Ringworm in horses is one of the most frequent and contagious skin diseases, which can even affect the human being. Therefore, knowing its phases, making an early diagnosis and preventing transmission will be key in minimizing the impact of the infection.
Ringworm in horses, also called equine dermatophytosis, is an infection of fungal origin It affects the superficial tissues of the skin and hair. The main fungi responsible for the condition are Trichophyton equinum Y Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
The contagion of the animal is produced by direct exposure to the fungus, common in the soil. Also, direct contact with sick people or animals or contaminated objects, especially grooming, are also important infectious foci.
Diagnosis and phases of the disease
Ringworm in horses usually appears in dead skin and scalp cells to form a kind of circular patches prone to alopecia and peeling. The areas of greatest friction with the reins or the saddle are the most susceptible to contagion; They can spread to other areas of the body.
Before the first symptoms of scab, scaling or itching, owners should go to the relevant veterinarian. A Early diagnosis through sampling of tufts near the lesion It will prevent the bodily spread of the fungus, in addition to the risk of infection.
Confirmation through positive fungal culture is the most reliable method, despite requiring specialized laboratory equipment and a growth period of up to 10 days. Therefore, alternatively or complementary a microscopic diagnosis of hairs or a scraping is usually used cutaneous to speed up the process. Both techniques are also frequent in confirming ringworm in other mammals, including humans.
As the infection develops, in addition to pruritus and hair loss, redness and swelling symptoms may occur. Even so, the progress of the lesions will remain foreign, except in cases of maximum severity, to living skin cells and will tend to reduce spontaneously.
Tinea treatment in horses
Despite the importance of an early diagnosis, in conditions of good hygiene, isolation of the animal and disinfection of the facilities, ringworm usually remits on its own. The use of shampoos or veterinary lotions can speed recovery, although its effectiveness varies between some horses and others.
Usually, most affected animals respond positively to washes with enilconazole, even pregnant mares. Tea tree oil, as a natural alternative, can also act as a less aggressive antifungal. In both cases, the dose and frequency of administration should be consulted with the horse specialist.
In addition, the thorough cleaning of surfaces and objects that may have been in contact with the animal. This step will be essential to combat the disease and any risk of infection, as it will eliminate the infectious focus.
Both in the cleaning of the facilities and when applying the topical treatment, the personnel must be sufficiently protected to prevent the transmission of the fungus. Likewise, the use of costumes and disposable material, accompanied by its correct disposal, will be important aspects to be assessed.
Designing an intervention protocol that guarantees the isolation of the affected animal and the safety of other animals and people will help to remit the condition. Therefore, although ringworm in horses has a relatively high rate of onset, its symptoms do not have to be complicated if you act in a thorough and persistent manner.