Dog Ringworm

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Posted by ron1945 | Posted in Dog Ringworm | Posted on 15-08-2010

Ringworm


 is a fungus which causes the skin infection.  This infection is easily transmitted by an object such as a grooming brush or clippers.  The infection is not itchy like many other dog hair loss maladies, but the dog does lose hair.  The problem area usually is located on the leg, face or ear.

The name “ringworm” is a misnomer.  There is not worm associated with this disease.  Nonetheless, this is a dog hair loss problem which requires attention when diagnosed . . . both for your dog, and for you because this is a highly contagious disease which can easily be passed to humans.

Symptoms to look for may include: scaliness, crusty areas, pustules, vesicles and draining. Dearly signs of the disease may appear as small round patches of hair loss.  More acute cases the roundness may disappear as the fungal infection increases creating irregular patterns of hair loss.  The actual determination of the infection, besides the visual aspects, are from microscopic review of infected hair (which may take a couple of weeks to grown the fungus sufficiently for review; and by using a black light to see the spores.  This latter method is the least affective because not all fungal spores have fluoresce luminescence.

Treatment for mild cases may be as simple as cleansing the affected area and using an anti-fungal medication.  The more severe cases, however, will require more attention and effort.   In the more severe cases an oral medication such as:  fluconozole, itraconazole , grieofulvin (which stops the fungi from growing ) can be prescribed by your veterinarian,  and with iodine preparations. Additionally, the removal of the hair around the affected area may also be recommended by your vet.  Care should be taken to not break the skin in the affected area as this will allow for further spread of the disease.  Bathing with anti-fungal shampoos can be helpful, along with applications of topical anti-fungal medications.  Check with your vet for the appropriate shampoos and topical medications in addition to the oral medications.  These treatments do not show instant results, which may take up to 10 days to see improvement.  Lime-sulfur dips can also be used.  A twice a week application for from 4-6 weeks should be sufficient.  Beware there is a strong odor from this treatment.  Use of gloves is recommended when giving this dip.

Because this ailment can be transmitted to humans, care and attention to hygiene is important.  Cleansing and disinfecting the dog’s sleeping area is important, along with any grooming tools where spores could be transferred.  However, the spores can be most anywhere the dog has been.  Keeping your dog away from other infected animals is important–both to the other animals which can be infected from your dog, and your dog being infected from other dogs or infected animals.  Washing your hands after each handling of an infected dog is imperative.   <<< Return to Dog Hair Loss Overview

The information contained in the articles on this website is provided for information purposes only.  The articles are not written by veterinarians per se.  As such, the information should not be considered as a replacement for the advice of a veterinarian.  Great care is made in the creation of these articles; however, we cannot guarantee their accuracy and/or omissions.  In all cases where doubt may exist, we recommend seeking appropriate professional veterinary advice and assistance.