Can Your Dog or Cat Get Ringworm?

Can Your Dog or Cat Get Ringworm?

This fungal pores and skin illness is often related to people, however it might probably have an effect on canines and cats too. Though ugly, it may be handled with typical medicine and/or various cures.

Ringworm is a pores and skin illness that has been round for over 5,000 years in people. But it additionally happens in various animals, together with canines and cats. This article digs underneath the floor of this situation to disclose its causes, indicators and signs, and the way it may be handled, each conventionally and holistically.


Despite its title, ringworm is definitely a fungus. It additionally happens solely on the pores and skin, and never within the GI tract like most actual worms. There are about 40 varieties of fungus that may trigger ringworm in numerous species, all belonging to a bunch referred to as the “dermatophytes”.

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A extra scientific title for ringworm is dermatophytosis, however you don’t hear that time period usually. In people, fungal infections of the pores and skin are additionally referred to as “tinea”, adopted by a reputation indicating the place the an infection is (e.g. Tinea corporis for ringworm on the physique).

Ringworm seems a lot the identical regardless of which fungus is inflicting it. In truth, that is the place the title got here from, as a result of in people, the fungus varieties a pink ring on the pores and skin with some flakiness inside. Dogs often have a number of spherical, crusty areas, whereas in cats the world is flaky, and might be both spherical or extra irregular in form. In animal, nevertheless, it’s much less widespread to see a hoop across the patches.


Ringworm is mostly seen in younger canines and cats; in careworn or sick animals residing in crowded circumstances (particularly animal shelters); and in animals affected by an immune deficiency. There isn’t any good solution to inform when a kitten or pet is growing ringworm earlier than it reveals up as a number of spots on the pores and skin. So an apparently wholesome younger animal can develop ringworm quickly after being introduced dwelling from the shelter.


Ringworm is unfold by direct contact with animals or people who’ve ringworm, and by contact with ringworm spores from contaminated hair and dandruff, or something that is available in contact with these supplies (e.g. collars, brushes, garments, rugs, couches, grime, mud, and many others.). The spores are infectious for a yr or longer.

Both canines and cats, particularly longhaired cats, will also be ringworm carriers, which implies they don’t present any indicators of pores and skin issues however are harboring the fungus on their hair.


Treatment for ringworm is similar regardless of which fungus is inflicting it. Healthy animals can usually eliminate an an infection in about three weeks with out remedy, however they are going to be shedding infectious materials all through that point. So to forestall the unfold of ringworm to folks and different animals within the family, it’s best to deal with the issue as quickly as a analysis of ringworm is made.

As lengthy because the animal is principally wholesome, pure therapies utilized to the ringworm spots can work properly. If the canine or cat’s immune system shouldn’t be working properly, you might want to make use of each typical and pure therapies. Keep in thoughts that suspected ringworm carriers must also be handled, to assist forestall unfold of the illness.


Conventional treatment can embrace oral medicine, ointment, and medicated selenium-based shampoo.


  • Vinegar has been used for 1000’s of years for ringworm, and its effectiveness has been verified by present analysis. Paint the hairless areas 3 times a day. You can use a cotton ball or cotton-tipped applicator to use it.
  • One drop of grapefruit seed extract (not grapeseed extract) in a single tablespoonful of water will also be used, utilized twice a day.
  • Aloe vera utilized to the spot one to a few occasions a day may go, though not as constantly.
  • Other cures comparable to crushed garlic, turmeric, or important oils, blended with coconut oil or olive oil, can work as topical purposes, however they’re messy and might stain furnishings and rugs. The handled space often must be bandaged.


  • When treating a canine or cat contaminated with ringworm, it’s additionally necessary to completely vacuum carpets and furnishings, and wash bedding and clothes.
  • Always put on gloves when treating ringworm in your animal, so you don’t expose your self.
  • If the spots have numerous crustiness or thick flakes, gently scrub as you apply the remedy.
  • You should preserve treating ringworm till regular hair begins rising again. This can take as much as three weeks or extra.


All varieties are of ringworm are identified the identical approach. About 50% of instances will fluoresce inexperienced underneath ultraviolet gentle from a Wood’s lamp. If there isn’t a fluorescence, hairs might be plucked from the world and checked by a microscope for the fungus itself, though it’s not at all times straightforward to seek out contaminated hairs.

Another solution to examine for ringworm is to scrape off flakes or elements of the crust and tradition them to see if one of many fungi grows. It can take as much as two weeks for development to happen. Some labs may do a sooner PCR check to check for ringworm DNA, if crusts or flakes are despatched to them for evaluation.


In canines, and cats, ringworm is often attributable to a fungus referred to as Microsporum canis. “Canis” means “canine”, however about 98% of instances in cats are attributable to M. canis in comparison with 70% of instances in canines. The second commonest reason for ringworm in canines is Microsporum gypseum, whereas about 10% of instances in canines come up from Trichophyton mentagrophytes. T. mentagrophytes can also be the second-most widespread reason for ringworm in people, and might trigger the illness in cats as properly.

If you think your canine or cat might have ringworm, take him to the vet for a analysis earlier than it spreads to the remainder of your human and animal household. Properly handled, it ought to clear up inside a month.

A graduate of veterinary drugs on the University of California, Davis, Dr. Nancy Scanlan has used nutraceuticals since 1969. She grew to become licensed in acupuncture by IVAS in 1987 and adopted up with schooling in chiropractic, Chinese herbs, Western herbs, and homotoxicology. This led to 16 years as the one holistic practitioner in a 7-person observe. After retiring from observe, Dr. Scanlan served as govt director of the AHVMA for 3 years earlier than moving into her present position as govt director of the AHVM Foundation. Dr. Scanlan is a marketing consultant, creator of a textual content on complementary drugs for veterinary technicians, and author and lecturer about complementary and various veterinary drugs. She is presently enrolled in a masters diploma program on integrative most cancers remedy on the University of South Florida’s medical college.

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