Canine ringworm is a very contagious disorder of the skin. Many owners think that it infection is caused because of a worm because of its name, but it is really a fungal infection. The fungus lives deep inside the hair follicles and causes the hair shafts to break off eventually.
After being exposed to the fungus, dogs typically show signs within two weeks. The fungus can be transmitted whenever your dog comes into contact with another infected dog, cat, or plant. Humans are also susceptible, with children having a higher risk. The fungal spores can be harbored in many different places, so it’s vital that you treat the environment if your dog ever gets the condition.
The most common sign of ringworm in dogs is a circular patch somewhere in your dog’s coat. The most commonly affected places include the ears, head, tail, and front paws. The skin may also turn red or crusty.
There are various methods used to diagnose canine ringworm. The vet may make a diagnosis simply by looking at the affected area on your dog. A Wood’s light, a special ultraviolet light, can also be used to detect the presence of certain fungi. All fungi won’t respond to this ultraviolet light, so a sample of your dog’s hair may need to be examined. This is the longest diagnosis method since it can take one or two weeks.
Ringworm in dogs is a condition that typically goes away on its own. As mentioned though, it is highly contagious. Family members can easily get infected while waiting for the condition to resolve itself. That’s why treatment is highly recommended.
Anti-fungal creams or shampoos can be used to treat dog ringworm. Using a cream on your dog may be ineffective since he may simply lick it off. Removing hair around the affected area is also another option. If your dog has a severe case of ringworm, then he may need to take an oral medication to treat it. This option is usually reserved for more severe cases since these medications can easily cause a few side effects.
If your dog has canine ringworm, then you will need to treat every area of the house that your dog came into contact with. This is especially important for bedding. Bleach will be enough to prevent reinfection.