Signs & Symptoms of Ringworm in a Puppy

by Glenda Taylor

Royalty free image from Shutterstock

Puppies and young adult dogs are more likely to contract ringworm than are older adult dogs, according to the "Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook." Caused by the microsporum canis fungus, ringworm is highly contagious and it may spread from dog to dog or from dog to human through its spores. A puppy's hair and hair follicles are the primary targets of a ringworm infection and the signs and symptoms are easily identifiable.

Puppies and young adult dogs are more likely to contract ringworm than are older adult dogs, according to the "Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook." Caused by the microsporum canis fungus, ringworm is highly contagious and it may spread from dog to dog or from dog to human through its spores. A puppy's hair and hair follicles are the primary targets of a ringworm infection and the signs and symptoms are easily identifiable.

Hair Loss

Experiencing hair loss in a circular pattern, approximately 1-inch in diameter is a sign of ringworm in a puppy. Named for this round feature, a ringworm infection may include one or more circular patches on the puppy's skin where hair is absent, each one surrounded by a reddened and raised ring of skin. In addition, the skin in the middle of the ring may appear scaly.

Location of the Infection

Although a ringworm infection can occur on any portion of the puppy's body, it is commonly found on his tail, his paws or his face and ears. Since ringworm spreads quickly, prompt treatment is essential for controlling the infection.

Nodules

Small round nodes may appear with a bacterial infection that frequently accompanies ringworm. Called, "kerions," these nodes are commonly found on the face or on the legs at the site of a ringworm.

Itching

If the puppy is scratching or pawing at the site of a ringworm, a bacterial infection is likely present. The puppy may lick at a ringworm on the lower body or scratch at one on her face or neck. When this happens, the puppy's nails may become infected with the ringworm fungus and they become brittle or cracked.

Diagnosis

In addition to your observation of the puppy's symptoms, your vet may examine your puppy's hair under a microscope or he may use an ultraviolet light to look for a telltale green glow, signifying that the ringworm fungus is present. A fungal culture may also assist in the diagnosis.

References

  • Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, 4th Edition, Debra M. Eldredge, DVM Liisa D. Carlson, DVM Delbert G. Carlson, DVM James M. Giffin, MD, Howell Book House Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc, 2007

Photo Credits

  • Royalty free image from Shutterstock

About the Author

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.