Ringworm is a fungal infection of the hair, nails, and skin. It is possible for all domesticated species of animals and humans to get ringworm infections. The infection usually consists of round, red, raised markings in the shape of a ring.
Ringworm is not actually caused by worms. The infection comes from a specialized group of fungi called dermatophytes. Some dermatophytes can only infect one species, while others can infect different species and humans.
Ringworm is transmitted when there is direct contact with the fungus. It can be passed by contact with contaminated surfaces and objects or direct contact with an infected animal or person. Your animal could also pick up these fungi by direct contact with the soil. However, contact does not always lead to an infection.
Once ringworm is diagnosed by a veterinarian, it is treated with ointments, creams, and/or shampoos and anti-fungal drugs. Ringworm contamination must be eliminated for the treatment to work. For example, separating pets, removing pet hair from furniture or floors, damp mopping, and vacuuming, and using bleach where it is practical to use it.
Enchanted Cat Café has spoken to multiple cat cafés, shelters, rescues, and veterinarians about ringworm over the past year. While ringworm is not life-threatening and does not cause any extreme harm to humans and animals, it is quite contagious and requires a weeks-long treatment process that must be followed through. Enchanted Cat Café has a ringworm detection protocol that occurs daily which includes the use of blacklight to detect any signs of it as well as continuous cleaning. This protocol is also part of our intake process. There are a lot of negative connotations associated with this fungus and although it spreads easily, it is also easy to treat and eradicate if done properly.