What Does Ringworm Look Like On A Dog?

icon October 18, 2023

What is Ringworm?

With so many parasites there, it's easy to lump ringworm in with hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. However, despite its name, ringworm is not actually a worm - it is a fungus.

Main pathogen:

  • Microsporum: canine Microsporum's long-term presence in the canine body, only produce mild inflammation, about 50% of canine ringworm disease is caused by this fungus

  • Gypsy Microsporum is a soil-loving fungus, warm climates occasionally cause ringworm disease in dogs, but this inflammatory response and infection is self-limiting.

  • Whisker microsporidia mainly cause secondary ringworm disease in dogs, rats are the main carrier. Mycobacterium dermatitis causes mainly mycelium to invade the hair column, hair follicle, and cuticle causing hair loss and dander, mostly occurring in the head, feet, and legs, small dogs are more prone than adult dogs.

This fungal infection is common all over the world and can infect almost all species of domestic animals, including dogs, which is why dog owners should know what does ringworm look like on a dog and how do you get rid of ringworm on a dog?

What Does Ringworm Look Like On A DOG?

 Here's what ringworm may look like on a dog:

  • Circular or irregular bald patches

  • Itchy skin

  • Thickened skin

  • Dandruff

  • Secondary infection

  • Inflamed, red skin rash

  • Dry, brittle hair with hair follicles that break easily

  • Darkened skin (hyperpigmentation)

  • Reddened skin (erythema)

  • Scabs or raised nodular lesions on the skin

  • Inflamed folds of the skin around the claws, or bordering the nails

  • The most common symptom of ringworm on a dog is circular or irregular bald patches on the skin. These patches may be small or large and can occur anywhere on the body. The skin within the patch may be scaly, reddened, or crusty.

  • Dogs with ringworm may experience itching or irritation around the affected area. They may also lick or scratch at the area excessively.

  • In some cases, the skin around the ringworm lesion may become thickened or raised.

  • Dogs with ringworm may develop dandruff or flaky skin around the affected area.

  • Ringworm can weaken the immune system, making the dog more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. This can cause the affected area to become more inflamed and painful.

  • If severe, it causes inflammation and crusting. In the case of paw fungus, this can lead to infected nails and claws becoming brittle and breaking off.

How Do Dogs Get Ringworm?

Dogs can get ringworm through direct contact with an infected animal or contaminated objects, such as bedding, grooming tools, or other surfaces. The fungi that cause ringworm can survive for long periods in the environment, and they can infect dogs when they come into contact with them.

Some factors can increase a dog's risk of getting ringworm, including:

  • Young age

Puppies and younger dogs are more susceptible to ringworm because their immune systems are still developing.

  • Poor hygiene

Dogs that are not groomed regularly or are kept in dirty or overcrowded conditions are more likely to get ringworm.

  • Weakened immune system

Dogs with weakened immune systems, such as those with underlying health conditions or that are taking medications that suppress the immune system, are more susceptible to ringworm.

  • Contact with infected animals

Dogs that come into contact with infected animals, such as stray dogs or cats, or those that visit areas where infected animals are present, such as animal shelters or kennels, are at higher risk of getting ringworm.

  • Genetics

Some breeds of dogs, such as Dachshunds, Scottish Terriers, and Shetland Sheepdogs, may be more susceptible to ringworm than others due to genetics.

Does Ringworm Go Away By Itself?

Ringworm can not go away by itself, mainly because ringworm is a fungal disease and because the fungus is quick to reproduce and recoverable, it can easily recur and if left untreated will only worsen. This is why it is usually necessary to visit your dog's vet for a skin scraping and microscopic examination to determine the type of fungus and then treat the dog with targeted medication.

Can Humans Catch Ringworm From Dogs?

Ringworm is a fungal skin disease that can be transmitted by children or elderly people who have not washed their hands after close contact with the affected dog. When a dog is found to have ringworm, it is important that the owner isolates and treats the affected area as soon as possible to help rid the dog of ringworm as soon as possible.

How Do You Get Rid Of Ringworm On A Dog?

1. Environmental Cleaning

Because ringworm in cats and dogs is very contagious, the first step in treatment is 'isolation'. Especially if there are multiple pets in the house, it is important to separate the contaminated and clean areas and not allow sick pets to enter the clean area to prevent cross-infection. Daily cleaning of the environment is very important. Generally, a 1:10 dilution of bleach can destroy 80% of fungal spores in the environment. However, sometimes the spores may be hidden under dust, so regular vacuuming is also essential.

2. Topical Treatment

Treat the affected area and adhere to care Dogs with ringworm will experience itching, redness, baldness, and hair loss. Pet owners should promptly put an Elizabethan ring on him to prevent him from scratching and biting himself, and treat his affected skin as soon as possible. You can stabilize your dog by shaving the affected area, then scrubbing the affected area with a diluted disinfectant or hydrogen peroxide, drying it and using an antifungal spray to help clean the affected area, and applying Ketoconazole (Ketoconazole is a topical antifungal medication).

Do not give your dog a bath, use some wet towels and blow dry the coat as soon as possible. If your dog has severe ringworm, it is best to treat it with regular medicated baths.

3. Oral Treatment

For severe ringworm in cats and dogs, oral antifungal medication may be required, the most commonly used being itraconazole and terbinafine. Ashwagandha is the traditional antifungal drug and although it is also very effective, the newer drugs tend to have fewer side effects, so ashwagandha is being used less and less.

4. Nutritional Supplements

If your dog is prone to ringworm, you must take care of your dog's condition and provide him with nutritional supplements. It is important to manage the affected dog's nutrition better and enrich his structure by feeding him foods that help his skin and coat to be healthy, such as chicken, salmon, carrots, broccoli, and egg yolks.When feeding your dog, you can add some Vitamin B to help replenish the vitamins and trace elements needed for the skin and increase skin resistance and give it with Pet Itchy to help reduce itching caused by ringworm.

Are There Any Effective Home Remedies?

While there are some natural ingredients that have potential benefits for certain skin conditions, it's important to note that home remedies should not replace professional veterinary care, especially when dealing with a potentially contagious and stubborn condition like ringworm. However, if you want to complement veterinary treatment with some natural remedies, here are a few options:

Chamomile: Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. You can brew chamomile tea, let it cool, and use it as a rinse after bathing your dog. This may help alleviate itchiness and inflammation.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Diluted apple cider vinegar can have antifungal properties and may help soothe the skin. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water, and gently apply it to the affected areas using a clean cloth or cotton ball. However, be cautious as vinegar can sting if applied to open sores or irritated skin. If your dog shows any signs of discomfort, discontinue its use and consult your veterinarian.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antifungal properties. Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the affected areas to help moisturize the skin and potentially inhibit the growth of the fungus. 

Rosemary: Rosemary has antimicrobial properties and may have some benefits for the skin. You can create a rosemary-infused rinse by boiling fresh rosemary sprigs in water, letting it cool, and using it as a rinse on the affected areas. However, it's important to ensure that your dog doesn't have any sensitivities or allergies to rosemary before using it.

Recommend a shampoo that combines antibacterial and anti-itch ingredients

Shampoo for Ringworm Dogs

Ringworm Dog Shampoo is a shampoo specifically designed to treat ringworm in dogs. The shampoo is formulated with natural ingredients, coconut oil, rosemary, and chamomile, and is designed to reduce and control the symptoms of ringworm and help speed up the healing process.

ANTI-FUNGAL FORMULA: Ringworm Dog Shampoo contains rosemary antifungal ingredients to inhibit and reduce the growth of pathogenic fungi, thereby reducing the condition and promoting healing.

Gentle Cleansing: The shampoo gently and effectively cleanses the dog's skin and coat, removing oil, dirt and possible fungal spores, helping to reduce the risk of infection.

Soothes itching: Chamomile in the formula has soothing itching and reduces inflammation, helping to reduce the discomfort caused by canine rosacea.

Moisturizing and nourishing: The moisturizing ingredients in the shampoo help keep your dog's skin moist, reduce dryness and flaking, and promote healthy coat growth.

Safe to use: The shampoo has been veterinarian tested and verified to meet safety standards and contains no harmful chemicals that are harmful to the dog's skin and health.


How Often to Bathe a Dog with Ringworm?

In general, bathing is often a part of the treatment for ringworm in dogs, as it helps remove infected hair and spores from the coat, reduces the risk of spreading the infection, and can enhance the effectiveness of antifungal treatments. However, the frequency can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the specific treatment approach.

Always follow the advice of your veterinarian or the instructions for use of the product. This can range from daily baths to baths every few days or once a week. 

How Contagious Is Ringworm From Dog To Human?

Ringworm is a fungal skin disease that can be infectious, especially to children or elderly people who are not able to wash their hands after close contact with the affected dog. When a dog is found to have ringworm, pet owners should isolate it and treat the affected area as soon as possible to help it get rid of ringworm as soon as possible.

Daily Care

In some cases, the symptoms may disappear after a period of treatment for cats and dogs, but if a fungal culture is taken, it still shows positive. Therefore, treatment for ringworm in cats and dogs, after the symptoms have disappeared, is still recommended to be continued with weekly fungal tests until two to three consecutive negative results are obtained before treatment can be stopped. In addition, cats and dogs treated with oral medication will require ongoing monitoring of liver function and blood work.


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