Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog?

It's essential to address your dog's ringworm promptly. It’s even better to prevent it in the first place. Our veterinarians in Lithia Springs offer guidance on identifying, treating, understanding, and preventing this condition to protect your furry friend.

What does ringworm look like on a dog?

Ringworms in dogs often appear as circular or irregularly shaped patches of hair loss with a crusty, scaly surface. The affected areas may also have broken hairs around the edges.

The patches can be red and inflamed, and sometimes they may have a raised border. Here are some key features to look for:

  • Inflamed, red skin rash
  • Scales that look like dandruff
  • Itchiness 
  • Dry, brittle hair with hair follicles that break easily
  • Circular or patchy areas of hair loss 
    Darkened skin
  • Reddened skin 
  • Scabs or raised nodular lesions on the skin
  • Inflamed folds of the skin around the claws or bordering the nails

If you notice any of these symptoms in your pup, contact a vet immediately.

How do dogs get ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungal infection that can spread through direct contact with an infected animal or contaminated objects, such as towels, food and water bowls, couches, or carpets. The fungus spores can survive for months, and can also remain on surfaces and get trapped in your home's carpets, drapes, and linen fibers if they aren't cleaned.

Sometimes, a pet can be a ringworm carrier without showing any visible symptoms. If your dog has been diagnosed with ringworm, having your other pets checked by a veterinarian is a good idea. You should also alert any fellow dog owners and dog-walking buddies that your dog has been infected and is being treated and that they should watch for signs of ringworm in their pets.

How long does a dog with ringworm need to stay in quarantine?

This is a challenging question to answer. Ringworm spores can remain viable for a long time, ranging from 6 weeks to 18 months, which makes treatment very challenging. During treatment, it is important to confine the dog to a separate room in your house and limit its contact with your other pets or family members.

While it can be emotionally trying, aim to keep your dog quarantined for about six weeks during treatment, and maintain an impeccable cleaning schedule. By keeping your pet quarantined until the condition has fully cleared can prevent ongoing recurrences and the need for repeated treatments.

How is ringworm treated?

If your pet has ringworm, don't worry! Effective treatments are available. Your vet will select the best solution based on the severity of the ringworm.

The treatment process is simple and usually free of complications. Your vet will likely prescribe either a topical medication for the skin or an antifungal medication that can be taken orally.

To ensure a complete recovery, decontaminating your home and removing any contaminated items might be suggested.

Additionally, your veterinarian may suggest trimming the fur surrounding your dog's most severely affected areas. Remember that the absence of symptoms does not signify a complete recovery; continue treatment until your veterinarian confirms it.

How to PRevent Ringworms in Dogs

Preventing ringworm in dogs involves several strategies aimed at minimizing their exposure to the fungus and maintaining good overall health. Here are some key steps:

  • Maintain a clean living environment: Regularly clean and disinfect areas where your dog spends time. This includes washing bedding, toys, grooming tools, and any other items your dog frequently uses. Vacuum carpets and furniture to remove any fungal spores.
  • Regular grooming: Keep your dog's coat clean and well-groomed. Regular baths with antifungal shampoos can help prevent fungal infections, especially if your dog is prone to skin issues or has been exposed to potentially contaminated environments.
  • Limit exposure to infected animals: Avoid contact with animals known to have ringworm. If your dog has been around an infected animal, monitor them closely for signs of ringworm and seek veterinary advice if you notice any symptoms.
  • Good hygiene practices: Wash your hands thoroughly after handling animals, especially if they are showing any signs of skin infections. This is particularly important if you work in environments with many animals, such as shelters or kennels.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups: Regular veterinary visits can help catch infections early and keep your dog’s overall health in check. Your vet can provide advice on maintaining skin health and preventing infections.
  • Boost immune health: A healthy immune system can help prevent infections. Ensure your dog is on a balanced diet, gets regular exercise, and has up-to-date vaccinations and parasite control.
  • Immediate treatment of skin issues: If your dog has any skin injuries or abrasions, treat them promptly to prevent fungal infections from taking hold. Keeping wounds clean and dry can help.
  • Be Cautious: Take extra precautions in areas where ringworm is known to be present, such as dog parks or kennels. Avoid letting your dog play in areas that might be contaminated.

By following these steps, you can reduce the risk of your dog contracting ringworm and help maintain their overall health and well-being.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is showing signs of ringworm, contact our vets immediately at Lithia Springs.

After Hours Emergency & Urgent Care

Westside Animal Emergency Clinic is open weekday evenings, overnight and weekends to provide your pet with urgent care when needed. Our experienced Lithia Springs vets are passionate about restoring good health to companion animals.

Contact Us

Contact (770) 819-1090