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Ringworm treatment for dogs and cats

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Posted on May 22 2018

Ringworm is a fungal infection that can affect both cats and dogs. The most common cause of ringworm is infection with Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum or Trichophyton mentagrophytes.

Ringworm is very contagious to humans and pets and is transmitted through spores that infect skin and hair, objects and soil. The spores can live in the environment for a while ling, waiting for another host, so thorough cleaning of the pet's environment should go hand in hand with the treatment.



Ringworm has symptoms very similar to other skin diseases, so the diagnosis by a veterinarian before starting any treatment is mandatory.

The Symptoms of Pet Tinea

The symptoms of ringworm pets are not specific, which indicate skin disease, but do not specifically target ringworm:

  • Hair loss in circular areas especially in the head, but often in the legs, feet or tail, which is the only symptom that is specific to ringworm
  • Small papules surrounding the area that does not have hair
  • Skin is peeling and inflammation within these areas
  • Acne on the chin
  • Dandruff

The diagnosis of tinnitus

As the visible symptoms of ringworm are difficult to differentiate from the symptoms of other conditions, once the veterinarian suspects that your pet is affected by it, he will have to perform more tests.

A black light lamp, Wood's lamp, is sometimes used. Ringworm fungi are fluorescent under this light. However, this test is not 100% reliable, since some species of ringworm fungi do not shine under the lamp. In addition, healthy animals may have fluorescent fungi on their fur and not have the infection.

The most effective method is a mushroom culture that your local veterinarian can easily perform.

 Ringworm treatment for dogs and cats

Ringworm is very contagious to pets, as well as to humans. Having an infected pet will involve not only the treatment of the respective pet, but also preventive care for all pets in the home and thorough cleaning of the environment.

Options include topical or oral treatment:

  • Small, isolated lesions can heal without treatment in a maximum of 4 months (but the pet will be contagious during that time period).
  • The topical treatment consists in holding the hair around the lesions as close as possible to the skin. You will have to take extreme care with the smallest injury will help the infection spread further. The most common topical solutions are miconazole cream, Lotrimin, 1% chlorhexidine ointment or drops in calcium sulphide or antiseptics.
  • Antifungal shampoos are recommended in order to keep the dispersion of the spores under control.
  • Ringworm vaccines are available, but they can only be administered along with treatment.
  • Systemic treatment involves several oral medications. A preferred oral medication for ringworm is griseofulvin, since it is given together with food. This medication will be accompanied by regular blood tests, to control side effects (depression of the bone marrow).
  • Itraconazole and ketoconazole are other options. If your pet is pregnant, you should inform your veterinarian when talking about ringworm treatment, as some medications may interfere with the pregnancy.

When having an infected pet, care should be taken not to always wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly after touching the pet.

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