Ringworm in cats or Feline dermatophytosis is the common infectious disease of the external layers of the dead skin in cats as well as hair shafts and nails. The fungus multiplies and produces many spores that are awfully opposing and drop into the environment causing the spread of more infection. Infection depends on the health of the cat, stress factors, and number of spores available. Any age or gender is prone, most often seen in younger and long-haired cats. Genetic inclination is an evidence in connected inhabitants of cats.
Microsporum canis is the common reason for ringworm. This kind gives more infections to humans and animals. Microsporum gypseum and trichophyton are less common reason for fungal infection. These are likely to be seen in outdoor cats. The symptom that cats have ringworm is the obvious flaking. If a cat does not show any symptom of ringworm does not mean it doesn’t carry the infection. Signs of this disease vary, lesions are usually found in the head and boundaries. These signs are redness, hair loss, and cracking. Hair loss is also symmetrical alopecia or the thinning of the cat’s hair coat. The cracking of the cat’s skin are the blisters with scaly lesions. The crust is thick and adherent and found in nails, face and ears. Redness is seen in the inner and outer ear. The skin and nails can also darken due to ringworm and cuticle may be swollen, painful and itchy or not. The infected cat might have well-defined, raised sores commonly occur within the abdomen or within the inner thighs. If the lesions are itchy, the cat might hurt itself through scratching itself and may arise to multiple locations of the lesions. Ringworm ends up in an allergic reaction.
Veterinarians learn to recognize the appearance of ringworm through diagnosis including fluorescence and positive fungal culture. Treatment includes topical and management of the environment. The cat’s immune system restricts the infection and shortens the increase of the fungus. The most effective treatment is grooming because there are only few good products in the market that treats this disease. These products are bleach and formaldehyde but these products are not practical for home use. Grooming includes cleaning through vacuuming and mopping of floors and washing of clothes and bedding by bleach. Also, clipping the cat’s hair minimize the spread of spores. Topical treatment includes shampoos and creams that contain antifungal ingredients like povidone iodine, lime sulfur, chlorhexidine or imidazole agents that disinfects. These reduce contamination to infect other animals and humans.
Oral treatments include griseofulvin and oral imidazoles. Griseofulvin is the only drug since it’s been used for years, though it has side effects like gastrointestinal upset. Griseofulvin is withheld in cats that are pregnant, currently breeding and cats that have a reduced inactive immune system. The imidazoles are newer but are expensive drugs. It is administered orally combined with meals to shorten the side effects. With these treatments, it takes eight to ten weeks for the total resolution. Also, one should note that there has been a vaccine recently released to treat ringworm and aid in prevention.
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