Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What are your thoughts is it a good Idea to keep repptiles as pets?

Reptiles are amazing creatures. Whether you're interested in snakes, lizards, turtles and there is always something different and exciting to learn. Children are also fascinated by the foreign looking animals with scales and shells instead of skin and hair, and often convince their parents to let them have a salamander or a snake to keep them company in their room, a turtle or salamander to study for a science fair project. It is estimated that more than 11 million reptiles kept as pets in the U.S., 11 million snakes and lizards and turtles serve as pets for our children, but brings many risks in our homes that few realize.

Reptiles are not intended to be kept as pets. Like most animals, they are meant to be in their natural surroundings, usually in large rooms, with fresh water, variety of food and predators to weed out the weak. In a domestic environment, there are reptiles forced to live in small cages where they are in close contact with the water they are forced to eat in the stool, which creates a high probability that reptiles can become sick with bacteria or infection. Now if you ask the average pet owner, how to tell if a reptile is sick or not, few would be able to answer. Therefore reptiles get sick, stay sick and could get you and your family sick.

The biggest health hazard in keeping the reptiles, the threat of salmonella, a bacterium that many reptiles can carry and transmit to humans. Salmonella can cause life-threatening symptoms in humans, including severe dehydration, by bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. In children and older people, this bacterium is not only serious but can be deadly. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 5% of all Salmonella cases were caused by exposure to other reptiles.

Because the risk is so great, it is important to take precautions when working or playing with reptiles in your home. For example:

· Wash your hands with warm water and soap or use a disinfectant after each contact with reptiles

· Keep reptiles away from food preparation

· Ensure that all open wounds or sores you are covered if you are in physical contact with a reptile

· Avoid contact between the elderly and infants with reptiles

Reptiles are designed in nature. But as reptiles are becoming increasingly popular, especially with children, it is important that health and safety in mind when caring for your pet reptile.

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