Just when I thought we’d won the battle against ringworm in one of our dogs without the others becoming infected, it appears that we haven’t.
A few months back we rescued a dog that had been dumped and had been living rough for weeks. We were only meant to foster her, but she was so sweet that we decided to keep her.
After a while we noticed a small bald patch on the top of her head, but we weren’t too worried as it wasn’t sore or red, it was just a hairless patch of skin, about the size of a small fingernail. When we asked the vet that was treating her at the time (not our regular vet, but one that helps out with the stray dogs), he thought she probably had lost it playing rough with our other dogs. Which made sense to us as the little dogs did play rough.
I kept an eye on the patch and was puzzled as to why the hair wasn’t growing back, so when our regular vet came to give our other dogs their annual injections I asked her to take a look and she said it was ringworm. So…
My Word Of The Week Is…Ringworm
Ringworm is not actually a worm, but is in fact a highly contagious fungal infection, that is not so easily treated. It affects the young, the old and those with lowered immune systems more easily than most healthy people or pets.
As soon as we knew that Flossie (the dog) had ringworm we started treating her bald patch with Betadine and an anti-fungal cream, but she started to develop another bald patch, so we put her onto anti fungal tablets.
We had to try to keep her apart from the other dogs as best we could and hand washing after touching her was vital, as we didn’t want to risk catching it ourselves or passing it to our other dogs.
Then we noticed a mosquito bite that Greg’s had was starting to look less like a mosquito bite and more like an ever increasing red ring….He had managed to contract ringworm! So we started using Betadine and an anti-fungal cream on his sore too. Which cleared it up in a couple of weeks, although we still continued with the cream for a while afterwards just to be sure.
Once we were sure that Flossie was clear of ringworm we stopped the tablets and took a deep sigh of relief. Thinking that was the end of it.
A few days ago I found what I thought were bite marks in the back of one of our little dogs neck. He (Alphie) and Flossie play really rough together and she is always biting the back of his neck, so we put it down to Flossie playing a little too rough and causing him damage. We also noticed that Alphie was avoiding playing and was staying in his bed, but we put that down to him feeling sorry for himself.
Then two days ago as I was walking Alphie we bumped into Marion, our vet and she made the mistake of asking after the dogs and of course I mentioned the bite marks on Alphie’s neck. She took a moment to look at the marks whilst she petted him. She then said the words: ”They aren’t bite marks my dear, he has ringworm!” and my stomach dropped.
She put him straight onto tablets and told us to keep an eye on the other dogs.
Now I am Convinced…
That all the dogs have ringworm. We have started to put anti-fungal cream on a couple of dry patches on Roxy’s tail and our old dog, Beanie, has a small suspicious looking patch on her leg that she has been chewing, so that too is being creamed.
On Monday I will call Marion and update her on how things are going and if Roxy and Beanies patches get any bigger I will ask her to check them out to see if they need tablets too.
Where The Ringworm Could Have Come From…
Ringworm can be easily picked up and passed between animals. We often walk our dogs up the fields where sheep and goats graze, so maybe they caught it from an infected sheep or goat, although I suspect that Flossie was infected when we took her in. Ringworm has an incubation period of a couple of weeks, so it would not have been visible when we took her in if she had it then.
Fingers crossed that we get on top of it soon as I am becoming a woman obsessed with RINGWORM!
Copyright © 2014 Debbie Roberts
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