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Rabbits/ringworms in neutropenic patient

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Question
hi,
mu 85 yo mother has myleodyspastic syndrome and is neutropenic.. most recent white count is 1.9, has bee 0.5.  she has almost completed a six week course of IV antibiotics (vancomycin) for osteomylitis. this coming sunday will be her last IV treatment

in the meantime she now has ringworms!!  my daughter has a bunny and lives with her. the bunny is on the opposite side of the house and mom has very little contact with the bunny.

so you think that the ringworm could be from the bunny??? i don't think there are any signs of ringworm in the bunny.

becki

Answer
Dear Becki,

It is very unlikely that the bunny is the source of the fungus, especially if the bunny shows no signs of infection.

With the severely compromised immune system she currently has, your mother is more susceptible to active infection/clinical symptoms of pathogens that a person with a healthy immune system would suppress.  She could have been exposed to ringworm literally almost anywhere.  I would certainly not blame the rabbit, especially if they have not been in contact.  It is far more likely that the fungus was transmitted to her by another human (children are often carriers).

I hope this helps.

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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