Ringworm belongs to the category of hookworm, tapeworm, and roundworms. Despite its name, they are not a worm; it is a fungus and there are many types of ringworm. It is a skin disease caused by animals by a fungus. This fungus infects all species of domestic animals, and it is common for dogs to get infected with ringworm.
The fungus that causes ringworm is called dermatophytes and the most common fungus found in dogs is MicrosporumCanis. Even though they are harmless, the fungus is highly contagious to other pets, humans, children and older adults.
Ringworm lives on the surface of the skin of dogs, and they feed dead skin tissues and hair. The ringworm fungus affects on dogs during hot, humid climate. Healthy dogs will not carry the fungus on their skin and hair. It is very important for every pet owner to know the sign and symptoms of ringworm in dogs.
Dogs Prone to Ringworm
Puppies, senior dogs, and stressed dogs are prone to this disease.This is because of their underdeveloped immune system. Dogs living in pet stores, animal shelters, housing facilities and those with cancer are prone to ringworm. Dogs that have weak immune systems may develop ringworm infection.
Major Symptoms of Ringworm in Pets
The common symptom of ringworm on a dog is around the hairless lesion. They are affected in the pet’s face, ears, paws and another part of the body. The first sign of ringworm on dogs is a loss of fur or hair on a small area, and the hair is lost in a circular way. If ringworm is not treated immediately, the lesions will grow and fester.
These lesions will cause patchy, bald spots and sometimes it will look red in the center. The infection may not always happenin circular it may appear multiple parts of the body. If you have doubt, your pet has ringworm; you must check your dog from head to toe to find the affected areas.
It is not necessary the infection has to be itchy, sometimes your dog may not respond to the lesion. In some case, the fungus will infect the claws of a dog by making them brittle and rough. Major signs of ringworm in dogs remain hair loss, change in coat appearance and inflamed the skin.
The sign of ringworm can be confused withsome skin disorders or formed due to biting flies, so these are some of the important signs of ringworm; you must keep in your mind.
- Poor hair coat
- Inflamed hair follicles
- Bumps on the skin
- Pustules on the skin
- Crusty skin
- Scaly skin
- Round nodular lesion on the skin
- Irregular patchy area of hair loss
The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the lesions of another infected dog. Dogs also get infected with ringworm when they get in direct contact with contaminated spores through grooming equipment or brush.
Ringworm spore survives in the environment for a longer time making it possible for a dog getting in contact with ringworm.
The best way to identify ringworm infection in dogs is by collecting scales and crust from the dog’s skin and gets them cultured by a veterinarian. Most small lesions on healthy dogs will heal on their own within four months. Only in severe cases, treatment is required. Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent ringworm infection in dogs.
How Ringworm Affects Pet’s Behavior?
Ringworm on pets is a fungal disease, and it mainly affects dog’s hair and skin. The infection is mainly caused due to the exposure to several forms of environmental fungi. Once the fungi attack the outer layer of dog’s skin, the ringworm signs begin to appear. Ringworm is not particularly itchy, and usually, it doesn’t cause any bothersome symptoms in affected animals.
The affected areas may not remain painful, but sometimes dogs may scratch the area. This is mainly due to the hair loss and dry skin that makes dog irritate, rub and scratch the infected area. Though ringworm can make your pet look very ill,the fungus is not dangerous. They can be irritating and often dogs lick, scratch, and bite at infected areas. You must start treatment immediately. Once treatment is completed, ringworm will be cured.