Ringworm in Dogs
dog training

Ringworm in Dogs

The dog ringworm is not like any other of the diseases with the word worm in them, it is actually not a worm at all. It’s also not an internal parasite that lives on whatever floats by in a dogs intestine and stealing nutrition meant for the dog. It is a fungus, plain and simple. The dog ringworm is a fungal infection on the skin and is most often not that much of a nuisance for a dog. Growing just under the layer of dead skin the fungus may cause loss of hair that eventually will grow back. The dog ringworm might not seem like much of a problem at all and in many cases it isn’t, trouble is that it is highly contagious and can infect any other animal that it comes in contact with, including humans.

Ringworm in dogs – Symptoms

The dog ringworm has gotten its name from the symptoms that the fungal infection creates. The fungus will at first only affect a small area of the skin, making it somewhat raised and red. Then the area will start to grow as a circle, but as it grows the centre will start to heal. After a while the will be a slightly red and raised ring, this symptom made people to believe that there was a worm under the skin that was moving under the skin in a circular motion, further and further out from the centre, hence the name ringworm. The hair will fall off as soon as the ringworm spread but usually it will grow back as soon as the skin start to heal, making the ring of the ringworm even more visible.

Ringworm in dogs – Contagious

Although not very dangerous, the dog ringworm is extremely contagious and it is therefore important to keep a high hygienic level when infected. The dog should be avoided to be petted while infected and if the dog is petted be sure to wash the hands immediately after. The fungal infection spread through spores and thrive in dark and moist areas of the skin, although can get a good hold more or less anywhere. Cover the infection with a dressing that lets air blow through it to prevent spreading and at the same time ensure healing. A dog will most likely not enjoy having a dressing attached to it and might try to remove it. Therefore the dog will need to wear an Elizabethan collar, preventing it from even reach the dressing.

Ringworm in dogs – Veterinarian

Although any fungicide would work, the veterinarian has the kinds of treatments that are especially suited for dogs and treating the dog ringworm. It is crucial that the instructions that most likely come with the medication are followed. The veterinarian might also be able to give some advice when it comes to treating dog ringworm. A good hygiene is as already mentioned absolutely crucial for a proper treatment.

Ringworm in dogs – Home treatment

Although strongly recommended against, due to the risk of spreading the disease, the dog ringworm can be treated at home, or more precisely not be treated at all since the ringworm will eventually go away by itself. The infection should be thoroughly cleaned and dried at a daily basis. Using a blow-dryer set on cold can be used to dry the skin, hair might even be removed so that it wouldn’t moist the skin afterwards. A dressing should be worn at all time and be changed after every cleaning. The fungi will have a hard time growing and will disappear over time. The dog ringworm is very sensitive to sunlight so the dressing can be removed if the dog decides to sleep outside in the sunlight. Just make sure to put it back on as soon as the dog wakes up.

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