Ringworm is an important disease of the skin, as it is highly infectious to other animals. The disease derives its name from the circular appearance of the lesions on the sufferer’s skin. The most common form of ringworm is caused by a fungus called Microsporum Canis.
What does ringworm on a dog look like?
In dogs, the areas most commonly affected are the face and nose, the outside of the limbs, and the abdomen. The fungus usually produces a more marked reaction in the dog, and the lesions are more typically circular where the skin is raised and the hair completely missing or broken.
How do you diagnose ringworm in dogs?
The diagnosis of Microsporum Canis is helped by the characteristic of the spore to fluoresce under ultraviolet light. When suspected dogs are examined in a darkened room, even very small areas of infection can be detected.
In long-haired cats, small infected areas can be surrounded by dense normal fur so that the detection of these areas is impossible without the aid of a lamp.
Other methods of diagnosis involve taking skin scrapings of suspected areas for microscopic examination or the culture fragments of skin or hair in a special medium that changes color in the presence of the colony of a pathogenic fungus.
This last method is useful in the detection of fungi other than Microsporum Canis that do not exhibit fluorescence under ultraviolet light.
How can I treat ringworm on my dog at home?
Ringworm can be successfully treated, provided steps are taken to not only eliminate the fungus from the skin of the dog but also to remove it from the environment.
Treatment of the dog must be undertaken over many weeks. Antifungal antibiotics such as Griseofulvin, Itraconazole, and Terbinafine are active against the fungus in the skin and hair and are given by mouth. It is important to keep the hair in the infected areas as short as possible, as this progressively retains the infected material as it is inactivated by the drug.
Local applications of lotions and ointments can be applied, but are not a successful treatment for ringworm if used without antifungal antibiotics. Cats often become quite sensitive to many of the commonly used ringworm ointments and their continued use can cause severe skin inflammations.
A more-effective topical treatment is to use an antifungal cream on your pet or to bathe the animal in a disinfectant solution. This is completely non-toxic and is also useful to soak bedding and to scrub carpets and chairs that have been in contact with the infected dog.
- Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Spray/Shampoo for Dogs and Cats
- Curaseb Medicated Chlorhexidine Hot Spot Treatment for Dogs & Cats
- PetHonesty Chlorhexidine Shampoo
- KetoWELL Chlorhexidine & Ketoconazole Medicated Spray for Dogs & Cats
- Pet MD – Medicated Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
Vacuum cleaning frequently and vigorously helps to remove the infective spores. Of course, the patient must be kept isolated so that it is not continually re-infecting the surroundings.
Re-examination of the patient at regular intervals after the treatment with antifungal antibiotics has ceased is essential if the recurrence of the infection and subsequent massive contamination of the environment is to be prevented.
How easily is ringworm transmitted?
Transmission of the ringworm is by spores and fragments of skin that contain spores, and infective strands of the fungus. Direct contact with an infected dog is not necessary. Spore-laden hairs and skin fragments may be transmitted over long distances and remain infective for years in carpets, or upholstery until a suitable host comes in contact with it.
Conclusion of ringworm treatment for dogs
The goal of ringworm treatment for dogs is to kill the fungus that causes the disease. This can be done by using a combination of topical sprays, oral medications, and creams.
Here is what you need to do:
1) Wash your hands thoroughly prior to treating your pet’s skin with any medication. If your dog has been diagnosed with ringworm, keep him away from other pets and people until all symptoms have cleared up.
2) Apply a topical spray on the affected area twice a day until the infection clears up completely. The spray will help kill the fungus while also preventing its spread to other areas of your dog’s body.
3) Use an oral medication once or twice daily until all symptoms have disappeared.
Treatment of ringworm in dogs is not difficult. However, the treatment may take a while, and it is important to make sure that you do not miss any of the recommended steps. As long as you are careful and pay attention to the instructions, your dog will be fine.
If you don’t know whether or not your dog has ringworm, make sure you consult with your veterinarian before starting treatment so that they can diagnose your pet properly.