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What’s the best way to get rid of ringworm from a puppy?

Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin and hair, and causes the skin to become red and flakey and results in hair loss. It’s very contagious to humans, as well as to other animals. If your puppy has new skin lesions or you suspect they have ringworm then take them to the vet as soon as possible, so that they can be diagnosed and treated.

There are a few treatment options and the treatment chosen will depend on how severe the symptoms are, if you have other pets, children or immunocompromised individuals at home. Often a combination of topical and oral treatments are used, alongside cleaning and decontaminating the environment. The area where the skin lesion is may be clipped which will help improve the efficacy of topical treatments.

This may involve an anti-fungal shampoo carefully applied to the area but care must be taken to avoid getting it in the eyes, ears and mouth. Antifungal tablets are given alongside topical treatment, and treatment should continue for at least 2 weeks after the symptoms resolve, and stopped based on a negative culture result.

Remember, there are no safe and effective over-the-counter antifungal medications that are legal for use in dogs without a vet’s prescription.

Answered by: Dr Laura Sullivan MRCVS

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