01 Thursday October 2020
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Ringworm Or Dermatophytosis


   Ringworm or DermatophytosisRingworm or Dermatophytosis2



Ringworm is the common name of a fungal disease .. not a worm.

The medical name for this fungal skin disease is Dermatophytosis. There are many different types of Dermatophytes.

Microsporum canis is the name of the dermatophyte involved in most of our pet ringworm cases.

Skin problems caused by the ringworm fungus are usually mild and short lasting, but every once in a while the disease can be severe and very difficult to cure.

This disease is spread from human to human, from pets to humans, humans to pets, and from rugs and furniture to pets or humans.

Dogs, rabbits, ferrets, and all kinds of pets can be carriers and/or victims of ringworm, but ringworm is most common in cats.

Long haired cats seem to be especially prone to getting ringworm.

Ringworm is the most common infectious skin disease of cats.

Risk Factors:

Risk factors for dermatophytosis .. at least in cats, which have been extensively studied... include very young and older animals and animals that are immunocompromised.

Grooming inhibits development of infection, so animals which are not grooming are at increased risk, as well.


  1. Some animals show no clinical signs of infection but may carry infective spores on the fur and skin.
  2. Other pets will have some combination of the following:
  3. Broken and brittle hair.
  4. Partial or patchy hair loss.
  5. Scales or crusts.
  6. Crusty nails.
  7. Ruptured follicles on the chin and back.
  8. Areas of self-mutilation:
  9. Itching is common but not universal.
  10. loss of hair on the ear flaps in cats.
  11. Hyperpigmentation.


Wood's Lamp Fluorescence: Sometimes .. often .. but not always .. pets with ringworm will fluoresce under a black light.

Dermatophyte Culture: This is the most reliable method for the definitive diagnosis for the presence of ringworm organisms. Results usually take 7-14 days.

Microscopic Examination: The presence of infective spores on hair shafts can sometimes be seen under the microscope.


There has been a vaccine for ringworm available since 2003. I'm not sure how effective this vaccine is but it's not recommended as a routine vaccine.

Treatment Options:

* Clipping to get rid of the fungal spores is important in serious cases of ringworm.

* Topical Treatment with Zymox shampoo, Miconazole shampoo, ketoconazole shampoo or lyme sulfur dip.

* For minor cases, topical treatment with Zymox cream or VBG cream is often effective.

Program,  a brand name of injectable flea control might be effective on milder cases of ringworm.

* ntifungal medications such as ketoconazole, Griseofulvin, Terbinafine, and itraconazole are sometimes needed.

*****  These are medications we try to avoid as they tend to have potentially bad side effects.

* Time: It can take weeks to get good results.

* House cleaning; some cases are so difficult to cure that extensive cleaning of the environment is needed to remove fungal spores.