Although dermatophilosis has been reported all over the world, it is mainly a tropical disease. It also goes by the name ‘’strawberry foot rot.’’ Out of all the animals that are found in a household, it is horses that are the most susceptible, with dogs and cats rarely getting infected. There have been some cases of humans contracting the disease, though this has been attributed to coming into close contact with infected animals.
The bacterium responsible for the spread of this disease is called Dermatophilus congolensis. The bacteria can actually live in the skin without the host displaying any symptoms of infection. It is only when conditions become conducive that the bacteria are activated to cause an infection. Seasons of rain are perfect for epidemics of dermatophilosis to break out. Short-term infections usually clear up within 2 – 3 weeks, with the affected animal healing suddenly. Long-term infections cause the bacteria to continually spread from infected follicles and scabs to healthy skin patches. The wetter the skin, the more conducive the environment is for bacterial growth, resulting in infective spores being released.
Straightforward infections regularly heal without forming any scars. For animals that suffer from severe and widespread infection, a loss of mobility and ability to eat occurs, more so if the lips, mouth and feet are affected.
Diagnosis of dermatophilosis is done by performing laboratory tests on skin samples. Treatment is frequently unnecessary due to the dermatophilosis healing quickly without any kind of complications. Managing the disease involves isolating infected animals and eliminating parasites that create wounds on the skin, thus increasing vulnerability to the bacteria.