Ringworm, or dermatophytosis, is a contagious skin infection caused by fungal spores from the soil. It is so named because of its appearance on human skin: It manifests as a red, itchy circle with blisters and scaling along the outside edge. The center part of the rash gradually heals and clears up, leaving behind a ring-shaped mark. However, it does not cause worm infections in your pet’s body.
What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus. Fungus is a type of mold that grows on dead organic material like animal or human hair, skin and nails. Ringworm isn’t a worm at all; it’s just another term for an infection of the outer layer of your skin, called the epidermis.
There are three different types of ringworm: tinea corporis (which causes red raised areas on your body), tinea pedis (affects your feet) and tinea capitis (affects children).
The Symptoms of Ringworm in Cats and Dogs
- Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a common fungus called Trichophyton. It’s not actually a worm but rather an organism that feeds on keratin, the protein in hair and nails.
- Trichophyton rubrum is the most common species of ringworm to affect cats and dogs. The fungus can spread from one animal to another or between animals and humans through shared items such as grooming tools or clothing.
- Ringworm symptoms in cats and dogs include hair loss, raw patches of skin, redness around the affected area, scales on top of affected areas (most commonly around their ears) and sometimes oozing sores with scabs (if you notice these signs seek medical attention).
How Do Pets Become Infected with Ringworm?
Pets can become infected with ringworm in a variety of ways. Direct contact with an infected animal is the most common way for pets to contract this fungal infection. In addition, pets may become infected by coming into contact with contaminated objects or items such as bedding, clothing, or the environment itself. Pets can also transmit the fungus to other pets through grooming (licking) each other, especially if one of those animals has an active case of ringworm on its skin. Finally, humans can transfer ringworm to their pet by handling them while they are infected themselves.
How Can I Prevent My Pet From Getting Ringworm?
The best way to prevent your pet from getting ringworm is to keep their body and coat clean. This includes keeping them free of parasites, like fleas, ticks and lice.
Keep your pet’s nails trimmed so that they can’t scratch themselves or others with them.
Launder all bedding used by the animal weekly in hot water with detergent. Dry on high heat if possible (or air dry). Try using vinegar instead of fabric softener when washing sheets and towels since some people are allergic to it – don’t forget to rinse thoroughly!
How to Treat Ringworm in Pets
Treatment of ringworm in pets can be challenging and may require several months of treatment. The preferred treatment is with anti-fungal medication applied to the skin, but this is not always possible due to the animal’s size or location on the body. If you do decide to use an oral medication for your pet, make sure that it is taken for at least 60 days after symptoms are gone in order to prevent a recurrence.
The most important part of treating ringworm in pets is preventing its spread by keeping their environment clean and disinfected. This includes washing all bedding, toys and grooming equipment with hot water (at least 130 degrees F) and bleach detergent solution as well as drying them on high heat settings before using them again.
The best way to prevent ringworm from spreading anywhere is to monitor your pet’s skin, keep their bedding clean, and make sure all humans in the household wash their hands thoroughly after petting them. Keeping your household clean will go a long way in reducing the risk of an outbreak.