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Topical and Internal Solutions for Winter Lice and Ringworm

February 20, 2020

Topical and Internal Solutions for Winter Lice and Ringworm
By Will Winter, DVM

In the last issue, I chose to discuss with you how you can prevent Winter Lice or Ringworm but we are not always successful at preventing these so I will now discuss some topical and internal options for treatment.

It’s important to “Know The Parasite”. For example, cattle commonly have both biting lice and sucking lice. The important thing to know is that biting lice, unlike the sucking lice, do not drink blood, they live on skin particles and dander, so they are not reached by oral products since they can’t access the bloodstream. However, both varieties can be killed by skin-applied (topical) medicines. Remember too, that louse eggs are embedded in a thick waxy shell so no product can kill the eggs. They typically have a 28-30-day life cycle, so a new batch of lice will hatch every month. If the topical products you select have no staying power, it will take 2-3 treatments to effectively cure.


There are many 100% natural substances that can be applied topically, and the most-important deciding factor is often a matter of which is the easiest to apply. By far, the most tested and most reliable is the botanical herb concentrate Ectophyte. We dilute it, typically 1:9 with oil and either spray it over the skin, or, add it to oilers and allow the animals to do all the work. I’m a big fan of using Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) either in a dusting bag, or when applied manually. Self-applicators save a lot of labor. Always use the “food grade” version such as the brand Permaguard, and avoid the type used in swimming pool filters. A frequent dusting with a fine montmorillonite (geothermic) clay such as Desert Dynamin is also a fine cure for both lice and mites. Likewise, there are products that contain Neem Oil that work fine. This oil is often diluted with other herbs. Liquid Iodine is also an option for ringworm as it can instantly kill the ringworm fungi when it is applied topically.


There is an oral product that works on almost all external parasites and that is Salt Buddy. It works on several levels. For one, it’s a true nutritional supplement given that it is carried by organic sea kelp, the ultimate feed supplement! Secondly, it carries a high level of copper, one of the most commonly deficient minerals, and the one most closely associated with decreased parasite resistance when it is too low or completely deficient. Thirdly, Salt Buddy works because it is drenched with sulfur. When we eat sulfur, or any plants rich in sulfur, it goes throughout the body, and within just a few hours, it exudes from the pores in the skin, and remains in the skin oil for long periods of time. Insects, worms and other parasites cannot stand to be on a body that is emitting sulfur fumes and they leave and never want to come back. Also, many people swear by the use of BASIC H, a naturally-derived soap substance, that tends to remove internal parasites when it’s mixed into the drinking water, but also topically-applied to kill and/or remove lice, mange or even ringworm fungus. Be sure to use it frequently though, especially for lice, as their eggs will not be killed and a whole new set of parasites will arise.

Remember though, it typically takes several months before results are seen with using any of these options, therefore your best option is to prevent winter lice or ringworm and not have to treat it.

Matt Buhmann

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