Creams and ointments
For mild cases, antifungal creams and ointments can be applied directly to the affected areas of your pet’s skin. If the infection is widespread, your vet may prescribe an antifungal shampoo to treat your pet’s entire body. It’s important that you only use ointments and shampoos that have been recommended by your vet, as other products may aggravate the condition.
While ointments can be effective in mild cases, most of the time your pet will also need to take an oral anti-fungal drug to eradicate the infection. Treatment usually needs to be continued for at least six weeks and sometimes longer. When administering oral medication, remember the following:
- Do not abruptly stop treatment, or stop it sooner than recommended, as the infection may recur
- If you have other pets in the house, keep the infected animal separated
- In some cases, it may be best to treat all animals together – your vet will be able to provide a recommendation on this.
Cleaning the house and furniture
As ringworm lives on both skin and hair, it can be easily transmitted by loose hair on carpet or furniture. At the same time as treating your animal for ringworm, it is recommended that you do a thorough clean of your home environment to remove any contaminated hairs.
- Vacuum any carpet or furniture that your pet has contact with (including underneath beds and couches)
- Wash down surfaces with a good cleaning agent
- Restrict your pet to areas of the house that are easy to clean, such as rooms with tiles or floorboards.
It can take up to six weeks for treatment to be effective. During this time, your pet may still be contagious, so it’s important that members of the family (particularly children, the elderly or anyone with a compromised immune system) have minimal contact with the animal.