Ring worms in cats happen when the cat comes in direct contact with the infected animal or sometimes indirectly by contact with bedding, dishes and other materials contaminated by hairs or skin cells of an infected cat. Contamination of ring worms in cats is high since ringworm spores are amazingly hardy and can live in the environment for more than one year.
Any cat can have ring worms but geriatric cats as well as kittens that are less than a year in age are the most prone to ring worm infection. Cats with long hair and those that are immunocompromised are most likely to develop ring worms. Contamination of ring worms in cats is also high since ring worms can quickly spread in crowded areas such as in shelters. A warm and humid area has the capability to promote ringworm infections.
Infection of ring worms in cats can easily spread over the body of the cat that is why it is important that you should bring your cat to the vet for a precise diagnosis whenever you suspect that your cat has ring worms. The infection can also be spread easily to other animals in the house such that an immediate quarantine of your cat is required until the vet confirms the diagnosis.
The common symptom of ring worms in cats is the existence of skin lesions that usually appear on the head, forelimbs and ears of the cat. Ring worms can cause flake-like bald patches which is reddish in the center. Cats with mild cases of ring worms manifest redness in some areas or just plain dandruff. Severe infections of ring worms can spread over the entire body of the cat. However, there may also be cases that a cat has ring worm spores but may not show any symptoms.
A UV wood lamp can be used to examine cats that might carry ring worms. Infected hairs of the cat may shine with an apple green color. Microscopic evaluation of suspected hairs of the cat provide a positive result for fungal components and spores associated with the hairs. However, the most reliable way of diagnosing ring worms is fungal culture by which cat hairs are collected and used to introduce plates of a special culturing substance.
Treatment of ring worms in cats is very important to speed up cure and prevent the risk of contaminating humans and other animals. In healthy cats, ring worm infection will be resolved after many weeks but in some cases, prolonged medication is needed to guarantee cure. Systemic therapy includes the product known as Itrafungole and Lufenuron. Topical therapy which is important in minimizing environmental contamination can be applied through dipping and shampooing.