Ringworm in Dogs
Ringworm in Dogs:
Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment for Ringworm.
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.
Ringworm 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.
Causes of Ringworm in Dogs
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 in DogsRingworm 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.
Treatment for Ringworm in Dogs
Treatments for ringworm in dogs include: Griseofulvin, a systemic antifungal drug in a tablet form, given daily for about a month to kill the fungus. (note: drugs can present your pet with further dangers and side effects, so be sure to follow your vet's recommendations and alert your vet with any changes you notice in your dog.
Topical antifungal medications prescribed by your vet which are applied directly to the affected area. Miconazole Spray - contains the anti-fungal agent Miconazole Nitrate for the treatment of fungal infections such as ringworm in dogs and superficial skin infections caused by yeast.
Zymox Medicated Dog Shampoo Also using a vinegar rinse a few times a day has shown to offer relief.
Baths using an antifungal shampoo like Zymox Skin Therapy, performed every other day. 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 proven to be highly effective in treating skin problems in both humans and pets. Ring-Ex, is one such treatment which helps to keep levels of dermal fungus in the normal range to maintain skin health.
Because ringworm is highly contagious, infected pets should not be exposed to other dogs and cats and have very minimal exposure to family members (especially children). Those who are 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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