Ringworm - encouragement needed please

noani

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Hi everyone.

My poor little rescue's saga continues. Now that his wound has finally healed after five weeks, he's developed a ringworm sore.

I've been to two vets and consulted with a third via phone.
1st vet did sort of basic UV lamp and said some spores are there but only on the edges, she suggested a chlorhexidine foam for kind of sponging and massaging to get the crust off. (Thursday)

I wasn't convinced on just chlorhexidine, but then his appetite almost disappeared, he doesn't want to play and just seems out of sorts. So I was worried and took him to a clinic. (Saturday). They did a culture, woods lamp, temp, all that. They prescribed a topical treatment but it's out of stock everywhere so we had to get miconazole cream for humans. He also get an immune system booster med, Ribes for itching and skin health and some vitamins.

I've done (probably too much research) and got myself freaked out. Just after wound care is done, there's this, and I'm exhausted from washing, cleaning, worrying about him, about it spreading to my resident cat, and in general the open lesion.

I could handle the near fatal wound and subsequent care much better. I have severe anxiety about health and germs, and all I've read is how insidious these spores are and I'm losing sleep. I'm also constantly worrying the treatment and asking myself if an oral treatment or more aggresive topical than a cream for humans wouldn't be more effective. The vet said she wants to try topical and reinforcing immune system first, as he's also had antibiotics recently for the wound and infection.

I'm at a loss right now, I love this little guy to bits but I am so grossed out by it and so panicked about coming into contact with the spores.

My body is telling me there is no way I can keep up the deep cleaning daily like a madwoman, and he's been in a cone for over five weeks now. He won't play, eats much less, I'm just worried about it all and it's torturing me.

Is there anyone who's had experience with a small lesion that seems localized in just one spot, maybe due to antibiotics too, that has an experience of "it wasn't that bad and we got it under control easily" to share?

My ocd is over the roof and I'm unable to think about anything else than invisible spores everywhere. Plus not eating much(he's a literal food crazy little cat and will devour whatever usually). He's been isolated for five weeks already because of resident cat and him still having a cone.

I was thinking of asking for a systemic antifungal to be added but doc was reluctant as it's small and he's been through so many meds with the infected wound.

Googling and reading here have of course just made it worse . If anyone could tell me look, it's not actually that bad and it'll clean up soon... That would be fantastic.

I have 30 euro to my name now with all the bills from the last month of his surgery, vet care, meds, so I don't know what I could even realistically do right now as I'll have to wait for Monday to ask for an advance from my employer.
It just feels never ending, vastly different instructions from vets, the eating and playing issue, and invisible pathogens which is the biggest trigger of anxiety and some times panic attacks even for me.

Can anyone tell me looks it's one contained lesion only? The more I read the more paranoid I get and it's taking an incredible roll on my mental health.
 
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neely

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I'm sorry you're going through this health issue with your cat. Please try not to worry since there is light at the end of the tunnel and ringworm is not life-threatening. TCS has an excellent Article with advice and helpful information especially this tip:
"Learn about ringworm (you’re doing that right now!) but don’t obsess. You’re all going to be fine!"
How to Deal with Ringworm in Cats [Inc. the Housecleaning Regime] – TheCatSite Articles

A very long time ago one of our first cats that we adopted came down with ringworm. I had never had a cat with ringworm before and everything turned out okay. In fact, I ended up getting a lesion myself but treated it and survived. We had another cat at the time and fortunately he never contacted it.

Here ae several threads that may have some supportive advice for you:
This has to be ringworm right?
Ringworm outbreak, need reassurance...
Chronic Ringworm Nightmare

Please take care of yourself, sending special thoughts and healing vibes to your cat. :vibes::vibes::vibes:
 

Mamanyt1953

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neely neely got you the information I was going to look for, so I'm only going to offer my encouragement! You have done so well so far, you'll handle this like a CHAMP! Wash hands well, up to mid-arm, just to be sure, follow the information in the article. And I get worrying about germs...I do. Think of it like this...these spores are not germs, they are more like really ill-tempered plants! You know you aren't going to let some blooming idiot get the best of you!
 

gilmargl

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Just to give you some encouragement; ringworm is not the end of the world! There are far worse things that a cat owner may have to deal with. I have had stray cats and rescued cats in my home for over 40 years and ringworm has turned up 3 or 4 times, maybe more. My floors are carpeted and I am not a meticulous cleaner. Treatment has changed over the years but was always successful. As far as I could tell, getting the cat back into a good condition - solving all other health issues, good quality nutrition and favorable living conditions - perhaps helped as much as the medication itself.

The only occasion (and the last time I've had a ringworm problem) when it may have been transferred from one cat to another, was when I was fostering young kittens, without their mothers. There was one long-haired kitten, who may have started it all, but a very weakened kitten developed the typical symptoms. All the kittens were treated - the room where they were living was not kept scrupulously clean - impossible with lively kittens running about. The ringworm cleared up completely.

Ringworm spores are everywhere but only a real danger in large quantities. You cannot rid your house and garden completely of the beasts. You have done so well up to now, don't let the little blighters get you down! (Where on earth did that word come from? I hope it's still politically correct :)

Good luck.
 

Antonio65

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As I told you before, I would go with a systemic treatment. It's a bit expensive, but really effective.
I treated both my cats, on two different occasions/years for the same condition, and it never relapsed.
They were both very young and small, one was a little older than 3 months old, the other one was even younger.

Both had been previously treated for parasites and were a little underweight.
Her immune system was boosted with a supplement I bought OTC from the local pharmacy, Stimulfos for cats. I used it also during the vaccination period, to boost their immune system.

All went well. The topic solutions couldn't work completely if the spores have already landed somewhere else.
The chlorhexidine may work fine, but if the cat licks it, it can make the cat a little off food.
 

di and bob

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I was a school nurse for many years and dealt with MANY children with ringworm. I never got it, it seemed the only children that did were in very close contact with the symptomatic children. like actually touching them during play, etc. Once the cream was started and all exposed lesions were covered with a bandaid, they returned to school. I guess what i'm trying to say is if anyone should have got it I should have, I saw at least a couple of cases a month. Just make sure you wash your hand after any physical contact, and if you DO get a lesion, keep it covered with a bandaid and apply that fungal cream and you will be fine. I'm actually surprised it is ringworm. What I have seen, it spreads very rapidly. It's almost unheard of to have just one lesion. One would turn into 6 in a matter of a day. You are very lucky.
 

Ashanti

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Ring worm is uncomfortable but not life threatening. Clean the best you can each day. Follow treatment directions form you vet. Also it's ok not to be ok and to take a day off cleaning if you need it. I live with severe anxiety about illnesses myself and I have to constantly counter what my anxiety tells me with facts. You've got this.
 
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noani

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Thank you so much everyone.
All your answers have helped a lot to tell my anxiety "see, it's not that bad, you're outnumbered now so pipe down".

I'm sorry you're going through this health issue with your cat. Please try not to worry since there is light at the end of the tunnel and ringworm is not life-threatening. TCS has an excellent Article with advice and helpful information especially this tip:
"Learn about ringworm (you’re doing that right now!) but don’t obsess. You’re all going to be fine!"
How to Deal with Ringworm in Cats [Inc. the Housecleaning Regime] – TheCatSite Articles

A very long time ago one of our first cats that we adopted came down with ringworm. I had never had a cat with ringworm before and everything turned out okay. In fact, I ended up getting a lesion myself but treated it and survived. We had another cat at the time and fortunately he never contacted it.

Here ae several threads that may have some supportive advice for you:
This has to be ringworm right?
Ringworm outbreak, need reassurance...
Chronic Ringworm Nightmare

Please take care of yourself, sending special thoughts and healing vibes to your cat. :vibes::vibes::vibes:
Thank you! I read the article and it was very informative, as well as not too scary :) I'll check out the links to the threads one by one.

neely neely got you the information I was going to look for, so I'm only going to offer my encouragement! You have done so well so far, you'll handle this like a CHAMP! Wash hands well, up to mid-arm, just to be sure, follow the information in the article. And I get worrying about germs...I do. Think of it like this...these spores are not germs, they are more like really ill-tempered plants! You know you aren't going to let some blooming idiot get the best of you!
Thank you!!!
This helped put it into perspective and your all around encouragement has really made a difference, so thank you very much.

Just to give you some encouragement; ringworm is not the end of the world! There are far worse things that a cat owner may have to deal with. I have had stray cats and rescued cats in my home for over 40 years and ringworm has turned up 3 or 4 times, maybe more. My floors are carpeted and I am not a meticulous cleaner. Treatment has changed over the years but was always successful. As far as I could tell, getting the cat back into a good condition - solving all other health issues, good quality nutrition and favorable living conditions - perhaps helped as much as the medication itself.

The only occasion (and the last time I've had a ringworm problem) when it may have been transferred from one cat to another, was when I was fostering young kittens, without their mothers. There was one long-haired kitten, who may have started it all, but a very weakened kitten developed the typical symptoms. All the kittens were treated - the room where they were living was not kept scrupulously clean - impossible with lively kittens running about. The ringworm cleared up completely.

Ringworm spores are everywhere but only a real danger in large quantities. You cannot rid your house and garden completely of the beasts. You have done so well up to now, don't let the little blighters get you down! (Where on earth did that word come from? I hope it's still politically correct :)

Good luck.
Thank you! I was very worried about the cleaning. I am lucky to have all tile floors (very common in southern Italy) but I'm hesitant to use aggressive cleaners like diluted bleach as he is confined to that room and how would I do so in a safe way?

As I told you before, I would go with a systemic treatment. It's a bit expensive, but really effective.
I treated both my cats, on two different occasions/years for the same condition, and it never relapsed.
They were both very young and small, one was a little older than 3 months old, the other one was even younger.

Both had been previously treated for parasites and were a little underweight.
Her immune system was boosted with a supplement I bought OTC from the local pharmacy, Stimulfos for cats. I used it also during the vaccination period, to boost their immune system.

All went well. The topic solutions couldn't work completely if the spores have already landed somewhere else.
The chlorhexidine may work fine, but if the cat licks it, it can make the cat a little off food.
He can't lick it with the cone luckily. He's getting supplements as well as topical treatment. Due to his recent history with surgery, injury, antibiotics, all the meds both vets I have seen haven't felt comfortable prescribing oral medication due to side effects and his already weakened state.
If it doesn't seem to improve in some days, I'll use the advance from my employer to reconsult with one of them or go for a third vet.

I was a school nurse for many years and dealt with MANY children with ringworm. I never got it, it seemed the only children that did were in very close contact with the symptomatic children. like actually touching them during play, etc. Once the cream was started and all exposed lesions were covered with a bandaid, they returned to school. I guess what i'm trying to say is if anyone should have got it I should have, I saw at least a couple of cases a month. Just make sure you wash your hand after any physical contact, and if you DO get a lesion, keep it covered with a bandaid and apply that fungal cream and you will be fine. I'm actually surprised it is ringworm. What I have seen, it spreads very rapidly. It's almost unheard of to have just one lesion. One would turn into 6 in a matter of a day. You are very lucky.
Jesus, 6? Hoping that doesn't happen. So far so good. It seems to be staying localized in that one area.

Ring worm is uncomfortable but not life threatening. Clean the best you can each day. Follow treatment directions form you vet. Also it's ok not to be ok and to take a day off cleaning if you need it. I live with severe anxiety about illnesses myself and I have to constantly counter what my anxiety tells me with facts. You've got this.
Thank you! Facts and all your support help a lot with countering the anxiety actually. I was feeling so disheartened because his wound had literally just closed a day before and then this lesion appeared so it's back to more treatment, more cone, more isolation. It's a bit overwhelming, like everything that is resolved suddenly three new things come up.
 
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noani

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I've been obsessing all day about the treatment. On the one hand, I don't want to treat him with something too aggressive with possible side effects that oral antifungal meds could have.
On the other, I'm so worried that the current approach of boosting immune system and skin health combined with an antifungal cream for humans isn't aggressive enough to keep it under control and it will just spread, on him (poor baby, he needs to come out of the cone), on me (I don't care about that part much actually), on Charly (terrified of this).

I'm now considering calling the vet in the morning to ask again if he can just have oral meds. I'm so so scared of it getting completely out of control and possibly taking a very long time. He's been in isolation and a cone for over five weeks already. It's not good for him and I'm just terrified in general of this stuff spreading and getitng worse and out of control
 

flcat

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Ringworm? Simple issue, would not even worry about it at all.

I am in the rescue/TNR business, I come across ringworm often enough.

Once topical treatment starts, it is not contagious like 72 hours or so after topical treatment.
 
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noani

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Ringworm? Simple issue, would not even worry about it at all.

I am in the rescue/TNR business, I come across ringworm often enough.

Once topical treatment starts, it is not contagious like 72 hours or so after topical treatment.
Thank you for huge sigh of relief that this answer caused :)

Do you have any experience ever using any topical treatment that is in theory intended for humans?

Where I am (Sicily, Italy) there is a shortage of topical antifungal treatment for cats. So the vet made me get miconal, a miconazole cream for humans, which I'm putting on after cleaning the lesion with chlorhexidine foam and trying to remove the crust as instructed by vet.
(He is in a cone so he can't lick off the cream).

I'm a bit confused as I've read online so much that even with aggressive treatment they stay contagious about 3 weeks :(

Applying the cream for that long would mean the cone for that long. That is just... So cruel :(
That's why I'm starting to really consider pushing for oral meds for this too. But I just don't know anymore.

At least the two cats seem relaxed enough about it all :)
 

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fionasmom

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Miconazole and chlorhexidine are very common ringworm remedies here as well. I do see that applying three weeks worth of cream is going to be difficult; however, the cats do not appear to be suffering. ;) The one little baby looks like the cone is just not a big deal. I don't blame you for wanting something like itraconazole though.
 
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noani

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Miconazole and chlorhexidine are very common ringworm remedies here as well. I do see that applying three weeks worth of cream is going to be difficult; however, the cats do not appear to be suffering. ;) The one little baby looks like the cone is just not a big deal. I don't blame you for wanting something like itraconazole though.
I kind of do want it so he can come out of the cone and I can put my mind at ease about not going too lightly on this, but on the other hand I'm wary of side effects as the vet said.

I've gotten into a cleaning routine which isn't very excessive and I worry it's not enough. I can't use bleach in that room safely, it's just not possible. So I'm resorting to swiffer, frequent mopping and washing sheets that cover the furniture often.

He's not excited about me treating the lesion but he's semi compliant and overall a very good cat when it comes to medication and topical treatment.

I am taking pictures daily and I've decided to wait a few days to see how he responds to this treatment. I'll reconsult with the vet over the phone soon though and see what she says.
 

flcat

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Thank you for huge sigh of relief that this answer caused :)

Do you have any experience ever using any topical treatment that is in theory intended for humans?

Where I am (Sicily, Italy) there is a shortage of topical antifungal treatment for cats. So the vet made me get miconal, a miconazole cream for humans, which I'm putting on after cleaning the lesion with chlorhexidine foam and trying to remove the crust as instructed by vet.
(He is in a cone so he can't lick off the cream).

I'm a bit confused as I've read online so much that even with aggressive treatment they stay contagious about 3 weeks :(

Applying the cream for that long would mean the cone for that long. That is just... So cruel :(
That's why I'm starting to really consider pushing for oral meds for this too. But I just don't know anymore.

At least the two cats seem relaxed enough about it all :)
I use miconazole 1%, but I think for humans
Thank you for huge sigh of relief that this answer caused :)

Do you have any experience ever using any topical treatment that is in theory intended for humans?

Where I am (Sicily, Italy) there is a shortage of topical antifungal treatment for cats. So the vet made me get miconal, a miconazole cream for humans, which I'm putting on after cleaning the lesion with chlorhexidine foam and trying to remove the crust as instructed by vet.
(He is in a cone so he can't lick off the cream).

I'm a bit confused as I've read online so much that even with aggressive treatment they stay contagious about 3 weeks :(

Applying the cream for that long would mean the cone for that long. That is just... So cruel :(
That's why I'm starting to really consider pushing for oral meds for this too. But I just don't know anymore.

At least the two cats seem relaxed enough about it all :)
I only use Miconazole 1%, for humans I believe it is 2%, have no idea if double the amount is an issue or not.

I have no idea where the three week contagious period comes from, I have ran across reading this as well, but it is 48 hours, but I give 72, for it not to be contagious with topical meds, if applied properly. One issue that comes up often is that not every area of ringworm is found on the pet, thus can be treating one or two spots, but missing the spot on a paw because covered in fur.
 
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noani

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So how long would I continue the topical treatment with miconazole after those 72 hours? I combine it with chlorhexidine sponging to get rid of debri and crusty buildup.

The vet recommended getting the human one as Sicily is like completely out of cat specific. It's often an issue with supply here unfortunately. She did tell me he absolutely needs to wear a cone with this treatment so he is 100% unable to lick it.

He's luckily the cuddliest cat I have ever met and I do check him thoroughly (a tad obsessively maybe) for other lesions. I'm hoping the location on his bum combined with the cone doesn't allow for major spreading to other areas. I'm also trying to wash the couch cover every day and clean as much as possible in general. I have also started having a set of "Yoda clothes" inside and living room clothes outside, so I basically strip when changing rooms and head straight to the shower when I've been in with him for longer stretches of time.

He's also getting supplements for immune system (I've put both cats on it to be safe, despite the high cost), plus a vitamin paste as well as a product based on Ribes for general skin and coat health and reducing the itching.

He seems more comfortable today already, he is back to eating normally (i.e. devour whatever I put out for him where he was very hesitant to eat anything for days) and tonight he started becoming playful again. He had lots of pent up energy so we played for a long time and the cats have started playing pawsies under the door again today. So he seems to be feeling better.

I'm hoping this will pass without further lesions. In that case I guess we'd be forced to get oral treatment somehow. I just really can't figure out which is the better course of action. There's so much conflicting information out there and it's driving me mad at times.
Try to get all aggressively under control with oral meds or go the soft, topical, internally more holistic route?

Seeing him happier and more lively and hungry today has helped a lot in easing my mind. Him being comfy is my number one priority(along with protecting resident cat). The resident cat has had issues with bald patches now and again so he is on cyclical Ribes treatment and zinc and biotin supplement paste continuously which has cleared his issues completely and left his skin and coat absolutely thriving (people often comment he feels like velvet when they pet him) so I'm hoping he's in a good starting condition. They also both get nutritional yeast sometimes on their food.

They both get high quality grain free food, mostly wet, the occasional treat of some (again grain free) kibble. I've done so much research into nutrition (raw/homecooked are not doable for me) and have spreadsheets upon spreadsheets figuring out calories, nutrients, micronutrients to make sure it's all always balanced.

I'm not so much worried about me or my partner getting it (seems easy enough to treat and I can take discomfort), except that in that case I may be more likely to spread it to resident cat charly. So me and my partner have started a round of zinc supplements and generally trying to boost our immune systems too. My mum kindly pitched in with sending us these from Germany as they are unavailable in Italy. It's been my family's kind of secret weapon for anything immune related and cold / flu season for decades so im hopeful it will help us in this scenario too.

Fingers crossed this passes quickly. I was looking at the pictures of his wound when we first picked him up to take to the clinic for surgery and the five weeks of recovery. And it helped. If I could handle that and help him heal with minimal scarring, no further complications, while keeping him comfy and both cats calm, I guess I should be more than capable of overcoming this easily. Compared to THAT, this should be a walk in the park, right?
 
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OllieBoy99

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I had to deal with ringworm for about 1.5 months when I just adopted my kitten. Luckily it was just the tip of his tail and never spread but we did a PCR to confirm and my vet prescribed oral med called terbinafine. She said this was better than itraconazole bc it wasn’t as harsh on the liver. I also bathed him with chlorohexidine and miconizole shampoo 2-3 times a week and tried to scrub that section on the tail. His hair started to grow back within a week and by 3 weeks, he was pretty much all better. I did isolate him tho and cleaned the room 2-3 times a day with bleach and rescue disinfectant. It’s frustrating but not the end of the world! There was a awesome research article that I read many times on what was effective against ringworm. Let me see if I can find it again.
 

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Here is the name. Type it in and see if you can find the full article. It has sections on oral Medications and cleaning regiments, including what has been proven to work well.

Diagnosis and treatment of dermatophytosis in dogs and cats.
 

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I can't use bleach in that room safely, it's just not possible.
You don't need to use bleach, even because that smell is really bad and could lead a cat to spray urine around.
Use a quaternary ammonium, instead. It's effective against bacteria, most viruses, fungi and other parasites (even Giardia). I bought Steramina Casa, you can find it easily in most shops, or online. The smell is wonderful, and it's really effective. I got rid of Giardia in my house with that.
 
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