Chameleon cage in room?


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Is it okay to keep your chameleon in the same room that you sleep in? My room is usually empty during the day and not disturbed. But my main concern is salmonella poisoning. I've been reading on the web and found an article from the CDC (Center of Disease Control) that explains the risks of keeping a reptile in your house. The main concern was salmonella and reccomened that all reptiles should be housed outside or in the garage. They said that salmonella will be contracted from the lizards poop and become airborn. Should I move my cham to the garage?
Well.. I have kept chameleons for about 6 years now.. and reptiles in general since I was 12 or so (I am 26 now). I have 2 panther cages, a baby veiled cage and 3 leopard gecko cages in my living room. I have a pygmie tank on a stand in my kitchen. I have a bearded dragon cage and 2 adult veiled cages in my bedroom (nobody can see each other :p ). I have been this way since I was small.. surrounding myself with reptiles. I have never once contracted salmonella. I have a 4 year old son as well, who handles the bearded dragon and leopard geckos frequently and has never had salmonella.

I am not saying that salmonella is not a threat.. just that as long as you practice proper handwashing and sanitizing, the threat is almost 100% eliminated. I wash my hands every single time I come in contact with one of my reptiles or one of their enclosures. I am also a fan of hand sanitizer gel. A weak bleach solution in a clearly marked spray bottle is also a great thing to have around if you keep reptiles, for around cage areas or places that you have let your pets crawl around. When I clean my reptile cages out, I do it outside and use the bleach solution to sanitize everything (just be sure to rinse and rinse).

Reptiles definitely carry salmonella.. this is not a disputed fact.. but that being said, many salmonella cases come from turtles and other aquatic reptiles who are in water that is soiled with their feces.. making the bacteria more prevalent on the animal's body. Turtles under 4 inches are no longer sold due to the fact that so many children were getting salmonella from putting the turtles in their mouth :eek:

As long as your are using common sense and some good hygiene, the risk is so remote that it is not a concern.. wash your hands often.. don't put your chameleon near your face or mouth.. don't touch your face or mouth immediately after handling.. don't let your chameleon walk around the kitchen counter... etc ;)
where do u put ur cham while cleaning as i live in england and wont b many peeps round to watch cham while i do clean cage.if i get a big umbrella tree or something for my room and put him on tht do u think he will stay on there till i done?
I suspect that some herps do carry salmonella, but in all the years that i've had herps , i've never had any illness due to salmonella. Taking precautions such as hand washing and good husbandry habits should reduce risk. As for aerosol being a vector to infection; thats got to be super rare. I suspect it would take an incredibly contaminated enclosure to potentially have an aerosol transfer of salmonella from one place to another.
Also consider that salmonella infection should rarely pose a fatal threat to a normally healthy person. It will make you sick, but shouldn't be any worse than undiagnosed food poisining. Of course, if you were to suspect an infection, see a doctor immediately.
I have kept reptiles for many years and in all that time I have never had any problems with salmonella. The reptiles I kept include(d) turtles, water dragons, etc. which might be more likely to carry it or pass it on due to the water involved. I have had a lot of reptiles autopsied during that time and only once did anything come back showing that it carried salmonella.

Here's some information that might be worth reading....look for the word "reptile" to get to the pertinent part of the info...
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