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Old 10-14-03, 06:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Viruses and Bacteria?

We all know baking wood kills parasites, but how about any unknown disease and the like? Friend of mine sold his WC Nile monitor and gave me all the contents of the cage, which included some awesome flat rocks (which I haven't been able to find anywhere) and some other wooden acessories. He only had it for a few weeks so I have no clue what kind of shape this animal was in either. I haven't used any of it but would love to if I could. I'm not sure how well bacteria and viruses withstand temperatures though so its all just been sitting in my basement for probably close to a year now.
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Old 10-14-03, 07:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most Viruses are species specific and very short-lived outside a host(body) yet Bacteria on the other hand are hardy and can live on or in types of materials for quite some time...not all bacteria are pathogenic (harmful) but just in case why don't you soak and clean the items in a bleach solution for a day or so and that will kill anything that could be harmful to any reptile that you have...
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Old 10-14-03, 09:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't use bleach for the most part in any of my practices. I refuse to use bleach on wood and the like due to its extremely porous nature. I'm aware that most viruses are host specific. Viruses are usually short-lived, but some are not. Some can become dormant. I have absolutely no idea what was living in the wood and rock pieces I have, but it would be a shame to waste them if indeed they could've been used as they are really quite nice. I'm just wondering how resistent most pathogens and whatnot are to heat (~250-300 degrees)...
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Old 10-14-03, 09:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Boiled water & bleach will kill anything. Just be sure that everything is well rinsed after & when I do wood I'll soak it again a couple times after to "leach" out any possible bleach residue. Mark I.
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Old 10-14-03, 09:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Can anyone answer what effect heat (250-300 degrees) will have on anything that may be lingering?
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Old 10-14-03, 09:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Some strains of coccidia can withstand a "dry" heat of up to 400 degrees so the wood might catch on fire before the parasite is killed off in an oven. Boiling water penetrates the hard shells much more effectively, but you need to boil wood for a very long time so that the wood is totally saturated. Coccidia must be fully immersed in order for the hard shell to soften and it's easy for viable organisms to get lodged in little crannies where some of the spores inside never get soaked.

I use bleach but air the wood out for at least a week under a strong UVB light or natural sunlight so that the bleach fully outgases.
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Old 10-14-03, 09:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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from what i have always been taught (by my mom), when cooking, pork especially, that it has to be cooked at high temps to kill any bacteria or parasites that may be in the flesh itself, since pigs like to roll around in the mud, of course this would happen, high temperatures will kill anything, not cooking it so it looks cooked......that hamburger joint in the states where everyone got sick was the result of cooking meat under low temps....result was the bacteria lived, i am sure this can be applied to your stuff
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Old 10-14-03, 09:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I can almost guarentee you if that nile was alert and healthy the cage furnishing couldnt be any cleaner.
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Old 10-14-03, 09:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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eyespy,
Thanks for the heat info. That's all I was looking for.

V.hb,
Unfortunately he had the monitor such a short period of time I did not get to see its condition. He paid no mind to my strong advice against getting a Nile, as all the experience he had under his belt was keeping a leopard gecko for 4 months. I don't feel comfortable going on what he says is healthy or not. He only had it for 2 weeks before he realized he was in over his head, and was also scared since he had a child in the house.
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