OGDEN -- An Ogden veterinarian is seeing more cases of ringworm and is cautioning dog owners to stay away from the South Ogden dog park.
Eric Clough, who is employed at the Burch Creek Animal Hospital, defined ringworm as a fungal infection that causes a red, circular lesion that can be itchy.
Clough warned that the fungus transfers easily to people. He recommended that both people and dogs get topical treatment when they have ringworm. But he also said an infection could go away on its own on a healthy animal.
"We've had six dogs, all of which have visited the South Ogden Dog Park," he said.
Clough's warning is quoted on a Facebook page in support of the South Ogden Dog Park.
Other warnings about ringworm have been posted on social media about both the South Ogden and Ogden dog parks.
Jon Anderson, the manager of South Ogden parks and public services, said he had not heard from anyone about a problem with ringworm at the South Ogden Dog Park.
Ogden city officials did not return calls seeking comment about the Ogden dog park.
But other Ogden-area veterinarians contacted said they have not seen an increased number of dogs with ringworm.
Owen Linsley, a veterinarian at Ben Lomond Animal Clinic, said he hasn't seen any cases of ringworm.
"It's not unusual to see one once in a while but we haven't seen one here," he said.
A technician who works for veterinarian Steve E. Lemmon said he's seen only one case of ringworm in the last couple of weeks.
Veterinarians at the Ogden Animal Hospital said they have not seen an outbreak of the fungus.
Wyatt Frampton, a staff veterinarian in the state veterinarian's office, said contracting communicable diseases such as ringworm is the chance animal owners take when they allow their dogs to be in close contact with one another in places like dog parks.
"Dog parks are great for the exercise but they are notorious for passing infectious communicable diseases," Frampton said. "Make sure your animals are vaccinated for parvo, distemper and rabies. ... Make sure they are vaccinated and de-wormed. That will take most of it but something like ringworm, that's going to happen."
Frampton said cats also suffer from ringworm.
"There is a good possibility that a dog could have a cat at home and be exposed to that individual," he said. "Cats are notorious for having ringworm and not having any signs or symptoms."
Clough and Frampton differed on their warnings for avoiding contact with ringworm.
Clough said the fungus could live in environmental settings, including clothing and leashes, waiting to come in contact with a host.
But Frampton said the fungus most usually is passed from host to host.
"It's usually not soil borne," he said. "It's more animal borne. ... If it was like that, we would all have ringworm."
Clough recommended www.petplace.com for more information about ringworm. He said to search for ringworm's official name, Dermatophytosis.