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Ringworm in Dogs

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin and not a worm. It can affect many species including dogs, cats and humans. The technical name for ringworm is “Dermatophytosis".

Most of the cases of ringworm in dogs is caused by the fungi: Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, or Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Ringworm in dogs infects the hair follicles causing loss of hair usually on the dog’s head, but the legs, tail and feet may also be affected. The infected area of skin will have lost its hair and can be scaly, red and very itchy. Ringworm in dogs may or may not have the characteristic circular lesions on the skin that are associated with this infection. The once exclusively circular patches have changed over time to sometimes appear oblong and patchy making diagnosis increasingly difficult.

Young dogs and dogs that have underdeveloped or weak immune systems are more susceptible to ringworm. It is most commonly seen in puppies due to their immature immune systems.

Ringworm is contracted via direct contact with an infected dog’s skin and coat or by contact with infected belongings such as bedding, dog brushes and toys. Ringworm is not species specific and can infect humans, cats, dogs, horses and other small animals.

Dogs suffering from ringworm should be isolated from other animals including humans, where possible. Belongings and items that come into contact with an infected dog need to be sterilised as they can transmit the fungus to other animals.

Ringworm fungus can survive for a long period in the environment if it is left untreated. Ringworm in dogs can be treated by administration of anti-fungal medication usually prescribed by your veterinary professional, either as a topical ointment, shampoos such as Malaseb or Nolvassan, or oral medication.

Before administering any product, please ensure you always read the pack information and any additional leaflet provided. If in doubt, consult a veterinary professional before using the product.

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