How To Treat Ringworm in Dogs?

Is your dog suffering from ringworm? Are you looking for the best treatment for ringworm in dogs?

Our comprehensive guide will help you understand and identify an infection along with a list of the treatment options you can choose from.

A ringworm is not a worm or a parasite—it is a fungus. Ringworm infections are prevalent in many domesticated animals, including dogs, cats, horses, and cows. The infection can jump from animals to humans, so if it is detected in your pet, it must be dealt with swiftly.

Ringworm affects animals’ skin, hair, and nails. It is named for the round rings it creates on human skin.

Cause and Transmission

The real culprit behind ringworm infection is a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. This is why the medical name for the condition is called dermatophytosis. These fungi live and grow on the outer layer of the skin and in hair follicles, and the spores can propagate continuously for up to 18 months.

Your dog can get ringworm if it comes into contact with an infected animal or contaminated object or surface, such as bedding, carpet, or even its food bowl. The risk of infection increases significantly if your dog’s skin has scratches, bruises, or cuts.

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The most obvious sign of ringworm infection is when you see single or multiple red rings of hair loss on your pet’s body.

Here are other ringworm infection symptoms to watch out for:

  • Inflamed or scaly skin
  • Red or gray patches on the skin
  • Itchiness
  • Raised patches that may ooze
  • Dry or brittle hair
  • Hair falling out in clumps from infected patches or the whole body
  • Rough, brittle, or broken claws
  • Changes in the coat appearance

Some dogs may be asymptomatic carriers of the fungi and they carry the infection in their hair and skin without showing any of the symptoms.

That is why a professional diagnosis is necessary to identify infected animals and treat them properly, so they don’t spread the fungi throughout your household. Visit a veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect a ringworm infection in your dog.

After years of having a dog, you know him. You know the meaning of his snuffs and grunts and barks. Every twitch of the ears is a question or statement, every wag of the tail is an exclamation. —Robert McCammon

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Ringworm infection can spread to your other pets, and even humans, so immediate and thorough treatment is critical.

So, how do you get rid of ringworm on a dog?

There are many viable options for dog owners. You can choose to go straight to your vet for treatment, or you can start with a do-it-yourself remedy to mitigate the effects in the comfort of your home. 

Note that severe skin infections affecting your dog’s health and well-being should be checked by a veterinarian immediately.

Veterinary Treatment

Your veterinarian will prepare the best way to treat an infection after carefully assessing factors such as:

  • The severity of the infection
  • Number of pets affected
  • Vulnerable persons or children in your home
  • The difficulty of disinfection of the environment

The ringworm in dogs treatment prescribed may include one of these treatments or a combination of each:

Topical Treatment

If you were wondering what cures ringworm in dogs fast, then here’s your answer.

Topical therapy involves the application of creams, ointments, or shampooing.

Your veterinarian may prescribe solutions to apply to localized areas of affected skin. They may also recommend shaving or clipping some or all of your dog’s hair.

If you’re asking yourself how often to bathe a dog with ringworm?

Well, there is no one answer to that. Every dog is different, and the most effective method of bathing largely depends on the severity and strain of infection. But you don’t need to worry; your vet will cover this part of the treatment, and you should get specific instructions for bathing and grooming.

A topical treatment may be required for several weeks or months, depending on the severity of the infection.

Oral Treatment

Oral treatment involves the administration of antifungal drugs. The effectiveness of this treatment depends on the duration of administration and the type of medications prescribed.

This treatment may be required for weeks or even longer, depending on how long the infection persists. To keep track of the severity of the condition, your vet may order period cultures to be taken in regular intervals throughout treatment.

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Home Treatment

If you’re wondering how to treat your dog’s ringworm without going to the vet, here are two home remedies for you.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has impressive antifungal and microbial properties. In fact, it can effectively fight off a range of infections. 

Coconut oil is a fantastic option because it will kill the fungi, relieve itchiness, and nourish your dog’s hair.

To use it as a treatment, take liquid coconut oil and apply it to the affected area using a cotton ball. Apply the oil three times a day until the infection is gone.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has strong antifungal properties that can help kill fungal infections in dogs.

To use this remedy, mix a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water. Put this solution in a spray bottle or apply it topically with a cotton ball on the infected area. Repeat this 2 to 4 times a day until the infection is gone.

Make sure to wash your hands before and after every application.

Preventions and Precautions

Prevention is better than cure so by using the following ways you can stop this fungal infection from spreading to other pets and humans.

  • When you spot suspicious skin lesions on your dog, get them checked by a vet immediately.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after grooming or bathing your dog.
  • If your dog has a confirmed ringworm infection, carefully sanitize all the surfaces with which your dog has come in contact using a bleach solution.
  • Children, seniors, and immunocompromised adults are at a higher risk of getting ringworm infections from animals. Keep them separated from the infected.
  • Prevent environmental contamination through spores by clipping or shaving off your dog’s hair.
  • Quarantine the affected dog for the duration of treatment.
  • Do not let your dog near carpets, couches, or beds, as these surfaces can easily become contaminated and are difficult to clean.
  • If a veterinarian is treating your dog, make sure to continue the course exactly as prescribed.
  • Clean the infected dog’s bed every day.
  • Use tools such as an Elizabethan collar or a cone your dog is unable to stop licking or scratching the infected area.

The spores can remain in the environment for up to 18 months and re-infect anyone in your household. Therefore, you must follow these precautions well into the course of treatment and a little longer.

If you suspect your dog has eaten something toxic, then it is advisable to make your dog throw up. It is best to consult your veterinarian about this since the dosage and solution of the treatment largely depend on the dog’s size and what you think it ate.

Dog Breeds that are Prone to Ringworms

Any dog can get ringworm but hunting dogs are more prone to it because of the over-exposure. Other than that, terrier breeds are also more prone to ringworm such as Boston Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, and Brazilian Terriers.

Bottom Line:

The first thing you should keep in your mind is that this condition is not life-threatening so you shouldn’t panic. You should take your dog to the vet immediately to stop it from spreading to others. Moreover, this guide will help you and your dog find relief from the pain and stress of a ringworm infection.

Begin a round of treatment as soon as possible to alleviate the symptoms and get your dog back to its healthiest, happiest self.

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