With so many parasites out there, it is tempting to lump ringworm in the same category as hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. Despite its name, however, ringworm is not actually a worm—it is a fungus. Ringworm is highly contagious to humans, especially to children, the elderly and the immunocompromised. This highly contagious disease is the most common fungal skin infection and can cause patchy, circular areas of hair loss with central red rings. Ringworms can live in the environment for more than a year and often spread to people and other animals in the house. Cats can develop ringworm after contact with an infected animal or with bedding, dishes, grooming tools, furniture, or other objects contaminated with the skin cells or hair of an infected animal. All cats are susceptible to ringworms, however kittens, geriatric cats, longhaired cats, and those with a compromised immune system are particularly vulnerable. Pets have an increased chance of contracting ringworm from environments that are densely populated with animals, like an animal shelter or kennel. Pets with illness or a weak immune system are also at risk for ringworm.
There are a number of options to effectively treat ringworm, depending on the severity of the lesions. For natural support we would suggest using Felimm, Ouch Away, BK Detox, PetOmega 3 and All Clear Ointment to help manage the symptoms of ringworms.
- Felimm contains great herbs that are known to help fight and control the damaging effects of fungal, viral and bacterial infections. It is essential to help boost your cat’s immune system in order to fight infections. Felimm contains herbs like turmeric: which acts as a powerful topical antibacterial agent, and helps kill fungal infections on the surface of the skin and burdock, which helps to treat inflammatory skin disorders due to fungal infections.
- Ouch Away is a popular product designed to help ease your pet’s suffering by calming symptoms that accompany skin disorders using a gentle herbal blend of chamomile, aloe vera, rosemary, and natural oils. These ingredients work in powerful conjunction to soothe irritated skin, stimulate hair regrowth, and bolster a weakened immune system.
- BK Detox – a natural blood cleanser, BK Detox helps detoxify the body naturally, and contains a blend of powerful herbs like Neem (known for its effecting healing and disinfectant properties for skin disease) to help your pet fight ringworms.
- PetOmega – Omega 3 oils are often recommended by holistic veterinarians to help with skin and coat condition.
- All Clear Ointment – a natural ointment (that is safe if your pet licks it) contains Echinacea Angustifolia, marigold, and goldenseal, which are all very helpful against fungal infections.
Symptoms of Ringworms in Cats and Dogs
• skin lesions on the face, ear tips, tail, and feet
• bald scaly patches with broken hairs in ring-like whirls
• scabs from secondary infection
• dry, cracked, brittle nails
Additional Support for Your Pet with Ringworms
While there is not much you can do to prevent these conditions, there are a number of other actions that you can take to prevent you and your family from catching the infection:
- Regularly clean pet blankets and other bedding from your cat or dog’s quarters
- Regularly dispose of any hairs from your pet’s grooming brush
- Remove skin cells and hair from your home by regularly vacuuming the house
- Disinfect other common areas of the house where your pets tend to live
Read more about ringworms from Pet Expert Dr. Hilary Cook on the NHV blog.