Contrary to common belief, ringworm infection is not caused by worms, but is in fact a type of fungal infection. This infection is highly infectious and can cause patchy areas of hair loss on your dog. What’s worse is that it can spread to other animals in the household, and to humans too.
General Symptoms of a Ringworm infection
If your dog exhibits symptoms such as lesions on its head, ears, forelimbs, and paws, you may be dealing with ringworm. These lesions tend to cause patchy bald spots that may be red in the center. In mild cases, you will find just a few broken hairs, while in more severe infections, the fungus attacks almost all of your dog’s body. In certain cases, your dog may carry the fungus, but not exhibit any symptoms at all.
Pups that are under a year old stand a higher risk of contracting the infection, however malnourished and stressed dogs too are at a terrific risk of succumbing to ringworm infection. Since, the ringworm fungus can be transmitted through bedding and dishes, the infection can spread rather quickly in kennels and shelter where dogs may be housed.
Conventional Treatment of Ringworm in Dogs
Though this infection is not life threatening, it can spread rather quickly and can not only cause permanent skin lesions, but also impair your dog’s immune system, making it a lot more susceptible to other forms of diseases.
Treatment of ringworm in dogs can take up to several weeks and in some cases even months. Once your canine friend has been diagnosed with the infection, the treatment can begin. Your vet may recommend shaving your dog’s coat, especially if it is very long. Your dog may also be prescribed anti-fungal shampoos, ointments and rinses that can take care of a mild infection.
If the infection is severe, the vet may write out oral anti-fungal drugs. The medication must not be stopped until your vet runs tests to confirm the infection has been tackled. You will also have to thoroughly vacuum and disinfect your house to prevent a relapse of the infection.
Skin creams rarely work in case of a severe infection; at best, they stop the spreading of lesions to other parts of the body.
A drug named Griseofulvin, available in capsules, suspension and tablet form is one of the most cheapest and common treatment for ringworm.
When conventional treatments fail to show results, you can switch to home remedies. Listed below are a few tried and tested remedies that can help combat with the stubborn fungal infection effectively.
Home Remedies to Treat Fungal Infection
Apple Cider Vinegar – A few drops of ACV in water is all you need to fight the infection. Rinse your pet with a splash of ACV and water after bathing it.
Tea Tree Oil – This fragrant oil has curative properties that can be put to use in treating a ringworm infection in your dog. Dab some diluted tea tree oil on the affected area twice a day for about a week.
Papaya – Rub a piece of raw papaya on the lesions a number of times every day and you will be stupefied with the results.
Lime Dip – A dip in lime will curb the ringworm infection from spreading. Squeeze the juice of a lemon into your dog’s bath twice a week. The infection will be gone before you know it.
Your four legged friend makes you smile, laugh, and feel loved. Bring back the smile on your dog’s face, by tackling this ringworm infection without any delay!