1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Tortoise Salmonella

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by HoneyBea23, Oct 25, 2019.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. HoneyBea23

    HoneyBea23 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ontario
    Hi there! I am wondering if someone can inform me of the risks of having a tortoise with respect to salmonella contamination towards myself and other pets. For example, if I let my Russian tortoise roam supervised around my room floor, and then my cat roams on the floor after the tortoise has been put back in its enclosure, is there a risk of her getting sick? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. nicoble

    nicoble Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    18
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    it is possible from a medical/ scientific standpoint that salmonella survive for several hours after they left their host ... they won't usually survive very long on surfaces like hardwood or carpet but still it is possible ... For that reason I would not let my tortoise roam especially if wild caught - you can easily get a piece of linoleum or other wipeable surface that can be rolled up and have your tortoise in a more fenced in area - they are happiest with the right lighting and temperature though or ... safest ... outside ... sunlight is the best disinfectant when it comes to things like salmonella ...
    Samantha Graham likes this.
  3. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    1,756
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Richmond, VA
    I wouldn't since I routinely watch my Torts pooh than walk through it and even pooh on there food. Handwashing after each handling for me thank you. And I am by no means a germ freak. 5 second rule works!
    Samantha Graham likes this.
  4. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,381
    Likes Received:
    5,254
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
    Turtles and tortoises do not "carry" salmonella. It is not a bacteria that is endemic to chelonians and they walk around with a culture of salmonella to disperse wherever they go. No more than lettuce or chicken eggs "carry" salmonella. Salmonella is a ubiquitous bacteria with 100s of strains. Unsanitary conditions become a culture medium for the bacteria to grow and then something in that environment - a chicken, lettuce, a turtle, etc. can indeed become a way to transfer it elsewhere. It is the unsanitary conditions that allow the bacteria to become established and multiply.

    Turtles became the scapegoat culprit back in the 60s when hatchlings were sold in the 1000s in big tubs in front of Woolworth stores. They were sold with a little10" round plastic tub with a plastic palm tree in the middle. They held about 1 cup of water. Kids got turtles and put them in these containers, fed them, and rarely cleaned it. It became a perfect bacteria culture medium. Any environmental bacteria that found that place found a great place to become established. And salmonella flourishes in exactly those conditions. You are far more likely to get a good salmonella culture going if you put a piece of grocery store chicken in the same turtle container and left it a week or so. But kids like to play with baby turtles and kids put their hands in their mouth all the time. Even so, there were less cases of salmonella then, then there was just recently with some of our food products that were recalled.

    Also - it is never a good idea to let a tortoise roam around in the house. What people interpret as "enjoying exploring" is a tortoise stressed and trying frantically to find a familiar place to hide and feel secure. There are also way too many uncontrollable things it can run into, try to eat, or get injured by, no matter how carefully you monitor it. Give it a proper enclosure and allow it to adopt it as its personal territory. There is where it will thrive and feel safe.
  5. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    37,413
    Likes Received:
    13,733
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    I will second Mark post specially the part about not letting your tortoise roam the house. It needs a proper size and temp enclosure inside and out.
    Samantha Graham and Kipley like this.
  6. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    7,637
    Likes Received:
    3,099
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern Oregon
    @Markw84 you are great with words and have a wonderfully, articulate way of explaining things.

    Thank you for sharing. Your contribution to this group is invaluable. :tort:
  7. shellcior

    shellcior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2018
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location (City and/or State):
    Cypress, Tx
    I've had torts all of my life. I just keep things clean and always wash my hands. Never had a problem.
    Samantha Graham likes this.
  8. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    6,403
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    Your more likely to get salmonella from the romaine lettuce in your salad than you are your tortoise......
    Samantha Graham and Team Gomberg like this.
Similar Threads: Tortoise Salmonella
Forum Title Date
Russian tortoises My tortoises is acting a little strange Nov 28, 2019
Russian tortoises Starters for a Russian Tortoise? Nov 27, 2019
Russian tortoises Hibernating my russian tortoise in cardbard box. Nov 26, 2019
Russian tortoises Hibernating baby tortoise? Nov 19, 2019
Russian tortoises Horsfield Tortoise - Prolapse?? Nov 18, 2019

Share This Page