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Potential Ringworm?

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Potential Ringworm?

Post by stephlisa on Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:42 am

Hello all,

Apologies once again for a prolonged absence from the forum - life just got crazy and stressful. Colin is doing well though. Our current problem is interesting. The vet is currently unsure of exactly what it is. Let me explain...

About two weeks ago, we took Colin for treatment for a URI (standard) but also for a slightly bald patch on his nose and his back (just behind his shoulder). The vet suggested lice/mites and we got going on Ivermectin treatment, with the baytril also helping for what she thought was the start of a skin infection on the nose. The ivermectin treatment is still ongoing, but the patch on his back is clearing up perfectly and I can hardly notice it now. The patch on his nose is clearly very irritating though and he keeps scratching it open and it looks awful (sadly I don't currently have any photos though).

We went back today and the vet suggested it could be a variety of things but she's unsure which currently but she was leaning towards ringworm (partly because the treatment would also help combat other fungal infections it could possibly be.) If Colin was part of a colony she said it would be a textbook barbering wound, but has he lives on his own, it clearly isn't that!) Now in the UK at least, there aren't all that many medicines licensed for mice, so we're using a Canesten cream (which the vet assures me, she has used before on mice with no ill effects - I trust my vets opinion entirely - but is entertaining buy from the pharmacist (for my imaginary friends' case of ringworm)) and seeing what happens.

I have a few questions.
Does anyone have an experience of ringworm or fungal infections in pet mice?
Is there anything I need to be aware to not infect other people or their pets with a potential infection? (Other than the standard "wash your hands before and after playing with the mouse")
How do I prevent the scratching turning into an OCD case?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
P.S. I hope to become more active round here again but it might take me a while to catch up with everything!!

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Re: Potential Ringworm?

Post by CallaLily on Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:45 pm

I don't have any experience with ringworm in small pets but I believe @ScaredyMouse had a hamster with it before. Hoping she can help. I hope Colin is feeling better soon.

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Re: Potential Ringworm?

Post by scaredymouse on Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:12 pm

I have all kinds of ringworm experience! I had a hamster that was just riddled with in combined with a poor immune system. She needed lifelong oral antifungals, which were quite effective but had long term adverse effects. Topical creams are much safer and quite effective in most situations. I haven't used the particular antifungal that they gave you but I am familiar with it, I'm sure it's fine like the other drugs in it's class. I use a different one, called Terbinifine (Lamicil), on both hamsters, and mice, and works like a charm.

So, with fungal infections, you should see improvement within 2 weeks. If so, I would recommend using it another 2 weeks or until the hair grows back to make sure it's eradicated. Fungal infections are hard to kill. Wash your hands well after handling him. Worst thing that will happen in that you'll get a tiny little spot on you and then you just use the same cream on yourself..... no biggie! If he responds to the treatment, then it's time to treat his cage/toys. Wash everything really, really good and bake the wooden toys. If you really wanted to, you could use bleach but soap and water has always worked well for me, just give it a good scrub.

Unfortunately, OCD is always a possibility. Only thing you can really do is keep him busy and distracted. Lots of stuff to do and lots of cuddles. If he gets bored, he's likely to scratch more.

Also, it has been my experience that ringworm just isn't that catchy. I handled, kissed, and snuggled my hamster for over a year when she had ringworm and only ever got one tiny spot on my finger. Fungal infections are considered an opportunistic infection, meaning they wait for your immune system to be down to get you. So under normal circumstances, you have some immunity to it if you are healthy.

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Re: Potential Ringworm?

Post by stephlisa on Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:36 am

Thanks for the advice ScaredyMouse! From what I could work out, most anti-fungals work in the same way, just some are more effective than others at certain things or on certain people.

The vet wants to see him in 2 weeks time anyway as she's not had much experience with it in mice in particular and wants to see how it goes. Hopefully it'll all be fine and he'll start improving with treatment.

Thanks for the note about his cage/toys - that's not something I would have thought of! Clearly I need to make him some new toys to get excited over to stop him scratching!

Thanks Smile

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