Considered as one of the most frequent diseases, dermatophytosis or ringworm in dogs is a highly contagious parasitic infection. In this article, we are going to explain their causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.
What causes ringworm in dogs?
As we have already mentioned, ringworm in dogs is a fungal disease. Currently, three causative species are known: Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The incidence is higher in young animals than in adults and, if our dog has an altered or low immune response (what is known as immunosuppressed), the chances of infection multiply.
Being a fungus, the sources of infection are numerous: soils or objects where the fungus or spores of this are present are the primary sources. Also, ringworm in dogs is considered highly contagious, which increases the chances of transmission in places where many animals live together.
The ringworm is not exclusive to dogs but also affects humans and cats. We are talking, then, of a zoonosis, which means that ringworm in dogs can be transmitted from the infected animal to humans.
What are the main symptoms?
Ringworm in dogs manifests primarily in the epidermis and associated tissues, such as hooves and hair. The main symptoms are:
- The appearance of circular lesions on the skin and redness.
- Localized alopecia.
- The appearance of scabs or yellowish scales.
- Inflammation of the nail folds.
- Big stink detached from the animal’s skin.
If we detect any of these symptoms in our dog, we must immediately go to the veterinarian. Ringworm in dogs is not life-threatening, but since it is a highly contagious disease, prevention, and early detection is essential.
Tinea treatment in dogs
To clinically confirm that our dog is affected by ringworm, the veterinary professional will perform an analysis from hair, combined with a culture of the fungus from samples of infected skin.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment may vary. Typically, a topical symptomatic treatment is usually applied, with antifungal lotions or ointments that prevent the proliferation of the fungus. This measure should be used until the presence of the fungus is negative in medical controls.
If deemed necessary, the veterinarian can apply systemic antifungal medications such as griseofulvin. These treatments are long and expensive but highly effective.
As additional control and prevention measures, it is vital to periodically bathe our dog with a suitable shampoo, as well as keep our domestic environment as hygienic as possible.