Detecting and treating skin fungus in dogs
Skin fungus is triggered in dogs by so-called dermatophytes. These are fungal spores that attack the surface of the skin and hair of the four-legged friend.
If your dog suffers from skin fungus, different types of dermatophytes are possible. These include Trichophyton gypseum, Microsporum canis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
In the following, you will learn how an infection with a skin fungus occurs, how you can recognize the fungal infestation in your dog and how it can be treated.
How dogs get infected with skin fungus
Skin fungus is very contagious. The fungal spores can easily reach the skin and coat of the dog when it comes into contact with an infected dog. There it penetrates through tiny cracks into the skin of the quadruped and forms roots, which spread into the outer skin layer and the hair follicle openings.
If the skin-fungus has nested itself with the dog first once, it multiplies very fast. The produced spores are distributed on his body and are released into the environment, so that the skin fungus can attack other hosts.
Symptoms of skin fungus in dogs
Skin fungus can appear in different ways in affected dogs. Typical symptoms of a fungal infection include allergic reactions, itching and inflammation. In addition, the skin fungus often causes fur problems such as hair loss.
Hair loss caused by a fungal infection is usually circular, which makes it quite easy to deduce its trigger. Frequently, the bald areas are also reddened and scaly. Since they cause severe itching, they also become encrusted and easily inflamed.
Also be aware that not all dogs infected with skin fungus have symptoms. It is therefore quite possible that your four-legged friend can become infected with dermatophytes in a supposedly healthy dog.
Humans can get infected with skin fungus in dogs
Dermaphytosis is a so-called zoonosis. This means that your dog's skin fungus can be transmitted not only to other dogs but also to humans. For this reason it is very important that you are careful when dealing with your infected dog and that you take care of the treatment of the fungal infection as soon as possible.
Diagnosing skin fungus in dogs
If you suspect that your dog has become infected with a skin fungus, you should make an appointment with the vet as soon as possible. The veterinarian can examine your pet and rule out other skin diseases as the cause of the animal's discomfort.
In the context of the diagnosis the following procedures are available to the veterinarian among other things:
- Wood's lamp: This procedure is not too reliable. However, it can be used for a quick diagnosis of at least some fungal species.
- Mushroom culture in the laboratory: With the help of incubation of a mushroom culture in the laboratory and a following microscopic investigation the veterinary surgeon can determine the exact mushroom type.
- Tissue sample: A biopsy of the affected skin allows the veterinarian to determine whether a skin fungus is present.
- Trichogram: The veterinarian examines the hair roots of the dog under a microscope to check for the presence of a fungal infection.
It is impossible to say in advance how quickly a reliable diagnosis can be made in the case of a skin fungus in dogs. In some cases, the veterinarian can diagnose the fungal infection directly. In other cases, however, a thorough laboratory examination may be necessary and the final diagnosis of the skin fungus may take several weeks.
Treating skin fungus in dogs
The sooner the skin fungus in your dog is detected and treated, the sooner the animal has survived the fungal infection again. However, the treatment is often lengthy and can take several weeks.
In order to successfully rid your dog of his skin fungus, a three-part treatment usually takes place.
1. Local treatment from the outside
The body of the dog suffering from skin fungus is rubbed with suitable medication or washed. It is important not to limit oneself to directly affected parts of the body, but to treat the skin and coat completely.
2. Systemic treatment with antimycotics
In addition to the external treatment, the affected dog also gets so-called antimycotics against the skin fungus. The medication can be administered either orally or in the form of an injection and fights the fungal infection from the inside out.
3. Cutting the fur
It is often advisable to shorten the coat of the dog, especially if it is heavily infested with a skin fungus. In this way, the active ingredients of the externally applied medication can penetrate better and develop their effect.
Hygiene measures against a new fungal attack
Apart from the actual treatment of the skin fungus with the dog, it is important that you decontaminate the environment of your quadruped with appropriate hygiene measures.
For this purpose it is necessary that you clean all objects such as pillows, blankets and toys thoroughly and disinfect with a fungicidal solution. This also applies to rooms to which your dog has access.
Without the consistent implementation of these hygiene measures, there is a high probability that your dog will be infected again with skin fungus.
Therapy-accompanying care with Myko-Health dog shampoo
With Myko-Health, you will find a dog shampoo in our range that is ideal for therapy-accompanying care for dogs with skin fungus. In addition to natural surfactants and high-quality oils, Bellfor Myko-Health Shampoo contains 0.3 percent Climbazol, which has an antifungal and fungistatic effect.
Skin fungus in dogs and the immune system
The risk of infection with skin fungus is particularly high in puppies and old dogs. In addition, quadrupeds with a weak immune system are particularly at risk.
Strong defences cannot completely prevent a skin fungus in your dog. However, they can at least help the four-legged friend to survive the fungal infection better and keep the complaints within limits.
In addition to avoiding excessive stress and a species-appropriate diet with high-quality dog food from Bellfor, we therefore recommend that you supplement your dog with Bellfor Immun if necessary. This natural preparation supplies your dog's body with important micronutrients and amino acids and thus makes a valuable contribution to strengthening his immune system.
Our tip for dogs with skin fungus
If your dog suffers from skin fungus, it is advisable to support the treatment with suitable products from our range. For this reason, we have put together a special economy set with Bellfor Liegeschwielen Ointment and Shiimun Skin.
Bellfor Liegeschwielen Ointment helps to care for skin areas damaged by skin fungus and Shiimun Skin with Shiitake provides your dog with valuable nutrients for skin and coat health.
Both together can make a valuable contribution to effectively counteract the consequences of skin fungus in your dog.
Skin fungus in dogs: the most important information at a glance
Skin fungus is very contagious and manifests itself in dogs especially through severe itching and a characteristic circular hair loss. In order to get the fungal infection under control, comprehensive hygiene measures in the household are necessary in addition to the treatment of the four-legged friend itself.
Strong defences can help to reduce the risk of an infection with skin fungus in dogs, or at least to reduce the associated complaints.