Ringworm in Cats

Cecilia de Cardenas
   |   
Jan 13, 2009
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Treatment

Most cats can be treated for ringworm on an outpatient basis, but quarantine procedures should be considered due to the infective and zoonotic (transmittable to humans) nature of some types of dermatophytosis. If your veterinarian needs to prescribe anti-fungal medications, the use of an Elizabethan collar (a wide collar placed around the neck) is recommended to prevent ingestion of anti-fungal medications applied to your cat's skin.

Living and Management

A fungal culture is the only way of truly monitoring your cat's treatment. Many animals will improve and look like they are recovering with treatment, but they may remain fungal culture positive. It is advisable to repeat fungal cultures toward the end of treatment, and continue treatment until at least one culture result is negative. In resistant cases, fungal cultures may be repeated on a weekly basis, and treatment continued until two to three consecutive negative results are obtained. Complete blood counts should be performed weekly or biweekly for cats receiving griseofulvin, an anti-fungous antibiotic. Also, blood work to monitor liver changes may be indicated for cats receiving ketoconazole or itraconazole, two types of anti-fungal medications.

Prevention

To prevent reinfection from other animals, the use of a quarantine period and fungal (dermatophyte) cultures of all animals living in the household are necessary. Treatment of exposed animals should be considered to prevent repeated development of infection. The possibility of rodents aiding in the spread of the disease should also be considered. If you suspect that your cat has access to rodents, or that rodents are in your immediate environment, it is highly advised that you take the necessary steps to eliminate the pests.

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