While we are all too frequently met with stories of children being attacked by animals, this latest report is extremely frightening.


Two babies were reportedly left fighting for their lives after contracting terrapin-related botulism, a disease linked to pet turtles.


According to reports, the babies were just 11 days old when they were rushed to hospital with Ireland’s first recorded case of the illness.


Following treatment in an intensive care unit in Temple Street Hospital, both children are said to have recovered fully from the illness.


The disease is caused by a toxin that can be found in the tanks of pet turtles kept in the home.



Since the frightening case broke, experts have urged parents to be aware of the health and safety precautions required when keeping the animals as pets, with the HSE advising owners to wash their hands thoroughly after feeding or handling the creatures. They also warned against letting them out of their tanks to roam freely around the house.


Symptoms of terrapin-related botulism include constipation, lethargy, loss of head control, weakness, poor feeding and difficulty swallowing. Breathing and paralysis can also arise in the most severe cases.


With exotic animals such as turtles, terrapins, snakes and lizards becoming increasingly more popular as pets, this shocking story highlights the need for more information regarding care, health and safety guides.