Ringworm results in a skin condition termed as Dermatophytosis. Contrary to its name, the disorder is neither caused by a ring shaped worm nor is the lesion in the shape of a ring. Ringworm is a disorder that is caused by fungi, which can be cultured from the fur of pet dogs and cats. The infected animals will act as carriers of the disease. The infection can be transmitted both to other animals and also to human beings who come into contact with them. However, just because a pet has a problem, a person need not necessarily develop the disease. Ringworm infections are mainly of three types. Microsporum canis is an important species of ringworm that is mostly found in cats. It is most commonly spotted in longhaired cat species. Microsporum gypseum is that kind of ringworm found in dogs and cats that always dig into contaminated soil. Trichophyton mentagrophytes is another of the dermatophytes species, which infects dogs and cats when they come into direct contact with rodents or their burrows.
The initial symptom of ringworm is rapid hair fall generally in small patches. Gradually, these patches appear all over the body of the animal. The irritated animal will scratch the affected part due to itchiness. If the hair loss is first spotted either at the face or legs, be sure, ringworms present in contaminated soil has resulted it.
Topical shampoo therapy is the prescribed treatment in most cases. Before the treatment it is wise to uniformly cut short the fur of longhaired pets. Effective therapy will remove infected hair follicles and will thus prevent the disease from being transmitted to other animals. Application of anti-fungal creams in the infected area is also found to be beneficial. Such creams will remove discrete lesions of the disease made on the skin of the animal. Oral anti-fungal medications are used rarely since they are likely to cause side effects.