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Through a series of unfortunate events, Snowball may have developed ringworm. We've been to see the vet, and we both arrived, independently, at the conclusion that it kind of looks like it might be ringworm, it probably isn't ringworm, but because I may have been exposed to it at the shelter just before Christmas, and the fact that ringworm can incubate for as long as 6 weeks before symptoms appear, there is a possibility that it is actually ringworm, so I shelled out the $100 for the ringworm PCR test, and we should have results by the end of next week.*

I also just got off the phone with hubby who mentioned that his grandmother, whom Snowball was recently temporarily residing with, has developed an odd rash. And ringworm is cross-contagious between humans, cats, and dogs. Great! /sarcasm

So... what are your experiences with ringworm? Any tips? Any horror stories?

*The test results usually return in 2-3 days, but the sample probably won't go out until Monday, since I had one of the last appointments of the day today, and the vet's office isn't open on weekends.
 

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I, myself, got ringworm from one of the cats at the shelter I was volunteering at... and it ITCHED... like SO BAD. lol. Thankfully I haven't contracted it since, but it's definitely no fun. It took me a couple of weeks to get rid of it and then after that I had a pretty horrible scar for a while (I kept scratching it :()
 

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WELL... I am currently treating myself for ringworm. My husband contracted it from Pneumo and has it ALL over himself, then I got it, thankfully there's just one on my upper chest, (I have a big bandaid on it and I look ridiculous, but it is what it is. Lol
 

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I, myself, got ringworm from one of the cats at the shelter I was volunteering at... and it ITCHED... like SO BAD. lol. Thankfully I haven't contracted it since, but it's definitely no fun. It took me a couple of weeks to get rid of it and then after that I had a pretty horrible scar for a while (I kept scratching it :()
Apparently once you get over ringworm, it is like, impossible to get again. Or nearly impossible (like chicken pox). So... yay?
 

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Apparently once you get over ringworm, it is like, impossible to get again. Or nearly impossible (like chicken pox). So... yay?
I don't know, one of the vet techs at work was avoiding me like the plague today because she said she gets it like... literally every time she's near someone with it. lol. It was pretty funny though, she refused all of my hug offers. :(
 

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Apparently once you get over ringworm, it is like, impossible to get again. Or nearly impossible (like chicken pox). So... yay?
Ringworm is fungal, so I don't see any reason one couldn't get it again and again.

I once shared a duplex with some friends (they had one half and I had the other) and their cat got ringworm. So they then got ringworm. Everyone itched like crazy and it does apparently stick around on furniture and such to be contagious for quite awhile. Even though I took care of their cat while they were gone, I never got ringworm. By happenstance, I was using a tea tree oil bath soap every day and tea tree oil is an anti-fungal.
You shouldn't use tea tree oil directly on your animals or allow them to lick your skin if it has tea tree oil on it, but it is a very safe skin treatment for humans so using some as bath soap or body wash could be a good idea.
 

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Ringworm is caused by a fungus. Not everyone who gets ringworm has the typical round lesion, some people will just get a rash. You can get ringworm over and over and over again. You don't need to touch the person with ringworm to contract it. Touching something they have touched is enough to pick up the fungus. Wash with soap and water if you believe you may have touched someone or something infected with ringworm. Some infections can be cleared with topical treatments, but sometimes you nee to take oral medication to eliminate the infection. If you suspect it very early on you can try over the counter lamisil or lotrimin...humans only, do not use it on an animal.
 

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My husband and I have been using the Lotrimin cream. It's mainly just an irritating itch.

My boss was telling me how she got ring worm back in vet school when they were treating tiger cubs. Everyone in the group got it because everyone HAD to cuddle the tiger cubs. One girl got it so bad she literally bathed in the clotrimazole.
 

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I swear I had ringworm the entire time I worked at one clinic. This one couple kept bringing in all these ringworm kittens! Like, I don't know if they were crazy cat hoarders or something but every week they brought a different one in. They had an endless supply of kittens and they all ended up with ringworm.
I don't get super itchy or anything, just the typical ringworm lesion. I've always used miconazole cream though.
 

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GingerKid dropped a little teaser about the "ringworm PCR test" but nobody asked her what she was talking about. This is a new and REALLY cool technology that should revolutionize the diagnosis of this disease. Traditionally ringworm has been diagnosed by way of a fungal culture. These tests are very slow to grow (sometimes as long as 3 weeks) and are prone to being misinterpreted. The "PCR" stands for polymerase chain reaction, and it is a very accurate way to document a disease based upon tiny amounts of DNA extracted from the organism. The ringworm PCR test is much faster and much more accurate than are fungal cultures. Over the past couple of years Idexx Laboratories has created dozens of new PCR tests and it is completely changing how we approach certain diseases.
 

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I went through it ... but I didn't find it anything to fret over. (So maybe I'm still missing something.) Years ago a coworker told me that her friend was going to dump a small litter of kittens and wanted to know if I would take the kittens and rehome them. When we met to transfer the kittens I found out the "small litter of kittens" ended up being 9 of them! Not my idea of a small litter, lol. Took them anyway and set them up in my bedroom. I usually use my bedroom as a quarantine area. The next day I noticed all the kittens had something on them. Took a few of them to my vet and that's when I learned what ringworm was. My vet gave me meds (nothing major) for all 9 kittens and then told me that I would get the ringworm also. Sure enough I got it but all I did was put anti-fungal cream on it and cover with a band-aid. It did itch. A lot.

I don't remember how long it took for it to go away for me or the kittens. Once it was all cleared I didn't have anymore problems with it. None of my other animals never ended up with it either. The ringworm was how I got my cat Samurai. He was one of those 9 kittens. All the other kittens had the ringworm on their mid-area, while Samurai got it right on his nose. Even after the ringworm cleared and the vet said they were good to go, Samurai's fur on his nose took Forever to grow back! No one was interested in him because of the fur he was missing on his nose. So he ended up becoming mine for good. ...And now I ~LOVE~ that cat. (Of course that didn't take long.) ...He also ended up hitting some speed bumps in his life and ended up being an expensive kitty, but I love him, lol. :)

The "unadoptable" cat that was missing the fur on his nose (rolls eyes), Samurai:

 

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My ringworm story is anticlimactic, LOL. I found a kitten with crusty hairless parts on the tips of her ears. I thought it was fly strike but then she got a circular crusty spot on her back and I got a circular itchy spot on my arm. I asked my vet what to do and he said to get some Lamisil, so I did and put it on my arm and on the kitten's ears and back for a couple weeks and then it was gone. None of the other cats or dogs got it. The end :p.
 

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GingerKid dropped a little teaser about the "ringworm PCR test" but nobody asked her what she was talking about. This is a new and REALLY cool technology that should revolutionize the diagnosis of this disease. Traditionally ringworm has been diagnosed by way of a fungal culture. These tests are very slow to grow (sometimes as long as 3 weeks) and are prone to being misinterpreted. The "PCR" stands for polymerase chain reaction, and it is a very accurate way to document a disease based upon tiny amounts of DNA extracted from the organism. The ringworm PCR test is much faster and much more accurate than are fungal cultures. Over the past couple of years Idexx Laboratories has created dozens of new PCR tests and it is completely changing how we approach certain diseases.
Do you know if it is less expensive as well? Having worked in a lab, I can't imagine a several-week fungal culture is exactly cheap. I was actually surprised that the ringworm PCR test was as inexpensive as it is... I did an undergraduate thesis using DNA analysis on Walruses so I know those reagents are not cheap!

Thanks for all your stories everyone. I feel a bit better. I know ringworm isn't the end of the world, isn't particularly dangerous, etc. but just the thought of dealing with it is... ugh.
 

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Do you know if it is less expensive as well? Having worked in a lab, I can't imagine a several-week fungal culture is exactly cheap. I was actually surprised that the ringworm PCR test was as inexpensive as it is... I did an undergraduate thesis using DNA analysis on Walruses so I know those reagents are not cheap!

Thanks for all your stories everyone. I feel a bit better. I know ringworm isn't the end of the world, isn't particularly dangerous, etc. but just the thought of dealing with it is... ugh.
This is super cool! We just do the old fashioned plates where I work (i dont think they're expensive, its just regular agar stuff with a smear that sits for two weeks). You'll survive :p
 

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Well, this is a timely and useful thread. I'm getting the sneaky suspicion that we've got some ringworm here. Not sure where it came from, but......uuugh. Caeda has some marks on her neck (circular, red, irritated, and I think she is itchy). When I first saw it I thought maybe something got under her collar and it irritated, but it is lower than he collar normally sits. In addition, Ollie (our senior cat) has a circular bald spot on top of his head (no irritation though). With that combination I'm REALLY suspecting ringworm could be the cause...I'd take a picture but I can't get Caeda to cooperate while I have the camera in the other hand :p

So, I have two big dilemmas in this situation; we've got two dogs, two cats and I'm guessing all will have been exposed (including us humans!), though only two have possible symptoms. Also they all have free run of the house, including sleeping on the bed. HOOOO boy.

Do they ALL need to go to the vet, or just Caeda, or Caeda and Ollie? I would really prefer if it was only one, cost wise at least (and the practicality of getting a dog AND a cat to the vet). How on earth do I deal with the cleaning things up scenario to try to get rid of it? I mean I can't burn my bed! Is it just a matter of thorough cleanings for a few weeks?

I don't mean to highjack the thread, but I figure it is definitely on topic! I might end up with a ringworm story out of this :( I am going to call the vet this afternoon to make an appointment, though I would love input (not from the person that will be making money from me) on whether I really need to get both Caeda and Ollie in there, I just don't have quite enough experience with this vet to trust their word on it completely.
 

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I don't see why you'd have to take all them into the vet if one is tested and it is ringworm, just treat everybody with the over-the-counter shampoo. Heck, I'd probably just get some of the shampoo and use it for a week first and see if it helps before heading to the vet.

for household cleaning, I think regular cleaning products are fine and soap and hot water for sheets and blankets. A carpet steamer should work on couches and other furniture that can't be washed.
 

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I don't see why you'd have to take all them into the vet if one is tested and it is ringworm, just treat everybody with the over-the-counter shampoo. Heck, I'd probably just get some of the shampoo and use it for a week first and see if it helps before heading to the vet.

for household cleaning, I think regular cleaning products are fine and soap and hot water for sheets and blankets. A carpet steamer should work on couches and other furniture that can't be washed.
Thanks Shell. I think I'll take your advice. I mean I'll take any of the pets to the vet in a heartbeat, but I absolutely hate doing it if it isn't necessary (especially since we moved and we've got lower incomes now). I'll head to the pet store and grab some shampoo and everybody will be getting baths. Ollie is a pretty anxious cat but I'd rather put him through the anxiety of a bath than a trip to the vet....its obvious it is hard on him. Dexter is going to be no fun though....he is a little bit scared of water, but I've bathed him once before and I can do it again. Gives me the kick in the butt I think I needed to get around to giving everybody a good bath and giving the house a super cleaning!
 

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Back in high school, and college (including summers) I worked in a barn. Ringworm with the horses..and us, was a common enough thing. Athlete's foot creams killed it. So did regular swimming in the chlorinated pool. We were advised at one point to use a 1% bleach solution via spray bottle or paper towel too.

To this day, if it seems like ringworm I go for the anti-fungals and bleach myself. Our local Tractor Supply has anti-fungals for animals.
 

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Yeah, you can get anti-fungal sprays at TSC and most pet stores that are easy to use for dogs that don't like bathes. I mean, give a bath to start with but then treat the visible spots with the spray.
 
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