Ringworm is a common contagious fungal infection that, unluckily, your lovely four-legged friends and you might be sharing. Treating infected cats is not too difficult. But how to tell if ringworm is healing in cats? We will show you more in this article.
What is Ringworm?
A ringworm lesion in a cat
Unlike what its name might suggest, there is no worm in ringworm. Ringworm, also known with a medical term – dermatophytosis, is a highly contagious fungal infection that affects the skin not far from cats’ hair and claws.
This contagious fungal infection is not a threat to life, but cats can find it uncomfortable since it covers several large areas of her body and may be spread to other pets and humans. Regardless of age, cats of all kinds (long-haired breeds than short-haired breeds) can be infected by ringworm. However, kittens have shown the most susceptibility.
What Are The Causes of Ringworm in Cats?
- Direct contact with fungal spores on a contaminated source of transmission or surface;
- Microsporum Canis – a species of dermatophyte;
- Cats bad health condition;
What Are The Symptoms Of Ringworm In Cats?
Skin lesions as well as other symptoms of ringworm start showing up in your hairy friends about seven to fourteen days after the initial contact with the fungal infection.
In some obvious cases, you can easily realize ringworm symptoms by observing. Nevertheless, in other more difficult cases, it takes much more time to diagnose ringworm in cats, particularly in long-furred cats. What are the symptoms of ringworm that often cause a veterinarian to suspect ringworm?
- Onychomycosis which causes circular lesions with rough and scaly centers;
- Erythema - Redness on the chest, head, forelegs, or the back ridge;
- Shedding and patchy hair loss at different levels (often associated with “crusty” skin) found on the tail, head, chest, or the back’s ridge;
- Scaling, reddening, crusting, and thickening patches of the skin and coat if the entire body is infected;
- A ring of flakey bald skin area with red centers.
Diagnosis of Ringworm in Cats
How Long Does It Take Before The Development of Infection?
Often, it takes from one to two weeks between exposure to ringworm fungus and the signs of ringworm lesion development.
How Is A Ringworm Infection Diagnosed?
- Culture of the fungus spores in a laboratory;
- Thoroughly exam your cats’ physical health to look for bald spots and inflamed skin.
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How To Treat Ringworm In Cats?
How To Treat Ringworm In Cats?
You might think that ringworm in cats is not serious. But to relieve the condition when symptoms are observed, your 4-legged friends need treatment. Depending on the severity of the lesions and the location of the infection on his/her body, your vets can choose one of the many ringworm treatment options that he/she thinks the most suitable course of treatment for the lesions affecting your furry friends. Some available options are:
Topical Antifungal Creams and ointments
For some mild cases, when your cats are diagnosed to be affected by the offending fungus, your vets will typically prescribe a topical ointment, antifungal creams, or shampoo. After being applied to your cat’s affected skin areas directly, they will kill the offending fungus.
Make sure to use only topical ointment, antifungal cream, and shampoo highly recommended by your vets. And if you want a much more effective topical treatment, you’d better shave the hair in infected areas.
If it is oral antifungals such as terbinafine, griseofulvin, or itraconazole that affect your cats’ health, your vets may prescribe oral medication.
As ringworm is resilient, you should not stop the treatment sooner than recommended or abruptly stop it. To completely eradicate the fungal infection, your vets will plan a treatment lasting for several weeks or several months. The long treatment will also lower the chance of all types of fungus which causes ringworm coming back.
Environmental Cleaning And Sterilizing
Do you know that Microsporum Canis fungi can remain infectious for up to 1 year and 6 months?
To prevent recurrence during the recovery period, make sure to keep your cat environment, your house, and furniture clean at its best! Restricting your four-legged friends to a certain room of your house that is easy to clean is not a bad idea! Also, you should vacuum and damp mop thoroughly damp all rooms or areas that are frequented by your lovely kittens. Daily is best!
How Do You Know When Ringworm Treatment Is Successful?
How to tell if ringworm is healing in cats?
It will take from two to four weeks for you to see the improvement in the health of treated cats. However, only when the treatment plans last for as long a period as your vets have instructed can your cats make a complete recovery.
“How to tell if ringworm is healing in cats?” It is an important question. Right from the beginning of ringworm treatments working, you can spot the skin clearing up as well as the re-growth of your cats’ hair.
Unfortunately, in the cat communities of the feline population such as cat shelters, especially animal rescues, completely getting rid of the environment and furry friends of fungal spores is, without doubt, such a challenging task.
For these furry four-legged friends that have been susceptible to repeated infection living in these environments, it is necessary that pet owners and shelter workers always keep the environment clean and routinely wash their hands as well as clothes. Also, frequently pay attention to your cats to realize the signs of ringworm infection as soon as possible.
Treat cats infected by ringworm with your care and love, then he/she will soon make a complete recovery.