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Dermatophytosis Cat To Human

What exactly is ringworm?

  • The term "ringworm" refers to a fungal infection of the skin, hair, and nails. Infections with ringworm can affect people as well as all domesticated animals.
  • The name comes from the circular, red, elevated 'ring' that used to be used to detect the boundary of inflammation in infected patients. 
  • Ringworm is a misnomer because it is not a worm-borne infection and the affected areas are rarely ring-shaped.
  • The organisms that cause ringworm infections are dermatophytes, a specialist category of fungi. 
  • Some dermatophytes are species-specific, meaning they can only infect one type of animal, whereas others can spread across species or from animals to humans. This dermatophyte infects dogs as well as humans.

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How does ringworm spread?

  • Ringworm is an infectious fungus distributed by direct contact. It is spread through direct contact with an infected animal or human, as well as through touching contaminated objects and surfaces. 
  • Fungal spores can remain dormant on combs, brushes, food bowls, furniture, bedding, carpet, or other environmental surfaces for up to 18 months. 
  • Coming into contact with the fungus does not always result in a ringworm infection. The amount of contamination in the environment, as well as the age of the exposed animal, play a role in the development of a ringworm infection. 

How does ringworm appear?

  • Ringworm in cats can be difficult to identify because the lesions might be very small or even undetected. The protein that makes up the outer layers of the skin, hair, and nails is what ringworm fungi feed on. 
  • In cats, a 'cigarette ash' scaling in the coat's depths may be the only obvious sign of ringworm infection. Some cats may have circular patches in addition. When the spores infect the hair shafts, the infected hairs become more fragile, resulting in alopecia (hair loss). The skin on the head, chest, forelegs, and along the back ridge are the most common areas for these lesions in cats.
  • The claws grow rough, pitted and may become malformed with time. There is always a scaly base.
  • Ringworm can lead to a widespread infection affecting a significant area of the body.
  • Ringworm can infect other animals or people even if there are no clinical indications or hair loss in some cats, especially longhaired types.

What Is The Best Treatment Ringworm For Cats?

  • Topical therapy (the application of creams, ointments, or shampoos) and systemic oral therapy are the most popular ways to treat ringworm in cats (administration of anti-fungal drugs by mouth). All environmental contamination must be removed in order for treatment to be effective. 
  • To be successful, environmental contamination must also be eliminated.
  • STOP TREATING ONLY IF YOUR VET RECOMMENDS IT. A return of the fungus can occur if treatment is discontinued too soon.
  • If you have multiple pets, attempt to keep infected and non-infected animals apart and treat only the diseased ones. It may be preferable to treat all pets in certain circumstances. Given your specific circumstances, your veterinarian will advise you on the best course of action.

Local Treatment 

  • Topical therapy is sometimes used alone to treat ringworm, although it is most usually used in conjunction with oral medication. Miconazole (Micaved®), terbinafine (Lamisil®), or clotrimazole (Otomax®, Otibiotic®) are among the creams and ointments available to treat ringworm in localized areas of the skin. 
  • Using a chlorhexidine + miconazole-based shampoo or a lime sulfur plunge twice weekly can often help with them. Topical therapy is typically required for a period of several weeks to months.
  • If only one or two locations are impacted, shaving the hair in tiny sections may be adequate. If your cat has a more widespread ailment or is a longhaired breed, your veterinarian may advise you to cut all of your cat's hair. It's critical to only employ preparations that your veterinarian has expressly prescribed or suggested.
  • Wash your hands after bathing or treating your cat, and sterilize any surfaces your cat may have come into touch with using a dilute bleach solution.

Oral Treatment 

  • In most cases of ringworm, effective therapy will necessitate the use of an antifungal medicine taken orally. 
  • Itraconazole (Itrafungol®, Sporanox®, Onmel®) and terbinafine are the most regularly used medications for this purpose. Individual cats respond differently to treatment, and if treatment is stopped too soon, the sickness may reoccur. 
  • Treatment normally lasts at least six weeks, although in certain circumstances, treatment may last much longer.
  • Individual cats respond differently to treatment, and if treatment is stopped too soon, the sickness may reoccur.

Cleaning of the Environment

  • Many small fungus spores can be shed into the environment from infected hairs. Other animals and humans can become infected by coming into direct touch with an infected cat or coming into contact with fungal spores in a polluted environment. 
  • Aside from avoiding direct contact with an infected cat, it's also critical to keep the environment as spore-free as possible. It's a good idea to confine the cat to easy-to-clean areas of the house.
  • Clipping hair (and properly disposing of it) in combination with antifungal topical treatment of afflicted skin regions may assist to limit environmental contamination. 
  • It's critical to clean pet hair off of floors and furniture because it could contain fungal spores.
  • Environmental can be cleant by vacuuming all spaces that cat has access. Where practicable, fungal spores can be destroyed with a solution of chlorine bleach and water made by diluting one pint of chlorine bleach (500 ml) in a gallon of water (4 liters).
  • Treatment is important to avoid spreading infection from animal to humans, particularly children.

Is my cat contagious for a long time?

  • If vigorous therapy is given, infected pets are contagious for roughly three weeks. 
  • During this time, it's best to limit your exposure to other dogs or cats, as well as your family members.

Will My Ringworm-infected Cat Be Able To Recover?

  • Cats will recover from a ringworm infection if treated correctely. While the look of the lesions may not alter much during the first week or so of treatment, within two to three weeks, some improvement should be visible. 
  • Infections may reappear if treatment is stopped or is too short, or if your cat has an underlying condition that compromises its immune system.
  • The majority of cats will recover from a ringworm infection if treated properly.
  • The infection might sometimes persist despite receiving appropriate therapy. In this case, your veterinarian may need to try other antifungal medications.


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