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Ringworm (fungus infection)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Some wretched neighbor discovered her children got ringworm from their kitten (a poor little 5 week old who had been taken from the mother at 4 weeks and subjected to all sorts of odd scraps from the family table plus cow's milk...). Her solution was to get rid of the kitten, which she put in a paper sack, shutting the neck of the sack with a badly tied bit of string, and threw over my fence. I only heard the whole tale slowly -- nothing remains undiscovered in our rural area, since everyone comes in to the same clinic for medicines and doctors. Fortunately one of the neighbors of this woman phoned me several hours later to tell me there might be a kitten in a bag in my garden, but neglected to mention the ringworm. The kitten had been released from the bag by the dogs, and he had run into another neighbor's garden and then into a village store, where he ran around hidding and knocking things off of shelves.

By the time I went to look for him, he had left a trail of children or adults who had seen him. We were having 100 degree F temperatures, and when I came up on him, he was totally bedraggled, dehydrating, and filthy. I gathered him in my arms (bare because of the violent heat), carrying him against my chest and took him home, where I put him in a carry box until I could take him to the vet the next morning. In that brief time, he infected the dogs who set him free, some of the cats who probably helped the dogs put him in a panic, and perhaps other animals in the neighborhood unknown to me -- and, of course, me. I have 5 dogs of my own and 3 puppies (rescued) waiting to be given away, plus 16 cats, all cohabiting my yard and house.

We are all on the same medicine (griseofulvin plus ointment for fungus infections) and have another week and a half to go to finish the 30 days of medication. At that point the vets will assess and tell me if we have to continue for another week or two, since I need all the animals plus me free of any recurrence. I have to give 25 doses a day to the cats and dogs, and then remember to take my own doses. Since some of the cats are semi-wild dropins, this has been a really difficult period. But fortunately the lure of an especially tasty chicken dinner canned cat or dog food (given in 1 tablespoon and crushed together with the medicine) is bringing them home each day (although spread out over the day and night). I do not yet have a cat-escape-proof fence, and I am feeling very upset about the other cats my furry friends may meet during their outings. Ringworm has always been endemic among the wild cats here in the desert, but I wish I had the new fence (hoping to build by December) already. The dogs, of course, can't get out of the existing fence except on leashes....

Does anyone have any sage advice about disinfecting the house and grounds? I am using my super strong vac and mopping constantly with hard soap, chlorine and a bit of amonia, which is my standard disinfectant when things get out of control, but what about furniture? the grooves between the tiles? clothing or bedding? For fabrics I can wash in the machine, I am using the hottest water setting with regular laundry soap plus some plain chlorine. Any better suggestions?

Has anyone had any experience with disinfecting grooves and cracks with a steam vac?

All advice gratefully received...

Exhausted and hoping that is a light at the end of the tunnel....

PS -- Now almost completely cured, this little newguy is a stunningly white part-Turkish van with the typical triangular face. He is not going to be blue-eyed, however; at least it doesn't look like it as his eyes change from kitten blue to something closer to greeny-gold. He won't show the true eye color for some time from now...
post #2 of 4
I know what you are talking about I have had some experiences with ringworm in the past. Really, there's not a whole lot you can do beyond what you are doing. The only thing that will kill the ringworm spores is bleach. You can't bleach everything, but every little bit helps. It can even remain in the enviroment for up to a year. Once they are all cleared up, your chances are going to be slim that you see it anytime soon. Once an animal has been infected, they are more resistant to it. If it may be a problem in the future, you can put them on a monthly dose of Program flea control. It has been shown to prevent ringworm. I really feel for what you are going through with so many pets! I hope it's all over very soon.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Actually Sandie, they are not all really pets. Only 5 of the dogs are official part of the family. But since I was so generously gifted with 3 puppies this summer (one thrown over the fence, one who crawled under the fence because all the dogs looked like perhaps a mama might take him in, and one rescued after a car mowed down her mama and daddy on the highway at a nearby junction...), and managed somehow to accumulate 4 kittens (one had to have his foreleg amputated, one little female I rescued from under a car on a busy street in the nearest town center, one just walked up to me in front of my gate and sat down on my foot and didn't want to move, and one is the infectious white kitten who arrived gift-wrapped in a paper bag), and a year-old male decided it would be fun to add some spice to the precarious balance between my 4 male cats and so walked past all the dogs to jump up on my lap when I was sititing on the porch one evening -- my normal in-house population of actual house cats, those that are semi-tame house cats only in the winter, and two regular dropins who enter the house by the window, eat quickly, and leave the same way without salutations ... just seemed to suddenly be 25 animals. Not to say that the cats, at least, won't all eventually become pets, since that seems to be the natural progression of things except for those several independent souls who go off to find another food source...

But nonetheless, I am their caregiver, regardless of their permanence, but sometimes I feel that I am their pet rather than the other way around, because they treat me like a silly auntie instead of any kind of owner with bone fide pets...!

Thanks for the comments about the ringworm. Now if anyone has used a steam vac to disinfect, I would like to hear about how it worked.....
post #4 of 4
I wish more people had a heart as kind as yourself. It's a shame more people don't see animals as something to be cherished. They are living breathing things that need someone to look out for them.
I used every cleaning method imaginable to scrub my house. I felt much better by doing this. We did steam clean the rugs, but our vet at the time told us that we wouldnt be able to get the water hot enough to kill the spores. As long as you keep things really clean until everyone is cleared up, I really think you will be fine.
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