Love and affection are very important to make a pet happy, but that is not enough! Your health is also essential. In this article we are going to talk about ringworm in cats. Surely ringworm sounds to you, but do you really know what it is?
Everything you need to know about ringworm in cats is in this article. Go for it!
Ringworm in cats, what is it?
Ringworm is a topical disease caused by the spread of fungi. It does not affect only cats, but many different living things, including humans, in addition, It is very contagious.
The fungus that produces ringworm in cats is the Microsporum Canis, affects the skin, fur and nails, because feeds on keratin. Although really, When ringworm is located on the cat's nails, it is often called onychomycosis.
This fungus cannot live in areas where there is hair, that's why Tinea sick animals lose fur in some areas of their body, the areas inhabited by the fungus. This lack of hair is the clearest symptom of ringworm in cats.
How and why is ringworm spread in cats?
There are some external factors that can favor the spread of ringworm in cats:
- Bad nutrition
- Parasites or other previous diseases
- Bad conditions in its surroundings: lack of hygiene, excessive humidity or heat, lack of light ...
As you see, these factors what they indicate in a cat it is, on the one hand, lack of well-being and physical healthand on the other, a deficiency of your immune system, which It makes you much more likely to get diseases.
Although, as we have said, ringworm affects many species of animals, it is true that precisely cats are the main carriers.
The spread of ringworm in cats can occur by direct contact with blankets, litter boxes or toys, for example. On the other hand, being a fungus, it travels easily through the environment through spores, facilitating contagion.
Therefore, The good nutrition and hygiene of our pets are very important, vital, to prevent diseases such as ringworm. Further, If it is confirmed that our cat suffers from ringworm, treatment should be applied immediately and measures taken to prevent infection.
Symptoms of ringworm in cats
The symptoms of ringworm in catsThey usually appear between the second and fourth week after infection. The most frequent symptoms are:
- The cat scratches, licks or bites constantly in the areas affected by ringworm. They do it to try to alleviate the discomfort, but in reality what they get is for the fungus to spread more.
- Localized or generalized alopecia in more severe cases.
- Crusts and yellowish scaling.
- Unusual smell in the body.
- Presence of dermatophytic nodes or nodes.
The legs and ears are usually the first areas where symptoms of ringworm are observed in cats, but the fungus spreads very quickly.
Tinea treatment in cats
When the veterinarian has done the necessary tests to confirm the diagnosis of ringworm in a cat, the following treatment will be applied:
- Cleaning the areas affected by ringworm in the cat with antiseptics To disinfect the skin. For example, povidone iodine.
- Apply creams, powders or ointments on the cat's body, always prescribed by the veterinarian. Only when topical treatments are not enough to eradicate ringworm, is it used to supplement it with oral medications.
Home remedies for ringworm in cats
A homemade treatment you can never substitute for the medications prescribed by the veterinarian. Remember! Always follow his advice and don't medicate your pet on your own. But as a complement to this veterinary treatment, if there are certain practices that we can carry out at home so that our cat feels better:
(Photo via: pet darling)
- Protection: in order to take care of our pet, we must first take care of ourselves! Avoid by all means that your cat infects you with ringworm, wearing latex gloves to touch it, daily disinfecting the areas of the home through which it moves ... To disinfect you can use chlorine, creoline or special mushroom detergents. Ah! And remember, if you have more pets, keep the sick cat isolated from them.
- haircut: It is best to remove hair near the areas affected by ringworm, so that the fungus can not spread.
- Brushing: by frequently brushing your hair, you will favor the fungus spores coming out.
- Bathroom: Use a specific shampoo for these cases, the veterinarian will know how to recommend you.
- Garlic: Mix it with neutral petroleum jelly and apply it to the affected areas several times a day. It will help eradicate the fungus.
- Poleo oil or tea tree oil They also have great antifungal properties.
But always remember that prevention is better than cure, give your cat the best possible living conditions. If you still suspect you might have ringworm, do not hesitate to go to the vet as soon as possible.
What is ringworm?
Ringworm or dermatophytosis is a fungal skin disease, that is, it is a fungal skin disease. This health problem is highly infectious and contagious, since it affects a large number of living beings including cats, dogs and humans, so when transmitted also to people it is a zoonosis and therefore, with more reason, we must emphasize the importance of its prevention and rapid treatment if detected.
The fungus that causes this condition is the Microsporum Canis, that affects the skin, hair and nails of the animals to which it parasites, because it feeds on the keratin found in these parts of the body. When ringworm also affects our cat's nails, it is known as Onychomycosis and we will know that this is acting in our cat when we look at the broken and brittle nails.
Since dermatophytes cannot live in inflamed areas or in areas with hair, we will observe that hair falls in the areas of our cat's body where the fungus lives. The areas without fur are some of the most characteristic symptoms of the illness.
Due to the high ease of infection 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 other pets that could be infected. For this reason, it is very common to meet cats suffering from dermatophytoses in places where many gather, for example, in the colonies whether controlled or not, in the hatcheries, in the protective and kennels, etc.
The case of ringworm will be more severe or less depending on how long the disease has been acting on the affected animal and also on the previous state of health that the cat had. We must think that a weak state of health favors the appearance of opportunistic parasites and this is how ringworm often manifests.
Factors favoring dermatophytosis
As with any disease, there are both internal and external factors that favor it, that is, that help the disease spread to other animals and spread within the already infected body.
A domestic cat will be much more likely to get dermatophytosis or ringworm depending on their health and their environment, for example, these are some factors that favor ringworm in our pets:
- A low defense system
- Other previous diseases or parasites
- A lot of stress
- Unfavorable conditions, both of v>
The spread of ringworm in domestic cats
Cats are the animals that most easily have to transmit ringworm and get it. This disease, being fungal, uses fungal spores to spread through the environment and from animal to animal. Due to this type of fungal reproduction, felines that do not suffer from the disease they can spread very easily when they interact with another catthat he is sick and when coming into contact with objects such as blankets, food, litter box, toys, etc. that an affected individual has used, the more possibilities.
The environmental and health factors that we have mentioned in the previous section are key to the appearance of ringworm in felines and so that it spreads 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 begins to show symptoms and thus prevent the situation from getting worse.
In the case of small kittens, ringworm may appear, more commonly, by poor nutrition that lowers their defenses a lot, in addition to poor or no worming. 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, because in these cats the most frequent causes of low defenses are other diseases or health problems, whether a cold, pneumonia or a serious viral disease such as leukemia that seriously affects the immune system of felines.
Tinea treatment 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 Expert Animal cats and learn why veterinary monitoring is vital for our feline companion.
Once the veterinarian has already done tests such as cultures, tricograms or using the Wood lamp and can confirm the presence of ringworm fungi, he will indicate the best treatment to offer our cat. When the veterinarian decides what the appropriate treatment will take into account the age of our cat, other diseases and possible parasites, the state of his immune system and the risk of contagion to other animals, then from there he will deduce the most adjusted treatment to Existing needs
We shall clean the affected areas with povidone iodine or some other similar antiseptic product That is anti-infectious and antifungal, that serves to disinfect and heal 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, whether powder, cream, ointment, emulsion or liquid. There are oral treatments but they are much more aggressive and toxic to our feline's organism, so you always try to get ahead with topical treatments. Even so, if dermatophytosis persists long, it will be necessary to opt for systemic treatment to eliminate the disease altogether.
How is abouta long treatment and with which you have to 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 cured. It is vital that anti-ringworm treatments be done exactly how and for as long as our trusted veterinarian tells us, as fungi need hardly anything to spread rapidly again.
Normally the treatments should last between 1 and 3 months, but any treatment against ringworm should be done for 2 or 4 more weeks after the affected cat appears to be cured, is the only way to ensure success. When this time has passed, the veterinarian should repeat the tests to be completely sure that the disease has been overcome.
Tips and home remedies to treat ringworm and its symptoms in cats
Next we will give you some natural and homemade tips and remedies to support veterinarian treatment and that our cat overcome the ringworm more easily:
- Protect yourself: As dermatophytosis is a disease that is zoonosis, it can affect humans, so we must monitor a lot with the handling of our cat and its environment while it is sick of ringworm. In addition to cleaning and disinfecting the entire house and especially the areas where our friend spends more time, we must use disposable latex gloves to touch and cure the feline. If we do not use gloves we will have to soak our hands in bleach dilu>
This article is purely informative, at ExpertAnimal.com we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Ringworm in cats - Contagion and treatment, we recommend that you enter our section of parasitic diseases.