Can Reptiles get Ringworm?
Ringworm is a common skin infection caused by a fungus. It is not only found in humans – many other animals, including reptiles, can become infected.
What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a contagious skin infection that is caused by a fungus. It is characterised by an itchy rash that appears in the form of rings, hence the name “ringworm”.
Can Reptiles Get Ringworm?
Yes, reptiles can contract ringworm. Although it is not as common in reptiles as it is in mammals and birds, if a reptile has a weakened immune system it can be prone to infection. The fungus that causes ringworm can be found in the soil, so reptiles that have been exposed to contaminated soil have an increased risk of infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Ringworm in Reptiles
Unlike in humans, ringworm in reptiles may not appear as a rash. Instead, the most common sign of infection may include:
- Hair loss – the fungus can cause bald patches on the reptile’s skin.
- Skin discolouration – the affected area may be lighter or darker than normal.
- Itching – the reptile may appear to be scratching excessively at the affected area.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes – this is usually a sign of a more severe infection.
Diagnosing and Treating Ringworm in Reptiles
If you suspect that your reptile has ringworm, it is important to take them to the vet for a diagnosis. The vet will take a skin sample to test for the presence of the fungus. The sample may need to be sent to a lab for further analysis.
Treatment for ringworm in reptiles usually involves anti-fungal medication. The vet may also advise you on ways to reduce the risk of reinfection, such as keeping the reptile’s environment clean and ensuring they get plenty of rest.
Although it is not as common as it is in other species, it is possible for reptiles to get ringworm. If you suspect that your reptile has ringworm, it is important to seek veterinary advice and treatment as soon as possible.