Ringworm in pets, or in humans, in a type of skin infection.
The name "ringworm" is a misnomer in that the organism causing
the infection is not a worm at
all; it’s a fungus. Pet owners can catch ringworm from their
animal friends—their dogs, cats, horses, cattle, etc.
Ringworm gets its name from the ring-shaped pattern it causes
on people—a round, red patch that encircles an area of skin. On
animals, ringworm appears instead as a dry, scaly patch of
Ringworm fungi spores can live outdoors, on animal items, and
in animal bedding. They can be passed to other animals from the
spores dropping off the infected animal or through using an
infected animal’s grooming items or bedding.
Diagnosis of Ringworm
If your cat or dog is missing patches of hair or has skin lesions, you should take them to the
veterinarian for diagnosis. The veterinarian might inspect your
pet's hairs under a microscope to see the spores, or they may
perform a culture to attempt to grow the fungi from spores
taken from the cat or dog. A skin biopsy would also show if
spores are present in the skin.
Treatment for Ringworm
Oral and topical
anti-fungal treatments are available through your
prescriptions from your veterinarian to treat ringworm in your
dog or cat. Some studies have shown that the medication
lufenuron, as found in the monthly flea and worm preventative
Sentinel, may reduce a pet’s
risk for contracting ringworm. Ask your veterinarian if that
medication is right for your pet.
Even without treatment, ringworm could go away on its own
within a few months; however, the spores would still be
contaminating the animal’s area—potentially your home. If this
is the case, you and your pets could get ringworm again. So for
your benefit, as well as your pets’, treatment is recommended.
While your pet is receiving treatment, you’ll want to
decontaminate your home. Vacuuming and steam cleaning of
carpets should help remove the spores. Diluting bleach 1:10
will also kill spores on surfaces like floors. While your pet
is being treated for ringworm and you’re disinfecting your
house, you might want to keep the animal confined to a
particular area until they are not carrying ringworm spores
anymore. A follow up culture performed by the veterinarian will
determine when their ringworm infection has resolved.
How To Treat Ringworms In Cats
Ringworm is a generic term given to any fungal infection formed
in the skin's superficial layers. It also affects the nails and
the hairs of your kitty. This disease can happen in multiple
animal species, humans included.
The name “ringworm” comes from the fungal infection's
appearance. It takes the shape of a round and red ring raised
above the surface of the skin. It is to be noted that contrary
to its name, not all infected areas show the ring. The
dermatophytes, a special variety of fungi, causes the ringworm
infections. The medical name of this condition is thus
dermatophytosis.Any cat with ringworm will suffer from skin
lesions on the forelimbs, head, and the ears. This disease
leads to bald and flaky patches which occasionally appear red
at its center. Mild cases have dandruff or the redness gets
restricted to a local area. Severe infections could infect the
entire body of the cat. A few cats could carry ringworm spores
but will not exhibit any symptom.
A cat can be infected with a ringworm when it directly touches
an infected animal. It can also get indirectly via contact with
materials like bedding and dishes which were contaminated with
infected animals' hairs or skin cells. The spores of the
ringworm are tenacious and could survive for a year under
hostile conditions. Any species of cat could surrender to
ringworms but it was observed that kittens below a year and
older cats are vulnerable to infection. Immunocompromised cats
can also get infected. The fungus swiftly spreads in crowded
environments and warm shelters. Ringworm infections are more
likely to happen in humid and warm conditions.It is to be kept
in mind that ringworm is self-limiting. Resolutions will happen
within five months. The disease is treated to minimize
infection spread towards humans and pets. Children are not
permitted to come near it. The standard method of ringworm
treatment is to employ a mix of topical therapy with systemic
oral therapy. Other environmental contamination should be
eliminated to make the treatment a successful one.If your cat
has ringworms, then sometimes the cat could be given topical
treatment to cure it. The most common method is to combine with
any oral medication. A number of ointments and creams are sold
to be rubbed on the local skin which is affected by the
ringworm. If the affected areas are few, like two or three,
simply shave off the hair from the affected part. The most
popular anti-fungal drug is usually thegriseofulvin. Do the
full course, as any laxity on your part will cause the disease
Some more ways to treat ringworms are listed below hover over
to know more.
Ringworms are a common condition in humans but pet owners
everywhere dread having to deal with ringworms in their cats.
Getting rid of ringworms and the overall treatment of the
condition can be quite expensive as well as time-consuming. So
instead of going to the vet every time, some pet owners try to
treat the condition from the comfort of their home. Cats who
are brought up indoors can get ringworms from their owners or
from other infected surfaces. Despite the name, ringworm isn’t
a type of worm at all but a fungus that can affect the hair,
nails, and skin.
Symptoms Of Ringworm
Typical signs that a cat has ringworms is the appearance of
lesions on the head, forelimbs, and ears. Ringworms can appear
red in the center with flaky patches towards the sides. In its
initial stages, it looks like dandruff and as it progresses,
the signs appear more severe as the infections can spread
through the whole body. Sometimes, you will not be able to find
any symptoms at all as fungal spores can remain dormant for a
long period of time.
Ways To Prevent And Treat
creamsThese ointments and sprays can be bought over
the counter and are lifesavers when it comes to treating
ringworms in cats. They are affordable and provide fast
Give your cat oral
medications.Oral medications like Itraconazole among
others are guaranteed to prevent ringworm in felines. These
medications block the spores from sticking to the cat’s fur.
Bathe your cat.One
of the most effective home remedies for treating cats with
ringworms is bathing them using an anti-fungal shampoo. You
can use these shampoos on felines that aren’t infected to
prevent infection. Go over the usage of the shampoo with your
Apply lime sulfur
dips.These are another guaranteed remedy for treating
feline ringworm. Apply lime sulfur dips to the infected area
at least once a week. Lime sulfur dips aren’t exclusively for
felines. They can also be used for other infected pets in
Patience is a
virtue.There are no remedies that promise immediate
results. You will start seeing results within 3 weeks of the
treatment so it’s important to stay patient.
SurfacesIndoor cats can acquire ringworm from infected
surfaces in the house. Throw away infected items and clean
all surfaces with hot water and a bleach solution.
Keep infected pets
quarantined.When your infected pets are roaming around
the house, they have a higher chance of infecting you, your
children, and other surfaces in the house.
Clean your house
thoroughly.Make sure you vacuum your entire house
regularly during and after the ringworm treatment. Wash you
feline’s bedding, toys, collars, bowls, and other items.
To make sure that your cat is completely cured, it is advisable
to continue treatment until you start seeing a change in her
lesions and general behavior.
More on Pet Skin Health
Hot Spots in Dogs and Cats
Pruritus, or Scratching and Itching,
Pyodermas, or Skin Infections, in
This information is for informational purposes only
and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice
of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with
respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a
licensed veterinarian for accuracy.