Information On Symptoms Causes And Treatments For Ringworm On Family Pets

September 10, 2010

in Cats

Ringworm is a fungal overgrowth or infection that is often seen on dogs or cats. This fungus can be transmitted by direct contact. This fungal infection is also known as Tinea may be transmitted from pets to humans or from humans to pets in some cases.

Although Tinea is most often called ringworm, the Skin irritations are caused by a fungal infection. The name probably developed because of the typical round pigmented area at the spots of fungal eruptions. Although the name might be popular the problem has nothing whatsoever to do with any type of worm.

Tinea is normally characterized by the appearance on the skin and the eruptions could be crusty or they could be dry. In some cases this condition could actually resolve itself, however it can also leave scarring behind as well as patches of missing fur on pets. Humans who regularly have close contact with their pets should take precautions to avoid the infection spreading from the pet to the family members.

Normally this fungal infection is diagnosed simply by observation and with a pet, sometimes a vet visit is necessary, and there can be lab tests if deemed necessary. The eruptions can become so severe that infections may develop. If this occurs then antibiotic treatment may be necessary.

A ringworm infection in humans could be eliminated by using a common over-the-counter antifungal treatment. In many cases these treatments can be applied directly to the affected areas. In addition all clothing bedding and other personal items should be carefully washed and sanitized. Special measures should be taken to ensure this infection is not passed to other family members or pets.

When the problem is present after treatment with over-the-counter medications then the advice of medical professionals should always be sought. Instead of an antifungal cream the doctor may choose to use an oral antifungal medication. Professional medical advice is always important because a skin condition can have causes other than Tinea.

Treating pets with Tinea can be somewhat more problematic. Most pets are covered in fur and topical treatment may be more difficult. Shaving a pet is not recommended normally by vets unless the infection is very severe.

Household pets with a fungal infection should be kept away from children until the problem has been solved. The reason for this is because ringworm is transmitted through direct contact. There are many approaches to the treatment of Tinea. Some veterinarians may recommend a dip or rinse for the pet. Sometimes with very severe infections oral antifungal treatment may be used by the vet. In addition to the medications the pets living area should be disinfected as thoroughly as possible.

Lime sulfur has been used for years to treat many types of fungal skin conditions for both pets and livestock. The drawback to this long use treatment is that it has a highly objectionable and very strong odor and the pet must be dipped 2 to 3 times a week for as long as a month. Medications which are taken in tablet form such as Griseofulvin may sometimes be prescribed by a veterinarian. It should be noted however that some of these medications are only effective in conjunction with a special diet and all directions should be followed carefully.

However self-diagnosis is rarely a good idea and if the parent or the owner of the pet is unsure the problem really is Tinea a medical professional or a veterinarian should be consulted immediately. Even with treatment proper hand washing techniques as well as proper sterilization of any column’s brushes or other grooming tools used on pets is important to prevent the spread of this fungus.

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