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Looking After  Your Pets Health

590 Lark Street

Geneva, IL  

630 232-8868


Meadow View Veterinary Clinic Veterinarian Batavia, IL



            Dermatophytosis (ringworm) is caused by the infection of keratinized tissue (skin, hair, nails) by a fungal organism.  The most common afflicting organisms are Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum and Trichopyton mentagrophytes.  These fungi may also affect people and not just animals.  Cats may develop a carrier state in which the pet does not exhibit any clinical signs but may infect other animals.


 


Signs:


        “Classic” lesion is a circular lesion of hair loss with scale and healing in the center (often not seen in animals)


        May be isolated to a couple of lesions or have many lesions


        Hair loss, crusting, scale, pustules


        Typically minimal itchiness


        Cats may have subclinical infection where no lesions may be present but they may act as carriers


          Miliary dermatitis:   A clinical sign exhibited by cats to many different skin conditions (atopy, flea allergies,     folliculitis, etc.).  Usually there are many small crusts over the body with small areas of hair loss (alopecia).


 


Diagnosis:


        Can not be based only on signs, mimics other forms of dermatitis (pyoderma, mites, allergies, etc)


        May be difficult to diagnose


        Skin scrapes to rule-out mites


         Not commonly found on cytology


      Wood’s light- not very accurate


                      Emits a light that may fluoresce Microsporum


                    ONLY Microsporum canis, and only about 50% will fluoresce


                    Fluorescence may occur with some scale, ointments or creams and sulfur


                   Works as a screen for ringworm, not a diagnosis


        Fungal Culture


                    Most reliable method


                    Cannot always grow organisms. so no growth does not mean ringworm is not possible


                     Hair, nails, etc. are placed on a growth medium (DTM)


                        Can identify organism after growth with cytology


                       Takes about 10-20 days for growth


 


Treatment:


        All pets in household should be treated


       Long haired cats should be clipped if possible


        Localized lesions may be treated topically


        Topical


                  Various antifungal creams, sprays and lotions (athletes foot creams)


                    Chlorhexidine shampoos


                    Ketoconazole shampoos


                    Miconazole shampoos


                     Lime sulfur dips


      Systemic or oral medication


            Griseofulvin     


                           The standard therapy for many years

       

                            Effective


                            Vomiting or diarrhea may result


                            Do not use in pregnant animals


                            Not generally recommended for use in cats


            Itraconazole

                       Generally well tolerated


                       Generally fewer side effects than Griseofulvin


                       Vomiting and diarrhea still a potential


                       Decreased appetite


                       Often a higher cost than griseofulvin


The absorption of compounded liquids is often poor and the Sporonox brand is recommended


Ketoconazole

   

Not generally considered effective for ringworm


Terbinafine

       

Generally well tolerated


Liver side effects possible - monitoring liver values is recommended for long-term use.



Program (lufenuron)


                       A flea preventative for dogs and cats that inhibits larval growth (doesn’t kill adults)


           Acts by inhibiting chitin synthesis so the fungal organism cannot grow


                       Generally considered ineffective treatment anymore.


Vaccination


                       May help clear clinical signs in some cases


Cats may remain carriers even though not exhibiting signs


No longer available at this time



    Adjunctive therapies


Area and environmental treatment


         Discard bedding, etc. if possible


         Clean kennels, cages, etc. with a 1:10 dilution of bleach with water


         Vacuum carpet, floors and furniture to remove as many hairs as possible, discard bag


         Spores can remain viable in the environment for a year


 


Treatment should be maintained until a two negative cultures are obtained or 2 weeks past resolution of signs depending on if treating a cat or dog.  If you are showing signs of ringworm, consult your physician.


In long-haired cats or multi-cat households, resolving infestation can be difficult.

 




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