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Zoonoses

I’m not a doctor or a vet so I’m certainly not an expert on diseases, and this article is not giving expert advice.

A zoonosis is an animal disease that people can catch. As pet owners we can catch diseases from our pets. In many cases we can also give them diseases. Although some diseases can only be caught from other people there are many which we can catch from our animals.

Generally the closer related we are to an animal the more likely we are to catch something from them. There are quite a few things we can get from mammals like dogs, cats and horses. These include both very serious diseases and relatively minor one like ringworm.

Some we can get from birds, including some very serious ones like psittacosis.

However, Betta Trading usually does not sell birds or mammals. We mostly sell fish.

Catching Diseases from Fish

Years ago I read that there are no diseases people can catch from aquarium fish. This is partly true, but drinking aquarium water would be a very bad idea; it can be very high in a wide variety of bacteria and other micro-organisms.

But there are very few specific diseases you can catch from fish. In many countries, piscine tuberculosis occurs; it is relatively rare in Australia although some people incorrectly diagnose their own fish with it.

It is a serious disease in fish although it doesn’t affect their lungs (because most fish have no lungs). There have been rare cases of humans getting minor skin infections from fish tuberculosis.

Diseases from Turtles

A more common and much more serious condition is infection with different types of Salmonella from Turtles. There are very many places you can catch Salmonella, and pets (except perhaps fish) of nearly all types can have the bacteria on them. There have been many thousands of cases in the United States of people getting Salmonella infections from small turtles. I am not aware of any documented cases in Australia, but it almost certainly does happen.

Good hygiene should be exercised in handling all pets and young children should be closely supervised, including ensuring that they wash their hands after touching turtles or water from the turtle aquarium.