Yearling ornate & pregnant wife any real risks?

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shelly-ornateBT

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Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum. My wife I just received a beautiful less than year old ornate box turtle. We also just found out that my wife is pregnant. My mother did some research on the net and found some info from the FDA warning not to have turtles and a less than 5 year child due to the risk of salmonella infection. I am a chemist and started premed in college. So I have a background in microbiology. I did my own research and found the warning stemmed from a incident 20 years ago with a red slider and a 4 week old. The rest seems over blown and no higher risk then being around chickens or bringing raw chicken into the house. I made an appointment with a vet who specializes in reptiles to have a fecal test for salmonella and consultation of any possible risk of infection. If the turtle doesn't already have it then I don't see the possible risk if I maintain proper housing conditions and handling. This however hasn't swayed my mother and she begging us to get rid of our new boxy. Any advice or info anyone may have on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
 

dmmj

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No more danger than anything else you come into contact with all day long. Proper basic hygiene should solve any problems. I don't mean this to offend, but I doubt anything you say will convince your mom otherwise.
 

Deac77

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dog's and cats pose a higher risk honestly....
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Shelly-ornate bt:

Salmonella is everywhere! It might even be on the money your pregnant wife handles.

Let your mother rant all she wants to. Its your life, your household and you do what you want to do. If tests were done in your mother's house, I'll bet you would find some salmonella living someplace there too.

If your wife isn't handling the turtle then putting her hands into her mouth, there is absolutely NO risk at all of your turtle giving your wife salmonella.

Good luck with your new baby. Just practice good hygiene and everything will be alright.
 

katelyn0974

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RE: Yearling ornate & pregnant wife any real risks?

Do not let any children handle the turtle, and do not wash/clean anything in your sinks that your dishes are in(to be extra safe). Boxies are a great pet. Proper hand washing as said above is key! Best of luck.
 

Masin

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RE: Yearling ornate & pregnant wife any real risks?

Does your wife want the turtle as well? So long as you both do and you wash your hands, sanitize properly after cleaning etc you'll be fine :)
Kids are gross...I pick up more from them than any animal I've had the pleasure of having in our family.
 

supremelysteve

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My 1 year old son tries his hardest to get my baby turtles. He just wants to see what it would be like in his mouth. We have to try even harder to make that will never happen.

On the other hand my 3 1/2 year old daughter was caught with 5 baby Greek tortoises riding in the back of her toy truck last week. She was in big trouble!

If you keep your turtles in reasonably sanitary conditions, and wash your hands after cleaning/feeding, you should be fine. When the baby is born, increase your safety and risk prevention just like you will for all the other aspects of your home.
 

stillframeband

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I have a 15month old son, and haven't had any problems; just be sure to wash your hands (just to be safe), and don't let them handle the turtle; which is a good tip for the turtle's well-being, too :)

My son LOVES watching Bug (our turtle) eat; 'turtle' was one of his first words, too! :) I think animals are positive thing to enrich children's lives with, but that's just me!
 

StudentoftheReptile

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I have a 16 month old and 4 month old.

No outbreaks of Salmonella yet (knocks on wood).

I am very meticulous about them touching ANYTHING that involves the tortoises. I wash my hands constantly.
 

dmmj

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StudentoftheReptile said:
I have a 16 month old and 4 month old.

No outbreaks of Salmonella yet (knocks on wood).

I am very meticulous about them touching ANYTHING that involves the tortoises. I wash my hands constantly.
Constantly, how do you post on here?
 

StudentoftheReptile

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dmmj said:
StudentoftheReptile said:
I am very meticulous about them touching ANYTHING that involves the tortoises. I wash my hands constantly.
Constantly, how do you post on here?

Well, whenever I'm at home doing anything with the tortoises (changing water pans, putting fresh food in, spot cleaning, etc.).

I usually try to time tortoise maintenance during naptimes or after everyone goes to bed, so I don't have to worry about someone toddling around my feet while I'm spot cleaning poop out of the cage, or carrying a soiled water bowl to the sink.
 

supremelysteve

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dmmj said:
StudentoftheReptile said:
I have a 16 month old and 4 month old.

No outbreaks of Salmonella yet (knocks on wood).

I am very meticulous about them touching ANYTHING that involves the tortoises. I wash my hands constantly.
Constantly, how do you post on here?

Hahahahaha! ! ! !
 

Tom

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To directly answer your original question, Yes, there is a risk. There is also a risk with every doorknob, telephone, keyboard, toilet flushing handle, chicken dinner, etc....

The risk from a box turtle is minimal in my opinion. My healthy little girl is now 5 years old and has been handling worms, roaches crickets, rolly pollys, and dozens of tortoises of multiple species and ages since she was a few months old. She has only been sick three times in five years, despite two years of pre-school surrounded by snotty noses from all the other kids getting sick. I have read studies on this and have had two pediatricians tell me that the reason she has not been sick is likely due to acquired immunity from her lifestyle.

Your mother in law's ideas about cleanliness and sanitary conditions will more than likely lead to your child being sick more often and with greater severity. More and more pediatricians are recognizing this and advising accordingly. Just my two cents...

I thought of something else, too. An outdoor enclosure is extremely beneficial for them and will move them out of the house too. You can bring him in at night or cold weather, but most of the day could be spent outside. It would be good for the turtle and might help ease some family tension.
 

kanalomele

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I have had my torts for 15 years, and in that time have had two pregnancies. As well as three healthy children who have grown up around them. My baby is now just 9 months and thus far has never been sick at all! . The risk is minimal. Wash your hands before and after handling, then the risk is minuscule.
 

terryo

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Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy it here.
My Dad always had box turtles, and my Mom had my sister and I with no problem. I've always had box turtles and had 5 children, with no problem, and my son has them and his wife had two children. We are a family of turtles and no one has ever been sick because of them. Very important.....always wash your hands when you come home from anywhere, and when you handle any animal, and everyone should be fine.
 

Laura

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dmmj said:
StudentoftheReptile said:
I have a 16 month old and 4 month old.

No outbreaks of Salmonella yet (knocks on wood).

I am very meticulous about them touching ANYTHING that involves the tortoises. I wash my hands constantly.
Constantly, how do you post on here?

Water proof Keyboard.. thats how! geeze...;=)
 

StudentoftheReptile

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[face palm]

I just now got what he was hinting at! LOL.

I thought he was talking about me cleaning after the tortoises and constantly washing my hands, how do I find the time to post.

Boy, that only took what...22 hours?
 

stillframeband

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Just another thought on this one; I'd say there have to be plenty of people on here who grew up playing with "wild" turtles...I sure did, it's part of the reason I'm so fond of them now! (as well as anything else I found that would hold still long enough for me to check it out :) )
I can't say I can remember ever getting sick from one though, and surely those "wild" ones would have better odds of being bacteria/parasite-laden than our carefully tended-to "domesticated" ones (provided we're tending correctly, of course)...
 
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