What does ringworm look like on cattle?

Some may begin to grow or show signs of a common fungal skin condition known ringworm as cattle get settled into their winter quarters. This condition may hamper productivity, transmit to other species, and could spread to humans, making it a possible zoonosis.

In houses, the fungal infection caused primarily by Trichopyton verrucosum can persist for weeks, and cattle become infected by physical interaction. The effect is lesions that develop around the eyes or the forequarter of domestic animals with skin problems and related markings of the circle pattern that develop.

Due to lack of exposure and immunity, young animals are more vulnerable to the disease, with the resulting financial damage associated with low rates of growth, itching, and lethargy, and skin damage.

Ringworm fungus creates spores that are immune to ordinary washing, so it is essential that sheds are cleaned properly to eliminate spores utilizing approved detergents.

Preventative measures can be handled with the use of medication and sanitation, but there is only one medication that is approved to address the problem when an issue arose. The name of the medication is Imaverol (Enilconazole), and it comes in a small water-diluted container. To clear up an issue, the dilution needs to be scrubbed or poured onto the affected areas (two to 3 times). During this method, be careful to wear gloves to avoid interaction with the areas contaminated.

The use of holly bushes can allow animals to scratch themselves. However, its success is not proven. The use of waste oil is not suggested because other animals that contribute to illness can cause infection and can be licked off.

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin and hair with keratin. It is normal for cattle and sheep to be infected, but it can infect other animals, including men and horses. Thus, a possible zoonotic disease is a ringworm. During the housing phase, clinical symptoms are also seen in the winter. Circular lesions, with a powdery surface and scarce hair, are characteristically grey-white. Lesions can, particularly around the edges, be slightly raised and swollen.

With scales, significant lesions may become enlarged and leave the skin rough, bleeding when the feathery lesion is extracted. In infected animals, lesions do not usually cause pain or systemic signs. In cattle, infection occurs most often in calves and young herds, where lesions are seen mostly around the eyes, ears, and neck. In cattle, lesions are less rare and are seen when the disease is brought into a naïve herd, such as through the acquisition of new stock. Additionally, since immunity is not long-lived, if subjected to a heavy risk from young stock, adults may develop clinical signs.

Very little information is available on immunity to ringworm infection, but it appears that re-infection after the natural infection is rare. For months, if not years, the spores of ringworm fungi will remain contagious in the farm ecosystem. Wild animals, purchased-in stocks that incubate the disease, or animals coming from livestock shows may carry in new infections. The time of incubation is between one and four weeks.

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