Ringworm – Dermatophytosis

Your pet has just been diagnosed with ringworm. This disease is caused by a mushroom that your pet may have contracted in his environment or by contact with an infected animal. It’s possible that there may be no visible lesions. It’s important that you know that ringworm is also contagious to humans.


Even though ringworm often disappears without treatment, it is preferable to pursue topical treatments to reduce environmental contamination and oral treatments (by mouth) to accelerate healing.


Anti-Fungals given by mouth such as Sporanax, Itraconazole, etc. can have the following side–effects; loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. The label’s directions should be closely followed.


You should also bathe your pet with Imaverol twice a week for at least 6 weeks. To do so, you must spray your entire pet with a diluted solution of Imaverol and vigorously rub the haircoat to insure that the skin is completely wet. If your pet has long hair it may be preferable to shave your pet. Make sure to store any remaining solution in a dry cool place and away from the light. Do not rinse your pet once you’ve applied the solution. Once the product has been diluted, the solution is non-irritating and your pet can lick himself without any problem. However, pregnant women should not touch the solution.

To lower the quantity of spores in the environment, you can vacuum once a week everywhere, for a couple of weeks (do not forget to remove the vacuum bag and change it). Surfaces that can tolerate it can be disinfected with javel-bleach 1/10 ratio (meaning 1 part javel with 9 parts water). It is important to note that unfortunately the spores can survive up to a year and a half in the environment. Therefore it is possible that you and your pet become re-infected.


To confirm a complete recovery, we need to do 2-3 fungal cultures every two weeks, one month after the beginning of treatment. These tests need to have a negative result before stopping treatment.


Depending on your pet’s age and health condition, it’s preferable that blood work be performed to check the liver enzymes since some oral medications can be potentially toxic. If you have other pets you should also have them tested even if they have no skin lesions because they may be asymptomatic carriers. Even if their test result is negative, they will still need to be treated for 6 weeks though they will not need to have a fungal culture control done.