Over the Counter Ringworm Treatment for Dogs

Ringworm treatment for dogs is available over the counter or by prescription only. Depending on the severity of the condition, a veterinarian may prescribe prescription strength antibiotics, combined with several preventative methods once the condition is under control. In mild cases, over the counter ringworm treatment for dogs ranging from medicated shampoo to topical lotions may suffice. Before we discuss the different treatment options, continue reading for brief description of what ringworm is and what it is not and the types of complications it can cause.

What is Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal disease. It is not an actual worm. Also referred to as “circle worm,” ringworm fungus can develop in both animals and humans. Because the fungus causes circles to form on the skin as it grows underneath the skin, it earned the name “ringworm.” The actual ringworm fungus originates from microscopic organisms called dermatophytes. Dermatophytes consume the dead outer layers of the skin.

The fungus also grows on the hair and nails of animals, and it can also cause sores, itching and reddened skin. Ringworm can appear anywhere on dogs skin including the feet and groin area.

Ringworm Complications in Dogs

In addition to sores and lesions on the skin, ringworm can cause allergies, anemia, inflammation, and even immune system deficiency. If you notice small patches on your dog’s skin, lesions with scaly centers, and strange (non-rounded) sores on the nose, this may be an indication of ringworm.

Ringworm Treatment and Prevention

The different types of over the counter ringworm treatment for dogs vary, so it is best to speak with a veterinarian first before selecting a treatment option. Topical ringworm treatments for dogs include Cruex cream, Desenex cream, Lotrimin cream, lotion, and solution), miconazole (Monistat-Derm cream), ketoconazole (Nizoral cream), and terbinafine (Lamisil cream and solution). Medicated shampoos such as Selsun Blue or anti-fungal shampoos that contain ketoconazole 2% (Nizoral) or the newer ciclopriox are effective in treating mild cases of ringworm.

If ringworm is left untreated for a long period of time, once diagnosed, your vet may prescribe griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grifulvin, and Gris-PEG), terbinafine, itraconazole (Sporanox), or fluconazole (Diflucan) to be used in combination with over the counter topical treatments or shampoos. 

To prevent ringworm in pets, monitor your pets eating habits closely. You should never feed pets table scraps or “people food” but if you must, make sure foods are cooked thoroughly. In addition, by any means necessary, keep your pet away from discarded food on the ground outside and at parks and keep him away from pet feces and litter boxes. Finally, always give your dog pure drinking water and bathe your pet regularly.

Tip: Although ringworm in dogs is common, it is still an unpleasant and highly contagious condition. Ringworm is easily transmitted from dog to human and between dogs and cats. It is important to always wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet or anyone else’s.