How To Spot And Prevent Ringworm In Your Pets This Autumn

6/10/2017

Every year, millions of cats and dogs fall victim to ringworm. This well known infection isn't dangerous, but is extremely contagious and uncomfortable for those who catch it. A skin condition caused by fungal spores, it mainly affects fur and skin, but can also attack the eyes, the claws and the nose.

How do cats and dogs catch ringworm?

 Source: Cliniques vétérinaires de Calvisson

Animals can be infected easily and rapidly by fungal spores, either from infected animals or carried through the air outside.These spores are incredibly hardy and can survive for months or even over a year in harsh weather by clinging to material such as wool, fur or carpet. Because of this, if an animal gets infected, they can pass it on to other household pets and even humans indirectly.

What are the symptoms?

 Source: Info Véto

In cats and dogs, ringworm shows itself in circular bald patches on the head and paws. the skin and fir around the nose, eyes, muzzle and toes tend to be the areas most frequently affected. However, these patches are usually not too annoying, so luckily your pet may show no signs of discomfort.This doesn't mean it should't be seen to, however. If your pet isn't given treatment, the fungus could spread to other areas of your pet's body and form painful, itchy scabs.Since we humans often touch, stroke, or otherwise come into direct contact with their pets, we are also at risk of catching ringworm, which again manifest as circular red patches on the skin.

What are the risks for animals and humans?

 Source: France Bleu

Luckily, although ringworm is extremely contagious and can be uncomfortable, it's not at all life-threatening, or even dangerous for your health. This skin condition can be cleared up with several types of treatments, but it is still very important to take your furry companion to the vets as soon as you spot any signs of the fungus - or to the doctor if you spot signs on yourself. In most cases, they will supply you with a disinfectant shampoo.

How can I protect my pet from ringworm?

 Source: PetMD

It goes without saying that you should not let your pets come into contact with an infected animal, and if your own pet is infected, you should warn others about it so that the fungus will not spread.Although ringworm won't put you or your furry friend in immediate danger, it can be very difficult to remove from your home due to it's ability to survive most conditions.As well as washing yourself and your pets frequently, it is very important to keep your home as clean as possible. To prevent ringworm from settling in your house, you should remember to vacuum regularly, including carpets, couches and chairs. Washing both your own and your pets' bedding is also recommended.In extreme cases, a house can be fumigated, but this will not be necessary for most people.To find out about other common illnesses your pet might face in autumn, click here.

* * *

At Holidog, we aim to improve the lives of your furry friends. Enjoy your holidays with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in great hands (find a petsitter near you) and spoil them with our monthly subscription box filled with yummy treats and toys (get your free box here). You can count on us!