Despite its name, ringworm is not a type of worm at all. It is a fungus that is highly contagious in both humans and pets. However, while ringworm appears as a round, inflamed rash in humans, it can take many different forms in your pet. Additionally, animals can be affected by three types of ringworm, of which only one type can be passed on to humans.
How it Affects your pet
Just as with humans, ringworm is not a large concern among animals. However, it can cause varying degrees of discomfort, especially if not treated promptly. The condition can be easily cured, but since it is highly contagious, you need to keep your pet separated from other animals. Additionally, even though it is not a major pet health concern, you should take precautions when treating your pet.
Common Symptoms of Ringworm in Pets: Patchy Hair, Crusty Bumps on the Skin, Incessant Itching, Lesions on the Skin, Scaly Spots on the Skin, Inflamed Skin and Brittle Nails. These are all of the classic symptoms of ringworm in pets; however, your pet may only display one or two of these signs while another animal can show several. It is essential for you to seek treatment immediately for your pet if you think that it has ringworm. Treatment will not only cure your dog or cat, but it will also prevent the condition from spreading to other animals or even children.
If you think that your pet has ringworm, you need to seek treatment right away. In some cases, special dips and shampoos can get rid of ringworm; however, in severe or chronic cases, your pet may need oral anti fungal medications. Typically, your veterinarian will prescribe such medicine as Ketoconazole (canines) or Itraconazole (felines). Clipping your dog or cat's hair may help as well. Another treatment that is highly effective today is known as Program, and it can be given orally to both dogs and cats. Treatment can take up to two months, and you must continue it until your vet confirms that there is no longer a ringworm problem with your pet. You will also need to treat your home, as fungal spores can live in your carpet for up to two years. Thus, regular vacuuming is a must, and your vet can recommend a good spray for your furniture, carpets and your pet's bedding. Be sure to empty your vacuum each time after cleaning and dispose of any debris properly.
Any breed of dog or cat can contract ringworm, and there are three forms of the condition in animals. Cats seem to be affected more than dogs; however, under the right conditions canines can be vulnerable as well. The following list includes animals that are most vulnerable to Ringworm: Felines, Especially Persians (This form is transmissible to humans.); animals exposed to contaminated brushes, cat trays or bedding; animals exposed to rats or their burrows; animals exposed to infected soil.
- Just as with humans, ringworm is not a large concern among animals. However, it can cause varying degrees of discomfort, especially if not treated promptly. The condition can be easily cured, but since it is highly contagious, you need to keep your pet separated from other animals. Additionally, even though it is not a major pet health concern, you should take precautions when treating your pet.