Canine Ringworm (Dermatophytosis) FAQ
The ringworm is also known as the canine dermatophytosis and is a fungal infection that may be transmitted to humans. It is important to know the condition to prevent you from getting the infection and will also to help your pet.
What Is the Ringworm?
Ringworm is not a worm as the name would suggest; it is actually a fungal infection that causes ring shaped skin lesions with hair loss in dogs, but may also affect cats or humans.
What Are the Ringworm Symptoms?
They are visible on the skin of the dog. You may notice ring shaped bald patches, papules or pustules. These may be mostly present in certain areas such as the tail, paws or the face.
The dog may also display a skin irritation and the skin may also be hyperpigmented in certain areas. The skin may thicken in the affected areas, especially if the infection is not treated.
What Causes the Ringworm Infection?
The most common fungi are Microsporum canis, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum gypseum.
How Is the Infection Transmitted?
The infection is transmitted through direct contact with an infected pet. However, the fungal spores may also be airborne and the dog may get infected if these spores land on his skin. Not all pets that come in contact with the fungi will get infected; it all depends on how effectively the dog´s immune system can fight off the infection.
How Is the Ringworm Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of the ringworm infection is made through a screening test, performed with a Wood’s lamp. The fungi will fluoresce when the lamp is activated. A fungal culture may also be needed. A few skin and hair samples will be analyzed under the microscope for a positive diagnosis of the ringworm fungi.
What Is the Ringworm Treatment?
As fungi may be transmitted to humans, the pet will need to be treated even when it may cure without treatment.
If you have other pets too, the infected dog should be isolated until the infection is cleared. The typical treatment with shampoos as Ketochlor Shampoo. You should also clip the dog’s hair in the areas that are affected by lesions. If the dog doesn’t respond to topical treatment, the vet may prescribe additional oral medication such as Ketoconazole which is a systemicfungicide.
How Can I Prevent Myself from the Infection?
The ringworm is a zoonotic disease, so you may get infected as well. In order to avoid the infection, you should keep away from your pet’s skin and secretions. You should wear surgical gloves when handling the pet. You should clean the dog’s environment with diluted bleach to eliminate the fungi that may be present.