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Waiting for 1st ringworm culture results.... what to do now?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

Help! We adopted two feral kittens from different shelters in the past month, and also have two teenaged Doll-Face Persians. The kittens are being treated for various worms. Our female Persian has mild kidney disease and IBD (she's on steroids, potassium, appetite stimulant). Our male Persian has an inflamed throat, probably a virus caught from a kitten (he's on a painkiller). All the cats are getting along really well: a miracle.

When we took one of the kittens to the vet for shots yesterday, she noticed two tiny crusty spots, one on her ear and one on her toe. The Woods test showed nothing and she did a ringworm culture. This can take 1 to 3 weeks. That's 1 to 3 weeks of me freaking out, not knowing (just dreading) what we're in for or what to do NOW. I'm the worrying type. I feel like this time should be spent doing something useful to protect all 4 cats. Like cleaning the house. And bathing them? I am not sure and could really use some guidance.

I'm not going so far as to have our Persians clipped and bathe them in lime-sulfur until we know what we've got, but I wonder if this kitten (or both kittens) should have an antifungal shampoo bath soon? Are there side-effects, besides an unhappy kitten? She only has the two small spots, which I'm treating with Tresaderm from the vet. We two humans have no spots, so far!

I plan to vacuum the house like mad today: Walls, ceilings, and other surfaces besides the floor. We have a vac with a HEPA filter; I'll toss the bag. We'll probably send out our rugs for cleaning; we only have area rugs and they're overdue for that anyhow. I can wash all of our curtains and most of our bedding in very hot water. But I can't launder with bleach because we have a high-efficiency washing machine. I could go to the laundromat - should I? How often should I do all this?

The kitten in question spends most of her time on the floor, but likes our upholstered and slipcovered chairs, too. We have an 800-square-foot apartment and there's really no place to isolate any of the cats, and they all have the full run of the place. There's not much room in the bathroom to soak four cats with staining sulphur and let them dry. And there's not enough ventilation, either. I guess it probably makes NO sense to do that now, but I'm in dread/panic mode and am thinking too far ahead. I want to FIX this. I know it's a longgg process....

Not sure about using the 1:10 bleach solution that works for floors and hard surfaces, because it's toxic to animals and tough on humans. I have asthma, so this probably won't be possible for us. We have wooden floors and painted woodwork. Is there anything else I can try that's not so caustic?

As you can probably tell, I'm currently a wreck. We lost our dearly beloved Bunnelina to lymphoma and heart disease just last month, and getting two lovely feral kittens was my way of dealing with that loss. I expected worms and viruses and behavioral issues, but not this. I wanted a "project." I really DIDN'T expect a major disaster like ringworm, which I knew nothing about before yesterday.

I'm scared for our older cats and our own health. I'm scared of all this cleaning and bleach. I'm scared of having greenish-yellow, stinky kittens; they are recently socialized and I hate the idea of traumatizing them with treatments. Even a liquid med is too much for our baby calico and she hides from us afterward for hours. I also worry that any dipping treatments will totally upset our fragile older cats; they practically expire from heart attacks when we try to bathe them in water.

Do vets or groomers ever do these baths in their facilities? Ours doesn't, apparently.

Help! And thank you for reading all this!
post #2 of 51
It's a joke how long it takes to get a ringworm test result. By the time you get the result, if the kitten does have ringworm, all the others may have already broke out with it. My vet refused to keep and treat my animals in the clinic. I was willing to pay him for the rest of my life to get rid of the ringworm. You could call all the vets in your area. Surely a vet would do the dips or baths??? I doubt a groomer would do it because of the risk of infecting other pets. A groomer is not set up like a hospital environment.

OK, things you can do to help in the mean time. Boost up everyone's and all the cats immune systems with multi vitamins.

I would give the new kittens the fungus baths personally or the dips if the vet says it's safe for them. That could help spreading if it is ringworm. The baths or dips help kill the spores that spread ringworm. From what I have read the dips are much stronger and work faster most of the time. I never used the dips because they are so harsh. My vet did not recommend it for my cats.

If you can afford it check into colloidal silver for preventing ringworm. I have read it works. I found it after I had a huge outbreak in the house. I have not had the money for this yet to try, but is on my next purchase list as a preventative.

I use bleach and health guard to clean with. I went crazy cleaning, it didn't seem to help get rid the ringworm but it made me feel like I was doing something to stop the spread of it.

Health guard has no smell to it. It is supposed to kill fungus. It's supposed to be safe around the pets: http://www.revivalanimal.com/store/p...infectant.aspx You can add it to the laundry as well.

I would cover the furniture so you can wash the cover as often as you want. My furniture is covered and I have trained my pets to stay off but they sneak up.

Wash your hands with soap and a little iodine after touching the kitten with the sores.

Is it possible to put the kitten with the sores in a big enclosed cage like what they keep them in at petstores? This will give you a peace of mind in the mean time and help to not spread it to the others.

Others may have more ideas. I hope your new kitten does not have ringworm. You have gone through enough losing your baby Bunnelina. Please keep us posted. I would like to know how things are going.

Good luck to you.
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks for those tips. I spent the day vacuuming, washing dusty curtains, wiping down surfaces, etc. It felt good to take action, although I know I wasn't killing any spores, just gathering them up on my rag and sucking them into a vacuum clean bag. I will see if I can find some Health Guard. Is it available in stores? If I can't find that, I'll try a more diluted form of bleach than 1:10. It has to be better than nothing!

Our curtains will be stored until we know everyone is okay, and the rugs will go out for cleaning and stay there, too. Then I can damp mop with abandon.

I am hesitating to toss the kittens' toys because they love them so. We have a vast collection of Kitty Hoots.

Great idea to cover the furniture. Thanks! I'll get some iodine, too. I've read that colloidal silver can be toxic, and I suspect my vet will disagree if I ask her about natural remedies. She's going to make us use lime sulfur, I know it.... Someone told me it's easier if you use the spray rather than dipping them, but I have no place for the cats to dry without staining the apartment.

Ironically, I returned the dog crate I was using when the feral babies arrived YESTERDAY. I borrowed it from a shelter and washed it with bleach solution, and told them the situation as I returned it. The kittens went nuts if we shut them in there after a few days, so there seemed to be no way we could isolate them without upsetting them. Plus spores are spores. They fly everywhere. So cleaning will be my weapon.

My vet said that the topical ointment would help keep the spores from spreading, and I've read that the shampoos do the same. Is that true? If so, it sounds like the safest thing to be doing even before the culture comes back.

Tomorrow I'll see if I can get an antifungal shampoo. I think we can manage to bathe them. I'll be calling around to see who can bathe my Persians. I haven't had a steady job in over a year but I can still throw some money at this problem because... I have no choice!

Everyone, old and young, was playing with a laser pointer a minute ago. It helps to think that this will hopefully be harder on us than on them. But the idea of them turning yellow and reeking of rotten eggs.... do we gotta?
post #4 of 51
I haven't found the health guard in stores. The only thing I have found in stores to kill spores is bleach. Vet said possibly lysol in a can. Let me know if you find anything else.

I have been able to wash all the pet toys. I put some away so I don't have a ton to wash. I forgot to mention I bought pet beds for all the pets to lay in. I cover them with towels or receiving blankets for easy cleaning, I just toss them in the washer.

Yes the topical ointments, shampoos and dips will help stop spreading the fungus spores. Let me know if you do get a positive culture and if you use the lime sulfur spray. I'd like some feedback on it. I don't believe I have seen the spray. I would imagine the dip is easier because you don't rub it into the fur like you do the shampoo. I had a heck of a time with matting on my Almond and Joy after the baths. I ended up having to use clippers to shave off the mats.

The only thing I can say is we gotta do what we gotta do. The dip smell and color goes away pretty quickly from what I have read. Keep us posted please.
post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 
We just gave the kittens their first baths with Dermazole; they couldn't handle a 10-minute soak, it was more like 7. They hated it but didn't yell or hiss; extremely polite ferals. After we wrapped them in towels, there were moments when we feared they might be dead, they were that terrified and hopeless. Then they perked up and are eating.

WE feel kind of terrified and hopeless. We have to do this three times a week while waiting for the culture. Wendy also has some small round gray "stains" on her other ear, which could be ringworm, too. Treating with Tresaderm.

Mostly we dread having to get everyone shaved; they go from having gorgeous coats to looking like space aliens, and there go the baby pictures.

I'm still searching for someone who can do the sulfur dip/spray for us. I read that, afterwards, cats smell like fireworks, not rotten eggs. Fireworks sounds fine! I keep reading about how effective it is. This shelter manager said the spray is easier because you don't submerge the cat and freak it out. But it seems like it would take much longer. Our vet will give our older cats Dermazole baths in the meantime.

Today I vacuumed everything to death, dusted down walls and so on, and put old sheets on chairs. The rugs go away tomorrow. I got a swiffer so I can damp mop easily. I'll vacuum and wipe down flat surfaces every day. I have a tiny apt-size washer and dryer so I do laundry day and night. (Partly my fault: my lace curtains were so dusty I had to wash the 3 loads 3 times!) I normally HATE cleaning but it makes me feel like I'm helping the cats.

How did you wash the toys, please? I have all these fake fur and cloth catnip mice, for example. I wish I could use bleach in my washer.

You are right: Lysol spray kills athlete's foot fungus, which is ringworm, so it could certainly work on the feline varieties. I can take a small amount of that spray before it makes my lungs act up, but will spray with abandon if the vet says it's okay for cats. Thanks for another great tip.
post #6 of 51
Originally Posted by Bunnelina View Post

How did you wash the toys, please? I have all these fake fur and cloth catnip mice, for example. I wish I could use bleach in my washer.
I washed the stuffed toys in the washer in hot water and bleach. You could use the health guard. If your water is hot enough that should do. The hard toys in the sink with bleach. I took my chances on whether or not the toys would hold up. Threw away some old toys. The rest held up. Sadly I had to throw away their cat condo. I also threw away my grandkids hang on the door hot wheels toy car holder that had collected some pet hair. I also washed the litter boxes multiple times in bleach, threw out the litter. Sprayed the litter in between washing with health guard. Keep in mind others have gotten rid of ringworm without all the extra cleaning. Must be nice.

If the culture is positive you already have a head start on everything. I think it should be easier for you to knock it out for good. If you wait until you have a full outbreak it could be as bad as it is with me. The breeder sold my husband Paw, a carrier, he had no lesions. I was the first one to break out with them. Dr. said it was staph. 1 weeks later my Tinker Bell had lesions. The vet knew without a culture what it was. The next week all the cats but Paw had lesions and my shelti broke out.

My older cats had very little baths in their years. I too thought my Joy and Tinker Bell were going to die. The other cats took the baths much better. The new kitten Paw was no problem at all. You could tell the breeder had been bathing him. I think I will continue to give all the cats baths monthly. I think it helps them shed old hair and keep them cleaner.

I may not be the best person to give advice because 7 months later I still have Tinker Bell with dirt looking stains under her ears, no itching or discharge (she got this after all lesions went away) is it ringworm?? and Streek is acting like she has an allergy now, chewing 2 spots close to raw. She's never done this in 13 years. Saving up to take them to the vets again. All this after 3 months on very expensive itraconazole medication, fungus baths, topical treatment and all that cleaning. I wondered if the dirt looking stains on tinker Bell is ear mites?? I don't know. I could treat her with ketoconazole but I'm not sure what to do. I need an affordable vet with good experience. Is the cream you are using toxic if licked? I was using the non toxic stuff from bestPets under Tinks ears for 2 weeks again a week ago. It hasn't helped at all.
post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 
If the dirt's inside the ears it's probably mites. Haven't heard of ringworm in the ear, but what do I know? Are little oval gray "stains" on the ear that look like nothing more than dried dirty water but don't come off also ringworm? My kitten Wendy has that, and no one has a clue what it could be.

I got the Tresaderm from the vet, without the package insert, so I have to assume she knew it wasn't toxic and that cats will wash ears and toes. They are an all-cat practice so I trust them to know cat behavior.

I found a groomer at another vet who will dip our cats in lime sulfur if they need it, for $20-$30 per cat (depending on behavior). Four cats, twice a week, for who knows how many weeks.... that's scary math. But it's supposed to work. I think that as we're waiting, I'll see if she can do an antifungal shampoo on the Persians without clipping them.

How can you tell a carrier cat? Do they test positive but have no lesions? Do you cure a carrier cat that same a cat with lesions? I have been reading about ringworm for DAYS and I still am entirely confused.

I hope you have success with your new ketaconazole regime. It sounds really promising.
post #8 of 51
No, Tinker Bell doesn't have anything I can see inside her ear. The dirt looking stains are right above her eyes under the front part of her ears. I started putting malaseb spray on it today with a q tip. I'll go from there. I don't want to treat her with ketoconazol unless the vet confirms it's ringworm. She's had 3 months of itraconazol. I'm afraid to give her more oral meds because she seems very fragile.

The spots you describe sound like what Tinker Bell had on the outer part of her ear. She had a few that looked like that. It was ringworm. They cleared up eventually with the meds. I can not say that's what your Wendy has.

I looked up Tresaderm. Its PX only and treats several things including fungus. Did not find out if it is toxic. Yes your Vet would have told you I trust.

You are lucky to have the option to have a professional do the dips and such. It's a very messy job to do at home.

A ringworm carrier cat sometimes will not have any visible symptoms but is very contagious. Yes, If a fungus test had been done it should have have shown up positive. What makes me crazy is the tests are not always 100% conclusive. How we found out was almost everyone who had been around the kitten caught ringworm. I contacted the breeder. She admitted he did have ringworm. She treated him with human over the counter ringworm ointment and dandruff shampoo for 2 weeks. She never did any fungus tests. She was convinced he was cured and advised me to take him to a no kill shelter because she would not take him back. My pets are all indoor pets. I know the kitten was infected. A carrier can be cured but not always. Vet recommended to keep him on the oral meds until he had 2 neg tests. He had 4months of itraconazole, many fungus baths and 1 neg test. After the neuter and 1 neg test he broke out w/ 1 lesion. I gave him 5 days of malaseb spray 1week of ketoconazol 2 weeks isolation. Lesion healed in 6 days. The problem is I don't know if he is neg. He needs to be tested again.

I wish I had found the ketoconazole treatment before I used the itraconazole medication. Treatment would have been much cheaper and perhaps more successful.
post #9 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks! It certainly is a pain, isn't it? I know it's not leprosy or something deadly, but still.... ugh! I'll try to wash their toys in hot water and a little detergent. Better than nothing... Thanks!

The gray spots on Wendy's ear are probably ringworm, say the various vets I've been talking to all over town (mine is on vacation), but we can't say for sure, of course, so we can't start treatments. But if Tinker Bell had the same, that's pretty convincing.

I hear the lime sulfur dips are very effective. I hear they are too caustic to prescribe, and I then I hear from another vet that they are mild and safe! Even soothing! Few doctors here prescribe them; ringworm is rare here. I've talked to groomers in business for years who never saw a case. Even the giant animal hospital won't do "grooming." As if stinky medicinal dips are "grooming"! Anyway, finding a groomer who has done it and will do it again seems like a minor miracle even with the high cost. I'm going to have to wait another week to get my Persians in to see her for their Dermazole baths. BY then, we may have Wendy's results.

A lot of the vets here just use topicals plus oral medications, including griseofulvin, which I thought was off the market because the side effects can be so bad. I hope my cats can take something else. That stuff is scary.

Have you considered doing the dips? I don't know where you live, but with all those cats and other pets, you'd need a good-sized space where they could all dry.

My vet's partner doesn't want us to try vitamin supplements, colloidal silver or anything except the shampoos and topical lotion for now. They are telling me to wait for results. So we clean, shampoo, and wait.

I really hope you get some good news about your cats soon. This is too much for you to be going through!

That breeder who sold your husband the kitten sounds like a real winner. What she did is completely unprofessional, unethical and dangerous for her whole cattery and her clients.
post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
Finally figured out how to post photos in my "New Cats on the Block" entry. Here's the link, if you would like to meet the family (I had to include a photo of my Bunnelina, too.).

post #11 of 51
I do rescue work and have had two bouts of ringworm in about 5 years. While it is annoying, (mostly because it keeps me from being able to take my cats/kittens to adoptions), it will not kill my cats or make them gravely ill.

Ringworm usually resolves itself, (though it can take up to 3 mos.), and even though it is contagious, not every cat in the house will get it. It is also contagious to humans. I really don't understand your vets decision to just do topical and wait. Something clearly is amiss, so you should treat for everything. (Plus with the Persians in the house, measures really need to be taken.)

I would say that the scaly, dry patches are probably one of three things:
1.) mange
2.) flea dermatitis
3.) ringworm.

For the first two, treat with Revolution and repeat within two weeks and then again within two weeks. Revolution kills fleas AND ear mites AND mange. Have your vet give you some.

If it's ringworm, (and seriously, most vets should have seen it often enough to have an inkling as to what it is), then you should ask the vet for fluconazole. I'm not sure if I got the spelling right, but it is an oral medication. I recently had a kitten who got a perfect little ringworm circle on her ear - I treated with fluconazole pills, and Melassab topical flush and it resolved within about 3 weeks, which was shocking. She was iso'd from my other cats, (she was still in ISO when I noticed it), but to keep her from being lonely, I left her brother with her, and he never developed it. There may be some side effects with the fluconazole, I'm not honestly sure, but I used it here and it worked great.

Clean and vacuum as much as you can, but don't get an ulcer over it! Keep the kittens iso'd, and see if you can get going with the Rev and the Fluconozole.

post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Esther, for sharing your experience. It would be so great if my other three cats were spared ringworm, even if they can't be spared lots of baths and clipping.

My vet is on vacation and her partner doesn't want to give me anything until we have a positive result from the culture, even though there is clearly something wrong with both ears. And one claw. When my vet returns Monday, we will talk.

Wendy has 3 or 4 small (1/4" or so) roundish gray spots on her white ear that look like someone dripped dirty water on her ear that dried. The skin looks perfect except for being gray. The other ear has a small scabby area (less than 1/4") and a few more little pinhead-size spots that are kind of scabby, too. A little hair loss, although the vet clipped some for the culture. Vets and others tell me this could easily be ringworm. Or not....

I will ask about Revolution. And we'll put everyone on one of those pricey antifungal oral meds if get bad news from the culture. I can't isolate any cats because this apartment is small and it's too late anyway. Little spores are floating everywhere, I'm sure, despite all of my labors!

We're using Tresaderm on the kitten's ears, and I will try to rally the spouse to help give the kittens Dermazole baths tonight. As I wrote earlier, we were afraid we'd killed them last time but they just went limp in horror, I guess. Maybe it gets easier. Ha.

My biggest gripe is that I was trying to help my little ferals become very sociable and people-loving. Torturing them with meds (lots of worming meds for both) and baths is NOT helping the situation. I can't blame them if they start hating us, I would hate me, too!

We don't want to traumatize the old Persians with clipping until we know what we're up against, but I am trying to find a groomer who will give them Dermazole baths. We're too scared they'll go into cardiac arrest!
post #13 of 51
Originally Posted by Bunnelina View Post

I will ask about Revolution. And we'll put everyone on one of those pricey antifungal oral meds if get bad news from the culture. I can't isolate any cats because this apartment is small and it's too late anyway. Little spores are floating everywhere, I'm sure, despite all of my labors!

We're using Tresaderm on the kitten's ears, and I will try to rally the spouse to help give the kittens Dermazole baths tonight. As I wrote earlier, we were afraid we'd killed them last time but they just went limp in horror, I guess. Maybe it gets easier. Ha.

My biggest gripe is that I was trying to help my little ferals become very sociable and people-loving. Torturing them with meds (lots of worming meds for both) and baths is NOT helping the situation. I can't blame them if they start hating us, I would hate me, too!

We don't want to traumatize the old Persians with clipping until we know what we're up against, but I am trying to find a groomer who will give them Dermazole baths. We're too scared they'll go into cardiac arrest!

I had posted on another cat site the end of July.

I received a pm from a woman paramedic. She also took in a kitten with ringworm into her... I believe 5 pet home. All the pets caught ringworm. Nothing seemed to work until her vet recommended Revolution. Revolution is Not marketed for ringworm yet she said it started healing up the pets lesions within 3 days.

I could not afford to try revolution because All the animals would have to have heartworm tests prior to getting the revelution. I figured up it would cost about $400.00 for first dose for all my pets.

Here is that link discussing that treatment: http://www.i-love-cats.com/forums/ca...me-kitten.html

I feel the same way you do...going through the torture of treating the animals with meds, baths and isolation. Eventually they will heal and you can get past all this.
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 

I finally saw our regular, excellent vet last night. She'd been away for a week and a half. The ringworm culture is still negative at its halfway point of 10 days, but the vet thinks the spots on Wendy's ears will turn out to be ringworm. We're still waiting for the culture before we begin full-on treatment.

The kittens came with ShelterCare insurance free 30-day gift policies, and I am continuing the policies for about $30/month, total, in case we're slammed with treatment bills. This first month is only costing me $15 total, and I can cancel anytime.

My vet told me that oral Lamisil has just gone generic so it's less expensive now. (It used to be prohibitively expensive; for all I know, it's now just insanely expensive....) She would probably do pulse therapy with our cats: 15 days on, 15 off, which also will keep the cost down. She also has used fluconazole and itraconozole but will never use griseofulvin. We'll probably use Lamisil, because she thinks it's best. Her second choice is fluconazole.

She also told me that she would prescribe lime-sulfur dips only once a week, not twice, and that it should be done right after an antifungal shampoo. That's reassuring, because visits to the groomer will be very expensive and a huge hassle with four cats. She says the dips are essential to success.

She also said that the cats should not be clipped. "What groomer would even consider doing that?" she said. "Their fur is contaminated and those long hairs will fly everywhere... into their heating ducts and vents!" So I'm very relieved that the Persians and kittens won't have to look like yellow, smelly space aliens. Just yellow, smelly, cats. So far, the only visible signs of ringworm (or whatever it is) are on Wendy's ears and one toe.

I told her the recommended cleaning regimen in their handout, which is the same as the ones you read about online, was impossible in our place, and she said, "Yeah, that's the party line. You can only do the best you can."

She told me all this while she was coming down with the flu, and I was grateful she stayed in the office until nearly 9 to talk to me; if I come down with the flu, it was still worth it to be reassured about all this AND my two cats who have bad bouts of calicivirus with bloody ulcers in their mouths and throats. We're going to try famcyclovir, an antiviral, next. She says it treats herpes well, and doesn't know if it will work on this, but if does, it should happen quickly, with noticeable positive results. So fingers crossed.
post #15 of 51
How is everything? Is it still negative? Do you know how long they are going to let the fungus test run? I have read the longer it sits the more accurate the result is. 20+ days is best in my opinion. How long does your vet recommend?
post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 
Oh, what excellent timing! The vet called us 15 minutes ago — we were driving, on our way to see her — and told us the ringworm culture is positive. We were bringing both kittens because something suspicious is showing on the other kitten's nose. So it took 14 days; normally they wait 21, but I've read that 28 is safest.

The vet had us turn around and go home. We'll get a call from her later with the treatment plan, and I will keep you posted!

At least 2 weeks of cleaning and research were not in vain. I can't believe I'm actually RELIEVED to have a diagnosis because I can't stand not being able treat what I've been pretty darn sure is the fungus!
post #17 of 51
You said it. We touched base in perfect timing.

My vet threw out the fungal test after 10 days. That really upsets me. I wont go back to her.

I'm sorry the test was positive but Good work being prepared like you are. You have a head start on things. Now you need to pull out the big guns. I have a good feeling the dips are going to help heal much faster then the topical alone. Thank you for the update.

I'm taking my Tinker Bell to the vets early this week. The malaseb spray is not helping her ears at all. She has red streaks now on one ear. I stopped malaseb spray yesterday. I'm going to use best pets fungal spray until further recommendations from the vet.

Hang in there Bunnelina .
post #18 of 51
I want to add, My first very expensive vet wanted me to start full treatment the first day I went in to him. I was the one that said I will wait to see how I can keep the expense down and ordered that not very cheap bestpets fungus meds online and had to wait for it to arrive. By then I had a full outbreak here. I think your cleaning, the topical meds and such has helped you keep the fungus at bay. Fingers are crossed for you.
post #19 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your messages. I wish we had kept up with the antifungal shampoos as we waited, but with one kitten and one cat very sick with a virus, bathing (and chilling) any of them didn't seem like a good idea. Wendy only had two shampoos, and Possum had one. The Tresaderm ointment was supposed to help prevent infection, but clearly didn't do the job. And Possum has a virus, so his immune system is weaker than even a typical kitten's.

I've been horrified since I noticed a very faint gray oval developing on Possum's nose two days ago. It is larger but similar to the gray spots on Wendy's ears. That's why I was heading to the vet.

Soon I will call the groomer, who is the ONLY person in Boston willing to do lime-sulfur dips. I'm worried she might change her mind because of the two cats with viruses and because my vet wants them shampooed with Dermazole as well as dipped — but not clipped. I'm afraid the groomer will be worried about having a matted mess on her hands with our old guy, Snalbert, since he has a magnificent Persian coat. The other three are longhaired but nothing like him. I hope the groomer understands that the vet is trying to protect HER by not having clipped fur flying around her facility. If necessary I will resort to tears and bribery.

What I've learned from your experienice is to use every bit of ammo at my disposal NOW, and I'm not going to worry about the cost until I have to. I would rather do that from the beginning than have it drag on for additional months. While I LOATHE the idea of those dips, we will do them. And if the vet's protocol makes sense — and I bet it will because she's sharp and I'm usually right to trust her — we will follow it to the letter.

My dream (and I should be keeping it to myself) is to have our cats clear and house back to normal by Christmas Eve. That's probably impossible, but it would be so wonderful. In the meantime, I should be really grateful that we human don't have any lesions and there's nothing obvious on the older cats so far. I'll keep you posted when I hear from the vet.

I need to keep reminding myself that this is not fatal. Disgusting to ponder, but not deadly.
post #20 of 51
Your darling babies are very lucky to have you. With the big guns you have at your disposal, your smarts, money and very competent Vet, I'm sure you guys will kick this fungus right out of your lives soon.
post #21 of 51
Thread Starter 
It's lovely of you to say that, but I don't have to tell you how nasty this problem is, how difficult it is to treat, and how long it will take. I keep hoping that cleaning and worrying is storing up "good karma," but that's not a lot to hold on to!

And if anyone deserves to be done with it, you do!!!

If only life were fair.

Have you been getting results with the Pets Best yet, or is it too early to tell? I think their white sulfur, etc. sounds like a GREAT idea, but if my vet hasn't heard of it and can't find good studies on it, she won't use it. We'll do the tried-and-true.

I'm going to try to remember to ask her about Revolution and Program, just in case she is willing to deviate from her plan and try more drugs.

I'm not sure how much more my husband can take. We are currently giving pills, drops, oral gels, and powders to all four cats, in various forms and dosages. We also giving sub-Q fluids and force-feeding one cat and putting topical gel on two others. It's a lot to do and remember, especially in the morning, when we're not fully awake and he has to get to work. And we have to catch Wendy, who is still doing her feral thing. It's a pity I can't hold and pet her and help her come around. This ringworm hit at the worst time.

At least we won't be driving 350 miles to my family for Thanksgiving and then back the next day. We've been very politely disinvited because we may be contagious and I have fragile elderly relatives! And we'd have no one to take care of the cats anyway. So my husband gets a break from that, at least (I don't drive). We'll be dining with friends up here who aren't afraid of us (yet).
post #22 of 51
Wow, Bunnelina, what a trial you're going through right now.

I sure hope everyone mends as quickly as possible, and that no more lesions show up. *whew!*

post #23 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Auntie Crazy! I'm finding a lot of comfort by reading some of the older posts on ringworm here as I wait to hear from my vet. I appreciate the tips from posters who got through this successfully but didn't isolate their cats or pour 10% bleach solution over every item in their house.

There have been thoughtful posts about the logic of not doing those things, which are simply impossible for some of us to do. Given that the fungus is airborne and air circulates, even if the kitten is shut up in a room you're going to have spores everywhere. Isolating my kittens makes no sense: They've been everywhere for weeks, and my older cats and my whole little apartment have been thoroughly exposed. Too late! I'll just keep cleaning.

I have wooden floors, oriental rugs (at the cleaner), colorful upholstery, a heavy down comforter, 200 linear feet of books on shelves.... I can only bleach about 5% of my house, so what's the point?

So I'm going to buy some Health Guard and spray and launder with that. I've heard several strong recommendations here. If anyone has more tips please let me know! And thanks again for listening and just being here!
post #24 of 51
Originally Posted by Bunnelina View Post
... 200 linear feet of books on shelves....
That's a funny tidbit of information. I, too, enjoy reading. I have a room set aside as my "library" and, at last count, had over 1,500 books. I never thought to measure the shelves and describe my collection this way.
post #25 of 51
Thread Starter 
I measured them because we were thinking about moving to a (slightly) larger place and it helped us figure out where the books might fit when we went to open houses. I can't count how many books we have, but it's a ridiculous amount! We dusted about a third of them last weekend. More to do this weekend. Most belong to my husband; he's a scholar and is building a library on his subject, which is why we no longer fit in 800 square feet. But I'm guilty, too. We filled our trunk with discards last week for the used bookstores and got $100 in store credit and $15 in cash. For hundreds of dollars' worth of titles. Gee.

We're doing our Xmas shopping at the used bookstore this year!
post #26 of 51
Funny, funny. I can't imagine how many you have.

Mine are mostly paperback sci fi novels, but I have one bookcase devoted to animal topics alone (I have, in the past, assisted in rescuing/socializing/adopting out an incredible variety of animals, and owned some pretty interesting ones myself. Emperor scorpions, anyone? *grin*)

What's your husband's study topic, if you don't mind my asking?
post #27 of 51
Thread Starter 
He is an Egyptologist. He specializes in the Old Kingdom period, and the area around the Pyramids, with all the surrounding "mastaba" tombs. We met at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, back when I worked there, too. He got hooked on Egypt in 4th grade and settled his career plans at age 9.

Egyptian art is not in my Top 10, but it's much more interesting than many subjects I could think of. And so many of his colleagues are crazy!

There are plenty of scorpions in Egypt and I don't think either of us would be thrilled to have one in the house! I hope you didn't try to socialize it.
post #28 of 51
Originally Posted by Bunnelina View Post
He is an Egyptologist.

Egyptian art is not in my Top 10, but it's much more interesting than many subjects I could think of. And so many of his colleagues are crazy!

There are plenty of scorpions in Egypt and I don't think either of us would be thrilled to have one in the house! I hope you didn't try to socialize it.
Very interesting. And I'll bet his colleagues are true characters.

As to the scorpions - Emperors are pretty laid back to begin with. And being what they are, they're pretty hard to traumatize, so no, no socializing efforts were necessary.
post #29 of 51
Thread Starter 
So we waited all day, beginning at 8 am, for my vet to call and tell us about the ringworm treatment. I had a list of questions. We checked in with her office twice, and both times she was busy, so we waited until we absolutely had to leave to get to the pharmacy to pick up Sporanox. All we'd heard was that we needed to get that at the local children's hospital. So we get to CVS, and the label on the bottle says that dosage instructions were FAXED to us. We've never had a fax machine. Of course, the vet called our home while we were at CVS and never tried our cell number, which we carefully provided.

So we've got four cats who really need treatment, a bottle of Sporanox, and no dosage info. And no clue about what else we're supposed to do. Our beautiful little kitten, Possum, is developing a large lesion right on his nose, his first lesion, and we are desperate to treat it. Now it looks like we'll miss two whole days.

I mentioned to the vet's assistant that we were running out of topical ointment for the lesions, and that it's not working anyway, but of course we heard no response about that, either.

I slid a big, desperate note under the vet's door tonight. If they are boarding cats and they use that door, they'll see it tomorrow, maybe.

If I had been able to speak to the vet today, I could have ordered or purchased everything we'll need for treatment, and scheduled their first medicinal bath/dip appt., which might have even been tomorrow, Sunday, because we're doing them on the groomer's days off.

So then we spent a miserable hour and a half in the ER at Boston's huge, expensive animal hospital, listening to some poor child screaming in hysterics the whole time because she wasn't ready to put the family dog to sleep. The entire time we were there... heartbreaking. A nice but harried vet finally gave us dosage info, but when I checked it at home against Sporanox's online drug info, the doses seem too high. Since Snalbert already may have liver issues from not eating, I'm doubly afraid of this dosage info, and it doesn't sound like what I remember the vet assistant rattling off when she told us to pick the stuff up.

I got on Google when we got home. I hunted down the home phone of the head of the vet practice and left a pleading message. I think she's away. I found out our vet's address, but not her number. Half-tempted to bang on her door.... I think I found out where her parents live in the Midwest. Do I call them? I am not a stalker, just a fed-up, desperate, exhausted woman trying to take care of sick cats.

Most vets in Boston don't have an emergency or after-hours on-call service, and that means their patients are left high and dry in desperate situations. We are all supposed to go to that hospital, but if they haven't seen your cats, they charge about $185 just for starters.

We just went through an even worse Saturday night drama in September when Bunnelina started having seizures (we didn't know what they were at the time, thought it was heart problems or trouble breathing) after we gave her chemo on Labor Day weekend. We wound up in that same ER, and a nice young vet we'd never seen before guided us to put her to sleep.

We weren't able to talk to our vet for days after that, because of the holiday and her schedule, and we were devastated and guilt-ridden, thinking that we'd acted too soon and done the wrong thing. By the time we learned Bunny had been having seizures, and we'd done the right thing, we were emotional wrecks.

I can't take another Saturday night crisis. I hate the idea of becoming a regular client at that big, scary hospital, but I'm not sure I have a choice if I want what's best for my cats.
post #30 of 51
Sweetie, HANG IN THERE!!!!!!! I am so sorry about your perfectly horrible day! Keep breathing and don't let circumstances beat you!:vibes :
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