Ringworm in Animals: Signs, Treatment & Control
Ringworm in animals can be a problem but is not life threatening. Since it can be transferred to humans from animals you need to be careful when dealing with animals that have ringworm. Proper cleaning of all equipment and pens is a must to keep it under control and to prevent your animals from getting ringworm.
What is Ringworm?
-Caused by a infection by the fungus Trichophyton verrucosum.
-A spore-forming fungus that can live through extreme temperatures and environment
-These spores can live for years even if they don't infect the cattle in the barn
Clinical Signs of Ringworm in animals?
-Grey-white areas of skin that look ash like
-Usually circular and slightly raised
-Usually around the eyes, ears and back in calves
-Adult cattle is usually on the chest and legs
-Liquids can come from affected area
-Scabs on affected area
-Hairless areas where the affected area is
-Attacks young and old animals usually
Diagnosis of Ringworm?
-Watch for clinical signs
-Culture the skin to determine the type of fungus
Treatment for Ringworm in animals?
-Usually heals itself with time but can take up to 9 months
-Some sprays can be used but most are expensive
-Blu-kote spray can be used and is inexpensive
-Environment is major source of infective fungi so proper cleaning and disinfecting is a must
-This needs to be done between each group of calves
-Vaccinating can reduce the number of animals infected with ringworm but usually not that effective on most farms unless you have a major problem
-Can spread to humans so proper washing of hands and cleaning of equipment is critical
Ringworm in animals is not a life threatening disease.Since ringworm can be transferred to humans it needs to kept under control. Since it usually needs to just run its course and cure itself there is not much that we can do most of the time. Some products have been shown to help. The big problem with ringworm is that it can live in buildings for years even if it is not showing in your cattle. Proper cleaning is a must to keep your animals from getting it and keeping it out of your herd in the first place.
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