1 What Do Fungi Have In Common With Animals Ringworm Disease In Cats

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Ringworm Disease In Cats

Ringworm is a fungal infection that can affect the hair, skin and nails of a cat. It will heal itself over time but a cat can spread the disease to other animals and people while infected.

The disease is caused by Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum or Trichophyton fungi found in infected animals or the animal environment. The spores can live up to 24 months and favor humid, warm environments. A cat can have the disease without showing any symptoms.

The disease can be spread through direct contact or contaminated handling equipment. A healthy cat’s immune system creates resistance to the disease. A cat with a weakened immune system, high steroid use, elderly, free-roaming, malnourished, sick or stressed is at a higher risk of contracting an ulcer.

Skin lesions are the most common symptom. Hairless lesions are often found on the head, ears and tail. It can also affect the nails causing irregularity. Sometimes the whole body can become infected resulting in scaly or greasy skin.

A special black light, Wood’s lamp, can diagnose some species of fungi. Another diagnostic method is to pull the hairs around the lesion and examine them under a microscope. The most correct method is to collect scales and crusts from the skin and make a mushroom culture.

Ringworm can be treated with topical creams such as miconazole or thiabendazole. In severe cases, a local treatment using lime sulfur solutions and combined with drugs such as Itraconazole, Terbafine or Greseofluvin. The inserts have a foul smell and may turn the fur yellow for a while but are very effective. Please always consult a doctor to determine the best treatment.

Keeping a cat away from infected animals and maintaining a clean environment are good ways to prevent the disease. If it is determined that spores are present, the area should be thoroughly cleaned with heating and cooling methods. A solution of bleach diluted 10 to 1 and left for 10 minutes will kill the spores. Since humans can be infected, wearing gloves when handling infected animals and cleaning is recommended.

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