We assumed the itching would stop soon after allergy season ended. And, while hubby’s sneezing and sniffling subsided, Henry continued to itch and chew at himself. Some days he seemed better than others so we treated him with his allergy medication – Vanectyl-P.
After our latest trip to the groomer, we noticed little scabby patches around Henry’s legs. I’m not sure how long they’d been there as they only became apparent after the hair had been shaved away. We booked him in to see the Veterinarian that afternoon. A full test would take a couple of weeks to complete, and the Doctor that saw us was confident that we were dealing with RINGWORM!
Ringworm has nothing to do with worms at all. It is a highly contagious fungal infection; easily spread to other animals and humans.
I contacted our groomer to let her know. The equipment is disinfected thoroughly between customers. Candice was more concerned about Henry. I also spoke with Henry’s trainer to confirm we would not be able to attend agility class (even though the dogs do not interact it is best to air on the side of caution). Our dog walker was also apprised of the situation.
Symptoms of ringworm include lesions that typically appear on a dog’s head, ears, paws, and forelimbs. These lesions can cause patchy, crusted circular “bald spots” that sometimes look red in the center. In mild cases of ringworm, there may be just a few broken hairs while bad cases of ringworm can spread over most of a dog’s body. It’s also possible for a dog to carry the fungus and not show any symptoms whatsoever.
We do not know when or where Henry picked up the infection, but we will do our best to ensure it is not passed on. The rest of the pack is fine. It is possible Henry was unlucky due to his compromised immune system (allergies). Puppies less than one-year-old, stressed, and immunocompromised dogs are most susceptible to the condition. Cats are not exempt from ringworm! Kittens, seniors and immunocompromised are more likely candidates – and LONGHAIRED cats! Great. Just great.
Transmission may occur via contact with any items where hair or infected skin particles have collected; toys, bedding, dishes, halters, collars and other apparel. We washed EVERYTHING, shampooed the rugs and living room furniture (bonus for those of you with a ‘no dogs on furniture’ rule) and replaced Henry’s favorite toys. We will continue this regime as we carry out Henry’s treatment.
Treatment of this condition may vary. In Henry’s case, we were prescribed a medicated shampoo and ointment which we apply daily until the vet says otherwise. We will see what they say in two weeks…
We didn’t have to wait that long! As I prepared to apply ointment to Henry’s nether region, I realized there was a problem. The affected area was incredibly inflamed. It was bright red and raw looking. We went straight back to the clinic.
At the end of this visit, Henry was prescribed antibiotics as the unfortunate condition had become infected. We were also given an antiseptic, medicated spray to use instead of the ointment. No more baths either. “Thank goodness for one small blessing,” says Henry.
Things looked to be turning around until the took an even worse turn! Poor Henry’s groin was so red and purple it looked as if the skin had been pinched and twisted and burnt. I felt so bad for the little man, and I felt so helpless. We headed back to see the DVM.
Biopsy, steroid injection, continue with antibiotics plus steroid tablets and spray.
We’ll see what the new year brings…