Salmonella isn’t necessarily a threat to your pet red-eared slider, but it is a concern for you as a human.
Turtles spend a lot of time swimming in the same water that they poo in, and considering that reptiles tend to have a high fecal carriage rate for salmonella, pet turtles are common vectors of salmonella bacteria. Salmonella can make humans sick, with symptoms like:
- Abdominal pain
Children, elderly, and immunocompromised individuals are more likely to develop complications like meningitis and septicemia. For this reason, I do not recommend aquatic turtles as pets in a home with someone who meets these conditions.
Antibiotic treatment isn’t always required for salmonellosis, and most people recover without complications. However, see a doctor if your child exhibits the above symptoms for more than a couple of days.
You can help prevent salmonellosis by following good hygiene practices, like washing your hands immediately after interacting with your turtle/its enclosure, and not touching contaminated fingers to your eyes or mouth. It’s also a good idea to keep a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer near the tank in case you can’t wash your hands immediately.
More red-eared slider health topics:
- Algae Buildup
- Dry Docking
- Fungal Infection
- Hard Water Buildup
- Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
- Overgrown Beak
- Respiratory Infection
- Shell Rot
- Shell Injury
- Swollen Eyes
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Deficiency
This page contains affiliate links. Here’s what that means for you.