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How effective are the pills to treat ringworm?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
4 of my 5 cats have now contracted ringworm. I've been using an ointment and a shampoo, but I'm not seeing great improvement. (One exception: Piper's rash seems to be gone, and the hair is growing back.) My vet had offered oral pills as an option, but they are apparently very expensive. He said that he would recommend treating all the cats at once, and that a full course of treatment for all 5 cats would total about $600.

This is not great timing, since Bastian and Griffin are both due to be neutered as well, but I am seriously considering doing the pills. My question: For those of you who've used this oral treatment, how effective was it in your experience? I think the $600 might be worth it if it solves this problem, but I really don't want to spend that much money if it might not work.

post #2 of 17
What pills exactly? There are several meds I can think of:

Ketoconazole (pills)
Fluconazole (liquid)
Fluconazole (liquid)
Then there are some other ones that are generally better as well. Sporanox (sp?) I've heard good things about.

I'd only use Fluconazole. It's generallye easier on younger kittens.

And yes, treat everyone at once.
post #3 of 17
I used Ketoconazole for my foster kittens as a last resort. After two weeks of treatment they were all better. Growing fur back and looking great. Only thing is it can damage their livers. My vet told me symptoms to look out for. He said usually kittens and young cats do fine on it. Its the older ones that have complications.
post #4 of 17
I talked to 3 vets in the area. One uses Keto a lot. The other two panicked when I told them he uses it. Something about how it's not good for smaller animals like cats (OK for dogs?). Oh I wish I could remember.
post #5 of 17
It can cause major liver problems according to my vet. But he said that young cats can usually handle it. I know he gave it to some puppies in a different foster home and they all stopped eating and were throwing up from it. I think it depends on the animals. You also have to be very careful not to give to much. It worked really well though and I was impressed.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
He didn't tell me the name of the drug. We had this conversation several weeks ago, and I opted to try the ointment, etc first and see if it worked. However, I and two of my kids have also developed rashes now, and I don't want to deal with everyone just passing this back and forth indefinitely.

I'll have to call him tomorrow and find out exactly what his recommendations would be and what the risks are. Thanks for your responses!
post #7 of 17
Good luck! Make sure you clean clean clean everything. It can live in your house forever unless you do alot of bleaching and cleaning.

Thankfully me and Ari never got ringworm. But I always wore long sleeves and everything but my face and hands were covered when I handled them. I would change clothes at the top of the stairs so I didnt give it to my own personal cats.
post #8 of 17
A few years ago my Sho caught mild ringworm - it was in little tiny spots all over him but with only 3 sores that were losing hair and icky. At the vet's suggestion I tried Lamisil ointment and bathing first - the sores got bigger and his skin seemed to actually be irritated by the lamisil, so I asked if there was another option.

I was given tiny quartered Ketoconazole pills, I believe it cost $8 for 10 pills? 40 doses - I didn't use all of it, by the way.

Why would pills cost $600 - $125 per cat? That seems to be a very odd price for any pill prescription. Is there another vet you can call and ask what they charge for the prescription?

I know milk thistle can be used to help protect reptile livers, would be helpful for cats or is there anything else that could help protect it a bit? (paging sharky for that question )
post #9 of 17
I'm thinking it's not Keto, not for $600. I wish I could remember the name of the drug, highly reccomended....but it has to be compounded or something?

Compounding would make sense for the extreme cost. Either that, or you're vets ripping you off!
post #10 of 17
Would the drug be itraconazole? That's what my 12 week old kittens are on now. Had to get it from a compounding pharmacy in a liquid. It was not too expensive here. They are on week 6 of taking med. One month didn't do it despite all my efforts.

I am still using lots of bleach and veterinary disinfectant. Vaccuming daily and throwing away the bag each time. Kitties are quarntined and I change clothes each time as well. Makes for a long day!

Good luck.
post #11 of 17
Mine were first treated with shampoo (which they loathed) and lamissil cream, but it was not till we got oral meds that the ringworm vanished. I can't remember the drug we got, but it was nowhere near that expensive.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hmmm... I have a call into the vet now, and I'm waiting to get a call back. I'm going to ask him for details on this spendy drug he's recommending, and I wrote down the names of the drugs you all have mentioned here to get his opinions on them as well. I certainly don't want to spend all this money if it's not necessary, I just want this darned ringworm gone!!!

I think my biggest problem is that I don't really have anywhere to confine all the cats or anything. There is only one room that might be an option, but I think the older kitties would be driven batty if they were locked in a room with the kittens 24-7. How do you clean the ringworm off upholstered furniture? I can't imagine how I would shampoo my couches every day!

Thanks for all your input. Other comments are welcome, if anyone has other ideas!
post #13 of 17
I just vaccumed every single day. My house has never been so clean!

Do you have enough blankets to cover the furniture with them, then pull them off & wash them every 1-3 days? I did that & it was nice!
post #14 of 17
my persian cat was on itraconazole for 6 weeks, and still had ringworm. it was 125$ from a compounding chemist. now he is on griseofulvin..... extremely strong so you have to monitor your cat very carefully, but it is used for stubborn cases of M. Canis, whcih is the typical species of ringworm. my kitten is only 6 months old.
post #15 of 17
When we treat kids, they are on it for 6-8 weeks. Anything less is a waste of time. For humans, as soon as ringworm gets to the scalp, we have to switch to oral medications as the topical just doesn't work.

Ringworm always looks worse for the first two weeks after treatment is started. There are infected areas that just haven't lost their hair yet.

Frequent hand washing is the number one thing you have to do. Keep your hands away from your face.
Sorry, but the cats may not sleep with you for 6 weeks. It is the pits, but you have to do it to get it stopped. Wash your bed linens frequently since you have it too.
My vets suggested that I change clothes upon arriving home. The clothes for wearing at home were to be washed daily, after contact with the cats.
We cleaned the faric furniture with a steam cleaner (tested the fabric first). And then we covered it with old quilts.

Good luck. You will survive this.
post #16 of 17
I had to pill my cat for 10 days (lemme tell you that was not fun) and i can't remember what it was, i think it was Keto....but it certainly did not cost that much. We'd recently switched vets because we moved...and found this new vet charged HALF as much as the old vet for the same stuff. Might be just what the vet is charging that would make it so much. If that's the case, I'd suggest a different vet.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Talked to the vet today. He apparently consulted with a feline specialist friend of his, and this is the drug he's recommending. (I asked him the name, but forgot to ask him to spell it, so now I can't remember!) He said it would take at least a 6 week course to be really effective. I called around to a few other local vets, and this drug and this price seem to be the standard. The vet I will be using for my snakes (who also sees cats) said some of their clients actually order it from Canada to minimize cost.

I'll have to talk this over with DH. Thanks to all of you for your suggestions!
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