Ringworm in dogs is not caused by a worm at all; rather it is a fungal skin infection characterized by symptoms such as lesions, red scaly patches, severe dandruff, patchy hair loss, and itching and uneasiness. The red rings appear like a ‘worm’ just beneath the surface of the skin and hence the name. Ringworm is extremely contagious: so in case you are wondering ‘can I get ringworm from my dog?’ the answer is yes. Not only humans; all the pets in your infected dog’s vicinity could develop this skin disease. So let us study some effective home remedies and over the counter treatment for getting rid of dog ringworm.
Dog ringworm pictures
Home remedies for canine ringworm
Bathe your dog
Bathe your dog using an antifungal shampoo. There are hundreds of brands available in the market. Look for ingredients like Tea tree oil, iodine, sulfur, apple cider vinegar, ketoconazole, miconazole or chlorhexidine etc. These ingredients are antifungal, relieve itch and eliminate the fungus. Most of these products are readily available over the counter.
How often to bathe dog with ringworm? You must bathe your pet with an active infection at least twice a week with the antifungal shampoo but make sure to also treat your pet’s environment. We will discuss some house cleaning tips later in this guide.
Use apple cider vinegar
Many pet owners swear by this simple and all-natural dog ringworm treatment home remedy. As a final rinse while bathing your pet, add 3-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of water and pour it all over its body. Do not towel dry; allow the pet to air dry. Apple cider vinegar is antifungal and anti-inflammatory. It eliminates dandruff, flaking and itchiness. Also add a couple of tablespoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar to your pet’s drinking water to eliminate the infection from inside.
Clip your pet’s fur
In order to treat ringworm, you must also clip your dog’s hair, especially for long haired breeds. This way, you can easily apply the dog ringworm treatment over the counter cream on the scaly lesions. Doing so will eliminate the fungus quickly. Continue using the cream 2-3 times a day for 2-3 weeks or as advised by your vet. You must also bathe your pet twice a week.
Apart from powders, sprays, creams and lotions for dog ringworm, you can also treat your pet with antifungal dips. In this method, you dip your pet in an antifungal solution and let the solution remain on the pet’s body for at least 10-15 minutes. Some of these dips contain lime sulfur which, though highly effective, can also stain. So be very careful and use hand gloves while handling the pet. Talk to your vet for getting recommendations for the right breed-specific dip for your pet.
Bleach down the house
Apart from using above remedies, you must also treat the dog’s environment. Discard or wash your pets bedding in bleach and hot water. Also wash all of its toys, water bowls, clothing and linen. Vacuum the house thoroughly. Wipe down all surfaces with diluted bleach to kill most microbes including ringworm causing fungi. Wash the pet’s kennel or dog house with bleach.
For certain ringworm cases, pets could benefit with homeopathic remedies. The primary remedy is Bacillinum followed by sepia for circular patches. Kali arsenicum is for the early itchy stage, or you could give arsenicum for itching and restlessness. For scaly, crusty eruptions around the eyes, nose and mouth, you can administer chrysarobinum. Tellurium is for lesions that appear equally on both sides of the body. Hypercium ointment can relieve severe itching.
Colloidal silver water
Another natural dog ringworm remedy is colloidal silver water. Pour the silver water so that it completely covers the lesions. Apply this remedy 3 times a day until the lesions go away.
Neem extract and neem creams
Neem is another healing remedy for ringworm in dogs. Studies have shown its efficiency in treating this skin disease quickly. You can use neem leaf extract in water and follow up with neem cream. This natural remedy will heal the dog ringworm in a few days.
Ringworm healing stages in dog
In the beginning, the patches will be distinctly elevated and as the disease advances, the lesions might appear to clear in the center and spread outwards to the edges. These rings of eruption are common on stomach, back, face and limbs. You dog will itch continuously, so use the above remedies to provide relief and prevent hair loss.
How long does ringworm last in dogs?
In most cases, ringworm in dogs is self-limiting and will heal in a few weeks. However, in pets with weakened immunity or underlying health issues or stress, the condition could last longer. Prevention is always better in case of any skin infection and especially with ringworm. Try using holistic measures, herbal adaptogens, antioxidants or supplements to prevent these diseases.