Ringworm in dogs is a highly infectious skin disease commonly found in dogs that can be readily treated using natural essential oils. Despite its name, it is not a worm. Instead, it is typically caused by one of three fungi known as dermophytes and an essential oil with anti-fungal properties may be used topically or delivered orally to clear the condition. This fungal infection can rapidly spread throughout your dog’s entire body and may be spread to humans.
Dogs with ringworm typically experience circular patches of hair loss and often develop lesions. Dermatophytes live on the skin and feed on the keratin within the hair. These skin fungi feed in an outwardly growing circle and exhibit raised red bumps on the skin. Ringworm is not itchy, but may become inflamed.
Essential Oils For Ringworm
Coconut Oil: Rich in anti-microbial properties, this carrier oil may be used alone or in combination with another essential oil. In fact, it is the single best carrier oil to use when treating a ringworm infection in dogs.
Tea Tree Oil: This oil is perhaps the most effective of the essential oils when it comes to treating fungal infection. However, since it is so potent it must be diluted with a carrier oil prior to application with a cotton swab to avoid irritating the skin of small pets, in particular.
Licorice Root Oil: Safe to use on inflamed or broken skin, this gentle oil is rich in anti-fungal properties and helps to promote wound healing. Keep the oil away from the eyes and dilute it in a carrier oil.
Neem Oil: To combat pain while battling a ringworm infection, this extract from the seeds of the Neem tree should be applied directly to the skin. The oil has a bitter taste which discourages animals from licking.
Grapefruit Seed: The extract from this citrus seed may be applied to the skin or administered orally. In many cases, it is used in combination with another topical essential oil when used orally.
Oregano Oil: Oregano’s properties make it particularly useful for dealing with parasites of all types, including ringworm. It may be diluted with sweet almond oil or coconut oil before topical application.
Lavender Oil: With its many calming properties, lavender oil is a great choice for excitable dogs afflicted with ringworm. Packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, it works fast to eradicate the unwanted parasites.
Calendula: Another oil that won’t cause pain to sensitive skin, it should always be diluted. It helps to heal existing wounds while fighting the ringworm infection in dogs.
Aloe Vera: While technically not an essential oil, the soothing properties of this common house plant help to fight off fungal infections without irritating skin that is already inflamed. Apply directly to the skin.
Preventing The Spread Of Ringworm
Since ringworm is highly infectious, it is vital that pet owners address its spread immediately after diagnosis. Begin by isolating the dog to a single area of the home. Rooms without carpet are best. The animal’s bedding should be laundered using essential oils to kill the ringworm. In severe cases, the bedding may have to be discarded.
Since children and people with depressed immune systems are especially vulnerable to ringworm infection, check them for signs of infection and clean their bedding, as well. Carpeting may require cleaning and all other pets should be checked for signs of infection.
The good news is that ringworm can be quickly eliminated. However, if the condition is severe, oral treatment with allopathic medications may be necessary. In most cases, these natural essential oils will successfully combat ringworm in dogs.
This is a guest post by Marilyn Reid.
About The Author
Marilyn Reid is a successful business owner and natural health enthusiast. She owns a site,TarunaOils.org, which is dedicated to providing tips, ideas, and recipes for use with essential oils and aromatherapy.