How Can Pet Snakes Make you Sick?
Can Pet Snakes Make you Sick? If you are a pet snake lover or your family member is keeping one in the house, you should be well aware that your pet reptile can make you and your other family members sick. Not to fear, in this article, I will discuss all the profound implications that you may face and their possible solutions.
Sit back! And start knowing more about your pet snake.
Snake Diseases That can be Caught by Humans
Pet reptiles, especially snakes, attract a pet lover’s attention by their color and unique appearance. Young children enjoy the company of their pet snake wonderfully. You should know that your pet reptile is not so safe to let it play with children and not yourself, too, without taking necessary precautions. The reason is that your lovely contact with reptiles is full of cautions as they are always carrying so many germs, harmful for your health.
Furthermore, your pet reptile carries several harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Leptospirae, Escherichia Coli, Mycobacteria, and many others.
These bacteria are the culprit that makes your pet reptile so dangerous for you to come close to them. In case you unluckily become infected with any of the bacteria, you may suffer from these infections.
Unless there is no contact with reptiles, no diseases can be transferred to you or your children. Owing to the fact, if you reduce your contact with the snake, you are reducing the chances to become the victim of snake diseases. Our team’s sole purpose is to take our humans and animals’ health as our prime preference. I will discuss how to make contact with your pet snake as much safe as you can.
How to Prevent Becoming Sick from Pet Snakes
- Always use disposable gloves when cleaning and while feeding or doing chores.
- Prefer hand washing whenever you touch your pet or its belongings
- Use Soap and Water
- Better to use hand sanitizer
- Keep your small children away from a pet snake.
- It is better to use disposable gloves when cleaning the feeding dishes.
Pet Snakes and Salmonella
Snakes and other pet reptiles commonly carry salmonella infection with them. Salmonella is a widespread bacterium that causes vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and general body pain. You should know that any contact, directly or indirectly, with your pet snake can transmit salmonella to you. The route of transmission of salmonella in your body is through your mouth.
Contact with Reptiles
You or your children can be very playful with the pet snake. Children always love to play with pet reptiles as they become good pets for them. Firstly, you should be cautious about your children as their contact with this reptile can be dangerous for them.
This is because anything in contact with the reptiles, especially snakes, is a potential transmission source for salmonella. Any person in the house can be infected with salmonella only by touching the area or the things that your pet uses, even the cage. You can get a salmonella infection if you touch your mouth after handling the pet or its belongings.
Preventing Samonella Poisoning From Pet Snakes
You can get rid of this salmonella infection by following the instructions mentioned below.
- Make a habit of washing hands every time after touching your pet, use soap and water.
- Make a habit of cleaning the cage outside the home
- Don’t let your children come close to the snake, make sure they are safe
- It will help if you supervise the hand-washing of children and the handling reptiles.
- Don’t keep snake and other reptiles at home where children are less than five years old
- Don’t let your reptile roam freely in the home, watch young children
Zoonotic Diseases of Snakes
Zoonotic diseases are the diseases in which a pathogen (a virus, bacteria, or a parasite) is transferred from an animal to a human. Today several conditions are prevailing in humans that have been transferred from animals. Pet lovers are also prone to diseases as they are in close contact and Handling reptiles.
It is delightful to have unique pets like snakes, but they can be life-threatening for you as well.
We don’t advise you to keep pet snakes without taking safety precautions. Safety precautions to keep you and your family protected from zoonotic diseases are our primary concern.
Pathogens naturally live in a pet reptile body, and most of them live in its gut. These pathogens in their gut help them digest the food. Luckily pet reptiles are safe from various pathogens residing in their body or are mildly affected by them. In contrast, when these pathogens affect humans’ bodies, they produce serious illnesses.
Zoonotic Diseases from Snakes
Notably, the zoonotic diseases caused by pathogens of your snake are as follows.
- Coxiella Brunetti
Despite so many diseases transmitted by your beautiful snake, you should not worry because you can avoid all the conditions by maintaining hygiene. Practicing hygiene, you should wash your hands every time you come close to your beautiful companion. Use disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite to sanitize the place and other pieces of equipment.
Talking about snakes and saying nothing of their evil nature is not possible. Many species of snakes are venomous. So if you are fond of keeping venomous snakes as your pet, you should be extremely cautious of their potentially deadly venom. You must not keep such kind of snakes at your home. Don’t let minors come any close to them. In the United States, there are strict regulations if you want to keep Venomous snakes. Check Your Locality.
Parasites in Pet Snakes
Pet snakes, as well as other animals, are prone to parasitic infections. Ectoparasites mostly affect the wild reptiles, and endoparasites mainly affect the reptiles kept in household conditions. Ectoparasites include ticks and mites that are involved in outer body illnesses. Also, there are several endoparasites involved in severe illnesses.
Reptiles are commonly kept, nowadays, as a pet, and their health concern that should be kept in mind is their parasitic infestations. It will be best if you have a clear idea that their body is never free from parasites. Parasites are almost every time present in their body. They need optimum time to express themselves. Parasite mostly causes infection when your pet is facing some stress or harsh environment.
Due to stress, their immune system becomes weak, and your beautiful snake goes into the merciless hands of the parasites. Environment stress plays an essential role in developing parasitic infections. Your pet can face pressure if you have kept it in a congested environment or there is more than one pet living in the same place. The environment may not be so hygienic that it harbors parasites that can infect your pet. The primary source for the parasites is the environment in which they live. (1)
Parasites’ can be passed from pet to pet, and also at times to people.
Therefore, to save your pet from parasitic infestations, you need to make its living place free from parasites. You can easily do this task by using disinfectants to clean the area. Sodium hypochlorite is an effective agent to kill all kinds of pathogens and save your lovely and beautiful pet from these health-hazardous agents.
Common parasitic diseases that are prevalent in reptiles, including snakes, are as follows.
- Snake Mite Infestation
How do I Know If My Snake Has a Parasite?
You must know the signs and symptoms of parasitic infestations so that you may take timely advice from an expert and execute proper measures. I have discussed some common parasitic diseases and their signs and symptoms to help you take proper care of your pet.
It is a prevalent disease of reptiles, especially snakes, which occurs for a protracted period. The causative agent is responsible for gastrointestinal infections and liver and kidney problems. You can identify your pet’s problem by observing hemorrhagic diarrhea (bloody feces), severe dehydration, and the body’s general weakness.
Snake Mite Infestation
Snake mites are a big threat as they cause significant illnesses and even death. The larvae and adults of these mites are responsible for the disease. Snake mites lay eggs in the cracks and crevices of the building. You can identify the infection in your snake if your pet shows sudden movements or rubs its head. In chronic infestations, your pet snake may show anemia, lethargy, dehydration, or maybe death.
The agent responsible for this infection can resist the environmental extremes. Its signs and symptoms include swelling of the body from the middle and weight loss. It is a disease of the gastrointestinal tract in which the inflammation of its membrane occurs.
This parasite is frequently seen in pet snakes. This genre of parasite includes two pathogenic members. Both the members can have a direct life cycle as well as an indirect life cycle. Adult parasites primarily get nutrition from the ingesta; therefore, it leads to weight-loss of the animal. Larvae of this parasite move towards the lungs and cause lung infections and other secondary infections. Your infected snake may be asymptomatic or show the signs of diarrhea, body weakness, pneumonia, obstruction of the intestine, and renal diseases.
Now you have a clear idea of how your lovely pet can make you sick and how you can save yourself and your family members. I must suggest to you that your health and your family’s health is the most important. So, whenever you see any abnormality in your pet snake or yourself, immediately go to the Vet doctor. To protect yourself from any trouble, strictly follow the hygiene measures such as using gloves while handling or doing chores, using disinfectant to sanitize all the area using your pet snake.
We have now concluded that keeping a pet snake can make us sick, but only if we don’t follow the hygiene measures. So, you are well aware of keeping yourself and your family member’s health safe from now on.
1. Rataj AV, Lindtner-Knific R, Vlahović K, Mavri U, Dovč A. Parasites in pet reptiles. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. 2011;53(1):33.