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by Suzie Cyrenne March 07, 2023 7 min read2 Comments
Finding the right home remedies for treating ringworm in dogs can still be rather tricky these days. If you're having a difficult time choosing which one to go for until now, then you’ve come to the right place.
Make sure you keep on reading because I'll walk you through how to get rid of this highly contagious fungal infection in just a bit. You will also get the lowdown on other relevant information about ringworm infections as we go along.
Let's start things off by finding out what exactly a ringworm infection is...
Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, dog ringworm is a skin infection caused by pathogenic fungal species such as Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum gypseum and the fungus Microsporum canis instead of an actual worm.
These fungi burrow into a dog’s hair fibers and skin, which eventually lead to the formation of dry and scaly ring-shaped formations. This fungal infection is technically referred to as "dermatophytosis."
Unlike other types of skin conditions, dog ringworm is quite prominent and can be diagnosed without any need for fungal culture, a direct microscopic examination or by providing a hair sample for analysis.
The ringworm spores generally appear in and around the face, feet, tail, and the tips of the ears, but can also accumulate in the claws and the edges of the paw pads in some cases. The infected animal will not just go through considerable itching, these fungal spores will eventually become swollen and tender leading to even greater discomfort.
And just to make things worse, dog ringworm can also spread to other parts of the body of your infected pet if not properly dealt with. It can even be passed on to other pets via environmental contamination.
This is why knowing how to treat and diagnose ringworm the right way is essential for all dog owners since the fungi responsible can remain dormant AND still remain contagious to other pets for an indefinite time.
Next, let’s find out what causes ringworm to appear on a dog's body…
Dog ringworm is caused by your pet's direct contact with infected animals or contaminated items tainted with fungal spores like water bowls, chew toys, blankets, grooming tools, leashes and collars.
Contaminated objects—especially if you've got several canine family members at home—are also deemed as the usual culprits in contracting ringworm in dogs!
Moreover, spreading ringworm is aggressive among puppies, senior dogs, pooches with compromised immune systems, as well as breeds that are more prone to having inflamed skin, such as Rottweilers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Basset Hounds.
Now we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about how to have an early diagnosis of dog ringworm…
The most prominent indicator in diagnosing ringworm is the appearance of ring-shaped formations on his body. However, there are also other symptoms that you should keep an eye on, which are as follows:
At this point, let’s discuss the home remedies to treat ringworm in dogs…
Although there are a number of conventional oral medications, antifungal shampoos and topical treatments that can be used to treat ringworms in dogs, you can also go for natural remedies to deal with the fungus responsible for these skin problems.
Before giving you the rundown of what these home remedies are, it is extremely important that you wear gloves and observe similar preventive measures when using since direct contact can easily lead to infection.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), tea tree oil possesses antifungal properties and is deemed as a “promising” cure for skin issues like ringworm in dogs by helping rejuvenate skin cells and staving off the possibility of hair loss.
Usage: Thoroughly wash the affected area first and then wipe dry completely. Use a clean piece of cloth or a cotton swab to apply a drop or two of tea tree oil on the skin and gently spread it on the affected area. Important note: this is not to be used as an oral medication.
ScienceDirect reports that fresh aloe vera gel possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties. This succulent plant has been used for centuries around the world as a natural topical therapy to soothe various skin issues like burns and itches, as well as hair loss, among others.
Usage: Liberally apply the gel on the affected area of your dog's skin until fully coated. Squeeze the leaf while doing so to maximize the amount of gel you're getting.
Another study published in the NCBI mentions that lemongrass oil contains organic chemicals that help treat fungal infection such as ringworm. Besides keeping unwanted fungi at bay, lemongrass oil also helps promote healthy skin. You can think of it as Mother Nature's medicated shampoo.
Usage: Use a cotton swab or a clean piece of cloth to apply a few drops to the affected areas. Lightly massage the oil onto the dog’s skin for a minute or two. Make sure you include the infected hairs while at it as well. Important note: this is not to be used as an oral medication.
According to the International Journal of Medical Science and Clinical Inventions, coconut oil contains compounds that form a barrier against the skin and the infection, which helps in its accelerated healing. This also applies in cases of fungal infection.
Usage: Apply a small blob of the same to the affected areas using a clean piece of cloth or a cotton swab. Gently massage the oil into place. You can either leave it on overnight or apply for two times a day until the ringworm has disappeared.
Here's a quick rundown on how long dog ringworm infections typically last…
This skin issue typically lasts for about three to six months from the time a dog will contract ringworm. However, it is important to remember that this depends on the dog’s age and overall health, particularly those with weaker immune systems. The timely use of home remedies for ringworm is also a crucial factor.
While ringworm in dogs is not life-threatening, neglecting to give your pet the care he needs during this health issue can significantly affect his overall quality of life. Severe cases of ringworm infection can even lead to brittle and broken claws!
Now you may be asking: is ringworm in dogs contagious? Here’s the answer…
Yes, dog ringworm is HIGHLY contagious. It can be passed on from an infected dog to other pets through physical contact or through contact with objects contaminated with the pathogenic fungi.
It's common to have very high transmissibility rates of ringworm infection in households having several dogs. There are even cases of infected pets requiring aggressive treatment for this condition.
With that answered, can a dog ever become immune to ringworm?
The short answer is no. A dog cannot be immune to canine ringworm. So long as your pet gets in contact with infected animals or with objects contaminated by the same, he is vulnerable to this skin disease.
In the same context, your canine family member won't also become immune to dog ringworm regardless of how many time he's already had this condition. Considering there is direct contact with the pathogenic fungi, he will still be at risk.
Next, let’s check out the difference between ringworm in dogs and a hotspot…
A dog hotspot and ringworm are two very different skin health issues.
A dog hotspot is indicated by inflamed and moist skin. It is gradually caused by poor grooming, allergies that result to skin scrapings, exposure to excessive moisture, as well as anal gland and ear infections.
On the other hand, ringworm is characterized by dry, ring-shaped formations on the skin. Another key difference is that a dog infected with ringworm doesn’t usually lick or bite the affected area of the skin. And you need to treat ringworm at once!
Now we’ve got that covered, let's go over some simple and practical tips to prevent ringworm...
Here are a few pointers you should keep in mind to significantly lessen the chances that your dog will be prone to this skin disease. Always remember that it is better to prevent ringworm in dogs than treat the same.
It is crucial that you properly groom your canine family member on a regular basis to keep the pathogenic fungi that cause dog ringworm at bay. Apart from giving your pooch regular baths, making sure that his things like toys, leash, collar, and water bowl, among others, are also cleaned consistently.
Always be aware of who your dog mingles with when you’re taking him for a walk or when you’re visiting the park. Don’t allow your canine family member to socialize with dogs that you don’t know or clearly indicate the symptoms of ringworm.
If your dog does become infected with ringworm, isolate him immediately. Don't wait for the fungal culture results to arrive! Never let your dog socialize with others—animal or human, whichever is the case—and confine him to an area where there's no potential breeding ground for the pathogenic fungi.
If your dog becomes infected with ringworm, make sure you thoroughly sanitize all the things that you think he has gotten in contact with. This applies to carpets, sofas, clothing, and other items that may be a potential hiding spot for pathogenic fungi.
As a dog parent, it is important to have the right know-how on the factors that spread ringworm as well as the strategies to treat this skin condition. If you're still looking to learn more about how to deal with ringworm in dogs, feel free to contact us any time to get in touch with a pet homeopathy professional.
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne co-founded Zumalka over five years ago, and has worked in naturopathic pet medicine for more than six. Day-to-day, she works as the lead manager for the Zumalka staff and specializes in training the team to have thorough knowledge of pet health and the company’s extensive line of naturopathic remedies.
Suzie has gained a lot of experience from years spent in the pet health field and she earned her degree in Homeopathy at the School of Classical Homeopathy in Quebec, Canada, (a partner of the European Academy of Natural Medicine (AEMN) in France).
January 23, 2023
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January 23, 2023
Thank you for pointing that out. Here is the correct link to request a free consultation: https://go.zumalka.com/free-consultation-for-your-pet
We’ve also updated in the link in the blog post to the correct one. We are here if you have any further questions !