PetSmart Guinea Pig Carries Ringworm to Family
The next day, Leann Gross, noticed a patch of missing hair about the size of a quarter on their cavy. She called PetSmart and was instructed to bring the guinea pig back to the store for a veterinary check-up. Molly was found to have Ringworm and returned to the store.
A week later, Leann and David Gross found a spot on their son Matthew’s back. Their family doctor confirmed Ringworm. More spots began to appear and each one needed to be treated with a steroid cream to keep them from spreading. They also found patches on the family dog and both the dog and cat were treated and isolated while their house was disinfected.
PetSmart is not commenting while they’re looking into the situation. There are policies and procedures in place to ensure their animals do not pose a safety risk although it is unknown at this time where the Ringworm came from.
PetSmart guinea pigs come from large breeders that ship the young cavies once they reach a certain size around 3 months of age. While the guinea pigs are on display in the store, employees handle them daily. PetSmart guests can request holding a guinea pig as well.
Ringworm is an infection caused by a fungus and can be carried by people and animals. It can be transferred quite easily by touch and can be spread by sharing towels, combs, drinking containers and other personal items. Regular hand washing is the best prevention. Ringworm appears as itchy, red, scaly patches, sometimes in a ring shape. It can affect skin, hair and nails all over the body.
Treatment for Ringworm in guinea pigs usually involves oral medication and shampoo. Sometimes creams are used but it is unlikely because the cavy can too easily lick it off. If you think your guinea pig may have Ringworm, you should seek veterinary assistance immediately.
Ringworm is not a disease exclusive to guinea pigs. While some like to stress that this case of Ringworm came from a guinea pig, this no way implies that guinea pigs and Ringworm somehow go hand in hand. When it comes to Ringworm, guinea pigs are no more a danger to you or your family than another person or pet.
Source: The Record
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