A combination of topical therapy and systemic oral therapy is the most common way of ringworm treatment in cats. This is good not only to get rid of the disease but also to prevent the spread of the self-limiting infection to humans, especially children, and other pets as well. Topical therapy involves the use of ointments, creams or shampoos while systemic oral therapy involves the oral application of anti-fungal medicines to your cat. All environmental contamination should be suppressed for the ringworm treatment to be successful.
A ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin but is not caused by a worm and is not even ring-shaped. Ringworm infection is caused by organisms that belong to a group of fungi know as dermatophytes. The species of dermatophyte in cat is called microporum canis which is infectious not only to cats but also to dogs and humans.Ringworm in cats might also be caused by the species called trichophyton mentagrophytes which can also infect humans.
It is very hard to detect ringworms in cats since ringworm lesions may be very mild and sometimes cannot be recognized. The only good indicator of ringworm in cats is scaling on the depths of the coat while other cats may have round thickened patches of skin accompanied by hair loss. It is important to bring your cat to a veterinarian who is the best person to diagnose ringworm in cats upon observing these symptoms. His recommendation for treatment will depend on the result of the culturing process or laboratory tests of the fungus obtained from the cat.
Different creams and ointments are always available and can be applied to local areas of the skin affected by the infection. It is just appropriate to shave the hair of the infected cat if only one or two portions of the cat’s skin has been affected. Clipping is suggested for the hair of a long haired cat or breed which can aid in the topical therapy treatment.A twice a week bathing of the cat using a medicated shampoo can also be done prior to application of medicine.
Topical treatments usually last for about several weeks to a number of months. It is important to wash your hand and sanitize it after coming in contact with the infected cat.
An oral anti-fungal drug is also effective in the ringworm treatment of your cat. The drug used for treating ringworm infections in cats is known as griseofulvin. Newer drugs such as itraconazole and terbinafine or lamasil are also used frequently and are often preferred by the vets due to lesser side effects. A recurrence of the disease may happen if oral medication is stopped too soon, resulting in a much longer therapy. Infected pets should be separated from non-infected pets if you have many pets in your house. Infected hairs also from your infected cat must be disposed at once to prevent infection on humans and other pets. Vacuuming all rooms accessible to your cat can also help in preventing spread of the infection and also reduce environmental contamination.