Bacteria & why you shouldn’t wipe your “Butt” with a Snake 1



Other than being illegal, the other reason you shouldn’t wipe your “Butt” with a snake is that you’re likely to just smear things around back there, unless you happen to be using one with keeled scales. Besides being slightly kinky, and leaning heavily into the bizarre, I can only hope that this is illegal in all 50 United States.

No, I don’t know from personal experience, but thanks for asking.  My initial description may border on the tawdry, but I’m just attempting to spotlight the fact that I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with certain ‘reputable’ organizations and persons who use fear tactics to keep people afraid of reptiles.

Let’s cut to the chase; reptiles can carry salmonella.  I’m not arguing that fact. However, you may have heard that dogs can give humans Rabies, Lyme Disease (through ticks), Toxoplasmosis, Roundworms, Ringworms and a pleasant little ailment called Sarcoptic, better known as Scabies.

How about our feline friends? It’s actually worse than with dogs. The list includes Ringworm, Feline Conjunctivitis, Pasteurella, Salmonella, Bartonellosis (cat scratch fever, no it’s not just a bad song), Helicobacter Pylori, Toxoplasmosis, and Tuberculosis.  There are actually more but I got tired of listing them.  The whole topic fatigues me. Bottom line is that the most commonly kept species can be classified as being unclean.  I work with some people in my office that should be kept away from kitchen surfaces!

Without getting too scientific, let me put this in perspective for you.  After wiping your a** you wash your hands, correct? Soap and water, lathering up real good, you know the drill. If you don’t, I’m likely to decline your Thanksgiving invitation for this year. I have, uh…other plans. Like avoiding the transference of DISEASE.

Why wouldn’t you follow the same clean-up procedure after handling a pet? Yes, any pet…such as a dog, cat or reptile. If you’re playing in the yard and accidentally put your hand in dog crap, you don’t keep on going like nothing happened. You don’t clean your cat’s litter box and then go make a sandwich, do you? Ask anyone who owns a cat and they’ll hopefully say the same thing. Are you seeing a pattern here? I like to call it ‘common sense.’ Something of a lost art form these days, I’m afraid.

As I said earlier, reptiles and amphibians can carry Salmonella.  Operative word being CAN. Dogs and cats CAN also pass on disease, but we encounter far fewer instances of fear-mongering when it comes to them.

According to http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/normalflora.html, there are 11 known Pathogens carried in the Human species. 7 of these are commonly occurring in nearly 100% of human body surfaces. The bottom line is this; bacteria that can make you sick is everywhere and unless you plan on living in a bubble, by living your life, you’re also at risk for illness.

While I don’t have the scientific data to back it up, my opinion is that we as humans are living too clean today and we’re paying the price for it.  Have you noticed an increase in so-called ‘super bugs’ or bacteria? In recent years we’ve had countless high-end antibacterial soaps and body washes on the market, but people seem to keep getting sick. Next thing you know, we’ll be seeing flesh-eating viruses claiming the epidermis of anyone who’s ever eaten a chicken sandwich. Probably not, but it sounds as ominous as many of the reports you hear in the news about reptiles and the ‘inherent danger they offer.’

Think about when Generation X was growing up. I know in my neighborhood, if some kid got the Chicken Pox our mothers would rush us down there to expose us to it so we wouldn’t suffer later as an adult.  Today we keep our kids locked away in sheltered environs with video games, soda pop and sterile wipes. Hell, I ate lots of dirt when I was a kid. Made for a great laxative as I remember. Oops, that’s another topic!

I have handled a multitude of reptiles and amphibians and not washed my hands afterwards. I have eaten food after handling my reptilian pets and am somehow alive today to blog. I don’t recommend skipping the clean-up process. This is something that I have told my son. But, let’s say that he DID get sick (and he hasn’t yet), who would be responsible?

Pop Quiz:

A)          My son

B)           Parent

C)           Reptile/amphibian/pet

D)          Clerk at the 7-11

If you answered with anything other than ‘B’ (and possibly D, he’s very unfriendly) I’m going to assume you don’t have children. I will pray that you don’t have children. I will hope beyond hope that you never have children. There I go, getting carried away again.

If you own pets and your children interact with the pet(s), no matter the species, use common sense and have them wash their hands. If you don’t, your health and the health of your child may be unnecessarily put at risk. If your kids or you happen to get sick as a result of your decision to discard common sense, then do us all a favor and don’t use the pet as a scapegoat and don’t wipe your @** with a snake. Or any pet for that matter. What the hell is wrong with you?


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