What Can I Do About Ringworm in My Dog?


I just got a five-month-old Yorkie and have had him for over a week. I took him to the vet for his shots, and she took a culture of a rash. It came back positive for ringworm!

I have another Yorkie and a older cat who have played and lived with this new guy — what should I do? I am freaked out that now we are all at risk. I can’t leave him contained because he barks nonstop if left alone and we live in a condo. Help!

Middletown, CT

Ringworm ranks right up there with bedbugs as a nonlife-threatening, but nonetheless super-annoying and frustrating problem.

Ringworm is not a worm, but a fungus that grows in the skin and on hair. Some forms of ringworm are free-living and ubiquitous. It is possible to catch ringworm from the environment. However, most pets and humans catch ringworm from exposure to an infected individual.

The key word in the previous sentence is humans. Ringworm is a zoonotic organism, which means that it can spread from pets to people and vice versa.

Here is the good news: Ringworm is not life-threatening. It also is opportunistic. It tends to infect individuals (puppies, kittens, children) whose immune systems aren’t fully developed. You and your other pets may not contract it.

Here is the bad news: You and your other pets have already been exposed to the fungus. And decontaminating your house is close to impossible.

My website has a lengthy article dedicated to ringworm. I recommend that you read it. I also recommend that you take any pet with skin problems to the vet. Any human with skin problems should go to the doctor as well.

Finally, it sounds like your little guy may have a touch of separation anxiety. You may be interested in my website’s article on that problem, too.

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