What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog? 5 Treatments!

Dog Ringworm: What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog?

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm might sound like it has something to do with worms, but it doesn’t. Instead, it’s a skin infection caused by a fungus. This fungus creates itchy, red, and often circular patches on the skin that look like rings. These rings can appear on various body parts, including the scalp, feet, and groin. The contagious infection can spread quickly from one person to another or even from animals to people. It’s essential to treat it quickly to prevent it from spreading.

How is Ringworm Transmitted?

The infection from ringworm spreads readily through direct contact with the fungus. You can catch it by touching someone or an animal that has it. It can also spread by touching things like combs, brushes, food bowls, furniture, bedding, and carpets that have the fungus on them. The fungus can live on these surfaces for up to 18 months. However, touching the fungus doesn’t always mean you’ll get an infection. The chances of getting it depend on how much fungus is around and the age and health of the person or animal exposed.

What Does Ringworm Look Like on a Dog?

In dogs, it often appears as a round or ring-shaped rash that can cause the skin to turn red, lose hair, and swell up. However, it may only sometimes be so obvious. Look out for these signs:

– Red, inflamed skin

– Scaly patches that look like dandruff

– Itchiness

– Dry, brittle hair that breaks easily

– Circular or patchy areas where hair is missing

– Darkened skin

– Reddened skin

– Scabs or raised bumps on the skin

– Inflamed skin around the claws or nails

If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, contact a vet immediately. It’s essential to get treatment to prevent the infection from spreading.

How Does a Dog Get Ringworm?

Dogs can get the fungus by touching an infected animal or by touching things like towels, food or water bowls, couches, or carpets with the fungus. The spores can survive for months so the infection can spread through your dog’s shed fur. The fungus can also stay on surfaces or get stuck in carpets, drapes, and linens if they need to be adequately cleaned.

Dogs often get this infection from playing outside because some types of the fungus live in the soil. Sometimes, a dog’s immune system can fight off the fungus, but other times, it can cause a skin infection. This depends on factors like the dog’s overall health, the type of fungus, the part of the body affected, and the dog’s age.

A dog can carry the infection without showing any symptoms. If your dog has it, having your other pets checked by a vet is a good idea. It would help to let other dog owners and friends know that your dog is being treated so they can watch for signs in their pets.

what does ringworm on a dog look like



Diagnosing Ringworm in Dogs

If you think your dog has this infection, you should take them to the vet for treatment. This will help cure and prevent it from spreading to people and other pets in your family.

Vets use a few methods to diagnose the infection:

  1. Ultraviolet Lamp: The vet might use a unique ultraviolet lamp to examine your dog’s fur and skin. Some types of fungus glow under this light.
  2. Microscope:The vet will likely look at a sample of your dog’s fur under a microscope to check for the fungus.
  3. Lab Test: The vet might take a sample from your dog’s skin and put it in a dish to see if the fungus grows in lab conditions. This is the most reliable test, but it takes about ten days to get results.

Taking your dog to the vet is essential to ensure they get the proper treatment and to stop the infection from spreading.

How Long Should I Quarantine a Dog with Ringworm?

The infection can last six weeks to 18 months but is less dangerous than other illnesses. It won’t kill your dog or cause permanent damage. While treating your dog, you can keep them in a separate room and limit their contact with other pets and family members.

You should ideally quarantine your dog for six weeks while treating the infection. This might seem complicated, but it will be much easier and cheaper than constantly dealing with it. Keeping your dog separated helps prevent the infection from spreading and makes managing it easier.

what does ring worm look like on a dog

How is Ringworm Treated in Dogs?

If your dog has ringworm infection, there are several treatments your vet might suggest. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Topical Treatment: This means putting medicine directly on your dog’s skin. Your vet might give you creams, ointments, or shampoos for infected areas. These medicines help kill the fungus and heal the skin. Sometimes, your vet also recommends shaving the fur around the infected areas to make it easier to treat.
  2. Oral Treatment: Your dog might also need to take anti-fungal medicine by mouth. These medicines help get rid of the fungus from inside the body. Common medicines include griseofulvin, itraconazole, and terbinafine. Treatment usually lasts at least six weeks, but sometimes it might take longer.
  3. Environmental Cleaning: It’s essential to clean your house to eliminate the fungus spores. The spores can live on furniture, carpets, and pet bedding. You should vacuum or mop the floors daily and wash any items your dog uses with chlorine bleach and water. Keeping your dog in easily cleanable areas can also help.
  4. Separate Infected Pets: If you have other pets, try to keep the infected dog away from them. This helps prevent the spread of the infection. Sometimes, your vet might recommend treating all pets in the house.
  5. Continued Treatment: Don’t stop because your dog looks better. Keep giving the medicine and using the creams until your vet says your dog is cured. Stopping too soon can cause the infection to come back.

What to Remember:

– Always follow your vet’s instructions.

– Clean your dog’s environment regularly.

– Keep treating your dog until the vet confirms they are fully cured.

– Watch for signs of the infection in other pets and family members.

Following these steps can help your dog improve and prevent the infection from spreading.

what does ringworm in dogs look like

How Long Will My Dog Be Contagious?

If your dog has this infection, they will be contagious for about three weeks if you follow the treatment plan closely. If you don’t treat it properly, your dog will stay infectious longer. During this period, keep your dog away from other pets and family members to prevent spreading the infection. Your vet will confirm the treatment works with two negative fungal tests.

Will My Dog Recover from Ringworm?

Most dogs will get better if they are adequately treated. However, if you stop the treatment too early or don’t follow the vet’s instructions, the symptoms can come back. Sometimes, the infection might not go away even with the proper treatment. In that case, your vet might try different anti-fungal medicines.

What is the Risk to Humans?

Humans can catch this infection easily, especially young children. It’s essential to avoid contact with the fungus while your dog is being treated. People with weak immune systems are more likely to get it. If anyone in your house gets red, scaly patches on their skin, see a doctor immediately. This infection in humans usually responds well to treatment. The fungus can stay infectious for up to 18 months in the environment, so re-infection is possible. Always wear gloves when handling your infected dog, and wash your hands afterwards.

Following these steps can help your dog recover and keep everyone in your home safe from the infection.


Ringworm in dogs is a skin infection caused by a fungus. It spreads quickly and can cause red, itchy patches on the skin. If you think your dog has ringworm, immediately take them to the vet. Treatment includes medicine and keeping their environment clean. Quarantine your dog for about six weeks to prevent spreading it to other pets and people. Follow your vet’s advice and keep everything clean to help your dog get better and stay healthy.

Leave a comment