October 2011 Issue

Ringworm: Very Contagious

This is a common fungal infection that can be hard to eradicate — and is easily passed on to humans.

Feline dermatophytosis, commonly referred to as ringworm, is a fungal infection that is frequently observed in cats. The condition occurs worldwide, most commonly in warm, humid climates that are hospitable to the peculiar type of fungus that causes it. In the U.S., the disorder is especially problematic year-round in the deep South, says William Miller, VMD, a professor of dermatology at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and its prevalence can rise markedly in cooler areas of the nation with the arrival of hot and muggy summer weather. The clinical signs of ringworm include areas of hair loss, broken and stubbly hair, patches of scaling, crusty or inflamed skin and alterations in hair color.

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