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Can I Get Ringworm From My Dog or Cat?

- Provided by VetStreet.com
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Q. What is ringworm? Is it true people catch it from pets? What happens when they do?

A. Ringworm typically shows up as a red hairless patch on people or pets, often in the shape of a ring. But it’s caused by a fungus, not a worm of any kind. We veterinarians are exposed to ringworm in our patients so often that getting a case of it ourselves is not uncommon. Fortunately, it’s not considered a serious condition, in either pets or people, even if it is an itchy one.

While you can get ringworm from a pet, you’re more likely to get it from another person. Places such as locker rooms are common areas where the fungus might live, since moist, warm areas are a perfect breeding ground for funguses. Protect yourself by wearing sandals in locker rooms and communal showers and by not sharing towels with anyone. (When you get ringworm from a locker room, it’s referred to as “athlete’s foot.”)

While dogs, cats and many other animals can get ringworm, cats are more likely to pick it up than other pets. To prevent the fungus from spreading, promptly take your pet to the veterinarian for diagnosis, treatment and a strategy to prevent a repeat infection. Ringworm can certainly be ugly and itchy, but it’s usually not hard to cure in people or animals, and is typically treated with cream and pills.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

See all VCA Animal Hospitals >

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.

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