Contrary to its name Ringworm is not a worm at all but a fungus called Dermatophytes. Dermatophytes mean ‘plants that live on the skin’. In the past, because of the circular lesions made by the fungi they were thought to be caused by worms, hence the name ringworm.
The Fungi lives on the surface of the skin and in the skin follicles feeding on dead skin tissue and hair.
There are three different types of fungus that can cause ringworm but the most common ones found in dogs is Microsporum Canis.
What Are The Causes Of Ringworm?
The fungal spores can live in the environment for a long time and can be found in carpets, bedding, grooming equipment etc and can infect your dog when it comes into contact with them.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ringworm?
Symptoms of ringworm in dogs include accumulations of surface skin cells, such as seen in dandruff (scales); poor hair coat; reddened skin (erythema); darkened skin (hyperpigmentation); itchiness (pruritus); and hair loss (alopecia), which may be patchy or circular.
Which Dogs Are Prone to Ringworm Infection?
Puppies less than a year old are most prone to infection, but malnourished, immunocompromised and stressed dogs are also at a greater risk than healthy animals. And because transmission of the ringworm fungus can occur via contact with infected animals and bedding, dishes and other materials in the environment where infected hair or scales may collect, ringworm can quickly spread in kennels, shelters and other places where there are many dogs in a close environment.
How Is Ringworm Diagnosed?
Your vet may use an ultraviolet light called a Wood’s lamp to examine your dog’s hair, look at suspect hairs under a microscope, or take a culture of the affected area in order to diagnose ringworm.
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