Undeniably, ringworm is easily transmitted, but it does not always lead to an infection. But because it is contagious, ringworm in dogs or ringworm in cats is common. The spread happens when a pet gets in contact with the fungus that causes ringworm. It can be a fellow animal, a contaminated surface or by being handled by an infected person. It can be transmitted to humans too in the same manner.
The name often misleads a lot of people into believing that it is caused by worms and that it does not affect animals. Also, the word “ring” might be on the name but it does not always form a round shape. For canines and felines, the cause of ringworm is of zoonotic species that can also infect humans.
Ringworm in Dogs
- The fungi that cause ringworm in canines usually affect hair follicles, the lesions appearing in spots where hair loss or alopecia occurs. Hair loss happens because on the affected area, the hair shaft becomes weak and eventually breaks off the skin and fall. It is common to see round patches of hair loss in dogs who suffer from ringworm. The grazed area usually becomes thr start of scabies as it becomes inflamed and sometimes itchy.
- When a dog is exposed to the fungi that leads to ringworm, it will take about a week to two weeks before symptoms appear; in some instances even up to 21 days.
Ringworm in Cats
- It can be tricky to spot ringworm occurrence in cats because the lesions are often unnoticeable. However, there are some cases where thick patches of skin appear on the feline’s back, head, legs or chest. They may also suffer an infection in the claws and cause a deformity, a condition that can also happen to canines.
To certainly determine if your dog or your cat has ringworms, you may need to visit a veterinarian who will conduct a fungal culture. The vet will take samples of fungal spores from the animal’s hair or skin cells and depending on how fast or how slow the spores develop can the results be obtained. It usually takes two days but it can take longer.
Ringworm in dogs or ringworm in cats does not always manifest itself with a falling of animal hair strands. Hair loss happens due to a number of reasons and if you observe this in your pets, it is best to consult a veterinarian. There are times when ringworm does not show recognizable signs thus before it is diagnosed, the chances that it has already spread to other animals (if you own several pets) are high.
Duration of Contamination
Just like with other kinds of contagious diseases, nothing beats prompt action. Even with speedy treatment, when ringworm in dog or cat occurred, the infection could keep on spreading for up to 21 days. It also pays to ensure the whole area where they stay is cleaned, vacuumed and treated to ensure that spores are completely removed. Spores can stay hidden and undetected but remain a threat for up to a year and a half. After your pet is treated, it is advised to have a professional animal health care provider make sure that your dog or your cat is absolutely free of infection.