Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin, hair, and nails of both humans and animals. In dogs, it commonly appears on the tummy, but it can also occur on other areas of the body such as the face, ears, and paws. This condition is highly contagious and can spread quickly between dogs, as well as to humans and other animals. In this blog, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for ringworm on a dog’s tummy.
Ringworm is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, making dogs that live in overcrowded conditions or have a weakened immune system more susceptible to infection. Additionally, dogs that have recently been exposed to an infected animal or contaminated environment are at a higher risk of contracting ringworm.
The most common symptom of ringworm in dogs is a round, scaly, and hairless lesion on the skin. These lesions may be red and itchy, and they may also be accompanied by crusting or scaling. In some cases, the lesion may also have a raised border. In addition to these skin symptoms, dogs may also experience hair loss and itching.
Diagnosis of ringworm in dogs is made through a combination of clinical signs, fungal culture, and skin scraping. A fungal culture is the most reliable method of diagnosis, as it involves taking a sample of the lesion and growing it in a laboratory to identify the specific type of fungus responsible for the infection. Skin scraping is also used to diagnose ringworm, as it involves collecting a small amount of skin tissue from the lesion and examining it under a microscope for the presence of fungal spores.
Treatment for ringworm in dogs involves a combination of topical and oral antifungal medications. Topical medications such as miconazole, ketoconazole, and terbinafine are applied directly to the lesion and are used to kill the fungus. Oral medications such as itraconazole and terbinafine are used to treat systemic fungal infections. These medications are typically prescribed for four to six weeks, depending on the severity of the infection.
In addition to medication, dogs with ringworm will require a strict grooming regimen to prevent the spread of the infection. This includes regular bathing with an antifungal shampoo and clipping the hair around the lesion to allow for better penetration of the medication.
Prevention of ringworm in dogs involves maintaining a clean and dry environment, as well as preventing exposure to contaminated environments or infected animals. This includes regular cleaning and disinfecting of the dog’s living area, as well as avoiding overcrowded conditions.