There are certainly a lot of parasitic worms out there that can harm our dogs. Heartworm, roundworm, hookworm, whipworms, even tapeworms… the list goes on. Ringworm is another relatively common health concern in dogs, but it turns out that it’s not a worm at all. Learn more about ringworm in this article from a vet New Orleans, LA.
What is ringworm, exactly?
Ringworm is not a worm. It’s a fungus. So, the disorder called “ringworm” is really a fungal infection that affects your dog’s skin and coat. The name “ringworm” comes from the signature red ring shape that appears on human skin when a person is infected. Learn more about this by calling your vet clinic New Orleans, LA.
It seems that some animals (cats, in particular) can carry ringworm without suffering any ill effects. These carrier animals can still infect other pets, though. Talk to your veterinarian New Orleans, LA for more information on the transmission of ringworm between pets.
How do dogs get ringworm?
Your dog gets ringworm when they come into physical contact with the fungal spores in their environment. The spores can live in the wild for years on end. Your dog could encounter them almost anywhere, including from contact with other infected animals. Your vets New Orleans, LA might be able to give you an idea of where your dog got it based on health history.
Ringworm spores can easily infect areas of the skin that are abraded or irritated. So, if your dog already has skin that’s been freshly shaved, scraped, or scratched, it’s a higher-risk area. Call your pet clinic New Orleans, LA if you notice a scratch or abrasion on your dog’s skin.
What are the symptoms?
The primary symptoms of a ringworm infestation in your dog will be hair loss, crusted skin, and hair that falls out easily. Lesions might appear around the body. Let your veterinarians New Orleans, LA know right away if you spot these symptoms in your dog.
How is ringworm treated?
Your animal hospital New Orleans, LA will be able to diagnose a case of ringworm with skin tests, like skin scrapes and cultures. From there, your dog will be prescribed oral antifungal medications and perhaps a topical lotion that will be applied to the skin. You’ll need to keep up this treatment regimen until the infection is completely cleared.
Note that ringworm spores can still be shed during the treatment period. For this reason, you’ll need to keep your dog quarantined away from other pets in the house until the infection is cleared up completely. And you’ll want to protect your hands and arms if you’re bathing your pet with a medicated shampoo so the spores don’t infect you. Ask your veterinary clinic New Orleans, LA for help with this stage.
Can I keep my pet from getting ringworm?
There isn’t a sure-fire way to keep your dog from getting ringworm in every case. But you can make it very unlikely. Keep your dog away from any wild animals or other pets with visible skin lesions. When walking Fido outdoors, stick to well-traveled paths rather than going into overgrown areas. Ask your vet New Orleans, LA for more advice.
Call your pet clinic New Orleans, LA to learn more about ringworm in dogs.