Ringworm and Your Pets: Understanding the Itchy Intruder

Boy with family dog
By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.

When you think of ringworm, the last thing you imagine is it affecting your pets. However, ringworm is common in all animals, including dogs and cats. It’s also important to understand that ringworm doesn’t have worms but is a skin infection cause by fungi called dermatophytes.

The fungi from ringworm thrive on skin, hair, nails on both humans and animals and tend to be circular, red and an itchy rash.

How Does Ringworm Affect Your Pets?
Ringworm can affect dogs, cats, and even other pets like rabbits and guinea pigs. It is typically contracted when an infected animal comes into direct contact with another animal, object or environment that passes on to a new host. Unfortunately, ringworm fungus can survive in pet bedding and grooming tools. And it doesn’t discriminate; ringworm in dogs is no different than ringworm in cats.
Once infected, your pet may experience the following symptoms: 
  • Circular, bald patches on the skin. That could appear as ringworm on a cat’s ear or ringworm on a dog’s nose or stomach. Be sure to check all surfaces.
  • Itchy or inflamed skin.
  • Broken or brittle claws.
  • Redness or scaly skin.
  • Hair loss.

How Are Pets Diagnosed with Ringworm?
Like humans, ringworm is diagnosed by a fungal culture. A veterinarian mayKitten with ringworm on paw perform a Wood’s lamp examination or hair and skin scraping to confirm the diagnosis. Once diagnosed, your pet’s veterinarian will most likely recommend topical treatments such as creams, ointments, or shampoos and a form of an antifungals drug by mouth.

Other natural treatment options used for humans, such as our Ringworm Antifungal Remedy, can be used to help eliminate the fungus, however, we do not test on animals, so be sure to talk to your vet.

And most importantly, keep your pet away from the environment in which they were infected. Toss any contaminated brushes, apply disinfectant to surfaces and vacuum. Last but not least, follow through with your treatment plan. The more diligent you are, the more likely it is to eradicate your pet’s infection.

Back Next

Related Articles