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Probable Ringworm in 4 week old Orphan

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I took in a litter or 4 abandoned kittens that are between 4-5 weeks old that a friend found in a box.  Since I work in an animal shelter I thought I would be able to place them for adoption without a problem. However when I brought them into the Shelter they noticed something that I had not.  One of the little ones was missing some fur on one of her legs. Obviously they couldn't risk taking them in and I'm now caring for them in my home. The little 'suspect' was evaluated by a vet but the culture won't be back for another week.  She is on a topical cream and her fur is coming back already in only the couple of days I've been putting the cream on her.

 

I have her separated from her littermates but I'm asuming that the others probably have it too even though they are asymtematic at this point.

 

I plan on staring everone of on Melaseb baths this weekend since I didn't want to just treat her and find out a few weeks down the road that one of her siblings definitely has it too.  Is this safe to do for kittens so young?

 

These babies have never been free in my house at this point but always contained in carriers and crates.  My own cats haven't been in contact with them as they're on a different floor, but the dogs have had minimal contact.  They haven't touched any of the kittens or any object that would have touched the kittens.  Can they get this too just by being in somewhat close proximity to the inflected kittens?

 

I'm really confused at this point as I've been reading real horror stories about ringworm and that I need to put the kittens in a totally separate room away from everyone else.  This isn't really feasible for me. In other places I've heard that you just need to be cautious, use gloves when handling them and wash everything they touch thoroughly with a bleach solution and use good sanitation.

 

In addition to all my other worries about my own furkids, I have a 99 year old Mother in the house who I'm trying to keep away from them as well.

 

I know that everyones experience is different but what should I really expect and how concerned should I be, particuarly about the dogs who share the same space as the kittens?

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 4
I would be more concerned about you passing it on to the dogs, other cats & your mom, especially before you knew they had ringworm. Try to wear different outer clothing when handling the kittens from other members of your household.
I don't think of ringworm as anything horrific, having had it myself (from our cat) as a child and we just put on anti-fungal cream and got over it pretty quickly. I always thought it was one of the more minor "illnesses" one could pick up from animals. Mind you, I understand your concern particularly with your mom and you don't want the hassle of all the other animals picking it up either.
I don't know about the Melaseb for kittens 5 weeks old. Is there anyone at the shelter who would know for sure about that?
post #3 of 4

If the fur is coming back after only a few days, it doesn't sound like ringworm. Was the area scaly in appearance?   Did the vet use a blacklight? Not at all conclusive, I know, but it can help.

 

I've dealt with ringworm several times with fosters and found it varies from one outbreak to another and I don't know why.  In your place, I would isolate as much as possible.  Can you put up barricades so the dogs aren't by the crates?  As you know, ringworm spreads by airborne spores so you can spread it just by walking over a pieces of carpet that has had a ringwormed cat sitting on it, it's that invasive.

 

I don't know about the Melesab baths. Perhaps the shelter vet can advise.  It's a shame they are too young for oral medication.  I've had good results with topical treatment of Lamisil, although you don't want to put it on an area where the kitten, or one of its siblings is going to lick it off.

 

Change your clothes and put in the wash after handling the kittens and don't touch your hair until you've used a hand sanitizer. Lots of chlorox, as you know, and launder daily everything you can in their area. It's a load of work but having it spread is far, far more work.

 

When checking out the kittens, remember to look in folds of skin such as under their armpits, in their groin area, under their chin and between their toes.

 

Thank you for taking care of these little ones, and good luck. Keep in touch so you can rant as needed.
 

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your replies and good advice.

 

I've starting putting up gates around their crates to keep the curious dogs away and put on another layer of outer clothes when with the babies.  The three that are isolated look great.  I know it doesn't really mean anything but they show no symtoms at all.  The little calico girl is doing ok.  The fur is definitely coming back but now I notice she seems to be losing it under her tail. She had no scaling at all, the skin had looked pink and healthy, just the hair loss but the area under her tail does look somewhat raw to me.

 

The Vet didn't use a blacklight.  He just took hair and folicles to culture for ten days. That was last Monday so we should have definitive results by next Friday.

 

They are absolutley adorable.  Both girls are dilute calicos; the boys are a tuxedo and and white and grey tabby.  They've started eating solid wet food today and use the little box now too. 

 

Thanks for the support.

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