Dog Fungal infection with Hair Loss

by Margot Orton
(Fairfax, Vt., USA)

Ringworm on Dog Face

Ringworm on Dog Face

Reader Question: Treatment for a Dog Fungal Skin Infection Accompanied by Hair Loss

I am fostering a 12 yr. old Chocolate Lab from my shelter who has suffered years of unimaginable abuse. Once we got the flea infestation under control with 3 doses of Advantix, she still has hair loss around her eyes, 50% of her tail and some on her body. A skin scraping done showed no signs of sarcoptic mange but a fungal infection. Can you tell me how I can treat this? Does it have to be with a prescription medication or is there something that I can use over the counter?

Thank you.

Margot Orton

Suggestion from our Veterinarian for Treating Ringworm or a Skin Fungal Infection

Hello Margot,

Appropriate treatment for your foster dog will depend on the type of fungal infection she has. If a mild to moderate yeast infection (Malassezia) is to blame, over the counter topical medications may be sufficient. Products that contain the active ingredients chlorhexidine, ketoconazole, miconazole, or boric acid could all be effective (be careful applying them around the dog’s eyes). Severe yeast infections may need to be treated with oral anti-fungal medications in addition to topical preparations.

Similarly, mild to moderate cases of ringworm (a different type of fungal infection) may respond to topical therapy only (lime sulfur dips are a good choice), but more severely affected dogs require oral medications. The veterinarian who is involved in your foster Lab’s case is in the best position to recommend a specific treatment plan.

Immune suppression due to stress, poor nutrition, etc. may also be playing a big role in this dog’s skin problems. Therefore, all the supportive care and love you are giving her is a vital part of her recovery. Thank you!


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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