Message Number: YG1947 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-31 23:54:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Can ferrets get salmonella?

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., fshldy1017@a... wrote:
> I cross posted this question on a couple of other boards also. I
> wondering if ferrets can get salmonella from either raw eggs or
> turtles. I have three snapping turtles that I will be bringing
> during break and do not want to infect my furkids. I always wash
> hands on the rare occasion that I handle the turtles.

Ferrets, like all other mammals, are susceptible to salmonella, but
the incidence is very low. While salmonella is foreign and
pathogenic to mammals, it is commonly seen as a commensal in the
intestine or reptiles, who normally suffer no ill from it (provided
that they are in general good health and don't undergo periods of

Mammalian species generally have a typical level of resistence to
Salmonella, and ferrets is pretty high (as are other carnivores. In
veterinary medicine, the incidence of pathogenic salmonellae are more
common in herbivores - horses, ruminants, guinea pigs, and to a
lesser extent swine and primates.

If you are careful with hygiene (and prevent the ferrets from
drinking the turtle's water - good for a number of reasons if the
turtles are snappers, there should be no problem.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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