Fungi are organisms that live on organic matter. They can be unicellular like yeast or multicellular like mushrooms. Many fungi are good for animals, but some fungi can grow in or on the body and cause infections.
Ringworm occurs in all animals with fur, including hedgehogs. It is caused in hedgehogs by the fungus Trychophyton erinacei. Ringworm is a zoonosis and can therefore be transmitted from animals to humans. Good hygiene is therefore very important, because you can also get a ringworm infection from an infected hedgehog. Do not use materials that have been used on an infected hedgehog on a healthy animal. Then you prevent another hedgehog from becoming infected as well. Use gloves to handle a hedgehog with ringworm or if you have an infection yourself and want to avoid infecting animals. A ringworm infection starts around the head and later spreads to the legs, specifically the toenails and toe pads. Common symptoms are:
- Bare, round, reddish swollen patches; healing and hair growth can occur in the middle, resulting in circular baldness. This is why ringworm also gets its name.
- Contamination all over the body
- Itching of legs, head and trunk
- Not much appetite
- Weight loss
- Yellow bulges on the ears
- Loss of spines, resulting in bald spots
Secondary bacterial infections can also occur due to a weakened resistance, which can cause serious skin infections in the animals. Treatment against the fungus is done with creams, tablets or washing with Imeverol.