Infection from Pet Rats
This 6 year old girl developed an itchy rash on her cheek and she was treated for a staph infection (impetigo). Because it didn't fully resolve and more lesions developed on her arm and neck, a potassium hydroxide (KOH) test was done. It confirmed a fungal infection known as tinea corporis or "ringworm".
Tinea corporis is a pretty common infection and once it is diagnosed, it is easy to cure with a topical antifungal cream and 1 week of oral medication.
What makes this story interesting is that the child's parents revealed they had given her 2 pet rats as a Christmas present a week before the rash began. They had become attached to the rats and didn't want to get rid of them.
The story has a happy ending. They simply washed the rats with an over-the-counter ketoconazole shampoo and treated them with tiny doses of the oral medication. Everyone was cured!
I think this story grabbed me because my favorite childhood pet was a white rat named "Sniffles" and I would certainly have bathed her and medicated her if needed.
From Consultant: David Kaplan, MD, University of Kansas School of Medicine