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Dog Ringworm: What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog?

It's important to address your dog's ringworm promptly. Our veterinarians in Franklin provide guidance on identifying, treating, and understanding this condition to protect your furry friend from potential complications.

What is Ringworm?

The fungal infection ringworm creates circular bald spots and red rashes, resembling worm-like rings on the skin. It is not related to hookworm, roundworm, or tapeworm.

What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog?

Ringworm typically manifests as a circular or ring-shaped pattern on the skin, leading to redness, hair loss, and swelling.

However, in dogs, ringworm may not be as easily noticeable. Therefore, you should be vigilant for the following symptoms:

  • Inflamed, red skin rash
  • Scales that look like dandruff
  • Itchiness (pruritus)
  • Dry, brittle hair with hair follicles that break easily
  • Circular or patchy areas of hair loss (alopecia)
    Darkened skin (hyperpigmentation)
  • Reddened skin (erythema)
  • Scabs or raised nodular lesions on the skin
  • Inflamed folds of the skin around the claws or bordering the nails

If you notice any combination of these symptoms in your pup, contact a vet immediately.

How Does a Dog Get Ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungal infection that can spread through direct contact with an infected animal or contaminated objects like towels, food and water bowls, couches, or carpets. The fungus spores can survive for months, which means ringworms can be spread through the fur that your dog has already shed. The fungus can also remain on surfaces and get trapped in your home's carpets, drapes, and linen fibers if they aren't cleaned.

Certain types of fungi are found in the soil, so dogs can contract a fungal infection while playing outdoors. Your dog's immune system may be able to defend against the fungus, but in some cases, it could lead to a skin infection that might be localized or spread across the body. The severity and extent of the infection depend on various factors, such as your pet's overall health, the specific fungus involved, the area of the body affected, your dog's age, and more.

Sometimes, a pet can be a ringworm carrier without showing any visible symptoms. If your dog has been diagnosed with ringworm, having your other pets checked by a veterinarian is a good idea to be safe. You should also alert any fellow dog owners and dog-walking buddies that your dog has been infected and is being treated and that they should watch for signs of ringworm in their pets.

How Long to Quarantine Dog with Ringworm?

It's a difficult question to answer. Ringworm spores can remain viable for a long time, ranging from 6 weeks to 18 months, which makes treatment very challenging. During therapy, it is important to confine the dog to a separate room in your house and limit its contact with your other pets or family members.

While it can be emotionally trying, aim to keep your dog quarantined for about six weeks while you treat their ringworm, and maintain an impeccable cleaning schedule. At Pet Vet Battlewood, our vets know how challenging this can be, but in the long run, keeping your pet quarantined until the condition has fully cleared can prevent ongoing recurrences and the need for repeated treatments. 

How is Ringworm Treated?

If your pet has ringworm, don't worry! Effective treatments are available. Your vet will select the best solution based on the severity of the ringworm.

The treatment process is simple and usually free of complications if the fungus is treated promptly. Your vet will likely prescribe either a topical medication for the skin or an anti-fungal medication that can be taken orally.

To ensure a complete recovery, decontaminating your home and removing any contaminated items might be suggested.

Additionally, your veterinarian may suggest trimming the fur surrounding your dog's most severely affected areas. Remember that the absence of symptoms does not signify a complete recovery; continue treatment until your veterinarian confirms it.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is showing signs of ringworm, contact our vets at Pet Vet Battlewood today.

New Patients Always Welcome

Pet Vet Battlewood is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Franklin's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact (615) 794-3838