The term ringworm refers to fungal infestations that are on the surface of the skin. Even though the name suggests that this is a disease caused by a worm, ringworm is actually a fungi that produce round spots on the skin.
It can occur in pets and people of all ages, but it is particularly common in children. It causes a scaly, crusted rash that may itch, and often makes a pattern in the shape of a ring.
In cats and dogs, common symptoms include: skin lesions that typically appear on the head, ears and forelimbs. It can cause flaky bald patches that sometimes look red in the center.
Cats with moderate fungal infestation may show localized areas of redness or simply dandruff, while more severe infections can spread over a cat’s entire body.
Cats can contract the fungus directly through contact with an infected animal, or indirectly through contact with contaminated bedding, dishes, toys and other objects. Your veterinarian can perform tests and determine if your cat has been infected by this fungi.
Healthy cats that contract this infection will, in most cases, recover within a few months, which will not require additional treatment. If the symptoms persist or aggravate you must take your cat to the Vet. Your veterinarian will prescribe a shampoo or ointment that contains an anti-fungal. In severe cases, oral medications may be necessary.
In addition to treating your cat you will need to treat your cat's environment too, this will help to prevent infestation from recurring. Make sure you wash your cat's bedding and toys, dispose of any item that cannot be disinfected, and vacuum your house frequently.
Ringworm is contagious and can be passed on from pets to people and from person to person, by contact with infected skin areas, by sharing personal care items, public surfaces, and contaminated soil. This fungus lives on dead tissue of the skin and it is common to have several areas of the body with the fungus at once.
If you notice such spots around your body, be sure to visit your doctor. Your doctor will determine if you in fact has the fungus and the best way to treat such fungal infestation.
Prevention is quiet simple, simply minimize sweat and moisture, do not share personal items, wear sandals or shoes in gyms, locker rooms, and at pools. You should also avoid touching pets that have bald spots.
"A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather." - Judith Merkle Riley
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