Ringworm in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

An important note for dog owners

Ringworm in dogs is one of the most common and unpleasant diseases in dogs. But this disease is treated quite successfully.

Dermatophytosis is the medical term for a parasitic fungal infection that impacts the skin, hair, and/or nails (claws). The most commonly separated fungal organisms are Microsporum canis (more commonly referred to as ringworm), Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Microsporum gypseum. This disease happens in dogs, cats, and other mammals. It is identified more commonly in young animals than in old.

The condition or disease described in this medical post can impact both dogs and cats.

Symptoms Ringworm in Dogs

Symptoms of ringworm in dogs include accumulations of surface skin cells, such as seen in dandruff (scales); poor hair coat; reddened skin (erythema); darkened skin (hyperpigmentation); irritation (pruritus); and hair loss (alopecia), which may be irregular or circular. Other signs of ringworm in dogs that are readily evident on the skin are raised, rounded, knotty (nodular) lesions referred to as granulomatous sores, or boils, and raised nodular lesions that frequently exude (kerions), the result of ringworm infection. There might also be swelling of the claw folds– the folds of skin bordering the nail, and medically described as paronychia.

Periodically, dogs are classified as inapparent providers– harboring the disease-causing fungus, but providing no visible signs of the condition. However, even these dogs are contagious to human beings and other animals.

How Do Dogs Get Ringworm?

There are a couple of methods that dogs can get ringworm. Dogs most frequently are infected with the fungi Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The incidence of these and the less common species that cause ringworm varies according to your geographic location. Dogs frequently catch ringworm through direct contact with animals or individuals who have ringworm themselves, some of whom might have little or no medical evidence of the disease. Ringworm fungi can likewise be spread out through contaminated objects like bed linen, brushes, clippers, and cages. Some types of ringworm live in the soil, and dogs can end up being sick after getting in touch with dirt that is home these organisms.

Anything that decreases the body’s ability to mount an efficient immune action (such as young age, immunocompromising diseases, or immunosuppressive medications) increases the possibility that your dog will establish ringworm, in addition to boost the capacity for a more serious infection. Environments that are largely populated with animals (for instance, in an animal shelter or kennel), or where there is poor nutrition, poor management practices, and absence of a sufficient quarantine period, likewise increase risk of infection. Finally, interruptions to the normal protective barrier of the skin, like wounds or a flea invasion, increase a pet’s vulnerability to ringworm.

Causes of Ringworm in Dogs

Dogs most frequently establish ringworm due to the fact that of infections with the fungi Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The occurrence of each fungus differs according to your geographical area.

Diseases or medications that reduce the body’s capability to establish a typical immune response (known as immunocompromising diseases, or immunosuppressive medications, respectively) can increase the possibility that your dog will be prone to a fungal infection of the skin, hair, and/or nails, in addition to increase the capacity for a more severe infection. Environments that are largely occupied with animals (for instance, in an animal shelter or kennel), or where there is poor nutrition, poor management practices, and lack of appropriate quarantine duration, will likewise increase risk of infection.


Your vet will perform a fungal culture of skin clippings, a tiny examination of a sample of hair, and possibly a skin biopsy.

If you think your pet has ringworm, it is very important to go straight to your veterinarian, as diagnosis typically needs an extensive scientific evaluation and screening. Your vet will utilize a mix of the following diagnostic tests:


Your veterinarian will first examine your pet for any of the skin lesions and scaling that generally accompany ringworm.

Wood’s Lamp

This special ultraviolet light is created to show up a yellow-green fluorescence. The fluorescent material is not actually the fungi themselves, but an excretion that stays with the hair shaft. While this quick and non-invasive test will assist diagnose some cases, it just gets a percentage of Microsporum canis infections so an unfavorable result does not dismiss a ringworm infection.

Microscopic lense

Your veterinarian may carefully pluck a little sample of hair surrounding the lesion and view the hair shafts under the microscopic lense. This might permit the visualisation of fungal spores connected to the hair shafts.

Fungal culture. If your vet needs to validate the diagnosis, they might send a hair sample to a laboratory for screening. While it can use up to 4 weeks for a conclusive medical diagnosis from the laboratory, early signs of the infection can be spotted within a couple of days. A fungal culture can be needed if outcomes of other tests are inconclusive or if the specific types of ringworm needs to be recognized.

Your vet might also carry out extra screening to eliminate other causes of the hair loss and skin lesions (eg. allergic skin disease, sarcoptes or demodex mites).

Treatment for Ringworm in Dogs

A lot of dogs can be treated on an outpatient basis, however quarantine treatments need to be thought about due to the infective and zoonotic (infectious to people) nature of some types of dermatophytosis. If your vet has to recommend antifungal medications, using an Elizabethan collar (a broad collar positioned around the neck) is suggested to prevent intake of antifungal medications applied to the dog’s skin.

When ringworm is identified, your veterinarian will talk about a treatment prepare for your dog. This treatment strategy depends upon the seriousness of the case, the number of pets in the family, and whether there are children or immunocompromised adults in the home.

Dealing with ringworm in dogs normally consists of three actions:

  • Topical treatment
  • Oral medications
  • Ecological decontamination

Topical Therapy for Ringworm

Your vet will most likely recommend a topical therapy, like a cream, lotion, and/or medicated hair shampoo to help treat and control the infection. Your vet may likewise recommend clipping long-haired dogs to speed up treatment and shaving the hair from affected areas. Topical therapy can take numerous months to totally eliminate the infection, but does help prevent environmental contamination.

For mild cases, antifungal creams and ointments can be used directly to the impacted areas of your pet’s skin. If the infection is widespread, your veterinarian might prescribe an antifungal shampoo to treat your pet’s whole body. It’s crucial that you just use lotions and hair shampoos that have been suggested by your vet, as other items might aggravate the condition.

Oral Medications for Ringworm

Oral treatment is normally utilized in combination with a topical therapy. Anti-fungal oral medications help combat the infection and, like topical treatment, need to be administered for a minimum of six weeks, however sometimes might take months to take complete effect.

Your veterinarian will more than likely ask you if you have any other pets in the home and might recommend that you test and treat them for ringworm, also, even if they are not presently showing signs of a ringworm infection. It is likewise very important that owners continue to deal with for ringworm for the proposed time period. Even if the clinical signs disappear does not suggest that your dog is no longer contagious, and your veterinarian will most likely wish to retest your dog for ringworm before providing you the “all’s clear.”

Environmental Decontamination

The spores that live inside the hair follicles remain contagious for months at a time, surviving on couches, grooming tools, bedding, furniture, and clothes. Tidying up all this hair is a part of treatment, however as many dog owners know, likewise a little a difficulty.

Some owners keep their dogs in spaces that are easy to tidy throughout the time they are infected with ringworm. This makes it easier to get rid of stray hairs and to mop with a disinfectant advised by your veterinarian. If you can’t contain your dog to hard floors, everyday vacuuming and removal of hair from furnishings and surfaces can help prevent ringworm from spreading.

What Medications Kill Ringworms in a Dog

You can buy the right ringworms medication if you are sure that you can follow the instructions correctly (and this is not difficult). The following deformers are the best you can buy right now:

  • non-prescription topical brand used and recommended by U.S. veterinarians for dogs and cats with infections/inflammatory dermatological disease
  • Proven to disinfect, hydrate and help support the skin’s ecosystem and reduce yeast counts in 7 days
  • Contains ophytrium, a purified natural ingredient that helps support the skin’s physical barrier for supple hydrated skin and helps soothe irritated skin
  • Free from soaps, sulfates, parabens, dyes and nanoparticles
  • For best results use with the DOUXO PYO Mousse
  • PERFECT TO CLEANSE perfect to cleanse and treat skin
  • POWERFUL MEDICATED PRODUCT available without the need for a prescription
  • CONTAINS CHLORHEXIDINE, TrizEDTA, and BETAINE to soothe your pets skin
  • WATER-BASED NON-IRRITATING FORMULA does not contain alcohol
  • BioHex Shampoo is a clean, soap free, cleansing shampoo formulated for dogs and cats with skin conditions.
  • BioHex Wipes are ideal for the cleansing of skin folds, facial areas, vulva, between the toes and footpads, and other skin areas.
  • BioHex is formulated with microsilver to help reduce infection and reduce the formation of biofilms. BioHex Wipes also help reinforce the natural skin barrier and prevent skin water loss.

Living and Management

A fungal culture is the only means of genuinely monitoring your dog’s reaction to treatment. Numerous animals will enhance clinically, but remain fungal culture favorable. It is advisable to duplicate fungal cultures towards the end of treatment, and continue treatment up until at least one culture result is negative. In resistant cases, fungal cultures may be repeated on a weekly basis, and treatment continued until two to three consecutive unfavorable results are acquired. Complete blood counts should be carried out weekly or biweekly for animals getting griseofulvin, an anti-fungous antibiotic. Likewise, blood work to keep an eye on the liver might be suggested for dogs receiving ketoconazole or itraconazole, two types of anti-fungal medications.

Ringworm Prevention

To prevent reinfection from other animals, using a quarantine period, and fungal (dermatophyte) cultures of all animals living in the home are required. Treatment of exposed animals ought to be considered to avoid repetitive development of infection. The possibility of rodents assisting in the spread of the disease should be considered. If you believe that your dog has access to rodents, or that rodents are in your instant environment, it is extremely encouraged that you take the essential steps to eliminate the pests.

Ringworm in a Dog: Your Questions – Expert’s Answers

How can I tell if my dog has ringworm?

The symptoms of what ringworm looks like on a dog are described above. In short, you should consult a veterinarian or, if you are sure, start treatment for the following signs that you will notice in your dog:

  • Dandruff-like scaling in the depths of the coat.
  • Red sores on the head, chest, forelegs and the ridge of the back.
  • Scaling, crusting, thickening and reddening of the skin.
  • Circular spots of loss of hair (alopecia) on the head, tail or the ridge of the dog or cat’s back.

How contagious is ringworm from dog to human?

The infection is extremely contagious and is passed from individual to person through direct skin contact or through contact with polluted items such as toilet articles, clothing, and even by polluted shower or pool surface areas. Animals, including dogs, can likewise be affected by ringworm and may transmit the condition to humans.

How do you get rid of ringworm on a dog?

Depending on the severity of the dog’s lesion, ringworm is treated either by regular bathing with a special shampoo (for mild cases), or, if the dog is severely affected by ringworm, then with ointments, creams and sprays (we have given good versions of medications for this purpose above.)

How can I treat ringworm on my dog at home?

You can purchase the medications listed in this article and treat your dog at home. At the same time, we strongly recommend that you follow the rules of hygiene and isolate the dog from contact with other people and animals.

Will dogs ringworm go away on its own?

As with people, you can’t say Yes or No for sure. Much depends on the dog’s immunity, its contacts with people and animals, and its lifestyle. Even if a dog can overcome ringworm without treatment, it can take months. As for skin lesions in the muzzle, genitals, it is more difficult. We strongly recommend that you do not leave your dog without treatment. This affects not only his / her health, but also yours.


Unfortunately, ringworm often affects Pets, especially active ones like dogs and cats. The good news is that this problem is treated and almost anyone can cope with it, following the instructions of the veterinarian and the instructions of the medication.

Owners should monitor the condition of their dog and try to start treatment as early as possible, for faster and easier procedures.

Reyus Mammadli/ author of the article

I have had pets since childhood: cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, geese, chickens, ducks, parrots, aquarium fish and dogs (in the yard). Of course, I constantly encountered diseases of pets and treated them. Glad to be able to share my skills and experience, as well as advice on caring for and adapting these critters and birds.

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