Ringworm

Ringworm is one of the major infections hedgehogs suffer with. It can and will spread to humans so always wear rubber gloves when handling hedgehogs with suspected ringworm.

It is a long term treatment and frequently needs several courses of treatment

 A hedgehog with ringworm scabsTo start with it is important to gently soften the scabs so that the underlying infection is exposed, we use either Almond oil with a few drops of Tea tree oil to soften it or “Thursday Plantation Tea Tree cream” dropped directly onto the scabs and they normally fall off in a couple of days. Brush off loose skin and spines with a soft toothbrush but brush in the direction of the spines not against them. Most hedgehogs find this quite soothing and it relaxes them and enables treatment to be carried out very easily.

The standard treatment is to then bathe in IMAVEROL solution every 3 or 4 days, for 4 baths.

Along with the baths we have found that using one of the over-the-counter Anti-Fungals from the local Pharmacy in conjunction with the baths works very well.

Do not use oral antifungal treatments like Grisovin as that causes quite severe liver problems in hedgehogs, stays in the system for an extremely long time and is passed on to babies causing congenital deformities

We use a combination of:-

  • Canestan 2% (Clotrimazole) cream

  • Tinaderm (Tolnaftate) cream

  • Daktarin (Miconazole) cream

  • Surolan Ointment ( be very careful as this contains a steroid and thins the skin. Only use on thick crusts and only for a couple of times  until they have been softened ) This is prescription only from a vet

All of these creams are sold for various fungal infections and are usually found in the section of the pharmacy dealing with athletes foot, which is a similar form of fungal infection. (Other brands with the same chemical content may be available in your area so ask the pharmacist)

The creams should be used very sparingly once or twice daily on obvious patches of ringworm, normally on the nose, ears or legs and the underside where the spines meet the stomach where scabs form very frequently.

We always keep all 3 creams and use a different cream every day.

Hedgehog ear after softening the scabs with cream We find that in many minor cases Tea Tree cream from a good health food shop or chemist works as well, if not better than traditional veterinary remedies. (see Hedgehog Research Pages for details)

Using TEA TREE CREAM or one of the anti-fungal creams on the face and ears is better for the hog than trying to wash it with Imaverol.

Be very careful not to get the cream into the eyes or deep into the ears, This also applies to the Imaverol when bathing the hedgehog

We have found that using tea tree cream on the ears and face on alternate days, then dripping Imaverol onto the infected sites works as well as a full bath in cases where the ringworm is not widely spread, such as a small patch on the head or back.

Almost all hogs with severe mite infestation will have ringworm. It is always wise to treat for both.

Hedgehog with missing spines part way through treatmentYou will frequently find that almost all the spines will be lost as shown here, but they do grow back fairly quickly (2 or 3 months normally) and the hedgehog will need to be kept in a secure safe place way from predators while the spines re-grow.

It is vital to also give a very nourishing high protein/fat diet with added vitamins to help build up the hedgehog as ringworm really debilitates the hedgehog. Ask your vet for an injection of Vitamin B12 (Vitbee250) give 0.2 to 0.3ml per kg bodyweight once a week for 3 weeks

%d bloggers like this: