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Pet Ringworm

If you ever see circular areas of hair loss on your pet that are not itchy, suspect ringworm.
It is difficult to treat, and of big concern to me is the toxicity of the treatments.
One of my clients was a Persian Cat breeder. She had a large outbreak of ringworm, and another vet prescribed typical (but potentially toxic), medication.
Three of her cats died from this medication.
You need to be aware of the potential toxicity of “traditional” medication and be aware of the alternatives.
What is ringworm?
Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection of the skin, caused by Microsporum canis.
It is NOT caused by a worm.
It is spread from person to person, from animal to person, or indirectly from contaminated objects.
Ringworm infects three sites: scalp, body and nails.
Ringworm is typically seen in young dogs and cats.
Diseases or medications that suppress the immune system generally make your pet more susceptible to ringworm.
Typical lesions are circular areas of hair loss (alopecia) on the hair coat; however, any change in the hair coat and/or skin may be consistent with ringworm.
The affected skin often appears scaly and inflamed. Some pets suffer from severe skin disease while others have minor lesions or even none at all.
What to Watch For:
# Circular areas of hair loss (alopecia)
# Scaly and inflamed skin
Ringworm often looks similar to other skin diseases, so it is difficult to diagnose based on skin appearance alone. Your veterinarian will run diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of the fungus. Some of these test may include:
# Laboratory tests to include a complete blood count, biochemical profile, and urinalysis if immune suppression is a suspected underlying cause of the ringworm
# A fungal culture to provide positive identification
# Woods lamp examination. If the area fluoresces under the light, ringworm is suspected. However, culture is still strongly recommended. A negative fluorescence does not rule out ringworm, as several species of the ringworm do not fluoresce.
# Microscopic examination of hairs
Ringworm Treatment
The treatment for ringworm can be both frustrating and expensive, especially in a multi-pet household.
Treating both your pet and the environment are of equal importance.
Many pets will resolve an infection spontaneously over several months, but treatment generally expedites cure and helps reduce environmental contamination.
Nevertheless, some infections can persist.
TOPICAL ANTISEPTIC SCRUBS. Hibitane (chlorhexadine) is a very effective topical antiseptic useful in cleaning the affected area. Purchase it at any pharmacy. Wash the area twice daily.
NEEM. This is a herb called Azadirachta indica, with antifungal and antiseptic qualities. The tincture of the herb can be applied topically twice daily to speed up healing.
VINEGAR. Although it smells bad, it is an effective antifungal treatment. Wipe the affected area twice daily.


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