Ringworm is a common zoonotic skin disease of guinea pigs worldwide and is usually associated with poor husbandry and overcrowding.
Fungi which are pathogenic to cavies include:
- Trichophyton mentagrophytes mentagrophytes
- Trichophyton verrucosum
- Trichophyton rubrum
- Microsporum canis (dog ringworm)
Clinically affected pigs present with skin lesions usually localized to the face and forelimbs although the entire body may be affected. Lesions are usually of a circular nature, often initiated by minor skin trauma such as biting or scratching and the dermatophyte proliferates in a circular fashion outward form the lesion. Pruritus is usually minimal or absent.
Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs supported with laboratory isolation, culture and identification of the dermatophytes.
Treatment is usually successful but often requires oral medication such as itraconazole, griseofulvin or turbinafine. Itraconazole appears to be the most effective when given at 10 mg/kg once daily for 2 - 4 weeks.
Topical antifungal washes may assist in speeding up removal of dermatophytes on the coat.
- Mikaeili A et al (2012) Antifungal activities of Astragalus verus Olivier. against Trichophyton verrucosum on in vitro and in vivo guinea pig model of dermatophytosis. Mycoses 55(4):318-325
- Chen XJ et al (2008) Establishing an experimental guinea pig model of dermatophytosis Using Trichophyton rubrum. Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao 30(5):599-602
- Majima T et al (2005) A novel mycological analysis valuable for evaluating therapeutic efficacy of antimycotics against experimental dermatophytosis in guinea pigs. Mycoses 48(2):108-113
- Saunte DM et al (2008) Experimental guinea pig model of dermatophytosis: a simple and useful tool for the evaluation of new diagnostics and antifungals. Med Mycol 46(4):303-313