Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection of the skin, caused by Microsporum canis. It is spread from person to person, from animal to person, or indirectly from contaminated objects. Ringworm is typically seen in young cats, long-haired cats, and cats with pre-existing skin disease or trauma. Diseases or medications that suppress the immune system generally render cats more susceptible to ringworm.
Typical lesions are circular areas of hair loss on the hair coat; however, any change in the hair coat and/or skin may be consistent with ringworm. The affected skin often appears scaly and inflamed. Some cats suffer from severe skin disease while others have minor lesions or even none at all.
Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:
- Ringworm is generally diagnosed by history, physical examination and a fungal culture of the hair. A presumptive diagnosis can sometimes be made by using a Wood’s lamp. Some types of ringworm will fluoresce under this light.
- Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Many cats will resolve an infection spontaneously over several months, but treatment generally expedites cure and helps reduce environmental contamination. Some cats benefit from oral anti-fungals such as griseofulvin. Anti-fungal creams and shampoos will help reduce environmental contamination. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.
What to Watch for*:
- Circular areas of hair loss
- Scaly and inflamed skin
*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!