Dog Ringworm Treatment

Ringworm is not a fatal condition, but because it is a very contagious condition, to both dogs and humans, dog ringworm treatment should be prompt and thorough to avoid spreading of the infection. It effects roughly 3% of all dogs and is fairly uncommon in the canine world. Ringworm takes its name from the characteristic circular lesions that are indicative of the infection.

Causes of Ringworm

Ringworm is caused from three different strains of fungus: Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Regardless of which strain causes the infection, the infection exists. Ringworm is known to be more prevalent in areas with humid climates.

Contraction of ringworm from one dog to another is very easy. Ringworm leaves spores on the hair and skin of your dog. When your dog sheds, touches another dog, plays with another dog or lies with another dog, it is probable that that dog will be infected with ringworm. All that is required for transmission is for the ringworm spores to find their way onto another surface, be it dog or human. Once the spores fall from your dog, through shedding or the like, they will latch on and infect whatever they touch.

Symptoms of Ringworm

The symptoms of ringworm are relatively easy to notice. You do not have to worry about your dog not showing any outward signs of infection. Ringworm will always show recognizable signs. Some of the symptoms of ringworm include:

  • Red, circular lesions that have a scaly appearance and that have no hair in the circular area
  • Itchiness of the lesions
  • Pus spots within the circular area of the lesions
  • Mange-like coat appearance

How Ringworm Is Diagnosed

While the symptoms of ringworm may be pretty obvious, they can also be confused with mange or an autoimmune disorder. That is why diagnostic testing is of importance when you suspect that your dog may have ringworm.

Testing is typically done by taking skin samples of the scaly lesions. Scrapings will also be taken from other parts of the body to determine if there are spores elsewhere throughout the coat of your dog. The scrapings will then be cultured to determine whether your dog has an active ringworm infection and what particular parasitic strain has infected your dog.

How Ringworm Is Treated

Treatment of ringworm is a very simple process and is highly effective. Even if your dog has an extremely severe case of ringworm, it is by no means fatal to your dog. Additionally, treatment is usually effective with one to two weeks.

In order to treat ringworm, an anti-fungal medication will be prescribed. The medication will be a topical ointment that will likely need to be applied twice within a 24-hour period. The commonly used anti-fungal medications are miconazole cream and Lotrimin cream. These methods have been known to clear up a ringworm infection within two weeks.

However, if the ringworm infection is slightly more severe, an anti-fungal shampoo or dip may be recommended. With the use of the anti-fungal shampoo and the anti-fungal topical ointment, a severe case of ringworm can be cleared up relatively quickly.