Woods lamp examination

When checking animals for dermatophytosis (ringworm) we often will examine them under a special type of ultraviolet light called a Wood’s lamp. 50% of strains of Microsporum canis, the most common cause of ringworm in cats, will show the infected hairs fluoresce apple green under this lamp.

Ringworm-Woods-LampWe still have to rely on fungal culture to confirm the diagnosis, but the lamp does have its place in checking animals which are known to be infected with a fluorescing strain and we can start treatment immediately if a case is positive as it may take up to 2-3 weeks to rule out a suspected case based on fungal culture.

Here is a rather blurred photo of a cat infected with Microsporum canis showing the bright apple green fluorescence of the infected hairs.

To function properly the lamp has to warm up over 5 minutes and examination has to take place in a darkened room.

If you’ve noticed skin or ear problems in your pet, it’s vital that you contact specialised veterinary professionals before symptoms worsen. To book an appointment with our small animal skin and ear experts, simply call us below or email us on dgb@dermvet.co.uk.


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April 2024. There is currently a 6-8 week waiting time, depending upon whether the case is surgical, before new cases can be seen.