As a dog owner, it's essential to be aware that ringworm in your pet can cause serious issues if left untreated. Our vets in Chino Hills provide comprehensive information on identifying and effectively treating ringworm in dogs.
What is Ringworm?
It may come as a surprise, but ringworm does not belong to the same category as hookworm, roundworm, or tapeworm. Despite its name, ringworm is not actually a worm but rather a type of fungus that can cause circular or semi-circular bald spots and rashes on the skin. Due to swelling, these rashes appear as it's raised and red with a ring-like or worm-like shape.
What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog?
Have you ever wondered what ringworm looks like on a dog? Typically, ringworm appears in circular or ring-shaped patterns on the skin, resulting in redness, hair loss, and swelling. However, it may not be as noticeable in dogs, so it's important to be vigilant and watch for any signs. If you notice any combination of these symptoms in your pup, contact a vet immediately.
- Inflamed, red skin rash
- Scales that look like dandruff
- Itchiness (pruritus)
- Dry, brittle hair with hair follicles that break easily
- Circular or patchy areas of hair loss (alopecia)
- Darkened skin (hyperpigmentation)
- Reddened skin (erythema)
- Scabs or raised nodular lesions on the skin
- Inflamed folds of the skin around the claws, or bordering the nails
How Does a Dog Get Ringworm?
Ringworm is a highly contagious infection that can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal or contaminated objects like food bowls, towels, carpets, and couches. The fungus spores can survive for months and can spread through your dog's shed fur or contaminated surfaces like linens, drapes, and carpets that are not regularly cleaned.
Dogs are at high risk of contracting ringworm while playing outdoors since some forms of the fungus can thrive in soil. The severity of the infection depends on various factors including the dog's overall health, age, and the fungus species. While some dogs may recover without treatment, others may develop skin infections that can spread to other parts of their body.
It's possible for a dog to be a carrier of ringworm without exhibiting any visible symptoms. If your dog is diagnosed with ringworm, it's advisable to have your other pets examined by a vet for safety reasons. Additionally, it would be best if you informed fellow dog owners and dog-walking companions that your dog is undergoing treatment for ringworm, and they should be vigilant for any signs of infection in their pets.
How is Ringworm Treated?
If your pet is diagnosed with ringworm, there are a variety of good treatments available. Your vet will help you choose the solution best suited for your dog depending on the severity of their ringworm problem.
The treatment process is fairly straightforward with few complications if the fungus is treated in a timely fashion.
Your vet will likely prescribe your pup a topical medication to apply to the skin or an anti-fungal medication that can be taken orally.
It may also be recommended that you get an environmental decontamination of your house to eliminate any contaminated elements.
Additionally, your vet may recommend shaving the fur around the more infected areas of your dog.
Do not assume your dog is cured because they stop showing symptoms. Continue with the treatment until your dog has been deemed cured by your vet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.