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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Dermatophytosis in Pigs, Sheep, and Goats

By Sandra R. Merchant, DVM, DACVD, Professor of Dermatology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University


Dermatophytosis in pigs is usually caused by Microsporum nanum. Lesions are rings of inflammation or brown discoloration that spread centrifugally up to a diameter of 6 cm. Lesions are fairly asymptomatic in adults, and ringworm in swine is generally of little economic consequence. Zoonotic infections in farm workers are not common.

Ringworm is a common, troublesome problem in show lambs but is otherwise uncommon in production flocks of sheep and goats. The infecting species include M canis, M gypseum, and Trichophyton verrucosum. Lesions in lambs are most often noticed on the head, but widespread lesions under the wool may be apparent when lambs are sheared for show, or may develop later as a consequence of contamination from clippers at shearing. Infected lambs should not be issued certificates for transport to show until the infection is cleared. Because there is little evidence that lambs with a functional rumen absorb griseofulvin to effective levels, treatment is best accomplished with sodium hypochlorite solutions or enilconazole rinses (where available). In healthy lambs, as in other species, these infections are self-limiting, but resolution may not be evident in time for show purposes.