Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Salmonella

US Turtle Laws

Posted in Reptiles
Turtles are notorious Salmonella vectors. Because of that, various jurisdictions have rules limiting their sale, particularly the sale of small turtles (i.e. those that young kids are more likely to handle and try to put in their mouths). A recent publication from the CDC’s Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support is a Menu… Continue Reading

Pet treats…what to look out for

Posted in Dogs
Pet treats are widely used, and for good reason. Treats can be useful training tools, and pets typically like treats (and owners like to make their pets happy). But even something as simple as feeding pets treats carries some risks (and not just to the pet).  Balancing the risks and benefits is the key. For… Continue Reading

Reptile-associated salmonellosis in Minnesota

Posted in Reptiles
A recent paper in Zoonoses and Public Health (Whitten et al, 2014) describes reptile-associated salmonellosis cases in Minnesota between 1996-2011. Like similar reports, the data underestimate the problem because it’s thought that for every documented case, approximately 30 cases go undiagnosed. Regardless, there are some useful findings. Twelve to 30 cases of reptile-associated salmonellosis were… Continue Reading

More hatching chick associated salmonellosis

Posted in Other animals
The salmonellosis outbreak in the US associated with hatching chicks continues to expand. The outbreak, ironically associated with Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, has now sickened at least 344 people in 42 US states and Puerto Rico with a variety of Salmonella serotypes (S. Infants, S. Newport and S. Hadar). The outbreak shows no sign… Continue Reading

Salmonella from bearded dragons…Canadian style

Posted in Reptiles
Not surprisingly (since bacteria don’t respect borders), the Salmonella Cotham outbreak in the US associated with bearded dragons has also affected people in Canada. Nine cases of human salmonellosis associated with this rare Salmonella strain have been identified, many with a link to bearded dragons. It’s not particularly remarkable, but should be yet another reminder… Continue Reading

Deja vu…Salmonella and feeder mice

Posted in Reptiles
In some ways, it doesn’t surprise me because it’s happened many times before. However, you’d think that, at some point, things would start to improve. Apparently not. The US CDC is reporting yet another outbreak of salmonellosis associated with contact with feeder mice, that is, mice produced commercially to feed to pet reptiles. Sadly, this… Continue Reading

It’s that time of year…

Posted in Other animals
April showers bring May flowers. …and I can’t come up with a good rhyme for salmonellosis. Nonetheless, it’s Salmonella season, courtesy of cute but biohazardous baby poultry. You can buy chicken, turkey and other bird eggs to hatch every spring. Our local feed mill had the order forms out a while ago, and you can… Continue Reading

Salmonella outbreak from bearded dragons

Posted in Reptiles
The US CDC is reporting yet another multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to reptiles. This one is an outbreak of Salmonella Cotham that, as of April 21, has infected at least 132 people in 31 states. The story is pretty similar to other reptile-associated Salmonella incidents. 58% of infected individuals are kids five years of age… Continue Reading

Things not to do with reptiles

Posted in Reptiles
I would have thought this would fall under the realm of common sense, but as the saying goes: Common sense is like deodorant, the people that need it the most don’t use it. A recent report out of Scotland is warning people not to kiss their pet reptiles, in response to four people who were… Continue Reading

More on classroom reptiles

Posted in Reptiles
Sometimes, people send me links to articles because they think I’d be interested in them. Sometimes, they do it to see what kind of response they can evoke. I’m not sure which one this was: I was directed by a couple of people to a recent post of PLOS’s blog about snakes in classrooms. (I… Continue Reading

Turtles and Salmonella…no surprise there

Posted in Reptiles
Pet aquatic turtles have been implicated in three outbreaks of salmonellosis involving 43 US states over the past year and a half.  Disappointing, but not surprising. Disappointing, obviously, because people are getting sick. Disappointing also because these outbreaks have occurred over and over, despite availability of good information on how to reduce the risks. It’s… Continue Reading

Feeder rodent Salmonella alert, Ontario

Posted in Pocket pets
A local county newspaper had a front page headline about a zoning amendment that was approved to allow for a feeder rodent facility that will produce about 10 000 rodents a week (I know, apparently there aren’t a lot of big things happen around here). Co-incidentally, a couple days later, I received an alert and fact… Continue Reading

Salmonella and fair poultry exhibits

Posted in Birds
As fall fair season starts, concerns about petting zoo outbreaks rise. While deficiencies are still common, petting zoos seem to be getting better with their infection control measures. People too are starting to get better at doing what their asked to do – namely washing their hands after visiting these exhibits. However, as we’ve shown… Continue Reading

Why Finnegan’s an indoor cat

Posted in Cats
I grew up with cats, and they were all indoor/outdoor. I never really thought about it since that was just the way things were done. Yet, as much as he’d like to convince us otherwise, our current cat Finnegan is an indoor cat. There are a lot of reasons for this. One reason for keeping… Continue Reading

African dwarf frog Salmonella outbreak recap

Posted in Other animals
I’ve written about the African dwarf frog and Salmonella issue before, but it’s worth a recap since an overview of the 2008-2011 outbreak was recently published in the journal Pediatrics (Mettee Zarecki et al 2013). The fact that reptiles and amphibians can carry Salmonella is nothing new, nor is the fact that outbreaks of disease… Continue Reading

Chicken diapers…even I couldn’t make this one up

Posted in Birds
I have three kids that are all now (thankfully) past the diaper stage. I have no idea how many diapers I changed, but I don’t have a huge desire to start doing it again, especially for chickens. Yes, there are now diapers for chickens. I understand the whole urban chicken concept. I don’t actually have many… Continue Reading

Pet treat recall questions

Posted in Dogs
I tend not to write about recalls but the recent, large and expanding pet treat recall has lead to a lot of questions that are worth discussing. At last report, treats manufactured by Kasel Associates Industries Inc from April 20-Sept 19, 2012 were potentially contaminated with Salmonella and recalled.  Not surprisingly, most of the recalled… Continue Reading

Hedgehog Salmonella update

Posted in Other animals
I’m just back from vacation (luckily, with no infectious disease stories to write), but now I have to catch up on a few posts. One easy one that was waiting for me in my inbox was about Salmonella and hedgehogs. I’ve written before about biohazardous hedgehogs, and more details about the US 2011-2013 multi-state Salmonella… Continue Reading

Do you know what’s in your dog’s ‘bully stick’?

Posted in Dogs
I mean that two ways. 1) Do you know what a bully stick actually is? 2) Do you know what’s in it? A recent study headed up by Dr. Lisa Freeman, published in this month’s Canadian Veterinary Journal (Freeman et al., CVJ 2013;54:50-54), looked into this by asking people what they thought bully sticks were… Continue Reading

Sssnakes and Sssalmonella

Posted in Reptiles
The fact that Salmonella and reptiles go together is old news. I often get questions about testing reptiles to see if they are Salmonella carriers and I tell people not to bother since even with a negative result, I’d consider the animal to be positive. A recent study in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife… Continue Reading

Petting zoo pathogens

Posted in Other animals
The 15 cm of snow that fell last night is as good of an indicator as any that agricultural fair season is over in this region. But, planning ahead is important (and often not done well with fair petting zoos), so it’s never to early to make a plan for next season. Petting zoos can… Continue Reading

Songbird Salmonella in Sonoma

Posted in Cats
This story’s a couple of weeks old, but Sonoma County (California) residents have been warned about an outbreak of salmonellosis in songbirds. Outbreaks of salmonellosis occur occasionally in songbirds such as finches, and can result is lots of sick and dead birds. There are also risks to other species, including cats and people. Why cats?… Continue Reading