Friday, 30 September 2016

All About ... Ringworm




What is it

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin which is highly contagious.  It can transfer to humans.


Signs

  • Tufts of raised hair - these may be circular 
  • Hair falls out about 10 days after infection 
  • Hair loss leaves moist lesions which may be spotted with blood 
  • May be scabs 
  • Itching

Sites are usually on the head, girth and shoulders.


Causes

Fungus is spread in many ways. 
  • Flies, mosquitoes or other biting insects 
  • Contaminated boots, clothing, grooming kit, tack, from a person 
  • Horse to horse, fences which have been rubbed by an infected horse, by a handler

 
 Diagnosis

Ringworm can look similar to rainscald and other skin conditions so it is important to be vigilant.  A skin scraping can be taken which will be examined under a microscope for the ringworm spores.  




Treatment

Horses are contagious for 3 weeks from time of infection.  Therefore it is vital to follow biosecurity measures to avoid spreading it further.  Isolation, do not share grooming brushes, tack, clothing etc.  Do not touch a healthy horse after touching an infected horse.  Do not turn out together.   

Once scabs and scurfy skin has been removed an anti-fungal solution can be applied - this may need to be reapplied several times.  All surfaces will need treating with an anti-fungal solution to totally eradicate the infection.

Horses with ringworm are not permitted to compete. 


Prevention

Isolate new horses for 2-3 weeks.  If you suspect ringworm on another horse isolate immediately and implement biosecurity (hygiene) measures.

Have you seen this week's video 'Big Autumn Clear Out ... Day 2'  on my You Tube channel.   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

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