What are Natural Ringworm Remedies?
Despite the misleading name, ringworm actually refers to a fungal infection in the hair fibers and epidermis of a dog’s skin, rather than the presence of a parasitic worm. A number of natural remedies can be used to help treat ringworm, all of which aim to relieve symptoms associated with the infection.
Whilst the dog should be taken to the vet for diagnosis and treatment, there are some natural remedies which your vet may advise you administer at home. This may be in conjunction with prescription medication.
Natural Ringworm Remedies Procedure in Dogs
Some of the most popular and effective natural remedies for relieving the symptoms of ringworm are anti-fungal pet shampoo, apple cider vinegar, chamomile, and oatmeal baths. Always consult your vet before administering natural remedies for ringworm. For most pets, stronger medicine will also be needed.
An anti-fungal pet shampoo will help fight and eliminate the infection. To use:
- Wash your dog with an anti-fungal pet shampoo in the bath
- Do this every other day until the infection has gone
Apple cider vinegar may relieve the itching and soreness of the infected area. To use:
- Make a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water
- Put the solution in a spray type bottle
- Spray the infected area with the solution two to three times a day, as needed
Chamomile tea soaks can help relieve itchiness and stop affected areas of skin from being rubbed raw. To use:
- Steep chamomile tea bags in a bathtub of room temperature water
- Remove tea bags from the water and let your dog soak for several minutes
- Use a jug to pour the tea solution on dry and itchy patches of skin
- Remove your dog from the tub and let them drip dry
Oatmeal baths and pastes are effective at soothing dry and itchy skin. To use:
- If using an oatmeal paste, rub the paste onto the affected areas of the skin and wash off the paste after several minutes
- If using an oatmeal bath, pout ground oatmeal into a bathtub of room temperature water
- Let your dog soak in the bathtub for 10 minutes
- Remove your dog from the tub and let them drip dry
Efficacy of Natural Ringworm Remedies in Dogs
Many pet parents have reported success with the remedies above in relieving the symptoms ringworm. An anti-fungal shampoo is particularly effective in stopping the spread of infection. However, non prescription medicines aren't always effective and may not eliminate a ringworm infection.
There are alternative treatment options to relieve the symptoms of ringworm. Your vet may prescribe medicated shampoo and an ointment containing miconazole to kill the fungus. If the case is severe, they may also prescribe an oral medication to work in conjunction with any topical treatments.
Natural Ringworm Remedies Recovery in Dogs
It's unlikely your dog will have a reaction to natural treatment options but allergic reactions are possible. You may start to see improvements in the infected within a few short days. Remember, fur re-growth takes about 6 weeks.
If your dog may need to be taken to the vet’s if the condition worsens, but if the infected area clears up, no follow-up appointment will be necessary. The environment must be deep cleaned to prevent re-infection.
Cost of Natural Ringworm Remedies in Dogs
The cost of natural remedies to treat ringworm is low. Anti-fungal pet shampoo can be bought for between $10-$25. Apple cider vinegar can be bought for around $5. The only other cost will be for the initial vet diagnosis, which on average costs between $45-$55.
This price could vary if you have a dog with a number of infected areas or if you needed to return to the vet for further appointments because the infection had worsened. But, overall natural remedies are inexpensive.
With regards vet charges, as discussed, the initial diagnosis will cost between $45-$55. Topical creams and ointments could cost anywhere between $20 -$100. If medicated shampoo is also required, this could add anywhere between $10-$35 to the total cost. Whilst the medication from the vets is more expensive, it is more effective, with ringworm usually being completely eliminated within one to three weeks.
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Dog Natural Ringworm Remedies Considerations
The benefits of the natural treatment route are that they are safe and pose no harm to your dog. So there are no short term or long term implications associated with the natural treatment options. The risk you run is that the treatment will not work and your dog will be infected for longer which increases your risk and adds to the fungal burden in the environment.
Oral anti fungals can be associated with side effects, including a reduced appetite and stomach upset. Oral anti-fungals are not commonly used.
Natural Ringworm Remedies Prevention in Dogs
Ringworm is extremely difficult to prevent, as it's contagious. There are currently no reliable vaccines to prevent ringworm. That said, there are certain steps you can take to prevent infection.
Firstly, being aware of your dog's surroundings. Grooming facilities, kennels, dog shows, and vets are all locations where there is a greater risk of infection. Ensuring facilities are clean and equipment is sterile will help prevent infection. Keeping your dog’s environment clean is the most effective preventative measure an owner can take.
Rodents also play a part in spreading infections such as ringworm. If a dog has access to rodents in their immediate environment, it would be sensible to take necessary measures to eliminate the pests. This can be a very effective preventative measure.
Farm dogs can become infected from contact with animals like sheep and cows.
You can help prevent the spread of ringworm by monitoring your pets. If you see excessive dandruff, sore patches or an unusual amount of itching, then you should seek prompt vet care. Treating ringworm early on will diminish progression and the chances of it spreading to other pets or humans in your home.
If you know your dog has ringworm, you must keep them away from other pets. If your neighbor's dog has ringworm, then ensure they stay separated from your dog. Keeping your dog separate from other infected animals is an effective preventative measure.