One of the most common skin conditions our bird dogs suffer with is ringworm. Ringworm may be caused by parasites or by fungal infections and is typically transmitted by fleas.
Symptoms of Ringworm
Recognizing ringworm is key to treating it, and like most infections, the sooner it’s diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Ringworm is uncomfortable for your dog and can lead to serious complications and infections. Watch for these signs:
1. Loss of hair in circular patterns (especially on head and legs)
2. Circular patches of skin with a red or crusty pattern
3. Excessive scratching, itching, etc.
Diagnosis of Ringworm
Skin infections can be quickly diagnosed for blood tests and skin scrapings and maybe quickly diagnosed by your vet. The purpose of blood tests is to rule it out other infections besides ringworm that may be causing your dog’s skin infection. Fortunately most get infections once diagnosed are simple to treat.
Treatment of Ringworm
Once diagnosed, treatment for ringworm will vary depending on the source. Usually, the culprit is fleas so your dog will have to be treated for fleas before the ringworm treatment can begin. The obvious first step will be to clean your home, your dog’s bedding area, and other areas where your dog has been. A flea dip or bath can quickly eliminate fleas if the flea infestation gets out of control.
Once the fleas or ticks are gone, the ringworms will usually disappear on their own within a few weeks. Sometimes medication, special bathing, or other treatments are recommended by the veterinarian to speed up this process.
When your dog is rid of all fleas and/or ticks, ringworm will probably go away on their own in just a couple of weeks. However, medication, special baths, and other treatment options may be suggested by your vet for faster recovery.
Preventing ringworm is the best way to care for it. If it never happens, it’s much easier to deal with. Since ringworm is usually caused by fleas, preventing fleas from getting to your dog is the best way to prevent ringworm. Regular bathing, keeping the dog’s area clean, and using anti-flea remedies will keep your dog from getting ringworm.
Prevention is the best form of treatment for ringworm. Preventing it from happening is much easier than treating ringworm in the first place. Because ringworm is normally brought on by fleas, you should look into anti-flea medication to prevent ringworm. Giving your dog regular baths, cleaning your dog’s areas, and using anti-flea medications can prevent your dog from getting ringworm.
If you think your dog may have ringworm or any other skin condition, take him to the vet immediately. Early detection means faster treatment and the discomfort will be much less for both you and your dog when done early.