Turtles and Salmonella

Turtles can be great, low-maintenance pets, but there’s an added risk: SalmonellaSalmonella is a type of bacteria.  You can’t see it without a microscope, but it can make people very sick.

But all is not lost.  Turtles are still great pets, but you should take precautions to protect your family.  Good hygiene, such as washing your hands after handling a turtle, is very important.  Make sure you get your pet turtle from a reputable source, and talk to your veterinarian about taking care of your pet turtle and preventing disease.

Read more about turtles and Salmonella on CBS News online.

Posted in Zoonoses/Shared Disease | Tagged , , , | Permalink


  1. Rocky says:

    I was wondering how much you feed a red eared slider approx. 1 3/4 inches? This was left by a tenant and now I have a new creature. She was feeding it nothing but raisin bran flakes ( said” it was a picky eater” – Idiot ! ).. Anyway, I read to feed as much in a session as will eat in a few minutes. I am afraid to overfeed as I also read that it can weaken the shell. This little creature eats 12-17 pellets and some crill in a minute or 2. I do that twice a day. “Syd” has a great appetite and loves it’s new environment with basking, swimming & bubble areas. Also, nothing should be alone. In for a penny, in for a pound – I’d like to get a companion turtle.. but Syd is under the legal size..Any warning/suggestions for same breed /same size?

    • Dr. Kimberly May says:

      Hi Sue! First of all, thanks for taking on the responsibility when someone else failed to recognize theirs. Based on what you’ve said about the turtle’s previous diet, I strongly recommend you have the turtle examined by a vet to make sure there aren’t any health problems resulting from the previous improper care and diet. Go to http://www.myveterinarian.com and go to the advanced search function (you have to do it on a computer, though – unfortunately, the site is currently not mobile device-friendly), and check the box that says “Snake, Turtle, Frog, Lizard” in the first section. Then enter your city/state or zip and search, and it will return you results for vets in your area that have experience with turtles. That vet can assess the turtle’s overall health, then make recommendations for feeding and care. They can also let you know if they think it’s OK to get a companion turtle now or if you should wait. If the turtle’s immune system isn’t functioning normally (due to disease, malnutrition, etc.), introducing a companion could be risky because the new turtle might bring in a new disease that could infect Syd. Good luck with Syd, and I hope you have many years of fun turtle companionship!

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