numbers of Salmonella disease.
- Farm Animals – Baby chicks and baby ducks carry Salmonella because they also are known to walk, or even sleep in their own feces. Other farm animals may carry it as well, so if you see an animal walking through feces, you know to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after petting.
- Rodents – Rats, Hamsters, and Gerbils are only a few of the rodents who can carry Salmonella. If the animal walks through its own feces, then there is a high chance it may carry it.
- Animals– Any animal can be a carrier of Salmonella, and pass it in its droppings, so if you know that animal walks, sleeps, swims or rolls in feces it is important to have good hygiene for you, and your pets safety. Dogs and cats have even been known to carry it, so always wash your hands or keep sanitizer nearby after any animal contact.
Salmonella is more likely to affect infants and children under the age of five. There have been cases of adults getting Salmonella, however it has been seen more in children. This can be easily prevented by taking the proper care of your pets. Keep their enclosures, beds, or crates clean, keep the pets themselves clean, change the water in their tanks (for turtles or fish) once a week, and make sure you wash your hands in warm water after cleaning or touching the animals. I would recommend keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer by each enclosure. That way, anytime your kids play with their pets, the sanitizer is in plain view to remind them to clean their hands. If you take these steps you should never have a problem with Salmonella.