RINGWORM IN GUINEA PIGS AND OTHER SMALL MAMMALS

Ringworm is not actually caused by a worm, it is skin infection caused by a fungus. While lesions alone can lead to high suspicion of an infection, definitive diagnosis is made by culturing the fungus. Because the culture test can take 2-3 weeks to complete, treatment is typically started immediately in suspect cases. If the test is positive, treatment should continue and cultures should be repeated every 3-4 weeks until two consecutive cultures are negative for the fungus.

Ringworm can be spread to other pets and people which is why a retesting during and after treatment is important. Please keep a close watch on the other pets that once lived with an infected pet and call your veterinarian if they are showing signs of hair loss.

This infection can potentially spread to people. Practice good hygiene and wear gloves when handling this pet or material from its cage. Wash hands thoroughly with warm soapy water after working with this pet. Wash surfaces thoroughly with warm soapy water, launder fabric bedding and toys, vacuum/mop area flooring. If you develop a rash please notify your physician.  Advise your health care provider you may have been exposed to ringworm.

For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control Website at https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/ringworm/index.html