You’ve probably heard of humans getting ringworm, but did you know that dogs can too? As it’s medically referred to, dermatophytosis in dogs is somewhat common. And in this article, we’re going to discuss what it means when your dog is diagnosed with it and what you can do to help your dog get well again.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
What is Dermatophytosis? And how can I tell if my dog has it?
Dermatophytosis or ringworm is a fungal infection caused by some common organisms such as:
- Trichophyton mentagrophytes,
- Microsporum gypseum,
- And microsporum canis.
Don’t worry; it’s not important that you remember these names; identifying it as ringworm in dogs is good enough!
But it’s important to understand…
That ringworm can happen to dogs, cats, humans, and other animals – and it can be spread from one to another which is all the more reason to be able to identify this condition in your animals and get it treated right away!
Symptoms and Clinical Signs of Ringworm in Dogs
The first thing that will tip you off is seeing skin lesions on your dog. Of course, not every skin lesion is ringworm; it could be another disease as well.
When the lesion is combined with some of the following could indicate ringworm:
- Hair loss (the technical term is alopecia)
- Crusty skin by or on the lesions itself
- More dandruff than normal
- Skin ulcerations
You’ll also probably see dermatophytes in any of the following places:
- Hair shafts
- Nails or claws
- Body surface
How do dogs get ringworm?
This is a skin disease that’s passed on due to direct contact to fungal spores that cause it. Direct contact doesn’t mean your dog has to touch another dog’s ringworm lesion; if a dog or animal with ringworm has slept on a bed and then your dog does, it’s possible to pass along the fungal spores and in turn, the infection.
For this reason…
Some geographic locations are more prone to these fungi than others.
Your dog can also…
Get ringworm when they suffer from a poor immune system (usually because he or she has another sickness) or from poor nutrition.
If you suspect your dog to have dermatophytosis you should take him or her to the veterinarian’s clinic for a proper diagnosis. He or she will see the symptoms and make a diagnosis based on that. The vet may choose to do a microscopic examination of some of your dog’s hair or skin, or possibly even do a skin biopsy (this is normally not required though). To be honest, most vets that we’ve encountered normally just see the symptoms and pretty much know it’s ringworm.
Quarantine Your Dog
Some vets may also recommend your dog be quarantined to reduce the chances of spreading the disease through environmental contamination. This may be necessary especially if you have other pets or kids.
Now this is usually when…
We like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals. All we are is a bunch of folks who are passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.
If you feel like your dog my have been infected with dermatophytosis, (or any other fungal infections for that matter) be sure to have him or her checked out by a professional. This way you can be certain that you’re doing everything that you can to ensure that he or she is getting the proper care.
Like our saying goes around here…
“When in doubt, have a vet check it out!”
Treatment for Ringworm in Dogs
Most of the time a topical therapy like anti-fungal creams are enough. You might have to shave your pet to make it easier to get to the infected skin areas.
Your vet may want you to bathe your dog in prescription medication shampoos as well as be sure to wash any bedding that your dog may have used while infected.
We should also point out that…
It may take a while for the ringworm to go away completely. As with all fungal infections, the most important thing is to be vigilant and thorough with treatment. Your dog has a lot of skin, and if the infection remains in any area it can flare back up to a full-blown problem again.
Cost of Treatment
The major cost in dermatophytosis is typically the diagnosis itself which can be more than $100 in some cases. Additionally, all of the medications and shampoos will also cost a bit of money as well.
The cost of these medications this isn’t a lot in comparison to other illnesses that your dog can get, it can still add up pretty quickly, particularly if the ringworm isn’t taken care of with the first treatment.
This is why…
You may become a regular at your veterinarian’s office for quite a while once your dog does get diagnosed with ringworm. Sometimes it takes months and multiple visits to get rid of ringworm in dogs, especially if it’s in a serious state in the beginning.
Like with most illnesses in dogs, you should take your dog to the vet at the onset for two reasons: A. because your dog should get treated to avoid suffering and B. to avoid making treatment more expensive than it has to be!
Which brings us…
To the last topic that we want to quickly mention to you which is the idea of purchasing a pet insurance policy on your animal so that if he or she does develop a medical condition like dermatophytosis, you can use your insurance to help manage the cost of treatment.
Now will a pet insurance policy be “right” for everyone?
No, of course not. But until you understand how they work and what they cost, how will you know if one isn’t “right” for you?
For more information about who we “feel” currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry right now, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.