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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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rats and ringworm?

hi everyone. I have been having problems with ringworm (on myself) on and off for over a year now, and I am going crazy trying to figure out the reason for this. I have talked to several doctors about this, and the most recent one I went to asked if I had any animals at home who scratch me easily. well, of course, I have a whole butt-load of rats! he said that it's very possible the rats are leaving little scritches on me and through them are transmitting these infections.

now all of my rats appear to be in perfect health, but he said that sometimes animals can be carriers without showing any symptoms. has anyone else had any problems with small animals and skin infections of any kind? I really would like to get to the bottom of this problem for my own sanity and health! I would love to find out that the rats are not the problem, but if they are I will just have to be much more careful about wearing long sleeves and keeping nails trimmed!

thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 05:46 PM
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Yes, I believe that the rats are probably the cause. I have gotten ringworm twice in the last two years and it originated where I had been scratched by my rats. If you wash both your hands and the scratches well with soap and water it will help to prevent it becoming infected with ringworm. You have to wash them shortly after they happen. Otherwise just keep an eye on all your scratches and start treatment as soon as you notice symptoms and it won't get bad. The second time I got ringworm it went away almost immediately because I knew what it was and how to get rid of it with over-the-counter anti-fungal cream such as Lamisil.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 06:14 PM
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Ringworm is a fungus, and does not require the skin to be broken or scratched to pass from person to person, or animal to person, or even infected surface to person. It also isn't killed by normal soap and water, though, hand washing before and after every handling of each animal is always a good idea, because there are many things which can be washed off - namely fecal matter. Ringworm can be kind of a pain to get rid of, I've had to deal with it numerous times with various rescue animals. I'm not sure what treatment a vet would recommend for a number of rats, but it'd probably be worth a visit to have them all treated at once, at the same time as yourself, so you're not risking passing it back and forth while one or the other is being treated.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 08:28 PM
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That's definitely true that you don't need a scratch to get ringworm, but that makes it much easier to get it. I agree that you should ask your vet about treating them all.

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