Ringworms are a scalp, nail, and skin fungal disease. The name ringworm gets its name from how it looks because the rash looks like a ring on the skin.
How Does Infection Occur?
Animals get infected by touching an infected animal’s skin or hair. A person can get it by touching a surface that is infected by the fungus.
Different types of animals can give a person a ringworm infection, such as:
How Do Ringworms Look on Our Pets?
Older adult animals, especially long-haired animals, do not show the signs of having a ringworm infection. Puppies and kittens will have hairless patches and scaling on their bodies to indicate a ringworm infection. Although there will be redness on the area as well to show that there is an infection, the area might not be completely hairless. But instead, it will have brittle and broken hair. If you suspect your cat or either of your animals has a ringworm, call your veterinarian to ask and make sure or book an appointment for them to have a look.
Is Ringworm Infection a Risk for Humans?
Ringworm infection can be transmitted so easily to people, especially older people and younger children. Therefore, it is very important to take appropriate steps to prevent exposure the ringworm infection, especially while your pet is being treated.
Risk Factors For Ringworm infection:
- Living in a warm environment
- Living on a farm
- Having more than one pet
- Having A weak immune system
- Vacuum all the areas in your home where your pet usually plays or sleeps
- Wash your hands with warm soap and water after playing with and rubbing your pet
- Wear gloves when touching or examining a pet with a ringworm infection, and make sure to wash your hands afterwards, too
- Make sure your pets that have a ringworm infection do not lick you, or you will get a ringworm infection.
If you think you suspect a ringworm infection in your pet, make sure to call your vet about it.
If you have more than one pet and just one has a ringworm infection, check them all for the infection.
You can wash your pet with herbal shampoos and conditioners, brush their fur and dry them off properly.
Ringworm Symptoms in Animals
A ringworm infection is not a life-threatening disease, it is just very contagious, and some animals do require to go get a check-up by the vet. Knowing some symptoms of a ringworm infection can help you stop it before it spreads to your or other animals.
Here are a few symptoms:
- Hair loss in the form of a circle
- Inflamed or scabbed area
- Rough claws
- Dry and brittle hair
Hair loss changes the coat’s appearance. Inflamed skin can just be a sign of another condition. Animals have such sensitive skin and can get other skin infections. That is why it is better to take them to the vet to get checked up because you could think it is ringworm then it isn’t, it’s something else like a nutrient problem, or they rolled in something they shouldn’t have rolled in they could have allergies or just another type of parasite infection.
Treatment for Ringworms
Your vet will take a few diagnostic tests and a physical exam to see if your pet has a ringworm infection or something else, they will take a piece of your pets hair or a skin cell to look for the fungal infection, or they will take a deep examination of the infected hairs under ultraviolet light.
When the ringworm is diagnosed, the vet will discuss a treatment plan with you and your animal. The treatment will highly depend on the severity of the infection case is on your pet’s skin and how many other pets you have in your household so that they can get treated and tested as well, even if they are not showing signs of a ringworm infection.
Treating ringworms usually consists of an ointment to rub on the infected area of your pet. The vet will also give you medications and advise you to decontaminate your environment, so no one gets the ringworm infection again. Sometimes depending on how bad the infection is, the vet will tell you to shave the infected areas because, in some cases, the germ can still linger and return.
When your pet has a ringworm infection and sheds in your house or yard, those infected hairs will remain there for a long period. You need to deep clean your entire environment, such as:
- Pet bowls
- Grooming tools
- Beds and headboards
- Getting a disinfectant to spray on your grass and concrete outside
If you have kept your pet in a room away from everyone while they are infected, and the pet’s infection is finally gone, just deep clean that room by vacuuming and wiping down all the surfaces, so it doesn’t spread to the other pets.
Ringworm home remedies
- Apple cider vinegar
- Coconut oil
- Turmeric and water
Some people believe home remedies work, but not everyone. It also doesn’t kill you to try if you don’t have enough money to go to the doctor or a vet.
Everything to Know about Ringworms
We as pet owners don’t have to worry the entire time about ringworm prevention unless you have already had a case and are scared the rest of your pets are going to get it. Then you can do your best to prevent it every day until you know it’s a safe environment again. For example, you can just wash your bedding and clean the areas your pet plays or plays in every day until the day it’s safe to stop.
If you know the symptoms of ringworm infection in animals, you can prevent it when you see the symptoms start to show on your pet.