Ringworm Average Cost

From 13 quotes ranging from $300 - 1,500

Average Cost


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What is Ringworm?

Puppies, animals living in stressful environments, and those with immunosuppressive diseases are most susceptible to dermatophytosis. Lesions from ringworm usually become apparent 7 to 14 days after exposure to the fungus. Infections spread through contact with an infected animal, or after exposure to a contaminated item, such as a dog collar, grooming tools, or bedding. If you in any way suspect that your dog has been exposed to ringworm or is showing signs of the fungal infection, consult a qualified veterinarian for advice. Ringworm is contagious, meaning your furry family member could possibly transmit the fungus to human members of the household.

A fungal skin disease, ringworm is medically defined as dermatophytosis. Characterised by round or irregularly shaped markings which are most often raised, ringworm appears in patches over the body, distinguishable by hair loss. Ringworm is caused by a fungus and affects the superficial layers of the hair, nails and skin.

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Symptoms of Ringworm in Dogs

Some dogs may be asymptomatic, which can present a problem as the ringworm can easily spread in environments where many animals congregate (like boarding kennels). If your dog is having skin related issues, see the veterinarian promptly. If dermatophytosis is the case, early eradication will make the contamination of others less widespread throughout your human and animal companion brood.

  • The skin may or may not itch
  • There may be the appearance of dandruff like flakes
  • The skin could be red
  • There may be broken hairs on the coat
  • The hair may fall out
  • The ring could have inflammation within it
  • Hair may begin to regrow within the circular, crusty patch
  • There may be a presence of raised, rounded, nodular lesions (granulomatous)
  • The claws could be brittle and broken

There are many types of fungi that can cause ringworm. The most common types in the canine world are listed here. These three types are zoonotic, meaning they can be spread between animals and humans.

  • Microsporum canis
    • The main reservoir for this fungus is cats and dogs
    • It feeds on the keratin of the outer layers of skin, hair, and nails
  • Microsporum gypseum
    • It is found in soil
    • Most common in South America
  • Trichophyton mentagrophytes
    • In humans, it is known as athlete’s foot
    • It is found in moist areas
    • It manifests as ringworm in animals

Causes of Ringworm in Dogs

The fungi that cause ringworm can remain dormant for up to 18 months. This cements the fact that diligent care must be taken if you learn that your family pet has ringworm.

  • Dogs and humans with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to dermatophytosis
  • Spores can be found in soil
  • Fleas can transmit ringworm
  • Contact with contaminated items can spread ringworm (combs, brushes, dog bowls, furniture, bedding)
  • Direct contact with the fungus on an animal or person is a source of transmission

Diagnosis of Ringworm in Dogs

When you arrive at the clinic, the veterinarian will start the visit with an examination. Be prepared to give as much detail about the recent behaviors of your canine companion. If you know or suspect that your dog has been exposed to ringworm, alert the veterinary caregiver right away. She and her team will want to be as diligent as possible in containing the possible fungus to one area, and will do an extensive cleanup after you and your pet have gone home.

The diagnosis of dermatophytosis is typically done by the following methods.

  • Identification of ringworm lesion
    • This is not the most accurate way to diagnose ringworm because other diseases (like skin mites or allergic skin disease) can mimic the fungus. However, it is a good starting point, as the presence of scaly, crusty ring like lesions may be indicative of ringworm when seen in addition to other diagnostic results.
  • Fluorescence of infected hairs
    • Hairs belonging to your dog will be placed under a special light, called a Wood’s lamp. Ultraviolet light will show the presence of fungi excretion attached to the hair. Microsporum canis will glow a fluorescent yellow-green. It should be noted that microsporum gypseum and trichophyton mentagrophytes do not glow under the fluorescent light, so this method does not completely rule out a ringworm infection.
  • Fungal culture of hair or skin cells
    • This is the most accurate. Most cultures, if positive, will show as such within ten days. It is possible, though, that the results can take up to a month to identify if the spores grow slowly.

Looking at dog hair under the microscope, and taking a skin biopsy are two other methods less commonly used, due to a low rate of accuracy.

Treatment of Ringworm in Dogs

The veterinary caregiver will decide on the course of treatment for the ringworm affecting your dog. She will give you full instructions on the diligence and care that must be taken in order to eradicate the fungus from your pet, and from your home.

Topical creams and ointments may be used alone or in conjunction with a medicated shampoo, depending on the severity of the infection. The veterinarian will advise on how long a cream or ointment should be applied, but typically the application is once a day for 10 days, up to 4 or 6 weeks. Medicated shampoos are often used twice a week. The shampoo should be left on for 5 minutes before rinsing, taking care to avoid the eyes, nose and mouth.

Oral antifungal medications are generally used for a six-week minimum. A culture may be taken about 2 weeks after the medication is started, and then 2 weeks after that, and possibly one more time. Once the veterinarian has seen three negative cultures, it is conceivable that the medication can be stopped. Do not stop the treatment before the veterinary caregiver has given the okay, or your dog may have a recurrence of the fungus.

Clipping is only recommended if the infection is severe. The reason for this is that any nicks that your canine buddy may get while getting clipped can cause the fungus to spread further into the skin.

During the treatment period, it is highly advised that you keep your dog under a quarantine of sorts; do not allow contact with family members, other household pets, or any other dogs in the vicinity. In fact, a wise decision would be to have the veterinarian do a fungal culture on all pets living with you. (Infected pets remain contagious for about three weeks, even once treatment has begun.) Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after treating your dog, or perhaps wear gloves when applying ointments and creams.

Recovery of Ringworm in Dogs

Don’t be surprised if you see areas of hair loss continue to get bigger after treatment has started. This is normal. The patches will begin to get smaller in size after two weeks, and the hair should start to grow back. If you are not seeing improvement, let the veterinarian know. She will need to do two or three cultures after treatment begins, since three negative cultures in a row is the most common indicator used for determining the resolution of the dermatophytosis.

Disinfecting and keeping clean all areas of the house will be necessary as part of managing the ringworm infection. Keep your pet in a room without carpets. Vacuum and mop the quarantine area daily at minimum. The use of bleach (at a strength of 1:10 - 1:100) is suggested, to be used over all flooring in the house and particularly in the room where your dog is being kept. Lysol can be used to further disinfect floors, radiators, windows, and vehicles your dog may have been in. Wash bedding often. As well, wash (or consider throwing out) collars and grooming aids. In reality, the entire house must be disinfected, including drapes and carpets.

If clipping of your dog is to be done in any amount, be sure to dispose of the dog hair carefully. This may all seem to be unsurmountable at this point, but with diligence, patience and the help of the veterinary team, you can have success in the elimination of the ringworm.

Cost of Ringworm in Dogs

Ringworm can be diagnosed visually, although that is not as conclusive as a fungal culture or doing a Wood’s Lamp examination. The fungal culture is done on the hair or skin cells and costs $45 on average. Another method used to diagnose ringworm is an examination using Wood’s Lamp. The Wood’s Lamp method illuminates any fungus on the dog’s hair. If the veterinarian chooses to use this method, it can cost $20 - $50 on average. Once your dog has tested positive for ringworm, the veterinarian will begin treating it. Topical creams and ointments can cost between $20 and $100. This method can be combined with a medicated shampoo, adding an additional $10 to $35 per bottle. The last method of treatment that the veterinarian may suggest is using oral antifungal medications for about six weeks. These oral medications cost an average of $20.

Ringworm Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Great Danebull
7 Weeks
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms


How do I know ringworm is gone and no longer contagious. I got my puppy Tuesday and it has been on a shampoo and cream medicine since. The spot is mostly bald with patches that look like the hair is growing back but I don't know when he can be let out of his crate safely without being contagious.and how long do I continue medicine for him?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
512 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If Riggs is on medication for the ringworm infection, and the hair is growing back, the fungus should no longer be alive and contagious. It is important that all of Riggs' bedding and toys are washed thoroughly, in bleach, to kill the spores. It would be best to ask your veterinarian when he is okay to mingle with everybody, as they have seen him and know his health status, but it shouldn't be too long!

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Pit Pei
4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My dog has been on medication since November 20th. Almost all spots have disappeared, but the largest one on her snout was black and raised, and is now pink and flat, and looks so much better. Her last pill is tomorrow. Is she healed, or do I need to go back to the vet?!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Most likely Millie no longer has ringworm but the lesions are still present due to the healing process of the skin being a little slow; you should return to your Veterinarian for their opinion to be on the safe side and possibly getting another round of treatment based on their judgement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lab mix
3 months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My puppy was diagnosed with ringworm and my daughter and I have it as well. How long should i keep no contact with the dog. She’s been on the back patio for 3 days. I’ve been spending 10 minutes with her every couple hours, have disinfected the house and cleaned her bedding but not sure how long I should keep he in “corintine” ??? Thanks

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Generally whilst there are still skin lesions, a dog is still contagious and I would generally wait for another week or so after the lesions have disappeared to be on the safe side. Generally treatment should consist of oral medications, topical creams and environmental cleaning. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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chihauaha mix
2 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


My dog has ringworm, the vet gave her Itraconazole, how long doe it take for this medication to start working? she seems to be getting more spots of ringworm. She has been on this medication since Oct. 19.
dawn h

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations

Ringworm is a fungal infection which is highly contagious and may also affect humans too. Treatment for ringworm can take several weeks in some cases and new lesions may appear during the earlier stages of treatment; oral itraconazole starts to work immediately, however visual signs of improvement may take time to be evident. If the infection is severe, topical creams may also be applied; it is just difficult to stop dogs from licking the cream off. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Full Recovery
Treatment Cost: $109.00
The medication seems to be working. thanks again

How long after oral treatment starts is the dog not contagious anymore

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American Pit Bull Terrier
3 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

My dog has what appears to be ring worms. I do not want to schedule a vet appointment although I will if I have to. I am going to check to see if PetCo (Vetco Clinic) can check to be sure but if not...will it be harmful to use ringworm cream on him if that is not what he has? (Im almost certain it is but just want to check)

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations

Ringworm is a distinctive fungal infection of the skin which humans can catch from their loved ones. The lesions of ringworm are distinctive red rings which get larger with the healed pink skin in the middle, hair loss and excessive scratching can be observed. Ringworm is generally self-limiting and may resolve without treatment, medicated shampoo’s will help the condition resolve faster and will have no negative effects on Dutch’s overall health; in severe cases griseofulvin, ketoconazole or itraconazole may be prescribed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Labrador Retriever
13 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss

My dog has been diagnosed with ringworm and is receiving treatments both internal and external. Should I let her swim in the lake and get wet with the lesions on her? She's a lab :-)

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations

It would be best to keep Biscuit dry during the treatment of the ringworm; ensure that the medication is being taken and the topical cream is being applied. After the resolution of the ringworm, Biscuit may swim once again in the lake. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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4 Months
Has Symptoms
Dixie is my cute little puppy that I just got a few weeks ago. She’s my little joy. She’s so small she fits perfectly in my arms so I tend to carry her around a lot. I noticed she had a patch of hair missing and I thought is this normal for puppies? Then I looked closer and found that the skin that was exposed from the missing patch of hair was red. I thought maybe this is an infection or something. I made a vet appointment but had to wait a few days to get into the office. By then, I noticed what looks like dandruff flakes on the red part of Dixie’s skin. I finally got her to the vet and he did an exam on the lesion and said it was ringworm. He prescribed topical cream and a shampoo that will help. I have to use it on Dixie for the next 6 weeks. This situation has already cost me about $90, which a good chunk out of my already tight budget. Even worse, while I was sitting at the vet’s office, he happened to notice a circular patch on my arm and said that I got ringworm too, from skin to skin contact with Dixie.....