For most of us, our pets are never just pets; they are members of the family. Dog owners, especially, have a remarkable bond with their loyal friends. If ever our dog is in trouble, we react like concerned parents.
My dog and I love the outdoors. A leisurely walk in the dog park, through the woods and rivers, is an exceptional pleasure. But with that lifestyle, comes some risks.
As humans, we are aware that germs are everywhere. That is why we take precautions to avoid illness. Although dogs may not be aware, they are at just a large a risk as we are.
My dog is fully vaccinated and I expected that she would be safe from most troublesome maladies. But some are unavoidable. When my dog began to lose large chunks of hair, I was horrified.
My mind immediately raced from allergies to manage to every disease in the book. One expensive trip to the vet later ended with my best friend being diagnosed with ringworm.
It is highly contagious and, upon further investigation, was passed to my dog from another at her groomers. Those muddy days at the park had landed her in the bath which, sadly, landed her in the vet.
When my vet first told me she had ringworm, I was distressed. Was this possibly deadly like heartworm? How bad was this going to get?
My vet explained, though, that ringworm was not an actual worm. No, despite the misleading name, ringworm is actually a fungal infection that causes patchy hair loss and red, irritated skin. I discussed the condition with her and my mind was put at ease.
My vet prescribed ketoconazole that day.
Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication that is used to treat different fungal infections. This includes ringworm, as well as yeast infections and several others. It has also been used in the treatment of Cushing’s disease with many good results.
In order to rid my dog of this infection, our vet recommended both an oral tablet and a topical cream form of ketoconazole.
After the first application of the ointment, my dog appeared much less bothered by her itchy, scaly marks.
As is true for any medication, some side effects did occur. For the first few days of treatment, my dog was not very interested in food. Gastro-intestinal issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are possible effects of ketoconazole.
These are mild side effects. A quick call to my vet alleviated any worry in my mind. She prescribed an anti-nausea medication to be used for a few days while my dog’s system adjusted.
Less than a week later, my dog was back to her normal, food-loving self. Better yet, she was itching less and I wasn’t finding any new bare patches on her skin.
Like any worried pet parent, I did my research on ketoconazole right when I learned its name. This was a revolutionary anti-fungal drug whose predecessor had caused many issues, including kidney failure. Ketoconazole rarely has serious side effects and its use in treatment is lifesaving.
One common concern for many people, myself previously included, is the chance of liver disease occurring from the use of ketoconazole. However, this is a very uncommon side effect. In the rare times when it has occurred, a liver disease frequently goes away by itself with the discontinuation of the medication.
As the weeks went by, my dog started to look like her old self. She was on ketoconazole for a month and did incredibly well. After the initial bump of nausea, in the beginning, she was never bothered by the medication again.
I stopped having to brush shed skin and hair off my clothes. I stopped having to watch my dog scratch and look miserable. I stopped having to worry about the possibility of contracting ringworm myself.
Yes, unlike many other canine-specific diseases, ringworm can affect humans and other pets. It is very important to take the right precautions if the diagnosis is ever made. Constant washing and sanitizing of both yourself and your house is necessary.
It broke my heart many nights to have to leave my dog in her kennel. However, I could not risk bringing her into my bed and contracting ringworm myself. I was so happy to see the ketoconazole clear her skin up quickly – it meant I could have my friend back with me.
I was lucky in that I caught the infection before it got too far out of hand. For many people, the treatment may have to go on longer than a month.
This, of course, can get very expensive.
I work in the pharmaceutical industry and, I can honestly tell you, that buying directly from your vet is never the most cost-efficient choice. Nor is visiting your local “pet pharmacy” or another relevant store.
It is the era of online shopping, and buying medications is no different. When you buy online, you are avoiding labor costs and can buy at the closest to cost-value that is possible.
You are also able to buy in larger quantities which, as we all know, save money (there’s a reason you have thirty cans of soup in the cupboard!).
If you are going through a similar ordeal, you have probably spent many hours online researching your dog’s ailment. You have probably labored over the symptoms, many treatments, and outcomes that are available to you. But it is likely that you have not considered shopping online for your dog’s treatment.
It is always important to visit your vet before starting your dog on any medication.
However you are not required to purchase the medications at the vet’s office, and you can often save huge chunks of money by picking it up online!
If your dog is ill, you are likely stressed enough without having to worry about your growing veterinarian bill. After going through this myself and, having worked with healthcare professionals, I fully recommend that you save both your time and money and cure your dog at the fraction of the cost.