Chameleons are fascinating creatures. They are known for their ability to change color from green to brown or red. This makes them very attractive pets. But they also pose some risks. Are chameleons dangerous? What should you know before having one as a pet? Check this article for detailed information.
Are Chameleons Dangerous?
Chameleons belong to the order Squamata (meaning scales) and the family Chamaeleonidae (meaning naked tails). There are over 100 species of chameleons worldwide. Most are native to Africa, Asia, Australia, and Madagascar.
“Chameleons are reptiles, and therefore require regular care and attention,” says Dr. Michael J. Kucharski, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He adds, “They are generally considered low-maintenance animals, but they do require daily feeding and water.”
Chameleons are dangerous because they can bite humans. If you get bitten by a chameleon, seek medical attention immediately.
Is Chameleon Saliva Poisonous To Humans?
Chameleon saliva is not poisonous, but it is extremely irritating to humans. The secretions from the glands at the base of the tongue contain histamines which cause irritation when they come into contact with human skin.
This is why some people find them unpleasant to handle and some may also develop allergic reactions or skin irritation to chameleons. If you do come into contact with chameleon saliva, wash immediately with soap and water.
In fact, their saliva contains enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids, which help them digest food. If you touch a chameleon’s mouth, you could be exposed to these toxins. However, they usually only bite when threatened. However, the amount of venom needed to kill a human would be too large for a chameleon to use against a predator.
Do Chameleons Carry Diseases?
Chameleons do not carry any disease that can harm humans. But Chameleons may be carriers of rabies, salmonella, and several types of parasites such as lice, ticks, mites, fleas, and worms. They also carry bacteria like salmonella, streptococcus, staphylococcus, and tuberculosis.
However, Chameleons don’t transmit these diseases to humans. Instead, they transmit through their saliva or biting us when we try to catch them. The best way to prevent getting sick from a chameleon is to wash your hands after handling one. If you do come into contact with a chameleon’s saliva, then use soap and water to cleanse yourself.
You should also clean your Chameleons regularly to keep by placing them in a container or bowl filled with water for about 15 minutes or until all the dirt has been removed. Then use a soft cloth to gently wipe away dirt and debris from their skin.
What Happens If A Chameleon Bites You?
A chameleon bite is extremely painful and can cause severe bleeding. If left untreated, the wound can become infected and leave permanent scars. The good news is that these injuries are easily treated.
Check this article Do Chameleons Bite Humans What Does a Chameleon Bite Feel Like