The disease, called ringworm, was known in ancient times. Mention of her found in Egyptian wall paintings. The famous French doctor of the 9th century, Guy de Scholiac, was able to classify five types of this disease. This classification was the only correct until the XIX century. Deprive was considered a disease inherent exclusively to the poor, it was taken almost as a physical deformity.
Carriers of this disease are, as a rule, children of primary school age and our pets (especially cats). Let's find out what ringworm looks like in cats, what are its first signs, and how can you save your pet from such an unpleasant pathology?
What is ringworm in cats: general information
This is a rather dangerous fungal disease, the development of which is provoked by various types of microscopic dermatomycete fungi, easily affecting and the human skin. The spores of these fungi are fairly resistant to adverse environmental conditions and various disinfectants, which means they can get into the house even with dust on things. And if for a person with a healthy immunity, ringworm does not constitute a big threat, then for our fluffy pets this is a very dangerous pathology, because in severe cases it can lead to blindness and even death of the animal. In fairness it should be noted that nevertheless cats with weakened immunity, poor nutrition, kittens under 1 year old and street animals are more susceptible to this disease. Veterinarians also mention a genetic predisposition: Persian cats suffer more than others.
Frequent carriers of this pathology are mice and rats, so cats who love to hunt rodents are also at risk of infection. Veterinarians also mention that one of the factors provoking the development of the disease can be stress. For example, you decided to go on vacation, but for a while you put your pet in the wrong hands.
The danger of a person being infected by an infected animal, of course, exists. For this reason, in contact with an infected pet, take the necessary precautions, especially if there are young children in the house. Of course, it is desirable to isolate the animal for a while.
The main signs of infection
The most common sites of localization of the disease are the ears, tail and head. The following primary signs of infection can be distinguished:
- on the body of the animal appear small round spots, devoid of hair;
- skin in the affected area flakes and scales;
- itching appears.
Combing lesions, the cat will carry the infection to other (healthy) skin areas. And if time does not begin treatment, then it can quickly spread throughout the body of a fluffy pet.
The primary signs of infection of the animal with a fungal infection also include increased molting, loss of appetite.
How can you diagnose ringworm in the early stages?
In order to prevent the spread of the disease, it is best to diagnose it in its early stages. Accurately determine the diagnosis can vet. Usually, a Wood's UV lamp is used for these purposes: if you direct it to the pathological area of the animal's skin, it will glow bright green. However, it should be noted that a healthy pet may also have a fungus on its coat, but not be infected. And some types of fungi generally do not respond to radiation. From this it follows that, in addition to the examination with a UV lamp, it is desirable to conduct a comprehensive diagnosis:
- examine the affected skin and coat under the microscope;
- take scraping from the surface of the cat's skin.
Only a veterinarian can adequately treat your pet. And get ready for the fact that the healing process will not be quick. As a rule, an average of 1-1.5 months passes from the start of treatment until the moment of complete recovery.
If the presence of the disease is detected at its initial stage of development, then ointments or sprays with antifungal effect are prescribed. For the convenience of processing the lesion in long-haired cats, you will need to cut the hair covering around depriving. Sometimes veterinarians recommend completely cutting off the hair on the entire body, but this should be done very carefully so as not to cause skin irritation. If the disease is neglected or progresses in a severe form, then, in addition to external medications, oral medications are prescribed, and in particularly difficult situations, medications are injected. In order to speed up the recovery of his furry pet, the owner of the animal must also take some accompanying measures, namely:
- provide animal daily care;
- make the right diet;
- closely monitor the general condition of the pet.
In areas of localization of lesions and after recovery may remain spots, deprived of hair or depigmented.
What preventive measures can be taken?
Ringworm refers to those diseases that are much easier to prevent than to cure. And it's not so difficult to do it:
- Spend timely cleaning of the room, paying particular attention to the places where your pet likes to live. Spores of the fungus well kill bleach: you need to make a 1:10 solution and disinfect it with a cat sleeper, toys, bowls.
- Provide regular inspection of the animal with a veterinarian who will vaccinate the cat in time.
- Keep your pet away from infected or stray animals.
In principle, preventive measures are the same as for other diseases.
And finally, I would like to remind you that when you first find signs of ringworm in a cat, you shouldn’t waste time - the delay in treatment can cost your pet's health. Remember that only the owner is able to maintain the health of his pet.