Ringworm isn’t actually a worm at all, but a form of fungal infection.

Ringworm is a fungal infection that appears on the epidermis, the outermost layers of skin, the hair and the nails. There are three types of ringworm. Those that love soil (geophilic), those that love us humans (anthrophilic), and those that love our pets (zoophilic).

 SIGNS OF RINGWORM 

There are two different signs for ringworm in pets:

• A rapidly expanding patch of inflamed, scaly skin. The lesion can be circular or irregular and involves hair loss. This is most commonly found in puppies and kittens.

• More generally, ringworm can affect large areas of the body, causing pustules and inflamed skin in these infected parts.

Some cats can have ringworm without showing any outward signs, however dogs will most commonly always show signs of an infection.

 DIAGNOSIS 

• UV lights can be used to detect a ringworm infection. Hair clippings held under the light will appear fluorescent green if infected. While this is a useful way to diagnose it is not 100% accurate as not all infections will appear.

• Skin biopsy and microscopic exams can be a better way to diagnose ringworm, especially in pets with no outward signs of infection.

• A fungal culture can be created by growing spores in a culture medium. Results for this method may take several weeks to yield.

 TREATMENT 

If left untreated, ringworm infections are most likely to start remission after a few months, however it is recommended that treatment be sought as infections in pets can often be transferred to their humans and other animals.

Additionally, in conjunction with medical treatment, special medicated shampoos (such as MALASEB) can assist in the management of fungal infections such as ringworm