Find the best way to treat ringworm in dog and ways to prevent it. Learn to diagnose ringworm, what are the symptoms and different methods to treat ringworm in dogs.
This may be a surprise for many dog owners, but ringworm is not a parasite. Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin, and can also spread to other parts of the body, such as claws. Ringworm is not an internal parasite, therefore it is not treated by usual tablets from helminths.
An important feature of ringworm is that it is transmitted to many other animals. Ringworm is a zoonotic infection, which means that it is transmitted between dogs, cats, other animals, and also to humans. Ringworm is very contagious and can be transmitted through simple contact with the affected area of the skin.
This disease is very common in dogs, and it can take a prolonged course, if not immediately begin treatment. Even worse, if the fungus becomes chronic. Therefore, it is better not to rely on your guesses in terms of treatment, but immediately go to the vet.
Causes of ringworm in dogs
A dog can easily get infected if he eats from the feeder of a sick animal, plays with his toy, bone or just lies on his rug. But if the dog has strong immunity, then it can avoid infection.
Protect should be puppies, old animals, those who have recently been ill with some disease or individuals with weakened immunity. And, the smaller the animal, the heavier the ringworm flows, as the fungus on the small body with much faster affects the skin areas. Therefore, owners of miniature breeds of dogs should be on the alert. In addition, according to statistics, we are more often deprived of short-haired breeds of dogs.
Symptoms of Ringworm in a Dog
The incubation period proceeds without symptoms and lasts from a week to a month. Then the first signs of the disease begin to appear. Their owners may not notice because a small area of the animal’s skin appears a barely noticeable rash.
After a few days, the area of this area of the skin increases and becomes noticeable, then on the muzzle, near the ears appear flaky spots. Their size and shape are different, and the color is usually grayish. From this moment it is necessary to start treatment, because after a while on the spots a reddish crust grows, from under it oozes pus, this is already an indicator of the progression of the disease, and from that moment it is already difficult to cure the disease.
It is possible that on the body of your pet will forever be bald spots since hair bulbs are affected. Therefore, the disease and was called “ringworm” because of the fact that the wool of animals is as though sheared.
The behavior of the dog during the period of illness is sluggish, it does not play, it is always sad, immunity is greatly weakened.
If treatment has not yet come, the fungus can spread to other areas, the back, paws, abdomen. The affected areas itch, the dog itches, the spots become even more inflamed.
Diagnosis of ringworm
Diagnostics has three main methods:
- The dog is lit by a Wood lamp in the complete darkness. If there is a fungus, then the coat glows green. But this glow can appear only in 70% of cases, therefore 100% of confirmation or refutation of the result by this method cannot be proved.
- The dog’s hair is examined under a microscope, adding alkali to the slide. Then the spores of fungi become visible in the form of “balls”.
- Sowing of affected wool. This method is the most reliable, but also the longest (up to 2 weeks). It is carried out only in special laboratories.
Treat ringworm in dog
An integrated approach is a basis for successful elimination of ringworm in dogs.
When the first signs of defeat appear, you should immediately contact the veterinarian to destroy the fungus and the effects of its effects on the body as soon as possible. Categorically it is not recommended to choose methods of treatment independently or on the advice of friends. The drugs used can give a temporary effect, after which the disease will progress. They can also distort the picture of the disease, which makes it difficult to diagnose a specialist correctly.
Principles of treatment
Complex therapy in the treatment of ringworm in dogs consists of the following areas:
- Local treatment of lesions
- Strengthening immunity
- Maintenance therapy
The duration of therapy depends on the severity of the disease and, as a rule, is 4-6 weeks. It is necessary to completely pass the course appointed by the veterinarian and in no case to stop it immediately after the improvement of the clinical picture. After the end of the course, you should undergo a second examination to confirm the absence of fungi in the body. A pet is considered healthy when two analyzes taken at intervals of a week show negative results.
In the process of treatment of ringworm the following methods are used:
- Ointments (Miconazole, Thiabendazole, Clotrimazole, Ointment Yam). Treatment is carried out two to three times a day by applying a thin layer of the product to the areas of the body that have been cut from the wool.
- Solutions of iodine, salicylic acid or clotrimazole are used for additional external treatment only on the advice of a doctor with strict adherence to dosages, as they can provoke necrosis of superficial layers of skin that require additional treatment.
- Tablets (Fluconazole, Itraconazole, Griseofulvin) are prescribed for lesions of large areas of the body or the stability of the fungus to the means of external processing. In combination with them, hepatoprotective drugs are taken to reduce the negative effects of tablets on the liver.
- Shampoos are used in case of appearance of a large number of fungus according to the instructions attached to them. It is important to thoroughly wash off the foam to prevent it from entering the stomach and mucous membranes and possible poisoning. With thick wool, it is better to shave it, but then during the walk, the animal should be worn with overalls in order to prevent hypothermia and weakening of immunity.
- Immunostimulants and vitamins are provided support for a weakened organism, strengthen immunity and accelerate recovery of hair and skin.
- Antibiotics in the form of ointments, injections or tablets are used for the prescription of a veterinarian in the event of a secondary infection (staphylococcal or streptococcal), which causes inflammation and festering of the wounds.
The use of shampoo is not recommended in the presence of small areas of baldness, because during the bathing spores will spread to healthy areas of the skin, causing their damage.
Rules of external processing
All medical measures should be carried out in rubber gloves and clothing, which can then be treated with disinfectants or completely discarded.
Stages of processing:
- Cut off the wool, protruding a couple of centimeters beyond the area of the lesion.
- Remove easily separated crusts and scabs. You can pre-soften them with warm soapy water or hydrogen peroxide.
- Treat affected areas and nearby healthy skin with medicines.
- Ensure that the animal does not lick medicines. Special collars or muzzles can be used for this.
The vaccine against ringworm in dogs is a controversial method of getting rid of the fungus. Firstly, a fungus is not a viral, but a fungal disease, so today a truly effective drug has not yet been developed. Secondly, pets do not tolerate vaccination, and after it, the resistance to drugs develops in the fungus, which complicates further treatment. A few years ago, antifungal vaccines were considered the best option for getting rid of fungus in Russia. But recent international studies confirm that the vaccine is not effective for treating or preventing the disease.
The use of the following preventive measures allows minimizing the risk of infection of the pet:
- Observance of the correct food and diet.
- Adding to the diet of multivitamin and immunomodulating drugs.
- Regular examination of the skin.
- Hygienic shower after walking.
- Systematic antiparasitic treatment of animal things and bodies.
- Timely vaccinations and visits to the veterinarian.
All these measures will help increase the body’s resistance to pathogenic fungi and exclude the formation of favorable conditions for their reproduction. If the animal has a low resistance to infection with fungal microorganisms, then the cause of this phenomenon should be sought. Among the possible causes may be problems with immunity or hidden ailments.
Ringworm is a contagious disease. It can be infected from a cat, from a dog, and from a person.
Take precautions when interacting with a sick dog: use gloves, disinfectants, and support your body with immunomodulators, since the fungus mainly affects animals and people with weak immunity.
Do not self-medicate! Quite often, doctors note the emergence of new strains of fungi, which are no longer amenable to standard treatment regimens. In such cases, the doctor will develop an individual treatment regimen.