10 Diseases That Can Be Transmitted From Animals To Humans Ringworm Disease In Cats

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Ringworm Disease In Cats

Ringworm is a fungal infection that can affect a cat’s hair, skin and nails. It will clear up on its own over time, but a cat can spread the disease to other animals and people while infected.

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

The disease can be transmitted by direct contact or by infected means. A healthy feline immune system creates a resistance to disease. A cat with a suppressed immune system, high steroid use, elderly, free-roaming, malnourished, sick or under high stress has a higher risk of contracting ringworm.

Skin lesions are the most common symptom. The usually hairless lesions are usually found on the head, ears and tail. It can also affect the nails causing deformities. Sometimes the whole body can become infected resulting in a scaly or oily skin condition.

A specialized black light, Wood’s lamp, can diagnose several types of fungi. Another diagnostic method is to pluck the hairs around the lesion and examine them under a microscope. The most accurate way is to collect scales and crusts from the skin and perform a fungal culture.

Ringworm can be treated with topical creams such as miconazole or thiabendazole. In severe cases, a topical treatment using lime sulfur dip and combined with medications such as Itraconazole, Terbafine or Greseofluvin. The droppings have a bad smell and can temporarily turn the fur yellow, but they are very effective. Always consult a veterinarian to determine the best treatment.

Keeping a cat away from an infected animal and maintaining a clean environment are good ways to prevent disease. If spores are found, the area should be thoroughly cleaned including the heating and cooling ducts. A bleach solution diluted 10 to 1 and left for 10 minutes will kill the spores. Since humans can become infected, it is recommended to use gloves when handling infected animals and cleaning.

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