Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment for Ringworm in Dogs
Did you know ringworm is not a worm at all? That right. It’s actually a fungus living in the hair follicles that cause the hair to break off or fall out leaving a red, ring-shaped lesion on the skin, hence its name.
is highly contagious and can infect dogs, cats, and yes, humans too! So
it is important to be aware of the causes, signs and know the
treatments for ringworm.
Where does ringworm come from? There are several different fungi which can cause ringworm. And although it seems to be most prevalent in hot humid climates, symptoms usually appear in the fall and winter months.
Ringworm is highly contagious and transmitted from one infected pet to another. It is also transmitted from pets to humans and humans to pets. Ringworm can also be transmitted from bedding, carpet, and other items which have become infected with the fungal spores.
Animals most susceptible to ringworm are those still in the early development stages of life (puppies, kittens) because their immune systems are not strong enough to fight it. Also, animals who have a weaker or suppressed immune system due to some other illness or sickness are more susceptible to ringworm.
Once an animal is exposed to the fungi, it usually takes about 12 days before any outward signs appear. Signs of ringworm are circular hair loss and scaly inflamed and sometimes itchy skin. Once a veterinarian diagnosis ringworm, either with a special fluorescent lamp, lab tests, microscopic examination of hairs, and/or by taking cultures of the hair, treatment can begin.
Treatments for ringworm in dogs include: Griseofulvin, a systemic antifungal drug in a tablet form, is usually given daily for about a month to kill the fungus. Your vet may also prescribe a topical antifungal medication which can be applied directly to the affected area. For example: Miconazole Nitrate 2 % Antifungal Cream contains the anti-fungal agent Miconazole Nitrate which is used to treat fungal infections such as ringworm in dogs and superficial skin infections caused by yeast.
note: The use of drugs can present further dangers, complications, and side effects to your pet, so be sure to follow your vet's recommendations and alert your vet with any changes in your dog.
Baths using antifungal shampoos every other day and using a vinegar rinse a few times a day have shown to offer relief as well. And your vet may recommend other types of treatments including shaving the pet’s hair (where the fungus lives) dips, rinses, etc…
Natural and holistic treatments have also proven to be highly effective in treating skin problems in both humans and pets, too.
Key to know: As we mentioned before, ringworm is highly contagious, so infected pets should not be exposed to other dogs and cats and have very minimal exposure to family members (especially children). Those who are in charge of treating an infected pet must take extra precautions. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and try not to handle your pet except to apply the medications needed. Also, throw away items in your home that may have been exposed to the fungus that you really don't need and for washable items, clean them using a bleach solution.
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