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Red dot and baldness... what is it?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My 9-week old kitten recently developed a strange bald spot on top of her head, and how has a red dot in the center of the bald spot (see photo below).

Any idea what this is?

I have a vet appointment already scheduled for this afternoon, but wanted to get some idea of what we're dealing with beforehand.

post #2 of 16
How long have you had the kitten? Was it outside before you got it or is it allowed out now? I hesitate to say ringworm because it could simply be a scab from playing with another kitten or cat recently (if the kitten has).

A vet visit is a good idea though, at nine weeks a kitten is old enough to start it's shots if it hasn't already.
post #3 of 16
It looks like maybe some sort of bee sting to me but I haven't seen many wounds like that.

Sometimes kittens get ringworm on their faces but that picture doesn't show the "ring" so I'm not sure it is the classic illness. Here is a link describing symptoms

Until you see the vet, be careful of contact between your kitten and other cats, just in case. But it is probably nothing like that.

I hope it all works out!
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
She's an indoor cat, and we got her from the shelter 3 weeks ago (at 6 weeks age). She ahsn't been outdoors, so I doubt it was a bee sting unless a bee got into the house.

We do have 1 older cat (5 years) and she doesn't get along too well with the kitten so far. They swat at each other occasionally. Actually I did think the bald spot was the result of the older cat taking a swipe at the kitten and maybe getting a chunk of fur in the process, but the red spot developed several days after the bald spot appeared.
post #5 of 16
Was your kitten a stray? Mine had several like that forming a ring but it turned out to be just a wound that had a bacterial infection.

Keep us posted.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
She was born in the shelter, or rather in a shelter worker's home and then brought to the shelter right after. She did come from the shelter with a respiratory infection, and we had her on antibiotics. That cleared up, but it looks like another trip to the vet is needed (3rd one in as many weeks).

She is up to date on her shots as of the last visit.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
So here's the verdict...

It is most likely ringworm, although it is not 100% since it is a very small blister and could be nothing more than a small blister. The vet took a sample from near the infected area and will have it analyzed in the lab to be sure.

The hard part is going to be keeping the two cats separated for the next few weeks. We live in a 1-bedroom apartment, so it pretty much means that we have to keep the bedroom door closed all the time with one cat in there and the other in the rest of the apartment. But hopefully since we caught it quickly and it's fairly small, we can have it treated quickly and prevent it from spreading.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
New problem: We set up a large box to keep the kitten in, as per the vet's recommendation. It's an appliance box, with plenty of room, all the comforts of home so to speak. Litter box, food and water, and a few toys. We also cut some small holes all over the box for light, air, and so the kitten could see out.

The problem is that this is just heartbreaking to see. She's meowing, crying, and trying desparately to escape.

Is there any better way of separating a cat from the rest of the house without using this box method? We have to avoid contact with her, and keep her from spreading ringworm spores around the house. But short of keeping her contained in a box like this, what other options are there?
post #9 of 16
Can you put a small TV or radio in the room? Perhaps some soothing music or voices will help her feel more comfortable.
post #10 of 16
What about a large dog crate? You could put a small box in it for "safe" hidey-hole, but she could still see what is going on.

My son's rescue pup had ringworm when he got her. Three separate areas. We treated her with a topical spray for 8 weeks. The vet stressed that she was contagious for 10 days, but as long as we used good hand washing and changed our clothes after contact (avoiding our face in contact with her as much as possible), we would be fine. She also had frequent contact with our dogs. No one else got it.

I would really ask the vet again about the length of time for the isolation. This is a critical time for socialization of the kitten.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
I would really ask the vet again about the length of time for the isolation. This is a critical time for socialization of the kitten.
That's my biggest concern. We've been making a strong effort to really properly socialize this kitten, which we didn't do with our first cat and now it really shows (she's very anti-social). I feel like locking up a 9-week old kitten in a box is going to destroy the progress we've made.

I also don't understand the testing/treatment process. My vet said we need to wait a week until the lab results come back. In the meantime, she has to remain isolated. But then when the results do come back, assuming she'll be positive for ringworm we'll have to continue to isolate her. I hate the idea of keeping her isolated for possibly 2 weeks or more. Can't we start some sort of treatment now, assuming she probably does have ringworm?
post #12 of 16
My vet, who is very conservative, didn't even do the scrapings. His rationale was that 1) testing takes awhile to come back and isn't perfect 2) start on treatment - we would know in 7-10 days if was ringworm because there would be an increase in the bald area (already infected but hadn't fallen out yet) followed by an improvement of the skin 3) the treatment wasn't something that would hurt her.
My son has the stuff at his apt, so I will try to call him tonight for the name of it.

I would not be afraid to hold her. Heavens, I would would feel terrible not holding her. I can see keeping her away from young children until there was a diagnosis - it's hard to get them to wash like we would want.
post #13 of 16
Okay, the stuff we used for the puppy is not cat safe - I do try to check, but I couldn't remember the name of it.

I would still ask the vet about starting treatment now - the worst he do is say no. And ask about the length of isolation again - just say you want to be sure you heard correctly.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Checked with the vet again.. He advised starting a treatment with Miconazole (sp?) and said that since we live in a 1-bedroom apartment, isolating her probably wasn't doing much anyway since she likely had already spread the fungus spores around the place. We washed everything anyway, including couch cushion covers, in hot water and detergent. She's out of the box now, and on the anti-fungus meds while we wait for the test results. We don't have kids so no worries in that department.

I feel much better now.

I couldn't stomach keeping her locked away for so long.
post #15 of 16
A few years ago, when Sho slipped outside and caught ringworm, I was able to tell what it was right away by checking with a black light. Sometimes it will glow green, if it does then there's a good chance it is ringworm and will have to be treated. If it doesn't glow a culture of the area is still a good idea.

Because the spots did glow on Sho, I could tell he had a lot of tiny spots all over his sides and back that the vet didn't even see during the normal examination.
post #16 of 16
Hmmm....can you call the vet to ask what his reccomended treatment is?

Here's my 2 cents from having ringworm 4x.
1) seperating does no good, by the time you can see the ringworm, it's too late
2) clean everything, vacuum all the time, wash bedding, etc.
3) you will need to clean all the time, like every couple of days.
4) kittens are susceptible to ringworm, esp. ones with URIs
5) wash your hands, don't touch your face, etc.
6) watch yourself for ringworm spots.

I've tried Fulvicin(frisefulcin) which causes digestive upsets, Conofite cream, Ketoconazole, & Fluconozole. I like Fluconoazole best....it is easiest on the system. The only downside is a bottle is only good for 2 weeks in the fridge. It cost me $60 to treat my one adult kitty. And it is fruity flavored(why, I do not know) so Damita could smell it & would run/hide for me when I opened the bottle!
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