The Fungus Among Us

One of my duties at the shelter I work at is reading and recording the DTM plates we pull on the ringworm animals.

While we have a couple litters out in foster, we went an entire *week* with no kitties in our ringworm ward! It was very exciting.

But then yesterday and today…

The glowing! The glowing! The “OH GOD THERE’S TEN OF THEM NOW” glowing.

But back to those plates. Most of the time it’s pretty straight forward M. canis; white fluffy growth that turns the Agar red. But sometimes you get ‘fun’ plates that have strange contaminants or less commonly seen dermatophytes like Trichophyton or M. gypseum.

So I’m doing the plates… and I see this plate… and I’m scared. This is a ‘don’t breathe while you have the lid off’ plate. I’ve seen worse, but this is still not comforting.

Three different fungi there. Some M. canis (the fluffy stuff on the red), what appears to be potentially a Trichophyton species (white powdery colony bottom red) and what … looks like bread mold?

Being a nerdy vet tech, I made slides of all three. The black/green mold thing is actually pretty cool looking.

Lately we’ve also had a couple cases where we’re not entirely sure what the dermatophyte is. First time I saw this colony growth pattern was from a guinea pig a few weeks ago. This most recent one was on a kitten. Under microscope appears to be a type of Trichophyton, we’re just not sure which?