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Can Humans Get Ringworm From Their Pets?

photo of sleeping dog and owner | Whitworth Animal ClinicRingworm, also known as dermatophytosis is not a type of parasitic worm in the skin. It is a fungal infection characterized by red, scaly and itchy skin. The rash is also circular in shape oftentimes resembling a worm. In result, the term ringworm easily became a misnomer.

As of date, there are around 40 types of fungi that can cause ringworm. Most of the strains are of the Epidermophyton, Trichophyton or Microsporum type. Ringworm is also very contagious. According to MedicineNet, all age groups get ringworm. However, ringworm is most common in children. As well, ringworm is found mostly in warm and moist climates.

Moreover, ringworm is not just found on the arms or legs. The fungus can be found on the scalp as well as on the feet known as tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) and in the groin (jock itch).

How Ringworm is Spread

Since ringworm is a fungus, it is easily spread from one person to another. Generally a person can get the fungi by coming into contact with infected skin areas or by using an infected comb, brush or other personal care items. In fact, ringworm can even be transmitted through clothing. Other areas that have the potential of spreading the fungi include pool surfaces and locker rooms.

Getting Ringworm from Your Pets

For many years people have shrugged off the notion that animals could transmit diseases and fungi. The truth of the matter is, humans and pets share numerous diseases including ringworm. Plus it is not uncommon to be infected with ringworm on several parts of the body at one time.

Also, humans can get ringworm from several types of animals such as dogs, cats, birds and even rabbits. As well, humans can actually give ringworm to their pets.

Taking Extra Precautions

Precautionary measures are the best way to prevent ringworm from spreading. In addition, there are important precautions that need to be taken once you or your pet is infected. The extra safety measures are to prevent fungus from spreading or passing from someone else, including a pet.

• Immediately seek a specialist if you suspect ringworm
• Keep infected pets away from the whole family and other pets
• Use the creams and medications exactly how they are prescribed
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water every time you touch your pet

Identifying

There are several types of fungi that can produce round scaly spots on the skin. Not all circular spots on the skin are caused by ringworm. The best way to identify the fungi is to have a physical examination. A specialist can take culture tests and also evaluate skin scrapings underneath a specialized microscope. In effect, tests offer an accurate diagnosis plus help with the right and proper treatment.

Whitworth Animal Clinic

If you suspect that your pet has ringworm, it is best to contact a specialist immediately. In fact, the longer your pet has the fungi, the harder it is to get rid of. As well, ringworm can spread to other members of the family.

For outstanding veterinary service or pet concerns like ringworm, contact Whitworth Animal Clinic. It is well-known as the best pet clinic in Madison and the surrounding areas of north Alabama. In fact, Dr. Charles Whitworth is a prominent veterinarian who has been licensed since 1981. Additionally, Whitworth Animal Clinic helps you feel assured that your pet is in good hands and will have the best care possible.