Dermatophytosis, or ringworm, is the most-common fungal skin infection in cats.
It is caused by fungus which invades the outer dead layers of the skin, claws and hair.
It is most common in areas of high humidity and temperatures, and usually causes a circular-like lesion on pets' skin.
Ringworm is extremely contagious to cats, dogs and humans.
Pets can become infected with ringworm either by direct contact with an infected animal or via the environment. This can include contaminated bedding, grooming equipment, carpet, furniture and soil.
The spores are attached to the hairs, which are shed into the environment and can remain infective for up to 18 months.
Symptoms usually appear two weeks after exposure, with the most recognisable sign that your pet is infected with ringworm being circular patches of rough, scaly skin with a red outline and broken hairs or bald patches.
These can be found most-often on the head, limbs and tail, however any part of the body can be affected. Claws may also present as easily broken, flaky, crusted or malformed.
Once your pet has been diagnosed with ringworm, it is imperative to treat both the pet and the environment. If you have a number of pets at home, all the pets will need to be treated and confined to one area to avoid spreading spores around the home.
Treatment involves frequent saturation and washing of your pet with a prescribed anti-fungal solution over many weeks.
Gloves need to be worn whenever you are handling a pet with ringworm.
It is imperative that all clothing, carpets, floors, bedding and soft furnishings are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Ringworm infection in humans is not typically of major concern.
However, it is best to speak with your doctor if you suspect you or a family member have a suspicious-looking skin lesion.