Do Dogs get Ringworm?
Ringworm is a common fungal infection that affects the skin, hair, or sometimes nails (claws) of the dogs. In medical term, it is called Dermatophytosis.
The most commonly isolated fungal organisms are Microsporum canis, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Microsporum gypseum. This disease also occurs in cats, and other species of animals as well as humans.
Causes of Ringworm
Ringworms can be caught from a variety of sources ranging from the soil, humans and also from other pets. It can also be transferred from animals to humans.
One species of ringworm called as Microsporum gypseum is a fungus that resides in the soil so a dog who plays in soil or garden can encounter it. This can also happen when a dog comes in direct contact with an infected animal or person or touches a contaminated object like a brush, food bowls, pet clothing, bedding, couch, carpet or other household items. The skin disruptions like wounds or a flea infestation, increasing your dog susceptibility to the ringworm.
However, not all dogs can encounter the infection only from contact as the age of the dog, its immune system status, and grooming habits all affect the rate of transmission. The fungal spores responsible for the spread can remain viable for up to 18 months.
What does ringworm look like?
In dogs, the ringworm lesions refer to the areas of hair loss that are roughly circular. When these circular lesions expand, the central area heals, and hairs regrow in the middle of the lesion. The affected area of hair shafts is weak and easily broken. Usually, the lesions are not itchy, but sometimes they become inflamed and develop a scabby covering.
In a few cases, fungal infection of the nails may also occur. The claws become brittle, rough, and broken.
Symptoms of Ringworm
Due to dog fur coats, it can be challenging to see the symptoms. In mild cases of ringworms in dogs, there may be nothing noticeable at all. In severe cases, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Hair loss, which may be patchy or circular
- Reddened or ulcerated skin especially on the head, chest, forelegs and the ridge of the back
- Broken hairs and poor hair coat
- Dandruff (scales) in the depths of the coat
- Darkened skin
- Inflamed, Crusting and thickening of the skin
- Dry, brittle hair
- Itchiness may or may not be present
- Rough and brittle claws
Treatment of Ringworm
After the vet performs a physical exam, takes a diagnostic test, and the ringworm is diagnosed, the treatment plan will depend upon the severity of the case. Usually, the treatment consists of three steps.
- Topical therapy
- Oral medications
- Environmental decontamination
For mild cases of ringworms in dogs, antifungal creams and ointments can be applied directly to the affected areas of dog’s skin. If the infection is wide, then an antifungal shampoo can be prescribed to treat the dog’s entire body. The infection can take several months to eradicate entirely.
In severe cases, your dog has to take an oral antifungal drug to eradicate the infection. The treatment usually needs to be administered for a minimum of six weeks and sometimes longer.
The worms in dogs live on both skin and hair, so they easily transmit by loose hair on carpet and other furniture. Because of this, it is recommended to do a thorough cleaning of your home and environment to remove all contaminated hairs by vacuuming, washing down the surfaces and restrict the dog to those of areas of the house that are easy to clean in so that you can clean those areas regularly.
Dogs are our friends, family, make us laugh and feel happy with their lovely ways, and we don’t want to see them in pain. So, if you notice any signs mentioned above, immediately contact a vet and have your dog checked to receive a proper treatment.
So finally, I hope you found this article useful and informative. Let me know your answer. What do you think? Do you have more information about Ringworm In Dogs? Write them down below.
If you have any other question or different opinion about it, leave a comment below.
Today’s Quote: “When an 85 pound mammal licks your tears away, and then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.” — Kristan Higgins
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