How to treat dog ringworm at home?
February 7, 2010 8:37 AM   Subscribe

How can I treat puppy ringworm at home/over-the-counter?

I got my seven month old puppy four weeks ago and when I got her she had a mysterious spot on her. Being my first dog and concerned, I took her to the vet to get everything looked at. After expensive tests and scraping, it was just ringworm, she received medicine, and was fine in a month.

Fast forward to a week ago and she how somehow managed to get it again. It's exactly the same type of spot and loss of hair. Maybe I didn't clean well enough, maybe it was a neighbor dog, or maybe it never fully went away. Regardless, she has it on her neck which conveniently is easy to scratch and I'm pretty sure she is spreading it to other areas. The vet insists on running tests again even though I know what it is. I say this because I had a little medicine left over from the first time and it is looking a lot better, I'm just almost out. The tests at the vet are a couple hundred dollars.

Are there any OTC medicines or creams I could use or is my best bet to just pay the $250 and be told what I already know to get more of the same medicine?

Picture of the spot:
posted by jwfree to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
Lavender oil, mixed with a little avocado oil and or vitamin E (to cut the intensity)got rid of my dog's ringworm in a week. Applied twice daily.
posted by Vaike at 8:48 AM on February 7, 2010

Call a different vet and explain the situation. Some vets are more sympathetic than others about this kind of thing.
posted by emilyd22222 at 9:00 AM on February 7, 2010

IANAV (I am not a vet) but you could try 1% Clotrimazole cream, like you would get for athlete's foot. I know it can be used in cats, not sure about dogs.
posted by mabelcolby at 10:12 AM on February 7, 2010

I used athlete's foot cream on my cats and it worked fine. They were only 2 months old at the time. The key is to be meticulous about using it until the spot is gone and then for another week. That was the advice I received from my vet. If you happen to have a black light lying around take your puppy into a dark room and look at the spot under the black light. Most strains of ringworm fungus emit a slight glow under a black light.
posted by MayNicholas at 11:15 AM on February 7, 2010

Lamisil cured me and my cat. (My vet said OTC ringworm creams for people were okay for critters)
posted by edguardo at 11:18 AM on February 7, 2010

I run an animal rescue, the Vets we work with are very good about helping us keep our costs down. For ringworm they reccommend the same product that you would buy for a vaginal yeast infection in humans, the cheapest brand you can find, apply topically. In the last years we have had 30 - 40 cases of ringworm, often an entire litter of pups will come in with ringworm. It works well enough that we have never had a dog catch it in our facility.
Good Luck with it.
posted by misspat at 11:51 AM on February 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: IANAV, but my gf is, and she says that given the age of the dog and the breed, it could quite possibly be demodectic mange. The skin tends to respond the same way to many "insults", so just because it looks the same, doesn't mean that it is. OTC with a gyne-lotrimin type of product is certainly appropriate for ringworm, but it's not going to help you with mange, if that's what it is.

Ringworm is contagious to people as well as with animals, so there could be a problem with contamination in the home. She sees very few cases of ringworm in dogs (much more common in cats, and cats can remain a silent carrier of it in the house). If a DTM culture was done to determine that your dog had ringworm, there is a tendency on the part of some professionals to over-read the results as contamination can give you a false positive.

Demodex is not contagious and is generally self-limiting, but 10% of the time it can be a real nightmare to treat and so an accurate diagnosis is recommended. Sometimes demodex can be missed if the scraping was not deep enough. It's possible that the first scraping was not diagnostic.

There are multiple kinds of mange, some of which are contagious to people.

She would recommend seeing a vet and getting another opinion.
posted by idb at 1:28 PM on February 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

With regard to using a black light, many things will phosphoresce under a black light, including scabs, dandruff, urine, etc. It's not ringworm unless the hair shaft itself glows, and only two out of three types of ringworm will do this. A safety note: be sure not to look at the black light directly yourself, and you need to let it warm up for at least five minutes.
posted by idb at 1:33 PM on February 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

I know nothing about ringworm and dogs, but recently I had some reoccurring ringworm and besides prescription/OTC fungal cream, what finally cleared it up was dabbing yogurt right on it. That worked like a charm. Don't know how you'd keep a dog from just licking it off though... unless you have the area shaved and can wrap it up (my doc said covering up cream on ringworm with a bandage makes it more efficient anyway).

But to second a previous poster, I would be a little concerned about the possibility of mange.
posted by Eicats at 1:41 PM on February 7, 2010

I have no if dogs are different than cars, but after having an entire litter of kitten (and mommy cat) with a case of ringworm that would simply not go away; even if I got the kittens cleaned up with a vet-prescribed cream, mommy gave it back to them, or vice versa... it seems to never end. Ugh.

Anyway -- I used a vet prescribed cream, but the shelter I was fostering the litter from also suggested a vinegar and water mixture dabbed on the lesions. It couldn't hurt to try.

And when I finally caught the ringworm myself, I used a OTC athlete's foot fungal cream. It worked like a charm. I'd be hesitant to use that on the animals however, because you never know if they'll lick it off.
posted by cgg at 2:31 PM on February 7, 2010

*than cats* Argh.
posted by cgg at 2:32 PM on February 7, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the recommendations. Turns out, idb and is vet girlfriend were correct. After more little spots showed up I took my pup to a different vet and it came back as a mild case of mange. $80 compared to $215 at Banfield (PetSmart) when my pup had ringworm isn't bad.
posted by jwfree at 7:38 AM on February 10, 2010

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