Ringworm in Dogs
(Causes, Symptoms, Treatment/Cures, and Prevention)
Although it’s called ringworm, it’s not really caused by a worm, but a fungus. It is a popular fungus that can infect dogs, cats, and even humans. Many people have had or known other people who had a ringworm infection. The diagnosis and treatment for humans can be as easy as buying an ointment at a drugstore. However, it doesn’t go as easy as that if the affected species are dogs. In conclusion, every dog owner must be knowledgeable of the signs/symptoms, transmission, and treatment of this infection.
Ringworm can be spread by straight or direct contact with another infected animal, or contact with an item that is tainted with the spores. The spore can be anywhere, it can be on an infected grooming/bathing equipment, in a contaminated kennel, or in a place where an infected animal has already visited. Because of the ability of the spores to survive for a long period of time, your dog can get ringworm from anywhere other animals have been. However, if you have a healthy dog, it will have some resistance to ringworm and won’t contract it. Most often, young dogs easily get infected. These would be ringworm causes in dogs.
One of the classic ringworm symptoms in dogs is the small lesions that is bare and without hair. This spot would often have scaly texture of skin in the center. There would also be pustules or bumps on the skin found in the lesion. This spot may start small and will continue to grow bigger in size. The lesions are most commonly found on the head but can also appear on the legs, feet or tail, and it may be itchy as well.
In severe cases, a number of different treatments will be used to treat ringworms. A veterinarian may prescribe a strong medicated shampoo or cream/ointment which contains ingredients to kill the fungus. For some, oral medications are needed to cure the ringworm, because it is said to be more effective. In some cases, the area around the lesion should be properly and carefully clipped down close to the skin. As soon as the treatment starts, lesions must begin to heal in as early as the first week until the 3rd. However, the small and isolated lesions on healthier dogs can also heal on their own within 3-5 months.
Please also keep in mind that you should always listen to your dog’s veterinarian. Even if the lesions are not visible anymore, it doesn’t mean that your dog is already cured/healed. Some particular tests may need to be repeated to ensure the cure.
There is no recent reliable vaccine for the prevention of ringworm in dogs. Kennels, dog shows, or even veterinary clinics can be a source of any infection. You, as a dog owner, should take utmost care in everything. As a commonsense precaution, it is a clever idea to ensure that all the equipment and facilities are clean and that all areas are properly cleaned off and disinfected.