Pets health and wellness

What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog?

Ringworm, despite its name, is not caused by a worm. Instead, it is a fungal infection that moves the skin of dogs (and humans, too). The fungus responsible for ringworm is known as a dermatophyte, which thrives on keratin, a material found in the skin, hair, and nails. This infection is branded by circular, bald patches that may look red and can be itchy.

One common misconception about ringworm is the confidence that a worm under the skin causes these symptoms. However, the reality is that the infection’s round shape, which may look like a worm coiling under the skin, is the source of its name.

Ringworm is highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with a sick animal, an environment, or objects dirty with the fungus.

What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog?

  • Circular Hair Loss: Your strength sees covers where your dog has lost hair, determining in circles.
  • Red Lesions: Look for hard, red spots on your dog’s skin.
  • Dandruff & Scaling: Their skin may have peeling dandruff and climbing.
  • Skin Discoloration: The skin could turn dimmer or have a dissimilar colour than usual.
  • Swelling: The areas with ringworm strength swell up or appear puffy.

Which Areas of Dog Most Commonly Affected by Ringworms?

  • Face
  • Paws
  • Ears
  • Tail

The areas most commonly affected by ringworm in dogs, including the face, paws, ears, and tail, are particularly vulnerable due to their frequent exposure and sometimes less dense fur coverage.

The face and ears are the most exposed parts, and they can easily come into contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.

The paws are also at high risk due to contact with the ground and because dogs often lick and groom their paws, which can spread the fungus to other parts of their body if already infected.

The tail, especially near the base, where it might be more challenging for dogs to reach and clean thoroughly, can harbour the fungus. Owners should closely monitor these areas for the early signs of ringworm, such as circular hair loss, red lesions, and dandruff, to prevent the spread and ensure prompt treatment.

How does ringworm get diagnosed?

When diagnosing ringworm in dogs, vets use various approaches to reach a conclusive diagnosis. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Physical examination by a vet: The first step is a complete check-up by the vet. They look for noticeable signs on your dog’s skin, like round bald spots, soreness, dandruff, or scaling.
  • Use of a Wood’s Lamp: A singular light, called a Wood’s lamp, helps the vet see if the mushroom is present. When shone on the skin, some ringworm fungi will glow below this light.
  • Fungal Culture: This is like a science experiment. The vet takes an example from your dog’s skin and watches it to see if ringworm fungi grow. This can confirm if ringworms are creating skin matter.
  • Biopsy of the Skin Lesions: If the state is still unclear, a small piece of skin might be taken from the artificial area to look at it more carefully. This helps in describing precisely what’s happening under the skin.

Using these devices, vets can tell if your dog has ringworms and commend the best action to help your furry friend feel better.

Also Read: How to Tell if Your Dog Has Rabies?

How do you treat ringworms on a dog?

Topical Treatments

First, we have topical treatments, which include stuff you apply straight on your dog’s skin, like creams, balms, and medicated shampoos.

These are great because they attack the mushroom right where it lives, helping to soothe discomfort and heal the skin. It’s like putting a healing patch on the Ouchy spots.

Oral Antifungal Medications

Next, there are oral antifungal medications. These are medicines your dog takes by opening, just like how we take pills when we’re not feeling well.

These medicines work from the inside, directing the fungus throughout the body. It’s an effective way to ensure the ringworm doesn’t stand a chance.

Environmental Decontamination

Lastly, environmental decontamination is super necessary. This elaborate term means dusting up your dog’s living area and anything they use, like beds, toys, and bowls. Since the ringworm fungus can hang out on objects and surfaces, dusting them helps stop the fungus from dispersing or causing reinfections.

Uniting these three methods can help eliminate ringworm and make your dog happy and strong again. Remember, it’s always best to talk to a vet to get the right action plan for your furry friend!

When to See a Vet?

If you notice any signs of ringworm on your dog, like those round bald patches or red, itchy spots, it’s time to visit the vet. Also, if your furry buddy has been around another animal known to have ringworm, getting them checked out is a good idea, even if they’re not displaying indications yet. And, if you’ve tried some over-the-counter remedies and your dog’s skin isn’t getting any better, that’s another clear sign that expert help is needed. These steps are significant to ensure your dog gets the right action and feels better soon!


Catching and giving ringworms early in dogs is super important. This prevents the infection from worsening and spreading to other pets and even humans. Quick treatment helps your dog stay relaxed and strong. Also, doing things to avoid ringworm, like keeping your dog’s living space clean and viewing out for any skin changes, is critical to keeping them happy. Remember, a strong dog is a happy dog, and taking these steps can help your furry friend live a good life free from ringworm.


How Long Does Ringworm Last in Dogs?

With legitimate treatment, ringworm in dogs generally disappears within 2 to about a month; however, complete recuperation might take more time. The span can fluctuate depending on the severity of the disease and the canine’s general well-being.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Ringworm?

If you suspect your canine has ringworm, you must counsel your veterinarian quickly. They can provide a proper diagnosis and action plan. Avoiding close contact and dusting your dog’s living areas can also help prevent the spread of pollution.

Can I Touch My Dog if He Has Ringworm?

It’s reasonable to restrict direct contact with your canine, assuming they have ringworms, since the parasite can spread to people through broken skin or delayed contact. When treating your dog, consider wearing gloves and constantly washing your hands methodically afterwards. While treatment is ongoing, keep cuddles to a minimum to help prevent the spread of the pollution.

Can Ringworm Harm Dogs?

While ringworm mainly causes discomfort and skin issues in dogs, such as itchiness, hair loss, and possibly secondary pollution through scratching, it’s not typically life-threatening. However, if left untreated, ringworm can spread over larger body areas, causing more important distress and health matters for your dog. It’s vital to seek veterinary care to manage the condition successfully.

Why Did My Dog Get Ringworm?

Ringworm is created by a parasitic disease, and canines can contract it in more ways than one, incorporating direct contact with a tainted creature, moving sullied items or surfaces, or through the climate if the growth is available. Canines with debilitated resistant frameworks, youthful young doggies, and older dogs are more helpless against ringworm. Excellent cleanliness and, in any event, cleaning your pet’s living spaces can assist with limiting the risk of ringworms.

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