Things to know about Ringworm in Knoxville, TN
Ringworm in Knoxville, TN is not a parasite that crawls out of the soil. It is in fact a fungus that can spread from animal to animal, cats and dogs, and even humans.
Ringworm can be spread through direct contact, but it can also contaminate combs, brushes, food bowls, furniture, bedding, carpets and other surfaces and lay dormant for up to 18 months.
As with humans, it affects mostly the young, old, and infirmed. The Dermatophyte feeds on the keratin in skin, nails, and hair. It produces a circular red rash and while it isn’t critical in and of itself, it can cause a variety of symptoms that transition to other skin conditions.
Because ringworm is so contagious, it’s important to speak with your veterinary practice if you notice any of the following symptoms.
- Red, itchy or scaly patches (raised areas of skin)
- Blisters or pustules on the lesions
- Reddish, ring-like appearance to the outside edges of the lesions
- Raised, defined edges of the lesions
- Thick, discolored, cracked nails
- Hair loss and bald patches on the scalp
These symptoms can be found in other conditions so it’s important to bring your animal in to get the appropriate tests.
The first thing is a physical exam of the affected area. By itself it isn’t one hundred percent effective, but it will allow the staff to determine what other tests they need to perform.
An UV light called a Wood’s lamp may be employed to “see” the yellow-green fluorescence that may be present on the hairs when ringworm is expected. Again, this is not always reliable in and of itself.
Microscopic examination of hairs from your pet, or a culture taken from the hair or skin scrapings may be necessary, and additional testing may be recommended to rule out other causes of the rash, infections, and skin diseases.
Ringworm is usually treated with topical therapy, such as oils, creams, ointment, or special shampoos. I can be combined with oral antifungals which, like an antibiotic, need to be taken for the full time prescribed.
The prescribed medication usually clears up the issue within 6 weeks, but depending on your pets age and health, longer treatment may be required. It is generally believed to be cleared when two consecutive tests come back negative.
Decontamination is key to getting rid of the problem. As noted above, the fungi can lay dormant for up to 18 months.
- Vacuuming floors, carpets and furniture daily that are accessible to your pet (including underneath the beds and couches)
- Washing down surfaces and mopping floors with a good cleaning product
- Sanitizing any surfaces your pet been in contact with using a bleach solution including food and water bowls and litter boxes
- Restricting your pet to areas of the house that are easy to clean, such as rooms with tiles or floorboards
- Washing and sanitizing your hands thoroughly
- Sanitizing other contaminated household items such as your pet’s brush, clothing, towels and bedding.
It's so important to speak with us if you notice any of the symptoms. Give us a call at (865) 357-1838 so we can keep your pet and your home fungus free in Knoxville, TN.