Fungus in cattle: Where does it come from, and how do we prevent and treat it?

By: Hirchell LeClair

December 2022

A common battle that cattle showmen face this time of year is fighting ringworm in their projects. Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin. It is more prevalent in cattle that are barned or kept together in confinement during the winter months and is less prevalent in the summer.

Keeping your cattle’s skin and hair coat healthy is crucial during the winter months. Providing your calf with the nutrition it needs is the first step. When your calf’s skin and hair is dry or lacking in the natural oils necessary to keep it in top condition, they become more susceptible to ringworm. Adding a product like Stamina to your ration during the winter months will help you achieve healthy skin and hair with your project naturally.

The second step is incorporating products into your daily haircare program that are heavier or have a higher concentration of natural and essential oils, which will help rehydrate your calf’s skin and hair after rinsing and washing.

Always keep an eye out for the circular signs of ringworm, and try to catch it before it evolves into a complete outbreak. Ringworm is very contagious. It is spread through bodily contact with an infected animal or through contact with objects used on the infected animal. Halters, combs and blower hose nozzles are some of the most common spreaders of ringworm. As such, it is crucial to use an antifungal spray or dip on any objects that are shared regularly.

There are several antifungal products available on the market that aid in the treatment and prevention of ringworm in livestock. For any of these products to work, however, you must first remove the crust or scales covering the infected area. When coming in contact with the infected area, always wear rubber gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward, as it is easily transmitted to humans.

In my experience, I have found that it is much easier to prevent and stop ringworm by being proactive instead of trying to combat an outbreak that has already taken over your barn. With this in mind, take action against ringworm now – you won’t regret it.