WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Signs of ringworm in animals
LOCAL veterinarians have seen a surge in ringworm cases.
The fungal infection, which results in hair loss and itchy, scaly skin, can be spread from cats and dogs to people.
Passionate Vetcare co-owner Kellie Anset said there had been a “huge” increase in generalised cases, and about two to three times the number of localised lesions in recent months.
“We’ve seen a significant increase,” she said.
“There have been quite a few cases in dogs, which we rarely see.
“Cats have probably been the main species that have been diagnosed but there has recently been a significant increase in dogs requiring treatment.
“I wouldn’t call it an outbreak, but there has definitely been an increase.”
Ms Anset said there were six cases of animals requiring lesion treatment in the past two months, compared to 18 cases in the previous 12 months
Three pets have also needed treatment for generalised lesions in the past two months, which followed only one case in the previous 12 months.
She said warm weather may have helped spread the infections.
“I guess because it’s contagious, the weather has been reasonably nice, perhaps it’s passing from one animal to another,” Ms Anset said.
“If it’s colder, pets probably wouldn’t be socialising as much.”
A staff member at the Williamson Street Veterinary Clinic said diseases in animals was generally increasing as pet ownership grew.
Bendigo Animal Hospital vet Max Tori said the clinic had not seen a major spike in cases, but said staff had treated several pets with infections.
“Humans can get it as well,” he said.
“It can transfer from dogs and cats to humans.
“If you’re getting little red patches that are itchy, check your animals and get yourself to a doctor.”
Vets encourage people to take preventative measures to prevent infections in their pets.