Equine ringworm is a common skin condition and just like in humans, dogs and cats, ringworm in horses is also caused by a fungus. Ringworm can spread from horses to other animals and humans especially through sharing of brushes etc. In this guide, we will show you ringworm in horses images and also discuss how long to treat this skin disease for complete resolution.
Ringworm in horses: how does equine ringworm look?
As is the case in humans and domesticated animals like dogs and cats, ringworm in horses appears as a raised scaly patch that causes hair fall. The circular rash also appears to spread leaving a clearing in the center. The horse might appear anxious owing to the itchiness, burning or tingling sensation caused by the ringworm.
Typical clinical signs of ringworm in horses include:
- Skin lesions
- Red raised scaly patches with hair-fall
- Large flakes of dandruff
- Coat appears scruffy
If left untreated, the skin lesions can spread to healthy parts of the body and also impact other horses. Here are some ringworm in horses images:
Treatment of ringworm in horses: how long to treat the affected horse?
In healthy horses, ringworm is self limiting. Small lesions typically resolve on their own in a few days.Larger skin patches might take up to 3 months for healing.In the mean time, care must be taken to prevent the infection from spreading to other horses or even to humans.
- Clip the excess hair in the region. This is necessary so that the ringworm medicine touches the infected parts and becomes more effective. Clipping the hair also limits the keratin protein on which the ringworm-fungus feeds.
- Most common and effective treatment for ringworm in horses is the use of antifungal shampoo for bathing. Use the shampoo as directed 2-3 times a week. Follow the treatment for at least 3-4 weeks, longer if possible.
- Another cost effective ringworm treatment in horses is the use of Betadine solution. Apply the solution on the circular patches twice a day. Most horses need this treatment for 4-5 days. Betadine solution can stain, so use gloves while applying it.
- Your vet might also prescribe Nolvasan scrub for ringworm in horses. Apply the scrub until it foams and leave it in the skin for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing with a wet sponge.
- After bathing or treating the horse with medication, you can follow up with apple cider vinegar rinse or white vinegar rinse. This is a highly effective remedy for getting rid of equine ringworm and also prevent recurrence.
- Towel dry the horse after bathing. Alternatively, let the horse air dry. Wash the used towels immediately.
- Also make sure to wash the horse’s saddle, tacks and rugs which the infected horse has come in contact with. You can wash these items in hot water or apply betadine solution all over them. You can also soak the leatherwear, saddle and rugs in formaldehyde solution to contain the infection.
- Do not use the infected horses’ brushes to groom other horses. This is an essential ringworm prevention step to prevent re-infecting the horse and also curb it from spreading.
- Make sure you wash the wooden floors and stalls occupied by the horse using a disinfecting solution. This is necessary to contain the fungi which live on surfaces in the horse’s environment.
- Keep the ringworm lesions dry. Expose the horse to sun, where possible, since the fungus thrives in dark, humid areas that do not get adequate sunshine.
At the first sign of ringworm in the horse, call your vet immediately even if the horse does not appear restless or edgy. This is important to curb the spread of the infection. In event the ringworm does spread, the treatment might require oral antifungal medicines. The chances of the infection spreading to humans and other healthy horses are also higher. So, it is imperative to start treatment immediately.
Monitor the horse’s situation from time to time. If the lesions appear to worsen or spread, talk to your vet. In some cases, what might seem like ringworm in horses might actually be some other skin disease such as Urticaria or rain scald. In such a case, re-evaluation may be required.