Contrary to it’s name, ringworm is not a worm but actually a type of fungus that infects the outer layer of skin and hair. There are many different types of ringworm and they can live on people, animals, and in the soil. Ringworm can be difficult to resolve and may require multiple rounds of treatment for all pets in your household.
What are symptoms of ringworm?
Ringworm can cause many different skin symptoms such as:
- Scaling or crusting
- Hair loss
In some animals, ringworm infections do not cause any abnormal symptoms. However, even without symptoms, a dog with ringworm can spread the disease. That is why it is important that your dog be tested for this fungus if any person or animal in your household show signs of ringworm infection.
How will we test for ringworm?
We will test for this fungus by removing fur from the edges of your dogs’ affected skin. After lab analysis, we will be able to determine whether or not your pet requires treatment for this disease.
How will we treat my dog?
There are multiple topical and oral medications that can be used to treat your dog for ringworm. We will choose the best option for your dog based on how widespread the infection is and any other medical conditions they may have. Other pets in your household can contract ringworm from your dog and may not show any clinical signs. Therefore, it may be worth treating all of your animals for this fungus at the same time.
Can I prevent infection?
Appropriate prevention is the best way to stop your dog from contracting ringworm.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with unknown animals.
- Do not allow your dog access to animals that are showing signs of skin disease.
- If your dog is positive for ringworm, test or treat all pets in your household.
Can humans contract these parasites?
Yes, humans can contract ringworm from dogs and this can cause a very uncomfortable skin disease. Make sure to wash your hands appropriately after contact with animals, soil, or after you visit an area where animals frequent. If you have a disease that lowers your immune system, please avoid contact with possibly infected animals when possible and wash your hands after any animal contact. If you or anyone in your family has abnormal symptoms, please contact your primary care provider immediately.