Beware the salmonella threat posed by amphibians

Tuesday, 12th March 2013

Owners of amphibian pets such as frogs, toads, turtles and snakes should be aware that the animals are able to carry the salmonella bacteria, which can then result in humans becoming infected.

This is the warning being issued by the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) after a recent study revealed that 376 people had contracted the illness in 44 different states between 2008 and 2011, with the majority of these being children.

Most people are unaware of this threat and tend to think that salmonella can only be passed on by contaminated food, but the reality is that humans can also become infected when handling amphibians, cleaning out tanks and containers or even coming into contact with contaminated water.

If you are thinking of buying a pet amphibian then it's important to have the animal checked out by a vet before handling it, and for all the necessary medications to be administered if salmonella is detected.