I curious to know that to.... I have only had my new baby veileds less than 24 hours, but I know that their little baby mouths will soon turn into larger mouths. I'd like to know if biting is something that occasionally happens and how bad a bit can be....And are their any special concerns about a chameleon bite. I know that reptiles carry samonella and some carry it more than others. Would this be the only concern or are their other things that you can get from a bite? Thanks! Tara
The only time I've been bitten by a chameleon was when I was nursing a rescued panther that was very ill. I had to hand feed him baby food with calcium as he had mouth rot and was in pain, sepsis, and coccidia. He bit my hand while trying to treat his mouth and broke the skin and I was bleeding from his bite (he was a large male adult).
I called my physician and said it would be a good idea to get a tetanus shot (I was due anyway) and put me on some antibiotics just in case. I only had him two days, as he died from being so mistreated and being so ill . There wasn't much that could be done at the stage he was in.
As far as getting bitten by a healthy chameleon? I'm sure it happens all the time without a physicians care involved. Maybe some others on the forum who have experienced bites from healthy chameleons can give their experiences.
As far as salmonella... well, we are exposed to that everyday just about and not just by reptiles .
I have been bitten several times by my cham. Only a couple of those times actually broke the skin, but I didn't even think about calling the doctor. I just washed my hands with soap and water and called it good. I never had any problems with it.
Another person on another forum mentioned that she uses Nolvasan S to wipe bites and scratches from her reptiles. Sounds like a good practice to me!
I just thought that I would mention the Samonella. Yes I realize we are exposed everyday...although the only other mention of it I'd heard of was in eggs...but then I know their is a lot I don't know!
I do have to mention though that when I had red eared sliders my daughter was always sneaking them out of the tank and back in. I'm sure many times she failed to wash her hands. One night she became very sick. Really bad stomach cramps was one of the things I remember, but I know it wasn't gas. I had always assumed it was samonella, which of course cleared up on it's own. I'm not a doc, so I am sure I could be mistaken. And if you always wash your hands after handling then chances are almost non existant. Since she was young she was always putting her fingers in her mouth. It makes me sick just thinking about it. Anyways, After that I fixed it so she didn't have access unless I was there to assist and then we washed our hands together afterward. I also ended up getting some Purell hand sanitizer to use as well.
Yes, there are many ways to be exposed to salmonella, and I agree with you Tara, after handling a reptile you should always wash your hands. Also, if you own more than one reptile, it is always a very good idea to wash hands between handling each of them to prevent spread of a possible illness or parasites. Unless of course they are all in the same cage because at that point, if there is something going on with one of them, more than likely they all have it.
You can use any type of good anti-bacteria soap such as Dial, but there is also a product on the market that I have a big bottle of that I use in between cleaning my cages (I use gloves to clean cages as well), etc., called "Wipe Out 3" by Zoo Med. With this product it says you don't have to rinse your hands, but I do anyway because I don't like the feeling of it on my hands . Also, it smells weird to me .
In any case, it is always a good practice to wash your hands after handling any type of animal, even reptiles.
Well, Emily will bite me if she is forced out of her cage but never broke skin. I guess to be on the safe side if the skin gets broken i would say yes. I am no expert but I think your cham would have to pretty upset to bite hard. Sometimes I even think that is her way of playing.lol but always better safe than sorry