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refers to infections of the skin, hairs or nails by
fungal organisms (so have nothing directly to do with worms).
The technical term for a ringworm infection is dermatophytosis.
organisms that cause ringworm normally reside in soil and
can infect many animals including people. Cats can become infected
from soil, infected living quarters or other animals (including
people). Likewise, people can become infected from soil or cats.
Itís not always the catís fault when people get ringworm!
are associated with how the immune responds when the germ is
present and ringworm is no different. Therefore, it is usually
young cats or older (immune suppressed) cats who become
infected. In the same way, it is usually children who are infected
in a family situation but stress can play a role to decrease the
immune response. Persians and other long-haired cats also seem
more likely to become infected.
signs are circular hair loss and each area will grow
outwards if not traeted. These areas are not usually itchy in cats
(compared to people who are usually itchy with ringworm). The
diagnosis is confirmed by a typical glow of infected hair under
fluorescent light (but not with all types of ringworm) and/or
a fungal culture.
with tablets or twice weekly washes with a medicated shampoo (or
both). The most common sort of tablets, griseofulvin, are
dangerous if ingested by pregnant women (or pregnant cats)
so we will always discuss who will be medicating the cat
when we dispense this. Other side effects for the cat also
sometimes occur. There are other, newer medications (that are
considerably more expensive). Treatment must continue beyond when
the lesions look healed to ensure the infection is fully cleared.
Most catsí ringworm will resolve with a 3-4 week course
but some cats are challenging to successfully treat and require
multiple concurrent therapies.
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