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Turtles – what they are and how to avoid them

turtle diseases man


Turtles – what they are and how to avoid them

Our pet is not always a dog or a kitten. Many have now chosen turtles as friends. But what are the diseases of turtles communicable to humans and how to avoid them?

The turtle: a health hazard? (Photo Pexels)

Land turtles, water turtles, perhaps with names inspired by great Renaissance painters, these cute reptiles are fantastic pets but unfortunately they can contract dangerous diseases for us too. Turtle diseases communicable to humans can be frequent and must be kept under control just like dogs and cats. The veterinarian is an obligatory and cyclical step in the life of these hard-shelled but tender-hearted animals.

The diseases that can be transmitted to humans

A cute turtle (Photo Pixabay)

For legal reasons (and not only) domestic dogs and cats must undergo periodic checks and vaccines, but for turtles there is no precise legislation. In any case, a visit to the vet must be planned cyclically, as just like their furry colleagues, even reptiles can contract diseases that also affect humans.

Being precisely reptiles, turtles and other animals in this category necessarily come into contact with various bacteria. The most dangerous for human health, however, are aquatic specimens, which can bring salmonella or salmonellosis to humans. But there are other diseases of the turtles that can be transmitted to humans, besides these two.

Preventing infection

turtle shell
Contact with the turtle can be dangerous (Photo Unsplash)

With small precautions it is possible to avoid the transmission of turtle diseases in humans, for example if we touch the animal (for example during the regular cleaning of the aquarium) it is good to wash your hands to avoid any type of bacteria. In fact, an infection like that of salmonella can occur simply by coming into contact with the stool, perhaps with bare hands.

Sure, there are drug therapies to treat these diseases, but as always it is better to prevent the infection as much as possible. We therefore use disposable gloves when cleaning the terrarium, or if we use bare hands, wash them well after finishing.

Salmonellosis has specific symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, dysentery and abdominal pain. But it is even more important to monitor children, so the disease could be much more risky than adults. We then have children who touch the turtle or aquarium wash their hands, just like us.

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