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Question
Posted by: Cat | 2012/07/09

Toddlers and Hamsters

hi there,

A bit of a silly question. We bought hamsters for our two sons (3 and 4) and they love playing with them but we heard now that it is not good for them to play with hamsters (or reptiles) because these animals carry germs like salmonella which can put the children at risk. We do let our boys wash their hands after handling the hamsters. What is your view on this?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Cat

As long as the hamsters are cleaned on a regular basis and your boys wash their hands following any handling then I do not foresee a problem.

Kind regards

Angus Campbell

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Our users say:
Posted by: Janaynay | 2012/08/04

1. Insurance through your emlpoyer is group health insurance . The premium is based on the health of the entire group and not on you as an individual.2. Employers often subsidize at least a portion of your premium as part of your compensation.

Reply to Janaynay
Posted by: CyberVet | 2012/07/19

Hi Cat

As long as the hamsters are cleaned on a regular basis and your boys wash their hands following any handling then I do not foresee a problem.

Kind regards

Angus Campbell

Reply to CyberVet
Posted by: RN | 2012/07/12

Theoretically it is possible to contract a salmonella infection from pets - the most common (rather: least UNcommon) source is reptiles. However, provided that your children don''t have compromised immune systems, and provided you take care of basic hygiene around the hamsters, the likelihood of a problem is minute.

It is possible to contract hookworm from dogs, toxoplasmosis from cats, ringworm from almost any furry pet, psittacosis from birds... but this doesn''t stop us from keeping and interacting with our pets. In fact a study reported on in the past few days gives a clear indication that kids that have pets (I think the study concerned pet dogs particularly) actually suffer FEWER allergies and infections that petless kids... it is felt that exposure to pets helps the kids'' immune systems mature, which makes sense to me.

In other words: don''t fret, but remain alert. Kids healthy, hamsters healthy = no problem.

Reply to RN

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