Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, nails and hair, and it spreads easily to dogs, cats and humans through direct contact. Since ringworm spores have a long life expectancy, exposure is very likely over a pet’s lifetime. Fortunately, most have built up a resistance to ringworm, so young pets or pets with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to ringworm. Ringworm leaves characteristic bald patches on your pet’s skin, as well as small round lesions with scaly skin.

When treating ringworm, it’s important to treat both the animal and the environment. Isolate the animal from other pets in your home to prevent spreading. Clip around the lesion before treating with an antifungal medication. Topical creams and sprays are good for the actual infection, while medicated shampoos and dips help eliminate the spores in generalized infections and the surrounding hair. Use a residual disinfectant in all surfaces in your home, including those that may have airborne contact. Most importantly, don’t stop disinfecting too quickly – it may take several weeks to ensure all the spores have been eliminated.

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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