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Ringworm in cats – infection and treatment

If we decide to have a cat as a pet we must be aware that just giving them a little love and some food is not enough. Therefore as responsible owners, we must, among other things, take responsibility for their health. For example, one of the most common skin diseases in cats is dermatophytosis or ringworm.

When you suspect that your pet may have ringworm, do not think twice and go to the veterinarian to perform the necessary tests as soon as possible, because this skin disease caused by a fungus spreads very quickly through the body and spreads very easily, even to people .

Keep reading this new article in which you will find everything about ringworm in cats, its contagion and its treatment. Also, discover some tips and home remedies to help overcome this problem to your faithful feline companion.

What is ringworm?

Ringworm or dermatophytosis is a fungal skin disease, that is, it is a skin disease caused by fungi. This health problem is highly infectious and contagious, since it affects a large number of living beings including cats, dogs and humans, so when transmitting also to people it is a zoonosis and therefore, with more reason, we must highlight the importance of its prevention and fast treatment in case of detection.

The fungus that causes this condition is the Microsporum Canis The Center affects the skin, hair and nails of the animals that it parasitizes, because it feeds on the keratin found in these parts of the body. When ringworm also affects the nails of our feline, it is known as Onychomycosis and we will know that this is acting on our cat when we observe the broken and brittle nails.

As the dermatophytes can not live in inflamed areas or in areas with hair, we will observe that hair falls on the areas of the body of our cat where the fungus lives. The areas without fur are one of the most characteristic symptoms of the illness.

Due to the high contagiousness and reproduction of this disease it is vital that if we detect it in one of our animals we start with the treatment and isolate it from the rest of the pets that could be infected. For this reason, it is very common to find cats suffering from dermatophytosis in places where many of them congregate, for example, in colonies whether controlled or not, in breeding sites, in shelters and kennels, etc.

The case of ringworm will be more serious or less depending on the time it takes the disease acting on the affected animal and also according to the previous state of health that the cat had. We must think that a weak state of health propitiates the appearance of opportunistic parasites and this is how ringworm often manifests itself.

Factors favoring dermatophytosis

As with any disease, there are both internal and external factors that favor it, that is, that help the disease to spread to other animals and spread within the body already infected.

A domestic cat will be much more likely to get dermatophytosis or ringworm according to its health and its environment, for example, these are some factors that favor ringworm in our pets:

  • A system of defenses under
  • Malnutrition
  • Other previous diseases or parasites
  • A lot of stress
  • Unfavorable conditions, both life and health and the environment (excess moisture, lack of hygiene, excessive heat, lack of sunlight, etc.)

The contagion of ringworm in domestic felines

Cats are the animals that have the greatest facility to transmit ringworm and get infected with it. This disease, being fungal, uses the spores of fungi to spread through the environment and from animal to animal. Due to this type of reproduction of fungi, felines that do not have the disease they can get very easily when they interact with another cat that yes that is ill and when coming into contact with objects such as blankets, food, sandbox, toys, etc. that an affected individual has used, the more possibilities.

The environmental and health factors discussed in the previous section are key to the appearance of ringworm in cats and for it to spread more quickly in the body of the cat that has already infested. Therefore, if we have a cat we must ensure that these factors that favor ringworm are the least possible in a normal way, but especially if our friend already starts to show symptoms and thus we avoid that the situation worsens.

In the case of small kittens ringworm can appear, more commonly, by poor nutrition that lowers their defenses in addition to poor or no deworming. On the other hand, in the case of adult cats, the presence of these fungi usually indicates something more serious than poor deworming or poor nutrition, since in these cats the most frequent causes of low defenses are other diseases or health problems, whether a cold, a pneumonia or a serious viral disease such as leukemia that seriously affect the immune system of cats.

Symptoms of dermatophytosis in cats

The symptoms begin to be visible between 2 and 4 weeks after the infection. Some of the most common symptoms In the felines domestic when they suffer dermatophytosis are the following:

  • Licking, nibbling and frequent scratching in the affected areas: Although they do it with the idea of ​​alleviating what really happens is that in this way it facilitates the spread to the disease pro the rest of the body. So we should try to make our cat scratch or lick as little as possible.
  • Circular lesions of alopecia either focalized or generalized
  • Scabs and flaking of a yellowish color
  • A peculiar smell that comes off the skin of the affected animal
  • Appearance of cysts, which are cutaneous nodules that produce a strong pain in the area in which they occur.
  • The first parts of the feline body that are affected by ringworm are the ears and limbs. But due to the fast reproduction of the fungus surely in a few days the head and other areas will begin to be affected as well.

Treatment for ringworm in cats

It is vital that the veterinarian perform all the necessary tests to ensure that it is ringworm and above all, to make sure that there is no underlying disease that has caused ringworm. These diseases, such as feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency, are usually very serious and weaken the cat’s immune system, favoring the appearance of secondary diseases and parasites. If you want to learn more about these diseases, enter this article about the most common diseases in cats and learn why veterinary monitoring is vital for our feline companion.

Once the veterinarian has already done tests like cultures, trichograms or using Wood’s lamp and can confirm the presence of ringworm fungi, it will indicate the best treatment to offer to our cat. When the veterinarian decides which is the appropriate treatment will take into account the age of our cat, other diseases and possible parasites, the state of your immune system and the risk of contagion to other animals, then from there deducted the most appropriate treatment the existing needs.

we perform cleanings of the affected areas with povidone iodine or some other similar antiseptic product that is anti-infectious and antifungal, that we serve to disinfect and cure the skin of our pet. Then once we have cleaned the area we can proceed with the application of the most common and main treatment is the topic, either powder, cream, ointment, emulsion or liquid. There are oral treatments but they are much more aggressive and toxic for the organism of our feline, so we always try to get ahead with topical treatments. Even so, if the dermatophytosis persists a lot, it will be necessary to opt for systemic treatment in order to eliminate the disease completely.

Como is a long treatment and with which we must be very persistent, we must have a lot of patience, but little by little we will see how our friend is recovering until finally he will be completely healed. It is vital that the treatments against ringworm be done exactly as and for as long as our trusted veterinarian tells us, since fungi need hardly anything to spread quickly again.

Normally treatments should last between 1 and 3 months, but any treatment for ringworm should be done during 2 or 4 more weeks after the affected cat seems to be cured, is the only way to ensure success. When this time has passed the veterinarian must repeat the tests to be completely sure that the disease has been overcome.

Advice and home remedies to treat ringworm and its symptoms in cats

Next we are going to give you some tips and natural and home remedies to support the vet’s treatment and that our cat can overcome ringworm more easily:

  • Protect yourself: As dermatophytosis is a disease that is zoonosis can affect humans, so we must monitor a lot with the management of our cat and its environment while you are sick with ringworm. In addition to cleaning and disinfecting the entire house and especially the areas in which our friend spends more time, we must use disposable latex gloves to touch and heal the feline. If we do not use gloves we will have to soak our hands in bleach diluted in water to eliminate the fungus and then wash with soap and water.
  • Protect others: So that it does not spread to other cats, dogs or even other people in the house, it will not be enough to clean the house thoroughly and it is necessary for the affected cat to be quarantined in isolation from others until it is Cured completely and the veterinarian tells us. It will be good that, even if there is only one affected pet at home, we bathe them all at least once with antifungal shampoo.
  • Disinfect the house: As we have been saying, disinfecting and cleaning the house thoroughly is something very important, because if we do not eliminate the fungi from the environment, however much our pet manages to get well, the dermatophytes will act again. We can use chlorine, special detergents, bleach and we will have to pass the vacuum cleaner thoroughly. Of course we will have to eliminate the bag from the vacuum cleaner. If it is possible for us, it is very convenient that we clean the furniture, the carpets, the blankets, the toys, the beds and everything possible with steam under pressure. It will be good that we clean the most every day, at least pass the vacuum cleaner to eliminate contaminated hairs from the environment, but at least we will have to do so exhaustively the first day of treatment and the last.
  • Trim the hair: To prevent the fungus Microsporum Canis It spreads quickly through the body of our cat, we can trim the hair around round hairless lesions, in which the fungus already inhabits. By removing the surrounding hair we will make the displacement more complicated for the dermatophytes and therefore they will be localized and it will be easier to eliminate them. The hairs that we cut will have to eliminate them from house since the fungus will continue surviving in the dead hair.
  • Brush: We can brush our cat to help eliminate fungal spores, but above all it is a good method to spread the powders or other antifungal products prescribed by our veterinarian throughout the body. After using the brush we will have to disinfect it and move the vacuum cleaner through the area of ​​the house where we have brushed our pet.
  • Bathroom: To keep the clapas, hairless areas in which the fungus that causes ringworm lives, free of infection it is vital that we bathe our cat often with antifungal shampoo and with the treatment that the veterinarian has indicated. These treatments and shampoos should be allowed to act for 10 minutes before being removed. It is very important that the temperature of the water is warm, on the 25ºC-27ºC.
  • Vinegar with salt: In addition to using products sold in pharmacies and in clinics and veterinary stores, there are remedies that we can easily do at home, for example, vinegar with salt. Mix iodized salt with vinegar and stir well until a kind of paste remains. We will apply this resulting paste on the areas that have ringworm on the skin of our feline companion. We will let this mixture work for 5 minutes, then we will remove it and wash the area well. We will repeat this process for at least a week.
  • it: Another remedy with a very homemade ingredient is the use of garlic. Well it is known that has many properties among which are a powerful disinfectant and a very good antifungal. To prepare it, we will chop it and mix it with a little neutral petroleum jelly. Then once we have the mixture we will anoint it in the areas affected by ringworm on the skin of our cat. We will cover these areas with gauze to let the garlic work better and we will leave it overnight. During the day we will give you all the necessary baths that you specify in the treatment that our trusted veterinarian has given us and we will apply a little more garlic after the baths. We can repeat this homemade remedy for at least 3 days.
  • Neem oil: This oil has strong antifungal properties. We can find it in pharmacies and herbalists. To use it easily against ringworm we can take two and a half tablespoons of this oil in a jar with aloe vera mixing it well. Then we will anoint it in the affected areas of ringworm twice a day and let it act as long as possible, without forgetting the necessary baths for the treatment.
  • Grapefruit seed oil: This other oil has very potent antibacterial and antifungal properties. For this reason, it is a natural product widely used to treat ringworm in any animal. Mix the grapefruit seed oil with a little warm water to apply twice a day on the areas with ringworm in the body of our feline. Surely between this powerful oil and veterinary treatment, we will immediately begin to notice improvements.
  • Tea tree oil: This essential oil that we will also find in pharmacies and herbalists, has very powerful antiseptic properties and is used worldwide for many different purposes. You can apply it to your companion cat suffering from dermatophytosis directly in the affected areas and in a short time, along with the veterinary treatment and the indicated baths, you will begin to notice improvement.

This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Ringworm in cats – infection and treatment, we recommend that you enter in our section of parasitic diseases.

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