A Ringworm Cleaning Protocol For Veterinary Exam Rooms

A Ringworm Cleaning Protocol For Veterinary Exam Rooms
12 September 2021

A Ringworm Cleaning Protocol For Veterinary Exam Rooms

A Ringworm Cleaning Protocol For Veterinary Exam Rooms

Dermatophytosis, otherwise known as Ringworm, is a fungal infection that can attack the fur and skin of dogs and cats. Ringworm has a high infection rate because of how easy it is to pass through contact but also fomites. Manhattan Cats found that “50% of people exposed to infected cats develop ringworm lesions and that in approximately 70% of all households with an infected cat, at least one person became infected.”

Cleaning after ringworm to completely remove the chance of infection should involve a 2-step protocol: cleaning to remove hair and material contaminated with ringworm, and disinfecting to remove ringworm spores.

Veterinary clinic

Ringworm Irradication Procedure

1. Ringworm Cleaning Protocol

Discard any porous materials like tissues and wipes into a biohazard bag. Remove non-porous tools to be cleaned and sterilised.

Use an electrostatic cloth to wipe down surfaces and the floor in order to reduce the amount of infected hair present. If you want to use a vacuum cleaner do so but the canister should be emptied and cleaned afterwards along with the nozzle.

Use disinfectant wipes or a liquid detergent to clean surfaces, countertops, keyboards, seats, and other areas.

Discard all cleaning materials, or dispose of cloths to be washed and sterilised.

2. Ringworm Disinfection Protocol

When it comes to ringworm, cleaning the environment isn’t enough to prevent the possibility of infecting the next patient that enters the exam room.

Liberally spray surfaces with a disinfectant spray or coat with your choice of liquid disinfectant. Follow instructions on the packaging to complete disinfection.

Veterinary nurse with dog in clinic room

What cleaning products kill ringworm?

When cleaning up after examining an animal that cultured positive for ringworm, disinfection with an antifungal disinfectant for ringworm is vital. Some people say that the best disinfectant for ringworm is bleach. Bleach will kill 80% of fungal spores with one application when diluted at 1:10, but this makes cleaning processes longer and more tedious than is ideal when you need to get on with other appointments. 

A ringworm disinfectant spray like the Steroclenz Rapid Surface Santisier will significantly speed up the cleaning process and make sure that the potential transmission of ringworm has been neutralised in just one round of coverage, cleaning and disinfecting at the same time.

Look for a disinfectant like the Steroclenz Spray that has:

  • residual protection against bacteria and spores for us to 4-hours
  • ensures a 99.999% kill rate against germs in just a few seconds

This spray also produces a white foam which is easy to see making cleaning time quicker as you won’t go over the same area twice.

Look for a disinfectant like the Steroclez Spray that has:

Residual protection against bacteria and spores for us to 4-hours
Ensures a 99.999% kill rate against germs in just a few seconds

This spray also produces a white foam which is easy to see making cleaning time quicker as you won’t go over the same area twice.

Clean and disinfect hard surfaces quickly with Sani-Cloth® AF Wipes

With its high re-infection rate, ringworm can only be beaten with a truly watertight cleaning procedure. This can be made easier if surfaces and equipment are cleaned at every possible opportunity (at least before and after examining an animal).

Make this easy by using disposable universal wipes. PDI Sani-Cloth® AF Wipes (formerly known as PDI Sani-Cloth Universal Wipes) are made with quaternary ammonium and can kill yeasts in as little as 30 seconds. They’re also alcohol-free to protect you and animal patients from fumes.

Sterilising Instruments

Any porous materials that have been used during an examination, like cloths, tissue or blankets should be discarded. Any non-porous tools that were used should be sterilised with a ringworm disinfectant to kill spores. 

Use a sterilising solution like Milton Liquid Steriliser to kill off any dangerous spores. This steriliser:

  • Kills 99.9% of fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Is effective for over 24 hours.
  • Does not require rinsing after use.

We also stock other veterinary supplies like clinic essentials, hygiene and sterilisation equipment, and dressings and bandages to completely stock your clinic. 

Dog sitting on carpet

Ringworm Home Cleaning

Ringworm is highly infectious and pets can be reinfected with ringworm easily. Ringworm can stay infectious in an environment for up to 18 months and the carrier of ringworm will be a pet that does not show lesions. The pet could have been treated but still, be infected or even just carry ringworm spores on its fur.

As a vet, it’s important you help your clients know how to rid their home of ringworm and manage an infectious pet. Here is a table of cleaning protocols that apply to homes that you can refer your clients to, including how to clean ringworm from carpets. 

AreaCleaning ApproachProcess
RugsVacuum, washVacuum rugs and then put them in the washing machine on an appropriate cycle. Any cycle and laundty detergent are sufficient. Do not include uncontaminated laundry.
CarpetVacuum, steam or use carpet cleanerVacuum carpets thoroughly and steam if possible. Otherwise use a powder or liquid carpet cleaner.
Upholstered furniture and curtainsVacuum or use a lint roller, steam or use a cleanin solutionVacuum thoroughly and steam if possible or use a cleaning solution. Remove curtains and covers and machine wash if possible.
Hard floorsVacuum, wash and disinfectVacuum thoroughly and wash with a disinfectant solution or other appropriate cleaning solution.
LaundryWash in a washing machineWash on a long cycle using any laundry detergent. Do not include uncontaminated laundry.
Cat beds, blankets, trees and porous materialsDiscardThrow away any porous cat supplies.
Cat food bowlsWashWash bowls in hot soapy water and scrub them clean.

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