Ringworm in Dogs, Ears, Poop, Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Home Remedies, Treatment & Prevention

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It is common for dogs to have ringworms. The obvious signs and symptoms of ringworms in dogs include presence of ringworms in dog’s poop or vomit. You can identify ringworms using the illustrative pictures inserted in this post. Also, explore some of the best home remedies and treatments for ringworms in dogs. Furthermore, learn the causes of ringworms in dogs and how you can prevent them.

Summary of Page Contents

Ringworm in Dogs Symptoms

In their lives, most of the dogs develop the fungal skin infection commonly called ringworm. Active dogs which spend most of the time outdoors, or even the dogs that are in contact with other pets which have a ringworm, like cats, are most likely to pick up an infection.

In addition to being very uncomfortable and dangerous for dogs, ringworms are also indicated that it can easily transfer to people.

For this particular reason, and for the health of your dog, it is especially very crucial to be vigilant for any symptoms of ringworm in your dog and ensure to seek veterinary attention so as to prevent the condition from spreading.

Step 1: Identifying Ringworm

1.       Watch for itching, irritation, or even nipping at parts of the body.

These are normally the first symptoms of the ringworm in dogs. Above all, these given symptoms certainly give a good indication that you require to inspect the dog closely.

2.       Look closely at your dog’s skin.

If you suspect your dog is having a skin infection, then you start begin by inspecting all its body areas which you suspect that are affected.  Part the dog’s fur so that you are able to see the skin more clearly.

Focus your attention on any the body areas which the dog was itching and on commonly infected regions like the head and forelegs.

To reduce the risk of spreading the infection, you also require to wash your hands after handling an animal which you suspect has ringworm.

3.       Look for bald patches where the hair is shed.

The ringworm in dogs may commonly happen on the head, ears and the forearms.

Are the patches circular? Do they have a bright red rim? If any answer to these questions is yes, then there is a likelihood of the ringworm increasing.

4.       Look for any affected areas for some days.

If you see areas which appear to be infected or even irritated then keep an eye on them. You might be not sure if the ringworm is the culprit immediately, so just continue to observe the situation and then see how the dog’s condition is developing.

It sounds wise to isolate the dog when you have made up your mind. Keep him away from other pets and in one room that has minimal soft furnishings. This allows you to easily vacuum the room and reduce the risk of any contamination.

If it turns out that the pet has ringworm, then restrict its access to any other pets. This will help reduce the spread and risk of infection to others.

Be on lookout for anything that resembles insect bights or even a generalized rash which does not develop on a circular shape. These indicates an alternative diagnosis like an allergic reaction which would need a different course of treatment.

Ringworm infections are normally due to weakened immune systems, while generalized rashes might be brought about in part by over-active immune systems.

Watch the growth of any inflammation.

If the lesions appears bigger and inflamed while maintaining its circular shape, then it is likely that is a ringworm. You will require to get the pet checked by a vet and get an anti-fungal medication so as to treat the condition.

Step 2: Confirming Your Pet Has Ringworm

1.       Take your dog to a vet.

As a general rule, if you suspect ringworm in dogs, take them to the vet so as to get them checked out. Your veterinarian may confirm the presence of ringworm by using several methods and then treat.

2.       Know what your vet is doing when she uses a Wood’s Lamp.

The Wood’s Lamp is a special lamp which is fitted with ultraviolet bulbs and a magnifying lens. The lamp is then switched on and the bulbs are allowed to warm for about 15 minutes.

In a dark room, the animal is carefully examined by shining the Lamp onto the areas and then examining the response through the magnifying lens.

Some species of ringworm in dogs usually glow a fluorescent apple green in presence of the ultraviolet light. If this occurs, then the ringworm is present.

Your veterinarian might then double check her findings by sending a sample to a lab for the species identification.

Be aware that only about 45% of the ringworm species normally fluoresce. So, a negative on the Wood’s Lamp does not imply that the animal is clear. This is a useful way which is used to get a very quick positive, but not any conclusive negative.

3.       The vert might examine the hair follicles under a microscope.

Another way that can be used to get a quick result is for veterinarian to pluck the hairs from the edge of affected area and examine them under a microscope.

Under very high magnification it might be possible so as to see the fungal spores entwined around the hair shaft, which then gives positive confirmation of the ringworm in dogs.

4.       Understand the vet does to a fungal culture if everything else fails.

A fungal culture can give you a definitive response. To do this, the veterinarian might make use of a sterile brush (like a sterilized tooth brush) and rubs it over the affected area.

The head of a brush is pressed against a fungal culture medium, the container is then sealed, and then set aside so as to see if fungus is growing.

Most of the vets might make use of an “in house” test where the fungal culture medium can change color if the fungus grows. This provides a clear indication that worm is present.

It takes an average of about 5 days for the fungus to grow and lead to a color change, although the test is not in any way considered to be negative until about weeks have fully passed with a color change.

5.       Get ringworm treated.

If your dog has ringworm, then your vet will prescribe an anti-fungal medication. While being treated, ensure that you keep your dog isolated, as the infection might still spread to other pets and to humans.

To make sure that your dog does not ingest any given topical medication, ensure you put a wide cone collar (also called the Elizabethan Collar) on it during the treatment.

Step 3: Learning about the Disease

1.       Understand that the ringworm in dogs is a fungal infection.

It is not, an infestation by the worms or even bug larvae. Two species of the fungus are very responsible for the ringworm infection, microsporum and trichophyton species.

This kind of knowledge will assist you to understand both how the disease may spread and how to identify it.

2.       Know what ringworm looks like

As it implies, ringworm normally leaves circular marks or the patches on surface of skin. In early stages of an infection, then there is little that can be seen other than a small patch of hair loss.

This is due to the fact that the fungus grows down the hair shaft, the body rejects that hair as damaged which then falls out. The skin irritation may lead to itching, but even without any evident rubbing the condition may lead to hair loss in the affected region.

3.       Learn how a dog gets ringworm.

One of the primary factors which usually leads to an infection is the immune health of an animal. Ringworm in dogs is common in puppies and even the older animals, though it may also affect animals that have suppressed immune systems.

Dogs that are under stress or even taking some medications may thus be vulnerable. This is due to their immune system keeping the flora and fauna that are normal inhabitants of skin in check. But, if the immune system is not fighting as required, then the fungus might grow unchecked and thus an infection develops.

While the fungi that leads to ringworm in dogs are very common, contact with a heavy concentration of spores may increase the likelihood of an infection. Heavy concentrations are only found on other infected dogs.

If your dog is healthy but still gets a ringworm, it is probably due to being around another animal that had the disease.

Ringworm is infectious and the infected hairs which are shed are a cause of infection in the people or even other dogs. So as to prevent the spread of the disease, sequester all the infected pets and clean up all the fur from the pets before allowing any other pets in the area.

Ringworm in Dogs Pictures (Images)

What do ringworms in dogs look like? We have inserted excellent pictures of ringworms in dogs in various sections of this post. This will enable you to identify them easily.

What Causes Ringworm in Dogs

Ringworm is a common term which is given to a fungal infection of superficial layers of skin, hair and the nails. Ringworm infections may happen occur in people and in all the domesticated species of animals.

The name comes from classical appearance of round, raised ‘ring’ that marks the boundary of the inflammatory lesions amongst the people who are infected with the disease. The common name of ringworm is misleading, in that it is not an infection brought about by a worm, and thus the infected areas are not ring-shaped.

The fungi which is responsible for ringworm infections belongs to a specialized group called dermatophytes, so the medical name for the disease is known as dermatophytosis.

There are several distinct species of the disease. Some species of specific, implying that they can only infect one species, whereas others might spread between species of animals, or even from animals to man.

The three most common fungal species which might lead to may lead to ringworm in dogs are Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum and the Trichophyton mentagrophytes. These three distinct species of ringworm are zoonotic, implying that they can also infect humans.

Ringworm fungi feed on the keratin that is found in the outer layers of skin, hair and nails. In animals, the fungi commonly infects the hair follicles, which leads to affected hair shafts breaking off at skin line. This results in round patches of the hair loss.

As the fungus increases in number, the lesions might become irregularly shaped and spread over the dog’s body.

Ringworm in dogs Poop (Feces)

Infected dogs usually shed the microscopic roundworm eggs in feces. Other dogs might be infected by sniffing or even licking infected feces. Roundworm eggs may also be spread by other animals like rodents, roaches and birds.

In the animals, the roundworms are just transported, and do not in any way mature into adults; if a dog eats the “paratenic” host, then the roundworm completes its maturation.

Ringworm in Dogs Ears

The usual symptom is normally a round hairless lesion. The characteristic “ring” which is seen on humans doesn’t appear as a ring on the dogs. This lesion can increase in size and become irregular in shape.

The fungi causes the hair shafts to break off leading to patches of hair loss. Ringworm in dogs is usually commonly found on the face, tail and paws. The lesions are usually scaly and may not be itchy and the skin is reddened and inflamed.

How to Get Rid of Ringworm in Dogs

Your vet can diagnose your dog with ringworm by doing a diagnostic test, and a physical examination. He can take a sample of hair or even the skin cells for a fungal culture or even examine all the infected hairs under a special ultraviolet light known as a Wood’s lamp.

Home Remedies for Ringworm in Dogs

1.       Antifungal Shampoo

Though it is not considered seriously, bathing your dog regularly using the antifungal shampoo may certainly assist a lot in keeping the ringworm in dogs at bay.

Thus, a ringworm is a fungal infection and therefore any quality of antifungal shampoo can do the job. But, you should ensure to be sure that the shampoo does not lead to any side effects, irritation or allergies. This is an effective ringworm treatment that is applied for dogs.

2.       Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is still being used on people for centuries. It also may be used on the dog so as to treat several types of skin infections which includes ringworm in dogs. If tea tree oil is mixed and the diluted in the correct ratio, it can assist to treat ringworm in dogs effectively.

It may as well be useful in treating all other skin infections. It should however be diluted such that the ratio of water to the tea tree oil is 1:1. It has to be used on the affected part of the dog and be done twice a day. It should be used at least for five days or even a week.

3.       Apple Cider Vinegar

There is no doubt that the apple cider vinegar is one of the best medicines that  is used for treating several types of infections of skin and other external areas of the body such as the ringworm in dogs.

It may also work wonders for healing infections which includes fungal infections brought about by ringworms. It is used as a solution and the pet is supposed to be rinsed in the solution after bath.

4.       Papaya

Papaya may work well due to the fact that it is known to be a good anti-fungal agent. It can also work well both on ringworm in dogs and on human beings. It is also simple to use, safe and free from side effects. A piece of papaya (which is raw) should be rubbed in areas which are affected by the ringworm infection.

It should be done at least five times a day for one week so as to have the desired impact. It is a proven method that is used to treat ringworm on dogs.

5.       Bleaching

Bleach is usually used in treatment of any ringworm infection in dogs. But, before using it, you should be very sure that it does not lead to any irritation of itching. You should get started by diluting the bleaching composition and then with the assistance of a cotton ball, it may be applied on infected areas.

If there is no irritation or itching it could be continuous for around thrice a day. But, you have to be very much careful so as to avoid any kind of licking of solution by the dog which may lead to several other health problems.

6.       Garlic

Garlic is known to be a wonderful anti-septic and has several other properties also. It is very much effective against most of the fungal infections which includes ringworm in dogs. All that is needed is to rub about half clove on areas which have been infected with the ringworm.

But, you have to ensure that it does not lead to any allergies, irritation and itching. It should thus be continued for around one week and applied twice a day. It certainly will have good results.

Ringworm in Dogs Treatment

The best treatment protocol that is advised for ringworm is a three-step approach which involves using topical medications, administering of the oral drugs and treating external environment. Topical treatments are better if applied to dog’s whole body, in form of shampoos, rinses or even the dips.

Affected areas of the body by ringworm in dogs are to be clipped to get rid of any remaining hair before any kind of treatment. In very severe cases, the entire dog might need to be shaved.

Isolated lesions may be spot-treated using anti-fungal medications which is prescribed by a vet, but most veterinarians would still recommend treatment of the whole body using a disinfectant shampoo, which is then followed by antifungal rinse.

Some of topical solutions which are effective against the ringworm include lime-sulfur (calcium polysulfide), chlorhexidine miconazole, chlorhexidine ketoconazole and the enilconazole. Topical treatment should continue for 6 weeks, and at least 2 weeks beyond the time when the dog’s clinical signs fully disappear.

Are Ringworm in Dogs Contagious

Yes. Ringworms in dogs are contagious. In fact, the fungus which is responsible for most of the cases of ringworm in dogs, Microsporum canis, is also responsible for about 90 percent of ringworm in the cats. Since most of the dog owners also have cats at home, the risk of the fungus spreading between dogs or from dogs to cats is very high.

Most of the species of domestic animals, including livestock, may get ringworms from dogs. Therefore, talk to your vet on the risk of spreading the ringworm amongst your pets and other animals.

You might be aware that ringworms goes by a different name, such as “athlete’s foot.” Ringworms in dogs are not just a problems involve animals only. Humans can also get the ringworm from dogs, which is another good reason why you should take this condition very seriously.

Young children, the elderly, and all those people who have compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of contracting ringworm from the dogs. However, anyone may contract the unsightly and the uncomfortable parasite.

In humans, ringworm presents itself as a circular rash which is often red and itchy. If you or even a family member sees a rash on your body after the dog has been fully diagnosed with the condition, contact your primary care physician.

How to prevent Ringworm in Dogs

You do not need to worry about prevention of ringworm in dogs unless you have had a case of ringworm in some of your pets.

The best ways that can be used to prevent reinfection of the ringworm in dogs are to fully cleanse the environment of home and any given tools or the mats which the animals regularly come into contact with. In addition, strictly follow instructions of your veterinarian regarding ringworm prevention.

Knowing the symptoms of the ringworm in dogs can assist you prevent the spread of ringworm from the dogs to people or even other pets.

For more information on ringworm or if you suspect that your dog might be having ringworm, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Our Sources and References

  1. Ringworm in Dogs: http://www.dogchatforum.com/ringworm-in-dogs.htm
  2. Ringworm in Dogs: http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_dg_dermatophytosis?page=2
  3. What is ringworm and what causes it: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/ringworm-in-dogs
  4. Roundworm Infection in Dogs: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/roundworm-infection-in-dogs
  5. How to Check a Dog for Ringworm: http://www.wikihow.com/Check-a-Dog-for-Ringworm
  6. 6 Ways To Get Rid Of Ringworm On Dogs Fast: http://www.howhunter.com/pets/get-rid-of-ringworm-on-dogs/
  7. Treatment and Prognosis for Ringworm in Dogs: http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Health/Ringworm/Treatment.aspx
  8. Ringworm in Dogs — Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention: http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/ringworm-in-dogs/

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