Managing Ringworm In A Foster Home Or Private Home
Daily cleaning will minimize the amount of environmental contamination that builds up while affected animals are housed there. In addition, thorough cleaning will be needed after the affected animals have left the environment . This will be much easier if animals are limited to a small area of the house that has minimal furniture and carpeting . This is particularly critical until the first two weeks of effective topical treatment have been completed, and ideally until at least one negative fungal culture has been obtained.
Cleaning the home environment in the event of a ringworm infection:
From Cracks Under Doors Or Open Windows
Again it may sound ridiculous, but since fleas can jump quite high, and are obviously very tiny, even a crack under a door or an open window could be enough to let in one of these annoying pests.
Not common is the recurring theme but this is one of those points that should make it clear to you, you absolutely cannot completely inoculate a house cat from the possibility of fleas and parasites. Its just not feasible. So while itll likely feel surprising, if you suspect your indoor cat does have fleas or some other parasite, go with your gut because it very well may be.
Ringworm Symptoms To Look Out For
There are several symptoms you can look out for in your cat or kitten that may indicate the presence of ringworm. It is important to note that true diagnosis of a ringworm infection can only be made using a fungal culture panel performed by a veterinarian.
- Hair Loss: This occurs due to the spores feeding off keratin in the cats hair, resulting in the dead hair and additional spores being shed into the environment. Hair loss can occur in a symmetrical pattern, but it may also be pattern-less.
- Lesions: Another noticeable sign of ringworm, lesions appear raw, crusted, or scaling, and are the result of skin irritation and skin loss as the infection feeds on the cats skin.
- Nail Infection: A rarer sign of ringworm, this occurs when the infection takes place exclusively around the nails. Nails will look crusty or greasy.
- Itchiness: This occurs at varying degrees, with some cats being extremely itchy to the point of harming themselves and some cats not showing any sign of itchiness.
- Hyperpigmentation: Ringworm infection can cause a darkening of the skin in some cats, though this is not a very common sign.
Keep in mind that humans can also develop ringworm from being in contact with a cat who has the infection. If your cat is confirmed to have ringworm, you should look out for symptoms of ringworm infection in humans and take appropriate medical precautions.
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Testimonial From The American Street Cat
“Our organization is thrilled to have been introduced to your product! It was suggested last summer by family members in the horse industry, and it saved us so much time and expense with a litter of kittens that had a ringworm outbreak. The outbreak extended to the resident adult cats and dog in the foster home, but within a week after applying Banixx, the fungus on the animals had noticeably retreated.
More recently , an adult foster cat was admitted for dental surgery, and ringworm inside her ears was noted. The infection blossomed like mad over the course of the day due to the stress of the surgery, and we started applying Banixx that night. Four days later, the visible signs of ringworm were 95% gone. It didn’t occur to us to take a “before” photo. This photo of her left ear was taken 4 days later . The nickel-sized red and flaky flare-up was gone, with only perimeter scabs left.
Banixx is far more fast-acting than the oral medications and stressful sulfur dips and anti-fungal shampoos that we’ve tried on cats and kittens in the past, and we’re singing the praises to our veterinarians, fellow rescuers, and pet owners.” Buy Banixx or buy online.
Signs Of Ringworm In Cats
Ringworm lesions create hairless, scaly,;red rings;on the skin. They’re also often quite itchy. These round lesions usually appear on the front legs, ears, or other parts of a cat’s head but can pop up anywhere, especially in severe infections. You’ll notice ringworm when petting your cat. You’ll first see a small patch of hair loss, and then upon further examination, you’ll find a red ring in this patch of hairless skin.
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What Is Ringworm In Cats
This common skin condition is a fungal infection which feeds on the keratin in a cats fur, skin and nails. Its called ringworm because the fungus creates circular ring-like lesions on your cats skin, usually also associated with hair loss. These are often found on the head, ears, along the ridge of the back and on the front legs, but they can be present anywhere on the body.
How Do Cats Catch Ringworm
As the skin disease is contagious, it is fairly easy for your cat to get ringworm by coming into contact with another infected cat or being in an environment where ringworm has been present.
This is especially the case in multi-cat households because its spread through infected hair and skin follicles which cats naturally shed.
Ringworm is much more common in young cats and long haired cats. This is because young cats are more susceptible to the infection due to their immune systems not being fully developed. ;Long haired cats have the perfect breeding ground in their long hair because spores can get trapped easier and are harder to remove.
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Symptoms Of Feline Ringworm
The incubation period between exposure to ringworm and the development of symptoms is 7-21 days. This means if you pet a stray cat yesterday and have ringworm today, then that is not the most likely cause of your infection.
The most common symptom of ringworm in cats is no symptoms at all! But every cat is different and may or may not have one or many of the following signs of ringworm.
- No symptoms
- Dandruff in the cats fur
- Ringlike lesions on your cats skin
- Small, thickened patches of skin
Kittens are most often infected as their immune systems arent fully developed. Kittens are also more likely to have more severe types of ringworm infections as well. Elderly cats and cats with a weakened immune system are often more likely to get ringworm.
Environmental Cure: The 5 Ds
Environmental decontamination is usually straightforward in a typical shelter with easily disinfected and mechanically cleaned cages. It can present a much greater problem in a home or more home-like environment such as a group cat room.
Application of harsh disinfectants to every contaminated surface is an impossible goal in such environments. Fortunately, much can be accomplished through identification, removal and treatment of carrier animals, followed by repeated application of elbow grease. ;
Fungal cultures from the environment can take the guesswork out of decontamination, and spare a lot of unnecessary work and worry. First clean carefully and disinfect where possible, then take cultures of possibly contaminated areas to evaluate success If the culture is negative, the area can probably be safely re-opened to feline inhabitants. If positive, at least you know for sure you have to go back and try again. This can save a lot of agony over whether to replace carpets, furniture etc. The five Ds of ringworm decontamination are:
- Recognize and treat infected and carrier animals. No amount of cleaning or disinfection will work if one or more animals are re-contaminating the environment.
- Remember to check other pets in a foster home, especially cats.
- Human lesions also need to be identified and treated.
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How Can I Prevent Cat Ringworm
Preventing cat ringworm is challenging but not impossible. First and foremost, a healthy cat with a healthy coat and skin is less likely to develop ringworm from contamination with the fungal spores. Nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of a cat’s skin and hair follicles, where the fungal spores will fight to inhabit.
If you bring a new cat into the home, consider a quarantine period for the new addition, along with a culture for the ringworm organism, especially if the new cat has any signs of an unhealthy coat or skin.
If a pet is exposed to an animal with known ringworm, you may want to discuss with your vet the possibility of a prophylactic treatment using oral medications for up to two weeks. Ringworm can take weeks or months to clear when an infection has developed. Keeping your cat in their best health is the best way to ward off this itchy and lingering fungal skin infection.
Can You Get Ringworm From Your Cat
Ringworm is a;zoonotic disease,;which means it can spread from an animal to a human. A ringworm infection in a person typically occurs after a person has pet an infected or carrier cat, but it can also occur after simply handling items that were used by an infected cat. Immune-compromised individuals, such as the elderly and very young, are more prone to contracting ringworm.
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What Is Ringworm And What Causes It
Ringworm is the common name given to a fungal infection of the superficial layers of the skin, hair, and nails. Ringworm infections can occur in humans and in all domesticated species of animals. The name comes from the classical appearance of the round, red, raised ‘ring’ marking the boundary of inflammation in people infected with the disease. The common name of ringworm is somewhat misleading, in that it is not an infection caused by a worm, and the infected areas are not always ring-shaped. The organisms that cause ringworm infections belong to a specialized group of fungi known as dermatophytes, so the medical name for this disease is dermatophytosis.
Some species of dermatophytes are species-specific, meaning that they will only infect one species, whereas others can be spread between different species of animals or from animals to humans. In cats, one species of dermatophyte, called Microsporum canis, is responsible for almost all ringworm infections. This species is also infectious to dogs and humans. Occasionally ringworm infections in cats may be caused by species such as Trichophyton mentagrophytes. This species is also zoonotic, meaning that it can also infect humans.
Preventing Ringworm Spread In A Shelter Setting
There is currently no vaccine available that is protective against ringworm.
The best protection, as with many infectious conditions, is to practice excellent husbandry. Kittens, which are at highest risk, should be screened with a Wood’s lamp and careful visual examination at intake and prior to being placed in foster homes.
Remember that some cases will not be detected with the Wood’s lamp. For areas with high levels of ringworm, all kittens or litters should be housed separately in an easy to disinfect area for at least two weeks and observed before being allowed the run of a house .
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How Is Ringworm In Cats Spread
There are more than 40 different fungi that can cause ringworm, but only three are common in felines. During infection, thousands or even millions of microscopic spores are produced around infected hairs, serving as the main source of infection for other pets. Infected hairs and spores are shed into the pets environment, and infection is caused either by direct contact with the infected animal or by exposure to objects in the contaminated environment. Spores can remain infectious for up to two years, especially in a moist, humid environment, and they are difficult to kill.
Fortunately, most healthy adult cats have some natural resistance to ringworm. Kittens and cats under a year old are the ones most affected, since their immune systems are not yet fully developed. Other felines who are more at risk of contracting ringworm include those with a suppressed;immune system;from diseases or overuse of steroids, senior or free-roaming cats, and cats who are under stress, malnourished or ill. Genetic factors may also play a role, as Persian cats appear to be more susceptible.
In most animals, ringworm is self-limiting, in that it will cure itself over time. However, because this infection can be transmitted from cats to other animals and to people, most veterinarians recommend treatment.
Diagnosis For Ringworm In Cats
To diagnose ringworm in cats your vet may conduct different tests, such as checking for fluorescence under a special UV lamp, taking a sample of your cats fur to analyse under a microscope, or a blood test. However, the most reliable option to take coat brushing samples from your cat to be sent for laboratory testing. While this option is generally the most accurate it does take the longest, and you may have to wait up to two weeks for the results.
Factors That Increase Risk Of Ringworm
- Age – Animals of any age are susceptible, but young animals & geriatric animals are at the highest risk
- Species and breed – Cats are at greater risk than dogs. Persian cats and Yorkshire Terriers are at relatively high risk, as are long-haired cats in general.
- Immune status – Conditions that compromise the immune system such as FIV, FeLV, pregnancy/lactation, malnutrition, anti-inflammatory drugs, cancer, or stress
- Preexisting Conditions – Animals with pre-existing conditions that compromise grooming or skin integrity are at increased risk
Ringworm In Cats: Symptoms Treatment And Prevention
Many medical terms are notorious for being confusing, but ringworm is undoubtedly one of the most misunderstood. Though people commonly assume this disease is caused by a parasite, ringworm in cats has nothing at all to do with worms. Ringworm in cats, also known as dermatophytosis, is caused by a fungal infection of the skin, most often caused by the fungus Microsporum canis,according to the Merck Veterinary Manual.
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Can Humans Really Get Ringworm From House Cats Or Cats That Only Go Outside Occasionally
Yes, not only can you get ringworm from cats, felines are thought to be the number 1 suspect of both mysterious ringworm and stubborn ringworm infections. If youve got a cat with ringworm, chances are quite high that humans in the home will suffer the same fate.
This article will explore a few things you can do in order to reduce the chances of your cat bringing home ringworm in the first place and what you can do if these hearty fungal spores are already in the home.
What Are The Clinical Signs
The fungi live in hair follicles. As the organism invades and weakens the hair shafts, hairs break off at the skin line. Patches of hair loss tend to be round; however, as the fungus multiplies, the lesions may become irregularly shaped and spread over the cat’s body. These patches may be associated with scaling and crusting of the skin. The lesions are sometimes pruritic , but this is not a consistent finding.;
The incubation period is 10-14 days. This means that the exposure to the fungus and establishment of infection occurs 10-14 days before any lesions occur.;
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Cat Ringworm Treatment Options
The fungus infection sometimes goes away on its own but, who wants to take the chance of spreading it?
If you suspect your cat or ANYONE in your household has ringworm, get it properly diagnosed by a vet or a doctor . The medical professional will provide recommendations for treatment, which is normally done with anti-fungal cream or pills.
How To Deal With Ringworm
- Clean up the environment as thoroughly as you can. Wash all surfaces, linens, cat toys; disinfect grooming brushes/combs and bedding, etc. Use bleach as much as possible but for areas such as carpet or furniture, a solution of apple cider vinegar does a fine job.
- Keep her isolated in a room if possible until the infection is gone.
Banixx Pet Care has tremendous anti-fungal properties and has been used successfully in treating ringworm in cats and kittens. It creates an environment that kills the ringworm fungus, while providing soothing relief for any itchiness or secondary infections caused by excessive scratching, and it does not stain or discolor fur, fabric or skin.
Can You Get Ringworm From A Cat
If youre new to cats, you might think this condition involves worms, but actually, nothing could be farther from the truth its a common skin infection caused by a fungus that lives on the dead tissues of skin and hair. ;This dead tissue is completely normal and happens all the time in animals as well as humans.
Ringworm is highly contagious and can be passed from animals to humans. You can catch it by touching an infected person or animal. You can also catch it by touching objects or surfaces that had contact with the infected animal such as towels, blankets, carpets and grooming supplies. So the answer to the question, Can I get ringworm from my cat? is a resounding YES!
Ringworm in cats is usually seen on the skin around the face, ears, chest, forelegs and along the ridge of the back. It results in itchy, scaly and reddened skin, as well as bald spots, and often looks like a red, hairless patch in the form of a ring .
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How Is Ringworm In Cats Diagnosed
Healing a ringworm infection in cats takes time, so the sooner youre able to get started with treatment, the better. The first step to treating ringworm in cats is to eliminate other skin conditions through a proper diagnosis by your veterinarian. Vets often use a Woods lamp to identify ringworm. When exposed to its ultraviolet light, some types of ringworm have spores that glow green.;
Even if your cats skin doesnt glow under the special light, its still possible they could have ringworm. Your vet may need to send a hair sample or skin scraping to a lab for further study under a microscope. Technicians can also perform a culture test, which is a method that encourages spores to grow so they can be analyzed. A culture test is the most reliable way to find out if your cat has ringworm, though it can take up to three weeks to get test results.