What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is not a worm at all. It is a superficial skin disease caused by infection with one of several types of fungus. These fungi live in the hair follicles, deep within the skin. They damage the hair shaft, which breaks off at skin level. As the infection spreads, the hairless area radiates out in a circular form, which is how the condition got its name.

Ringworm is very contagious. It can affect all pets and humans in a household through direct contact and indirect contact with infected bedding, cages, and food dishes. Ringworm can live for a long time in the environment because it is made up of environmentally resistant spores that normally live in the soil.

What factors contribute to a ringworm infection?

  • Pets in poor physical condition with poor nutrition.
  • Animals under 4 years of age and older animals.
  • Pregnant or nursing animals.
  • Animals that live in stressful conditions, i.e. overcrowding, poor ventilation, high humidity.

How do I know my pet has ringworm?
The classic sign of ringworm is the rounded area of hair loss with some scaling and/or crusting. You may also notice broken, brittle hairs, bald patches on ears, around the eyes and on the front legs. You can also use a Wood’s Lamp or a Fungassey Ringworm Kit to determine if the fungi are present.

My pet has ringworm! Now what do I do?
Before you do anything else, ISOLATE those animals! After isolating the cats with lesions from those without, close the cattery to everyone, especially children. Under no circumstances should you show, breed, or sell any of your animals. Do not add any new animals until the cattery or kennel is spotlessly clean. Stop all breeding programs & do not start again until you have 2 negative cultures. Wean kittens or puppies from infected moms at 4wks of age. Lastly, remember everyone is a suspect & treat them accordingly.

Now that you have them isolated, you need to turn your attention to treating both the animal and the environment.

Treat your pet.

Treat the environment.

  • Use a disinfectant on all bedding, cages and equipments. Soap and water alone won't kill the fungus. If you can see it, spray it!
  • Vacuum your carpets daily and throw the bag away!
  • If possible, keep your infected pet isolated until the rings start to clear up.
  • Drape an old sheet or blanket over any areas in the house your pet likes to be. These can more easily be disinfected than the couch! Try these products:
    Trifectant
    Health Guard Laundry Additive & Disinfectant
    Hurricane Fogger
    Latex Exam Gloves
    Spray Bottle

How do I keep this from happening again?
Follow these six steps to prevention.

  • Be Knowledgeable. Read all you can about ringworm; the more you know, the better you can handle the situation.
  • Use a Fungal Shampoo
  • Spray Cages with a fungicidal product on a daily basis.
  • Isolate all new animals. Isolate them for a minimum of three weeks.
  • Vaccinate all animals. Sick animals have lower resistance. Keep all vaccinations current when the animals are healthy.
  • Protect your family. Stop the spread of disease. Wash before and after handling animals to halt recontamination.

and FINALLY...THINGS NOT TO DO...

  • Use fans to circulate the air.
  • Have visitors over.
  • Pretend it will go away all by itself. (It may, but not before it gets really bad.)
  • Give up. Hang in there; we're here to help you with products and moral support.

Detection
Wood’s Lamp
Fungassey Ringworm Kit

Treat the Animal
Maximum ChlorhexiDerm Shampoo 4%
Malaseb Shampoo
Lym Dyp
Lime Plus Pet Dip
Health Guard Antimicrobial Shampoo

Topical Help
Ringworm Spray
Maximum ChlorhexiDerm Spray 4%
Health Guard Fungal Spot Treatment
Mega-Tek Coat Rebuilder for Pets
Micro-Tek Pet Spray

Nutritional Help
Derm Caps
Omegaderm-3
Missing Link

Treat the Environment
Trifectant
Health Guard Laundry Additive & Disinfectant
Hurricane Fogger
Latex Exam Gloves
Spray Bottle

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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