Ringworm

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Facial ringworm in a guinea pig caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes

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[1]
  • Trichophyton rubrum[2]
  • 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[3].

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[4].

Topical antifungal washes may assist in speeding up removal of dermatophytes on the coat.

References

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
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