Ringworm causes self-imposed quarantine at CARE’s shelter | PostIndependent.com

Ringworm causes self-imposed quarantine at CARE’s shelter

The Colorado Animal Rescue shelter at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley Campus is under self-imposed quarantine for the next few days, due to an out break of ringworm.

Shelter director Leslie Rockey said other shelters around the state have been hit with ringworm this summer, “and nobody knows why.”

Rockey said ringworm can spread to humans through contact with infected cats and dogs. In animals, the infection causes fur to fall out in spots. In humans, the infection causes round, red spots on the skin.

“It can be treated topically,” Rockey said.

The infection’s name is a bit misleading, as actual worms are not the culprit. “It’s a fungus,” Rockey said.

Cats of a certain age can be vaccinated against ringworm, but not dogs.

Until the quarantine is lifted, the nonprofit shelter won’t accept or adopt out cats and dogs. Rockey said the shelter is full anyway, but people with unwanted pets can post notices on the shelter bulletin board, or run advertisements in local newspapers.

Shelter employees noticed the ringworm outbreak last week, and the facility was fogged with disinfectant Tuesday.

Cats and dogs are being treated, but until the infections clear up they can’t receive the pats and cuddles from shelter employees for fear ringworm will spread to humans.

“It’s kind of sad they don’t get their normal love and attention,” Rockey said. “If you touch them, the spores get into the environment.”

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