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Most severe ringworm I've ever seen...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry this one is kind of long, but here it goes:

This is a horrible question, but I just have to ask. There are a number of cats in my apartment complex, and there's a nasty case of ringworm going around. My kitten, who is the only indoor cat I actually keep, has been treated for it with sulfur-lyme dips--and is being kept inside, to avoid reinfection. Now, I can't afford to get all of these animals treated, or else I would... but there is one animal that is just a heart-breaking sight to see. This cat has the worst ringworm I've seen in my life. Its ears are a good five times their normal thickness, absolutely encrusted with infected skin. She has patches of missing fur all over her body, and the skin around her eyes in so infected it looks swollen. The creature is just miserable, she sits outside my door and wails even if I feed her, scratching, scratching, scratching. I can scarcely touch her myself--susceptibility to ringworm is genetic, and I had it for almost a month WITH treatment due to my kitten. My boyfriend has been using Pledgelets anti-fungal wipes on her, trying to calm it down a little... we used clotramizole 1% on my kitten before we realized her ringworm was too severe for anything less than veterinary attention, and that cut the severity in half. We think we'll do this for this cat too. But we're skeptical about it helping her clear up... isn't ringworm supposed to clear up on its own in four months?

Is it EVER more humane to have an animal with such a severe problem euthanized than to let it suffer like that? I realize ringworm doesn't sound like a big deal... but if you'd seen this cat, you wouldn't be so shocked that the thought crossed my mind. It is always crying, crying, crying, and I've had ringworm--couldn't sleep, couldn't think, covered in welts from scratching, occasionally I'd just scream it was so horrible, and hers is ten times worse. I've never heard of a serious ringworm infection leading to euthanasia... but if I got this cat dipped, I'd be taking her for two months I think, and paying more for a cat her size. I don't know what to do. Are there any treatments I can try that don't involve my vet, that might be more cost-effective?

I don't want anyone reading this to think I'm a horrible person for considering this, I'm just trying to find out if this is crazy. If there's anything else I can do, I'll do it. I just feel as if this cat is suffering very, very seriously and it breaks my heart that I can't even sit down and scratch its head for fear of getting ringworm again or giving it to my cat.
post #2 of 11
Hi There

Boy do i feel for you. I adopted a cat from a breeder 2 months ago and after having him for about 3 weeks contracted ringworm all over my body when we got the kitten checked for it we were told he was riddled with it.

You have to be careful if you let another cat into your home with ringworm, ringworm can be brought on by the cat herpes virus and if the other cat has that he will pass it on to your other cat. If you do decide to bring it in make sure you limit it to just one room and to not have any contact with your other cat until you have the ringworm under control. A very good shampoo i use is one called Malseb i dont think it will clear up the ringworm better than the lime sulpher but it is preventative for after care and good to shampoo (as a preventative treatment) your other cat while treating the new one. Another thing you should do with the new cat is get the vet to take the fur right off when wet (i think they just clip it rather than shaving it), the fur will grow back quickly (in about 6 weeks) but you will then have got rid of the infected hairs and it is easier to treat the ringworm. A good cream you can then apply to the cats ringworm patches is Lamisil, it is used in treating human athlete foot problems but you can use it on cats too, you should be able to get it over the counter at any pharmacy it also calms down the itching. The other cream that you can use on yourself (mine faded nearly overnight) is Daktarin cream you can also use lamisil for yourself. There are also anti fungal oral pills they can give to cats but these can be dangerous to the cats so would not be a good idea if you didnt know the cats health history.

After doing a lot of research i have found cases where cats have been put to sleep for extremely severe cases of ringworm but, i really believe every creature has the right to a chance and if you are able to give this one a chance at life than that is a wonderful thing. If after all the treatment the cat still is not any better then you have to think what would be best for it.

Good luck please pm me if you have any other questions or just want to chat. Ringworm is such a nasty thing, i was at my wits end especially as there isnt a lot you can do to treat it.

Good luck and please keep me posted.

post #3 of 11
Poor baby
At the very least that cat needs veterinary attention. Does anyone "own" it?? There are some who would euthanize rather than try to cure that severe an infection (especially since it can pass to humans so easily). I would want to at least try to get it some relief first. Poor thing must be in agony!
post #4 of 11
I just dealt with a VERY MILD case of ringworm, here. And it was my first ... so I am emphasizing my lack of expertise!

While Itraconazole is the least hepatoxic antifungal it is expensive, and Lamisil oral is a very inexpensive way to treat ... Lamisil cream used at the same time really helps. Clotrimazole cream was what got rid of my kitty's lesion though, I think.

Anna is right, the fur itself is infected and it and your carpet are likely sources of reinfection. CLEAN YOUR HOME like crazy, and keep the severely-infected kitty to herself! But ... it may also be a case where she is immunocompromized by some other infection and that is why her ringworm is severe. Does anyone own her, even?
post #5 of 11
Hi - This is horrible... this cat is going to need some type of attention relatively quick. I have heard of cases of ringworm that are so bad the cat had to be put down. From what you have described, you should definitely consider doing this if you can.

If not, this cat is going to have to be on anti-fungal medication along with the Lyme Sulphur Dip you referred to. I went thru a horrible case of ringworm with my 2 persians and the Lyme Sulphur Dip was the only thing that took it away.

Why not buy the Lyme Sulphur Dip on your own rather then take the cat to the vet for them to dip? This is what I started doing and it is much cheaper. You can buy the dip on the Internet.

Please, please, don't sit back and let this poor baby suffer. Even if you decide to put him/her down I think you would be doing this cat a huge favor.

Please keep us posted...
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the helpful advice, but there are a couple of points I guess I didn't clarify.

One, no one really seems to own the cat, there are many strays here, and two, I cannot take another cat indoors due to the constraints of a small apartment, and having a young kitten who started off in the world a bit sickly... this cat's ringworm infestation is so terrible, I wouldn't be surprised if it has other underlying health issues...

But there's no ringworm inside now, we cleaned the apartment thoroughly and kitten and myself have been free of it for over a month now, thank goodness. Was gonna lose my bloody mind... Anna knows what I'm talking about, poor thing!!

This poor kitty is an outdoor one, and I don't exactly plan to make it an indoor cat... we flea treat all the strays so they don't have to suffer, etc. Good news though, this morning boyfriend reports the ringworm on its head is looking better, perhaps from extensive Pledgelet wiping. I have taken my cat to the vet today for her booster shots, so I am going to ask my vet about what I can do for this one. Doing sulfur lyme dips at home is a good suggestion, thanks!!! I may try to go about it a number of ways...

Ahh, I just can't let that poor baby suffer like this! I appreciate all the insight and will decide some course of action today based on input from all of your and my vet.

Thanks so much, I was afraid to even bring up the "E" word for fear of being criticized.
post #7 of 11
I understood from your post that this is a "stray" kitty and I was also going to suggest you talk to your vet to see if he can advise you of some type of treatment for this poor little one. I really think that's the best way to go. Bless you for caring.
post #8 of 11
Give us an update on the ringworm kitty when you get a chance...
post #9 of 11
I took in a pregnant Pure Persian Cat with purebred babies.. She had them. they are pure white, blue eyes.. adorable.. well.. seems the mom was a silent carrier of ringworm. and every one (all 5) kittens have come down with ringworm. Heres everything I tried.. from the vet first of all.. Tresaderm drops.. dermazole.. shampoo..$200 later and no change.. after a week.. of bathing. and I bathed kittens every day..letting it soak on them for about 5 minutes.. and i have the scratches to prove I tried Lotrimin..and Lamisil for athletes feet, antifunal ointments. sprays.. Then after that I tried dabbing a little bit of bleach over the areas .. which were mainly on the face so I had to be very careful.. wiping it off after a couple minutes.. then a few days later I tired dabbing vinegar on it.... both remedies I found online. from quite a few posts.. It's almost a month in now of the kittens having it and its JUST now clearing up. Hair is growing on the bald spots..What i did last.. was something that probably only cost a penny.. I burnt a couple peices of white notebook paper.. let it burn down and wiped the residue on the lesions. (which is sulphur apparently) thats the last thing i tried before it started looking better. My other concern on the little stray kitten on the post is that its probably full of fleas.. which could be the reason for it scratching and itching and hair falling out.. Did anyone check it for that? I was horrified when all my kittens came down with Ringworm. but it will go away.. It can take a couple months though, their immune systems have to develop better so they can fight it off too.. I was told to give them vitamins.. A & E and I did that and it seemed to help alot too.. they are the biggest, healthiest looking kittens except of course for the spots that are at least now going away.. I'd say bring it least and find out if their are any other underlying illnesses.. if you want it to get better.. I never got the Ringworm nor did my other pets. You just have to BLEACH,BLEACH,BLEACH... clean everything. keep him in a little room or even a big crate with a litterpan.. then clean that out constantly.. thats what I did. I have now moved them into their own room.. and I play with them all the time. I cant help it they are so cute. So, In I tried everything.. not sure what worked but SOMETHING did.. after experimenting with all the cures I read about. Good luck..
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
The ringworm issue has been resolved at long last, I am incredibly happy to say--and euthanasia was not involved, thank goodness!

Bathing and intensive use of Pledgelet wipes has gotten rid of the stuff!! I think the infection was not as bad as I believed it... it may have been tapering off when I discovered that poor cat, perhaps all of the affected skin simply hadn't fallen off yet... it took about a month of wiping and painstakingly plucking out and disposing of infected hair that was falling out anyway... but it worked.

The cat is now quite healthy I think, though it is still without a home. I feed it as often as possible, but it's gotten very skittish now that it isn't in total misery. She runs away often when I'm outside, but other times she scratches at the door, so it's difficult to say. There are a lot of "feral-ish" cats around here--sometimes they're as well mannered as housecats, other times they look at you like they have no idea what you are and run.

At least the cat isn't suffering anymore, that's my main concern... there is another cat suffering from a mild case, but I really haven't been able to improve it. It hasn't spread, but the intial infection won't go away... ugh, can't win with ringworm, can you? At least the ringworm is OUTSIDE, and not in the apartment--the kitten hasn't been reinfected and it's been almost two months!! Yeeah!
post #11 of 11
There's a special place in heaven for people who help suffering animals. Thanks for taking care of that poor kitty.
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