Contrary to the name given to this skin condition, Ringworm doesn't actually have anything to do with worms of any kind, Ringworm in dogs, cats, other animals and people is a fungal infection that essentially feeds on dead skin and hair.
In most cases, there will be a number of different fungi apparent. The name given to these fungi is Dermatophytes which translates to "plants that live on the skin."
The Causes Of Ringworm
The Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Ringworm in DogsThe Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Ringworm in DogsRingworm is a transmitted fungal infection, meaning that the infection can be contracted from a carrier with this infection. It tends to invade the hair follicles and is not species specific; instead, it can be transmitted from one species to another regardless of the species type. This means that if your pets have Ringworm it’s highly likely that you will contract the infection from them.
The spores can live just about everywhere namely in mattresses, bed sheets, carpets and sofas. They can also be found living in soil if the conditions in the environment are right.
Once you discover the nasty ailment in your home it will be up to you to treat every area of your home. For this, you can seek the advice of a veterinarian and a general practitioner. Cleaning your home with bleach will certainly help to kill most of the spores.
The Symptoms Of Ringworm in Dogs
Ringworm will first become noticeable around the tail, paws, ears and face and is more apparent in younger dogs and puppies whose immune systems have not yet developed to their fullest. As its name suggests, the disease will start out as a small reddened circle, or ring, that will usually result in the loss of hair within that ring.
However, keeping in mind that Localized Demodectic Mange also often starts out as reddened bald circles, as do many other skin conditions, it can be very difficult to diagnose Ringworm in dogs without a scrape or skin analysis.
At first Ringworm may not actually be an 'itchy' skin condition; the itchiness is usually heightened due to irritable scratching. This can then obviously lead to small lesions or sores on the skin which can, in turn, become infected, increasing the itchiness more so.
In severe cases, when the infection has set in, Kerions may be noticeable. These are small rounded raised nodes that will need to be treated immediately, as once the dog experiences symptoms like these the infection may already be at its worst.
Ringworm has an incubation period of 10 to 12 days, which means the symptoms will only become apparent after this time. This, unfortunately, means that the carrier finds out when it’s 'already too late'.
Treatment Of Ringworm in Dogs
Ultimately, Ringworm only has a lifespan of 2 to 4 months, which means that after this time it will have run its course and die out. But this in no way means that the dog, pet or person should be left to suffer from the condition for that period of time, especially when it can be treated.
A correct diagnosis will need to be made by a professional who will then advise you on appropriate medication and treatment. In most cases, the dog will be given a dip that they will need to be bathed in a number of times. This is another reason why it can be difficult to home-treat your dog with Ringworm because only a professional will be able to advise you on how often they will need to be dipped.The first step you'll need to take will be to treat the infected dog or pet as well as those who live in the same home. While there are home remedies available, it is never a good idea to assume the level of this condition. One may think that a simple home-made mixture of lavender-water and tea-tree (for example) could clear the infection, but sadly it’s not that simple.
Your vet may also opt for a topical treatment or an injectable treatment depending on the severity of the condition.
When it comes to clearing your home you could choose to disinfect every corner of your home with a bleach solution, as mentioned above. A mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water applied to each and every surface in your home could help to kill in the region of 80 percent of the spores.
In conclusion, skin conditions are extremely unpleasant for any animal. Ringworm in dogs can be treated. Pet owners should always ensure they are doing only the best for their companion pets, and a trip to the vet is the best that can be done in this case.