Trichophytosis in dogs is so common that every breeder must know its causes and basic principles of treatment, because the disease is dangerous not only for the animal, but also for humans.
What causes the disease
Trichophytosis is the scientific name for the disease, which is popularly known as ringworm. Its microscopic fungus Trichophytone causes. His disputes can be anywhere: on the litter, on personal hygiene items, in the grass, while the survivability of the parasite is so great that it can remain in the hairline for up to 10 years, in feces for 8 months, in the soil for about 140 days .
The disease is extremely contagious. Infection occurs during close contact of an animal with an already affected individual, or when the dog's hygiene is not observed. The chances of catching Trichophyton are greater in age-old animals and dogs with weak immunity. But a healthy dog is also not safe from lichen, because even a small cut on the skin becomes a favorable environment for the settlement of the parasite.
According to statistics, outbreaks of the disease occur in the fall and winter, which is due to the natural decline in dog immunity. In the summer, it is more difficult to become infected, since the body's strength is getting stronger, and the external environment is unfavorable for the fungus, which dies under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. Most often homeless animals suffer from ringworm, however, pets also have a great chance of contracting a fungus, especially in conditions of stress.
It can not be argued that once on the skin of an animal, the fungus will necessarily cause disease. For healthy dogs, this contact may be asymptomatic. With provocative factors, the following will happen:
- the mycelium penetrates the epidermis and grows there;
- hair follicles are affected, in which inflammation begins.
The complexity of treatment includes the fact that the disease does not manifest itself immediately, but after about 2 weeks. Prior to this, it is almost impossible to suspect a Trichophyton defeat, because in the early stages the disease can manifest itself only in a change in the behavior of the dog.
During the incubation period, the animal begins to itch. The first thing the hosts suspect is a flea infection. After observing the pet, one can immediately assume lichen: the dog will itch in one place. The first stage is the appearance of redness and swelling. As a rule, there are no rashes at first. Just a red spot, which is often confused with ordinary dermatitis and try to identify an allergen.
With the germination of mycelium in the skin, the concentration of toxic parasite vital products increases, as a result of which the upper layer of the epidermis begins to break down. And then the disease becomes visible to the naked eye. At this stage, the skin begins to peel, and the itching intensifies. The last stage is hair loss at the site of the lesion. A balding red spot appears on the dog’s body with hemp sticks of hair sticking out on it, for which the disease is called ringworm. At the initial infection, the spot is small, rounded in shape with clear edges. The skin in its middle is wrinkled and very dry, the color is most often grayish, which is very noticeable against the background of a bright red border.
Single lesions are localized on the paws, head, neck, at the base of the tail, with the spread of the fungus spots appear on the muzzle, abdomen, and even at the base of claw growth. Secondary damage to the epidermis is more dangerous for the animal. The stronger the disease manifests itself, the more itching becomes, as a result of which the dog itself injures the upper layer of the epidermis - a favorable environment for the growth of mycelium.
If the animal is not treated, then the small foci of lichen merge, covering vast areas of the body. Scabs form on the site of the primary spots, which, when opened, degenerate into an ulcer. Further ignoring the problem leads to pyoderma, to purulent inflammation of the skin. The dog becomes lethargic, her appetite disappears, her body temperature rises, and when taking blood tests, an increased number of white blood cells is found.
Diagnosis and treatment
If you suspect a disease, you should contact your veterinarian. Trichophytosis in dogs is diagnosed in several ways:
- the study of samples of the epidermis and hairline under a microscope;
- transillumination of the lesion with "black light" under Wood's lamp;
- sowing of biomaterial in a nutrient medium. Typically, this method gives a 100% result.
After diagnosis, treatment should be started immediately. This process is lengthy. What you definitely can’t do is try to get rid of red spots on your own. First you need to cut the hair in the affected area, even if the process of hair loss has already begun. The more thoroughly the wound is cleaned, the easier it is to treat it. Trimmed hairs are burned to prevent the spread of the disease.
Hydrogen peroxide is used to soften the crusts. The second step is antiseptic treatment, for which you can take regular chlorhexidine. But these are only the first measures to alleviate the condition in the affected areas. Trichophytosis is a fungal disease, so you can not do without special drugs.
To combat the fungus, drugs are used in the form of ointments, tablets and vaccines. Also in therapy, iodine-based preparations are mandatory, which the fungi simply cannot tolerate. The two most common antifungal agents are Intraconazole and Griseofulvin, Nystatin and Ketoconazole are also used successfully.
With a slight skin lesion and in the absence of generalized areas, the preparations are used in the form of an ointment, with complications they are administered orally, and an animal is bathed with a special shampoo containing ketoconazole.
Griseofulvin is an antibiotic that destroys the cell membrane of the fungus. When using it inside, it is necessary to provide the dog with full nutrition. In the diet, there must be fatty food, since the drug affects the gastric mucosa. The minus of griseofulvin is the impossibility of treating pregnant bitches, as well as age-related animals with impaired renal function. A prerequisite is to follow the doctor's recommendations, otherwise nausea and diarrhea may appear during therapy.
Intraconazole is considered safer, which does not destroy, but blocks the spread of mycelium, which in combination therapy gives a good effect. This drug is less toxic and causes fewer side effects.
Often, veterinarians use sulfur-based ointments to treat trichophytosis. They treat the affected areas of the skin, carefully making sure that the dog does not lick itself. Plus, it is advised to increase the number of baths. The convenience of sulfur-based ointments is manifested in the fact that the treated areas of the skin are always visible, because sulfur-containing preparations have a yellowish tint.
Successfully applied vaccines against trichophytosis. They can be administered both for prophylaxis and directly during treatment. The most popular drugs are Wakderm, Microderm and Polivak. Their minus is the inability to use during the complications obtained with this disease. It should also be remembered that often after the administration of the drug, the symptoms of trichophytosis intensify, but after some time pass: this indicates the correct reaction of the animal's body to treatment.
To protect the pet from infection with Trichophyton fungus, it is necessary to pay special attention to increasing the immunity of the animal, as well as monitor the hygiene of the dog and limit its contact with stray dogs.