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 you 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 above symptoms show with some dry flaky skin, but sometimes it can be just this symptom
- Bald Patches – Maybe this is a good thing? Often when you get ringworm the hair in this area can fall out, especially in dogs, but this can help you spot it and identify it as under their coat it can be hard to spot and hard to get to for treatment
- Brittle miss-shaped nails – Not as common but the infection can occur on the nail and the skin that holds the nail. This can make the nail flake and crumble. Also the toe can 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 temperature 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.
In humans you can use Canesten Cream Clotrimazole.
Once you have applied any creams to the area, you might want to think about covering it up so you or the dog does not wipe or lick it off!
There are oral medications that dogs can take to help cure fungal infections and need to be taken for a few months, do not stop until the vet tells you to as the signs can go quite quick but the infection is still present.
There is no real way to prevent ringworm, It is highly infectious. if you or Think you or your dog have been near anybody or animal that might have ringworm you should take precautions.
Wash your clothes on a hot wash as soon as you can.
Wash your hands (and anywhere that came in contact) with an antibacterial wash.
Warm wash with strong shampoos your dog.
If you see any signs of it get to the Dr/Vet ASAP and start taking precautions and quarantine measures
Published : 26/06/19
Updated Last : 29/01/20
Sources : PetMD, Wikipedia, Our Dr, Our Vet and many other sources online.
Author : Bob Dent