Ringworm is a fungal illness that results in scaly bald spots that grow in circles. While ringworm isn’t dangerous, it is an itchy infection that can cause your dog’s fur to fall out and you can get infected as well. Puppies and older dogs are the most severely affected groups. If they are not treated, they may acquire body-wide ringworm infections.
How To Treat Your Dog’s Ring Worm Without Going To The Vet
If you decide to treat your dog’s ringworm without going to the vet, kindly follow the instructions below:
Quarantine The Affected Dog
First, you have to isolate the affected dog. Ringworm spores can be shed by your dog in any place they are allowed to go. Keep any animals with ringworm in easy-to-clean settings to offer yourself a greater chance of keeping the infection curtailed. To limit the possibility of the fungus spreading, keep other pets as far away from the affected animal as possible.
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You should also be cautious because ringworm can be transmitted to humans. As long as your dog has ringworm, keep older individuals, young children, and anyone with skin problems or a compromised immune system away from it. While keeping your pet isolated for the six weeks or more it takes to cure ringworm may be tough, it will be easier than battling with ringworm on a regular basis.
Shave the Infected Areas
Because ringworm spores grow on and in damaged hairs, shaving the fur around your dog’s ringworm infection may help to minimize the spread of the condition. It is not a must to cut your dog’s hair but it is advisable you do so. Asides from minimizing the spread of the disease, shaving also makes it easier for the topical treatments to penetrate very well making it more effective.
Hair shedding and breakage are also reduced when the fur is cut close to the skin. As a result, there’s less chance of infectious materials moving throughout the house and producing another ringworm outbreak later.
Scrub Your Dog With Antifungal Shampoo
After shaving your dog’s fur and exposing the ringworms, it is time to scrub your dog thoroughly with antifungal shampoos.
Antifungal shampoos or dips are available over-the-counter to help stop the condition in its tracks. Each antifungal shampoo comes with its unique set of directions, but it’s ideal to use it at least twice a week. Always read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions printed on the body of the shampoo.
The best 5 and top-selling antifungal shampoos on Amazon are:
- Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo
- Dechra Mal-a-ket Formulated for Dogs Antibacterial and Antifungal Shampoo
- Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo
- Command Medicated Dog Shampoo
- Curaseb Medicated Shampoo for Dog & Cats
Apply Antifungal Creams or Ointments
Antifungal lotions and ointments are excellent options for localized and minor ringworm infections. These topical remedies are more effective than shampoos at targeting a specific area. So, it is good you apply them on your dog’s skin after scrubbing with the shampoo. Pay more attention to the ringworm patches. These creams or ointments also assist to lessen the ringworm patch’s contagiousness.
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In any case, the topical treatment will most likely need to be applied for at least six weeks, if not longer. Here are some of the best and top-selling antifungal creams or ointments on Amazon:
- BEXLEY LABS Curaseb Medicated Chlorhexidine Spray for Dogs & Cats
- Forticept Blue Butter Antimicrobial Gel
- Pet MD Hot Spot Treatment for Dogs
- Big Mare Canine Body Spray
- Thyme Out for Pets
Vacuum and Wash Bedding Frequently
Because ringworm is so contagious, it’s critical to keep your home as germ-free as possible. Ringworm spores can live in the environment for months after being shed.
Vacuum frequently to eliminate shed fur and skin cells from your home when treating your pet or yourself for ringworm. It’s also a good idea to wash their bedding and toys on a regular basis.
As a pet owner, you need to be strong during this period. It’s tough but you have got to try. Look for ways to make your pet feel loved and comfortable. Within a few weeks, your dog should be fully recovered.
Treating Your Dog’s Ringworm With Your Vet
If you decide to treat your dog’s ringworm with the help of your Vet, there are three forms of ringworm treatments:
- Topical treatment: Topical therapies are usually used first since ringworm resides on the surface of the skin and is easily accessed with body ointments or lotions.
- Oral treatment: Oral treatment is occasionally used for more serious cases or for dogs who have ringworm on a regular basis.
- Environmental Decontamination: This has to do with eradication of the causative agents of ringworm from your dog’s environment to avoid re-infection.
Now, we are going to explore these treatments options one by one.
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Topical Treatment for Ringworms In Dogs
To treat and control the infection, your veterinarian will likely recommend a topical therapy such as a lotion, ointment, or medicated shampoo. To expedite therapy, your veterinarian may recommend cutting long-haired dog furs and shaving the hair from affected regions. Topical therapy can take several months to completely eradicate the illness, but it does help to prevent contamination of the surroundings.
Oral Medications for Ringworm In Dogs
Oral therapy is frequently combined with topical therapy. Antifungal oral drugs aid in the fight against infection and, like topical therapy, must be taken for at least six weeks but can take months to take full effect in some situations.
Your veterinarian will almost certainly inquire if you have any other pets in the house and may recommend that you test and treat them for ringworm as well, even if they are not now displaying signs of illness. It’s also critical that owners continue to treat their pets for ringworm for the specified amount of time. Even when the clinical signs disappear, it doesn’t imply your dog is no longer contagious, and your vet will almost certainly want to retest your dog for ringworm before giving you the green light.
The fungus spores are highly contagious. They dwell inside hair follicles and can survive for months on couches, grooming products, bedding, furniture, and clothing. Cleaning up all of this fallen hair is part of the treatment, but it’s also a challenge, I’m sure many dog owners can relate.
When dogs are infected with ringworm, some owners keep them in rooms that are easy to clean. This makes removing stray hairs and mopping with a disinfectant prescribed by your veterinarian much easy. If you can’t keep your dog on hard flooring, daily vacuuming and hair removal from furniture and surfaces can help keep ringworm at bay.
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What Causes Ringworm In Dogs?
The three most common fungal species that may cause ringworm in dogs are Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. These three species of ringworms are zoonotic, meaning they can also infect humans. In humans, ringworm causes a ring of elevated, irritated tissue around the infection. If it’s on the feet, it’s called Athlete’s foot, and if it’s on the groin, it’s called a Jock itch.
Though ringworm is caused by a variety of fungi, they can all be treated in the same way. Because ringworm is a fungus, it necessitates specialized therapy in order to eradicate the illness. If you aren’t careful, ringworm might reappear, so be meticulous when treating the problem and caring for your dog afterward.
Symptoms of Ringworm in Dogs
Although ringworm is not a life-threatening illness, it is extremely contagious and necessitates the assistance of a veterinarian. Knowing the signs and symptoms of ringworm in dogs might help you detect the infection before it spreads to humans or other animals.
Ringworm in dogs usually appears as circular regions of hair loss all over the body. As the lesions develop, they may begin to heal in the center, resulting in a patchwork look, and they may become inflammatory or scabbed.
Ringworm does not normally itch. The disease is transmitted throughout your home since the damaged hair follicles are brittle, quickly breaks, and fall off. The fungus infects the claws in some cases, making them brittle and rough.
Contact your veterinarian if your dog experiences any or all of these symptoms:
- Circular areas of hair loss
- Dry, brittle hair
- Scabby, inflamed skin
- Rough, brittle claws
An indication of another ailment could include hair loss, changes in fur appearance, or inflamed skin. Skin problems in dogs can be signs of a variety of significant underlying illnesses, such as Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, or a nutrient imbalance, or they can simply be symptoms of other skin issues, such as allergies, a parasite, or an infection. Find out more about what causes dry skin in dogs.
How Is Ringworm Spread In Dogs?
In dogs, ringworm is spread via direct contact with the fungus. When a dog comes into direct contact with an infected animal or person, or when they touch a contaminated material such as a couch, comb, food bowls, bedding, or carpet, they can become infected. The spores that cause the infection can live for up to 18 months and are transferred by the shedding or breaking of contaminated hairs.
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Can Other Animals Get Ringworm?
Ringworm can affect other animals as well. The fungus (Microsporum canis) that causes most cases of ringworm in dogs also causes 98% of ringworm cases in cats. Due to the fact that many dog owners also own cats, the chance of the fungus spreading from cats to dogs and dogs to cats is relatively significant.
Most domestic animals, including livestock, can also have ringworm, so talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of ringworm spreading between your pets and other animals.
Can Humans Get Ringworm?
Humans can also contract Microsporum canis, which is why it’s so vital to take ringworm infection seriously. When ringworm affects the foot, it is referred to as “Athlete’s foot“. Ringworm is an issue in dogs that affects more than just your dog but is also common in young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. In fact, anybody can contract this unattractive and painful fungus from dogs.
In humans, ringworm appears as a red, itchy rash that is roughly round. Contact your primary care physician if you or a family member gets a rash on your body after your dog has been diagnosed with ringworm.
How To Prevent Ringworm in Dogs?
Unless you have previously had a case of ringworm in one or more pets, you don’t need to worry about ringworm prevention on a regular basis. The best approach to avoid ringworm reinfection in dogs is to thoroughly clean the home, as well as any instruments or bedding that the animals come into contact with on a daily basis, and to follow your veterinarian’s advice.
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Knowing the symptoms of ringworm in dogs can help you avoid fungus from spreading from dogs to humans or other pets. Contact your veterinarian if you want to learn more about ringworm or if you think your dog could have it.
If you decide to treat your dog’s ringworm on your own without going to the vet, still make sure to contact a veterinarian if the illness appears to be spreading or worsening so that an oral antifungal treatment can be prescribed. The sooner you begin ringworm treatment under the supervision of a veterinarian, the less likely you are to contract ringworm, and the sooner your pet will be cured.
Always consult your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has ringworm. Other skin disorders, such as irritated tick bites or Lyme disease, can be mistaken for ringworm. Your veterinarian will assist you in determining the source of the problem and provide guidance on how to successfully treat your pet.