Ringworm is a not a worm, but a type of fungus called dermatophytes. Dermatophytes are plants which live on the skins. In past times, the circular lesions which are made by the fungi are considered to be caused by the worms and hence it was called ringworm.
There are three types of fungus that can cause ringworms, but the one which is found the most in dogs is microsporum canis.
The common symptom of the ringworm is that it affects the area where there is a loss of hairs and a circular lesion appears. When a ring appears, we think it to be ringworm but this may take any kind of shape and size. It may also affect the humans. In dogs, it's not necessary that it would be circular in shape. The shape may develop further and take an irregular shape. Because when the fungus has taken place, the hairs of that area are damaged. Ringworm is generally seen on head, ears, face, paws and tail. The ringworm caused may not be painful and the area affected might be reddish and inflamed.
Ringworm can be transmitted from one animal to another by coming in direct contact with the infected animal. It can be transmitted from even pets to humans and also from human to pets. These funguses are commonly found in carpets, bedding and equipments and can harm the dog when he comes into contact. When the fungus is exposed, immediately the symptoms do not appear. It is considered that it might take 10-12 days for the ringworm symptoms to be visible in dogs. Development of pustles has been seen around the skin lesions. Common symptoms include itching, redness, inflammation on the area affected. The topical ointments prescribes may not prove successful. In such conditions anti-fungal medications are advisable. Veterinarians generally prescribe for griseofulvin, which might have side effects.
There are various remedies to ringworms. The particular remedy that is to be chosen for the dog depends upon the severity of the infection. Most commonly used remedies are given below:
1. Griseofulvin: These are tablets that must be given on daily basis for the period of one month. At this time the dog should be checked again to make sure that the infection is treated properly. At this point of time the dog must get a high fat diet and canned food only. We may also give the dog to have some rich cream so that these tablets may benefit the dog.
2. Baths using an anti-fungal shampoo: Bath must be given thrice a week after every alternate day. Before rinsing off ensure that the lather is formed.
3. Shaving of the hair: This remedy will remove the infected hair. Generally the veterinarians suggest this remedy when the infection progresses and starts to spread.
4. Topical anti-fungal medication: There are various products available in the market, the one veterinarian has suggested can be used on the affected area once in a day and should be continued for 10 days. Take precautions that it must not enter the dog's eye.