No one likes seeing their pets sick. Ringworm can be an especially nasty infection for animals. Thankfully, there are ointments out there to help your beloved pet heal.
- Ringworm affects the outer layers of the skin, nails, and hair. It can affect both humans and domestic pets.
- Treatment for ringworm is of utmost importance, as it is highly contagious.
- If treated properly, animals will recover from a ringworm infection.
What is ringworm? Can we protect our pets from it?
Knowing the signs of ringworm is of utmost importance for your pet’s health
Ringworm is caused by several different species of fungi. The types of fungal species that often infect dogs can also spread to humans. A key symptom of ringworm is the appearance of a raised, red ring on the skin. Not all lesions are round, however. On dogs, lesions usually appear as circular bald spots. When these lesions grow larger, the hair around it begins to regrow and the central part of the wound starts to heal. However, the affected hair in the area of the region is often fragile and easy to break. They may also become inflamed, thereby developing a scabbed covering across it. Should this happen, try using the Silver Spray or Zinc Spray by Fauna Care.
Catching ringworm in cats can be challenging, as their symptoms are easy to miss. A “cigarette ash” and thickened patches of skin with hair loss are common symptoms. Similar to dogs, their claws may become rough and deformed.
When dogs or cats are carriers of ringworm, they will show no clinical symptoms of having it. However, they can still spread it to other mammals. They are referred to as “asymptomatic carriers.” This can be especially worrisome if you have other pets or members in the house.
Luckily, there are several preventative measures you can take to keep your pet healthy. One of the most important, and perhaps most obvious steps, is to prevent your dog from getting in contact with infected animals. Make sure the area your pet inhabits remains clean and sanitary. Routinely disinfecting, washing, and vacuuming proper items is key. Keeping your dog clean and on a healthy diet will also lower his chances of obtaining ringworm. The Protect & Condition spray by Fauna Care can help with your pet’s grooming needs.
How do I treat ringworm?
Take the correct steps to ensure your pet’s comfort
Your vet is the best source to go to when deciding how to treat your cat or dog for ringworm. He or she will decide on the best course of action based on the seriousness of the condition, how many pets are infected, if there are any members susceptible to infection in the household, and how challenging it may be to disinfect the pet’s environment. Here are some common ways ringworm is treated:
Topical therapy can sometimes stand alone as a treatment plan for cats and dogs. In fact, Fauna offers an anti-fungal spray specifically for ringworm treatment. However, make sure you check with your vet before using any creams to treat the infection. Depending on the length of the dog’s hair, you can either completely shave the infected area or clip it short. Simply apply the lotion to localized areas of skin that are affected if your vet recommends you shave it. Another tactic includes bathing your pet twice a week with medicated shampoo. This treatment plan can last from several weeks to several months.
Oral therapy is another option. Most cases of ringworm require this type of treatment. Popular medications include griseofulvin, itraconazole, and terbinafine. Different pets usually respond differently to certain types of medications. It is important that treatment continues for at least six weeks. If stopped too early, infection can reoccur.
Fungal spores attached to the infected hairs of cats and dogs can cause infection if another being comes in contact with them. Therefore, it is important to keep your surrounding environment as spore-free as possible. Applying topical antifungal creams to affected areas along with clipping affected hairs can help reduce environmental contamination. Make sure to dispose of infected hairs and carefully clean your floors and furniture to ensure an infection-free environment. Avoid letting your dog into areas that are hard to clean.
So, how serious is this? Can my pet get infected a second time?
As long as you diligently follow through with your treatment plan, your pet will be fine. Otherwise, symptoms may reappear if you end treatment too early or if you did not treat the infection aggressively enough. For instance, if you only use a topical cream to treat it, your pet may become infected again. If your cat or dog is a carrier for ringworm or has a compromised immune system, symptoms may reappear as a result.
So, as long as you follow your vet’s orders, your pet will be healed in no time. You’ll be back playing fetch with Biscuit and cuddling Spot before you know it!