All That You Need To Know About Dealing with Ringworm in Pets

Despite its misleading name, ringworms are actually a fungus infection that causes red and itchy patches on the skin and causes hair to fall in affected areas. Not only humans but pets of all kinds can be infected with ringworm. Since it is very contagious, it can be very easily transmitted from pets to humans and vice versa. This makes it very important for it to be diagnosed and treated properly.

How to Identify a Ringworm Infection?

In pets, the infection causes the hair to become brittle and easily break leading to the development of ring-like bald spots that may be mildly inflamed or appear crusty. Typically, the infected areas involve the legs, ears, and face, and may even deform the claws as they grow. The itchiness of the skin is not a result of the ringworm fungus but occurs due to secondary infections by bacteria. Some animals may not show any visible signs but can cause the infection to spread. Typically, ringworm is spread by contact with the infection carrier or items like brushes and bedding that has been in contact with it. The potential for infection remains long after the fungal spores are released into the environment.

Diagnosis of Ringworm 

A fungal culture is the best way of diagnosing ringworm. The process involves plucking of a few hair strands from the lesions and letting the organism grow in a culture medium for an extended time, though five days are sufficient to yield a preliminary result. Another quick but not so reliable method is to use a Wood’s lamp to examine the lesion; if the lesion glows yellow-green under the ultraviolet light, ringworm infection may be likely. All humans and pets in the same household where a ringworm infection has been diagnosed should be tested and treated, if necessary.

Treatment 

Ringworm infections are typically self-limiting, which means that given enough time, the infection will get cured without requiring any treatment. However, an active treatment plan will cure it faster and restrict its spread. Topical medicines may be applied after clipping or shaving the fur in the affected area; the medications include anti-fungal sprays, shampoos, creams, and a lime-sulfur dip. There are a number of oral medications; the most popular is itraconazole as there are fewer side effects compared to Griseofulvin.

Infected pets should ideally be confined, and the areas frequented by the pet vacuumed thoroughly. Toys and bedding should be washed in hot water. Rugs and carpets should preferably be disposed of and exposed surfaces, including kennels, disinfected with an antifungal spray or dilute chlorine bleach. Periodic cleaning and disinfecting till the infection has been contained should be done. Fungal cultures need to be undertaken after the lesions have disappeared and treatment stopped only after confirmation of negative results.

Conclusion 

It can be very difficult to prevent pets from being infected with ringworm as it is not only highly contagious but the fungal spores can remain active for many months altogether. Getting tests done at regular intervals will help in early detection and treatment.

Author Bio: Tim Bailey is a vet with considerable experience. His clinic is among the most popular in the area. Tim is a consultant vet to PrimpPlay, a leading grooming center for pets.

Do You Recognize These 7 Pit Bull Diseases That Affect Their Life Expectancy?

Pit bulls are a healthy breed. If you feed them well and take care of them well, you will help to ensure that they live for quite some time. However, if they get sick, this can affect their life expectancy given that most of these dogs may suffer silently, so you will not know that they are sick and seek the medical attention that they need.

Here are some early warning signs that all is not well with your pet and that they need to be taken to the veterinary.

Infections

The dogs can easily get sick as a result of picking up an infection. This can happen when a foreign substance finds its way into the body of the animal. There are so many kinds of infections that they can get. Here is how to check if your dog has an infection:

  • Check their ears on a regular basis to see if there is any dirt or fluid buildup.
  • Check their eyes to see if theyare swollen or red or there is something inside.
  • Check their coats to see if there are any fleas or ticks.

Make sure to clean the dog on a regular basis and brush its coat so as to get rid of pests. Also, cut its nails so that dirt doesn’t get under the nails and cause an infection when it scratches itself.

Getting a prompt cure for an infection will help to increase their life expectancy since lack of treatment can cause the situation to get worse.

Skin allergies

Check your dog’s skin on a daily basis to see if it has any allergies. If you notice this, then try and eliminate various things in its environment that might be causing the allergy. Eliminate things one by one so that you can identify the cause of the problem.

Diabetes

Diabetes can severely affect the health of your pet. Avoid giving your pet foods that can increase the risk of them getting diabetes. This includes foods that are rich in fats and sugars. That is why you should avoid giving your pet food from your table.

The pit bull should eat food that is specifically prepared for dogs. It should be ideal for their age and body size. It might be tempting to toss them food when you are eating, but avoid this at all costs.

Obesity

Obesity can lead your dog to develop many problems. It can increase the risk of heart disease and tumors that can eventually lead to the death of your dog.

It is quite easy to overfeed your dog and that is why you should be cautious about how much food you feed them. Have regular meal times and only feed them portions that are suitable for their size. You should also ensure that they get to exercise on a regular basis.

Use a calorie counter to determine how much food to give the dog. Also, avoid giving them table food as much as possible.