Ringworm is a fungus that grows on the superficial layers of the skin. The scientific name for ringworm infection is dermatophytosis, the fungi which cause the disease are called dermatophytes. There are roughly 40 different species of dermatophytes, each tending to infect different types of species. “90% of cases of ringworm is the dermatophyte Microsporum canis (M canis)” ¹ This particular fungal infection may be transferred cross species to dogs and humans.
How can I tell if it might be ringworm?
Ringworm can pop up just about anywhere on your pet’s body, as well as yours! Although there are different ways your pet’s body could react, the most noticeable are the skin lesions. They are rough, scaly, hairless rounded patches, typically found on the head, ears or extremities of the paws. Hair-loss where the lesions emerge are typical. It can range from bald, patchy and still slightly fuzzy but it’s hard to miss.
How can you be sure it’s ringworm before going to the Vet?
Ultraviolet light can be used to examine the lesion on the skin. M Canis will glow florescent apple-green coloring under UV lighting. However, it’s not always absolute as some dermatophytes are not florescent. It’s roughly a 50/50 chance in every case.
How to treat ringworm?
Topical shampoos are usually used, especially for long haired pets. Some Veterinarians suggest shaving or clipping your pets hair; in doing so it’ll help reduce infected space and make the treatment more effective.
Anti-Fungal creams are also used when a pet has obvious lesions that need a little more than a kick in the butt. Common medications used are Clotrimazole, Miconazole, Chlorhexidene, Ketoconazole.
Oral anti fungal medications are also used in rare cases, however they often have side effects. Making oral anti fungal medications confined to specific situations.
Ringworm has a habit of just getting up and leaving after several months, however it’s not advised to leave your beloved pet with a ringworm infection. It’s easily spread cross-species, meaning anyone or anything your pet comes in contact with has a chance of spreading it to other people or pets.