Despite its name it has nothing to do with worms of any sort. It is a fungal infection that can occur on the skin or nails. There are different varieties of fungal strain that cause ‘Ringworm’ one of the most infectious and easily spread is ‘Trichophyton mentagrophytes‘. These strains that can occur on dogs are also transferable to people, and other animals such as, cats, rabbits, mice etc. It is possible to be an Asymptomatic Carrier, meaning they can have the infection, and spread it to others but show no symptoms!!
These are some of the symptoms but not necessarily all of them.
- Red Raised Swollen Ring – This is where the name comes from, a common symptom is what looks like a red worm in a small ring on the skin. It sometimes weeps and is very itchy
- Red raised blotches – Though it famously shows in a ring it can often just be a red raised bump on the skin. Just as itchy though
- Dry Flaky Skin – Often the the above symptoms show with some dry flaky skin, but sometimes it can be just this
- Bald Patches – Maybe this is a good thing? Often when you get ringworm the hair in this area can fall out, especially in dogs this can help you spot it and identify it as under their coat it can be hard to spot and hard to get to to treat
- Brittle miss-shaped nails – Not as common but the infection can occur on the nail and the skin that holds the nail, can make the nail flake and crumble. and the toe swell and go red
Here you can see the red ring often associated with Ringworm.
The first thing you are going to want to do is seperate your dog from other animals and as many people as you can. You will want to wear disposable gloves when touching the dog until this is treated and avoid stroking them (as hard as this will be). You dont want to be passing it back and forth between yourself and your pet as it is not an infection you can prevent only treat.
It is suggested that you wash on a high tempreture all the beading and clothing the dog might have come into contact with.
Obviously you want to contact your Vet who will most likely want to see your dog and prescribe some Medicated Shampoo. I would ask with them about any creams you can apply as well.