The Woods lamp is a tool used to help detect ringworm and must be a standard part of the intake process for every dog and cat. It is an ultraviolet light with a specific wavelength of light which causes most strains (85%) of Microsporum canis to fluoresce.
Click here for Woods Lamp Procedure training video.
Recommended Woods Lamp: UVL-21 Compact Lamp (115V)
Woods Lamp Protocol:
- Always have a second person for extra hands.
- Warm up the lamp when you initially enter the exam room; needs about 5-10 minutes to warm up.
- Turn out the lights.
- Scan the animal all over, holding the lamp close to the skin.
- Look for an apple-green glow, and the whole hair shaft should glow (especially the base).
- Doxycycline, Terramycin, dust and carpet fibres are all examples of things that will also glow, in a variety of colours.
- Don’t forget to check the nose, eyes, whiskers, inside the ears, tips of toes and bottoms of feet.
- Suspicious lesions should always be submitted for diagnostic testing, as per ringworm protocol.
- If unsure if the skin or hair is glowing, pluck the suspected glowing hairs, place on a white piece of paper and look under the Woods lamp to look for the typical apple-green colour.