Ring Worm An Illness Common To Dogs

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Ring Worm An Illness Common To Dogs

by Mandy Fain

Even when fed and cared for properly, there are health problems that dogs can be prone to. With the many illnesses that can affect a dog's health, it is very important for the owner to be aware of the need for good sanitation in the food, the doghouse and anywhere the dog spends a lot of time. To protect against such deadly viruses as rabies, etc., dogs must also be routinely vaccinated. Below, we will discuss ringworm, a common dog illness ? what it is and what to do about it.

What is ringworm?

A fungal infection, ringworm can have an adverse affect on a dog appearance as well as its health.

What are the signs of the ring worm infection?

A small area without any hair is an obvious sign of ringworm. This area will also have scaly skin and pustules. The dog will scratch because of the itching caused by ringworm. Over time, the affected area will grow larger if not treated. The most common areas to have ringworm lesions are the legs, the head and the tail.

How to diagnose the ring worm infection

There are several methods used to diagnose ringworm. The use of a specialized black lamp called Wood's Lamp is the most commonly used method. Ringworm will emit a fluorescent color when exposed to the light of a Wood's Lamp. There are two forms of ringworm, m.canis or t. mentagrophytes, that do not emit any fluorescent color, so another method must be used to confirm a diagnoses.

How to treat ringworm?

If a dog is otherwise in good health, ringworm lesions will clear up on their own in about four months. If the infection is severe, treatment is warranted. To keep it from spreading, the hair around the lesion must be trimmed away without irritating the skin. Then apply a topical anti-fungal cream, such as miconazole or lotrimin to the affected area. Be sure to take measures to prevent the dog from licking the medicated wound.

In very severe cases, an anti-fungal shampoo [miconazole 2%, ketoconazole, chlorhexidine 0.5%] and an anti-fungal dip [lime sulfur, chlorhexidine 2%] will also need to be used. The veterinarian may prescribe an oral anti-fungal madication, such as griseofulvin or itraconazole, to help the healing process advance more rapidly.

With good care and information, a dog owner can prevent the common dog illnesses from being too much of an issue.

Learn more about large dog health issues on our site. You'll also find other information such as bull dog health issues and dog vaccinations AboutDogHealth.org is a comprehensive resource to help dog owners identify their dog's illness symptoms and treatment options.

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