What Does Ringworm Look Like In Dogs? Spotting the Signs

Have you noticed your furry friend scratching excessively? Are you noticing patches of hair loss on their skin? If so, your dog may be suffering from ringworm.

Ringworm is a fungal infection that can affect dogs of any age and breed. It is highly contagious and can spread to other animals and humans.One of the most common questions asked by pet owners is, “What does ringworm look like in dogs?”

The answer is not straightforward as the symptoms of ringworm can vary from one dog to another. However, by understanding the common symptoms and signs of ringworm, you can take the necessary steps to diagnose and treat your furry friend’s condition.

In this article, we will explore the symptoms of ringworm in dogs, how to diagnose this condition, and the best treatment options available.

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection that affects the skin, hair, and nails of both animals and humans.

The infection is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which can be transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated objects like bedding, brushes, and clothing.

One of the most common ways that dogs get ringworm is through contact with infected soil, animals, or people. Dogs that spend a lot of time outside or in kennels are more likely to be exposed to ringworm spores.

Puppies and dogs with weakened immune systems are also more susceptible to ringworm infections.

Symptoms of ringworm in dogs include hair loss, scaly patches of skin, and circular lesions that may be red, itchy, and inflamed. If you suspect that your dog has ringworm, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away.

Your vet can perform a physical exam and skin scraping to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment options for ringworm in dogs may include topical or oral antifungal medications, medicated shampoos, and environmental disinfection.

It’s important to follow your vet’s treatment plan carefully and to take steps to prevent the spread of ringworm to other pets and humans in your household.

Symptoms of Ringworm in Dogs

What does ringworm look like in dogs

If your dog has ringworm, you may notice circular lesions on their skin. These lesions can be red, scaly, and itchy.

Your dog may also experience hair loss in the affected areas and have scaly or crusty skin.

Circular Lesions on Skin

You may notice circular patches on your furry friend’s skin if they’ve contracted the fungal infection known as ringworm. These patches will be raised and might appear as if they’re scaly or crusty. The edges of these patches will be red and inflamed, while the center will be flaky and scaly.

You might also notice that your dog’s coat appears to be thinning around these patches.

Dog ringworm transmission can occur through direct contact with another infected animal or through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as bedding or grooming tools. This fungal infection can also affect other animals, such as cats, and can even be transmitted to humans.

Therefore, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as you suspect that your furry friend may have ringworm. Treatment can prevent the spread of this infection to other animals and humans.

Hair Loss

Hair loss can occur as a symptom of various skin conditions in dogs, including ringworm. Ringworm is a fungal infection that can cause circular lesions on the skin and hair loss. The affected area may be itchy and scaly, and the hair may break easily or fall out in clumps.

If left untreated, ringworm can spread to other parts of the body or to other pets in the household. If you suspect that your dog has ringworm, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Your vet can confirm the diagnosis and recommend treatment options, which may include antifungal medication, topical creams, or medicated shampoos.

In addition to medical treatment, there are several things you can do at home to help manage your dog’s symptoms and prevent the spread of infection.

These include: quarantining your dog to a specific area to prevent the spread of infection, washing your hands thoroughly after touching your dog or any contaminated surfaces, and disinfecting your dog’s bedding, toys, and other belongings.

Scaly or Crusty Skin

Have you noticed scaly or crusty patches on your furry friend’s skin? According to the American Kennel Club, skin conditions are one of the most common reasons for veterinary visits, affecting up to 25% of dogs.

One possible cause of scaly or crusty skin in dogs is ringworm, a fungal infection that can affect the skin, hair, and nails of both humans and animals. Ringworm is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with an infected animal or surface.

If you suspect that your dog has ringworm, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian may prescribe antifungal medication, such as topical creams or oral medications, depending on the severity of the infection.

In addition, you can help prevent the spread of ringworm by keeping your dog’s living area clean and disinfecting any surfaces that may have come into contact with an infected animal.

With prompt treatment and proper care, most dogs recover from ringworm without any long-term effects.

How to Diagnose Ringworm in Dogs

If your furry friend is experiencing itching or hair loss, a veterinarian can diagnose the issue through a few different methods.

The most common way to diagnose ringworm is through a Wood’s lamp examination. During this test, a veterinarian will shine a special light onto your dog’s skin to look for any areas that glow under the light.

If they find any suspicious areas, they will take a sample of the skin or hair and examine it under a microscope to confirm a ringworm diagnosis.

Common misdiagnoses for ringworm in dogs include bacterial infections, allergies, and other fungal infections. This is why it’s important to take your dog to see a veterinarian if you notice any unusual symptoms.

Trying to diagnose and treat the issue at home can often make the problem worse and lead to more discomfort for your furry friend.

Although there are some home remedies that claim to treat ringworm in dogs, it’s important to only use treatments that have been prescribed by a veterinarian. Over-the-counter treatments can be ineffective and may even cause harm to your dog.

Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for your dog’s specific case of ringworm.

Treatment for Ringworm in Dogs

Treating ringworm in dogs requires the use of prescription medication recommended by a veterinarian to effectively alleviate symptoms and eradicate the fungal infection. Natural remedies may provide temporary relief, but they can’t cure the condition.

The most commonly prescribed medication options for treating ringworm in dogs include oral medications like itraconazole, fluconazole, terbinafine, and griseofulvin.

Topical treatments like shampoos, dips, and creams may also be used in combination with oral medications to speed up the healing process.

Your veterinarian will determine the best course of treatment based on your dog’s age, breed, and overall health. Some dogs may require a longer course of treatment than others, and it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.

Keep your dog isolated from other pets and to thoroughly clean and disinfect any areas where your dog has been in contact to prevent the spread of the infection.

In addition to medication, it’s important to provide your dog with a healthy diet and plenty of rest to support their immune system during the healing process.

Regular checkups with your veterinarian will also ensure that the infection is completely gone and that your dog is back to their happy, healthy self.

Preventing Ringworm in Dogs

One of the most important things you can do to prevent ringworm is to establish good grooming routines for your dog. Regular brushing helps to remove dead skin and hair, which can harbor ringworm spores. You should also bathe your dog regularly, using a mild shampoo that’s designed for pets.

You should also pay attention to environmental factors that can contribute to the spread of ringworm. Ringworm thrives in warm, humid environments, so you should keep your home and your dog’s living space clean and dry.

This means regularly cleaning floors, carpets, and bedding with a disinfectant that’s effective against ringworm. You should also make sure that your dog has plenty of fresh air and sunlight, as these can help to kill ringworm spores.

Preventing ringworm in dogs is not always possible, but by establishing good grooming routines and paying attention to environmental factors, you can significantly reduce your dog’s risk of infection.

It’s important to remember that ringworm is highly contagious, so if you suspect that your dog has been exposed to the infection, it’s best to keep them isolated until you can get them to a vet. By taking these simple steps, you can help to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.


Hopefully this article has help you understand what ringworm looks like in dogs, and how to diagnose and treat it.

Staying vigilant and regularly check your furry friend. You can catch ringworm early and prevent it from spreading to other animals or humans.

Remember to always wear gloves when handling infected animals. Keep your dog’s environment clean and sanitized to prevent future infections.

When taking the necessary precautions and seeking treatment promptly, you can help your dog recover from ringworm quickly and efficiently.

With your newfound knowledge and attention to detail, you can keep your pup healthy and happy for years to come. Keep up the great work!

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