So Discouraged with Ringworm

1917farmgirl

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Hi, I'm brand new here, but I'm so unsure of what to do I joined just so I could ask for advice. And this will probably be a long post. Sorry.

First off, until 3 weeks ago I had 2 cats. Felix is nearing 15 and is treated daily for inflammatory bowel disorder, but when all his meds are working right he has the energy and zest of a much younger cat. Leroy is 8ish and overweight. (We are trying to work in that but he stays stubbornly fat.) So needless to say I watch their health very closely.

Almost three weeks ago I adopted a new kitten. Leroy terrorized him for half a week and then they were fast friends. Felix got very, VERY stressed. He stopped eating which meant he wasn't getting his meds, wouldn't drink water, just lay on my bed all day. I thought at one point I might lose him. Made a vet appointment as soon as I could. By the time we got in he was eating a little. They gave him fluids and did blood work and everything came back good. He was just seriously depressed and throwing a fit.

He gradually started eating, was getting used to the little guy by the time we hit the 2 week mark and I was starting to think we were okay.

My new little guy came slightly shorter fur around his eyes, which were sometimes a little runny. The adoption place said he was found as a baby with very infected eyes but the vet had cleared him and they just might always be a little runny. I was worried, not wanting to bring anything home to my others, but he also needed a home so... Anyway we were settling in, had all been together and getting used to interacting, when I got a call from the adoption place. Their vet had called and Ollie had tested positive for ringworm.

I took them all to my vet that same say. He only acted semi-worried but everything on the internet makes it seem like the apocalypse. The two older cats aren't showing any signs of it. Ollie has no new sores or really any that I've seen since I got him. Just the healed fur that was almost all grown back when I got him.

Ollie is isolated and getting ointment and baths. The older two are isolated together and getting baths. And everyone was give a supplement for their food to help their skin and fur. And I've been trying to clean like mad but everything is going wrong.

So here are all my questions and furstrations because I don't know what to do.

No one is doing well. Ollie has cried so much he made himself sick and we went back to the vet for a shot for an upper respiratory infection. He's so sad and lonely. Leroy is depressed. And Felix has stopped eating and drinking again. No one will eat the supplement from the vet, Felix isn't getting his meds for IBD or drinking enough. I've tried tempting with everything under the sun but no.

I'm trying so hard to clean, but my vacuum just broke. I'm also a music teacher and we are starting out musical right now. I'm at school from 7 am until 9 at night, then trying to bath and medicate 3 cats who all have to be fed separately for a disease I can't even see any signs off but is apparently all over my house. Then I try to clean until I drop at about 1 am. Everyone's health seems to be declining instead of getting better, and I'm so worried about Felix again. So what is worse? Ringworm and trying to stop it, or pets who won't eat, are sinking into depression, and me only getting 3 hours of sleep a night as I try to wash and sanitize everything and still do my job at school?

I can't do this. And they just aren't coping with the isolation stress. What do I do?

Please help!
Farmgirl
 

flybear

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Get boric acid ( and plain borax for the laundry) ... Borax and boric acid ( Borax basically has additive - plain boric acid powder doesn't ) kills fungi like nobody's business - you can spray it onto about anything. Use it in the laundry and the plain boric acid can be used as a diluted wound wash even ( there are recipes for eye washes online that can be used to wipe around eyes ) . , on Cat furniture, carpets ... If they all got it ... you can keep them together ... you would treat them all anyways ... there is no point to isolate anyone ... make them comfy and as stress free as possible, keep up the treatment ... no need to cause more stress. Can you pill your cat for meds? I find pills MUCH easier than trying to make them eat medicated anything ... There are videos online that can show you how - ask the vet to do pills instead of food mix ins ... ( my cats would not eat anything that is medicated) ... I wrap pills in a thin layer of American slices cheese to make them go down easier ... but even plain pills go down even with tiny kittens ...Eating and drinking and feeling well is more important than ring worm and should be the first priority .. ringworm is pesky but not deadly ... My cats love broths for fluids when they under the weather after vaccinations.
 

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Here is an article from Cornell U. I know that some ferals self- resolve so I feel that stress is the worst enemy right now. You should consider backing off of treatments and restore harmony.
gastric
 
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1917farmgirl

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How do I find the article?

And thank you both so much for the advice and for listening.
 

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nurseangel

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I don't know much about ringworm, but I am so sorry you and your cats are going through this. Bless you for adopting Ollie and please come on here for support anytime. I hope everything gets better for you soon. :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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1917farmgirl

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Thank you to everyone for the info and support and suggestions!

I'm still trying to finish the once over thorough cleaning of my house. Which means I haven't done any grading, or prepping my online class sites incase we have to go online because of Covid. The laundry mounds are insane and my fridge is full of spoiled veggies from my garden that I didn't have time to can. :(

Felix won't even really leave his cat bed today and barely touched his food - he's completely depressed. I stopped giving the older cats the suplement in their food because I feel like they need to eat more than they need that during this time of stress. Both older cats still aren't showing any signs of infection. After reading everything I can find on the internet, there are a million different thoughts. They could be in the clear. They could be asymptomatic carriers. They could have groomed it off. Or they could have gotten infected in the very last hour they were around Ollie and since it's only been 5 days since they were separated, they won't show signs for another week and a half.

But based on everything I read it says healthy adult cats are more likely to be resistant to it. And if we continue on this way no one will be healthy.

I've ordered a blacklight flashlight and it should be here tomorrow. The internet said it can show most kinds of ringworm. Gonna scan them with it tomorrow and if nothing shows I think I will take the risk of letting Felix and Leroy back out into my house (once I finish the thorough cleaning.). At this rate I'm not sure Felix would survive the isolation so I feel that's the greater threat.

Gonna scan Ollie too. If he shows as clean will let him out too, and hope for the best and continue cleaning the best I can. Because he is the saddest little kitten ever right now.

If they all light up like Vegas I'm not sure what I will do, because isolation until it's all gone might kill us all.
 

catsknowme

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Excellent plan! If they were all full of sores, then I would understand the full on battle but I belong to a FB group of rescuers & they have pretty much convinced me that ringworm should not be a death sentence for kittens who land in the kill-shelter.
 

Cinci

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Get boric acid ( and plain borax for the laundry) ... Borax and boric acid ( Borax basically has additive - plain boric acid powder doesn't ) kills fungi like nobody's business - you can spray it onto about anything. Use it in the laundry and the plain boric acid can be used as a diluted wound wash even ( there are recipes for eye washes online that can be used to wipe around eyes ) . , on Cat furniture, carpets ... If they all got it ... you can keep them together ... you would treat them all anyways ... there is no point to isolate anyone ... make them comfy and as stress free as possible, keep up the treatment ... no need to cause more stress. Can you pill your cat for meds? I find pills MUCH easier than trying to make them eat medicated anything ... There are videos online that can show you how - ask the vet to do pills instead of food mix ins ... ( my cats would not eat anything that is medicated) ... I wrap pills in a thin layer of American slices cheese to make them go down easier ... but even plain pills go down even with tiny kittens ...Eating and drinking and feeling well is more important than ring worm and should be the first priority .. ringworm is pesky but not deadly ... My cats love broths for fluids when they under the weather after vaccinations.
Also rub the boric acid wash on your hands and arms too...you can get ring worm and pass it back and forth. I agree don't isolate them. If they are not fighting, keep them together. They have to eat to stay healthy. Perhaps give them wet food for awhile... Most kitties love wet food. Find a flavor that they can't resist. Keep the litter pan clean and spend as much time with them as possible. Best wishes!
 

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I feel your pain. I only have 1 new kitten and no other cats so my situation is a little easier than yours. She tested positive for ringworm on her nose and eye. Its super tiny but the internet scared the crap out of me with the clean your house head to toe and throw away all scratch posts and toys. I spent like $350 on that wall mount cat set......absolutely not throwing it out. I'm going to do the borax thing like the others suggested. Luckily my kitty will wear her cone the vet gave her. I had to let her get over trying to get it off for a few hours but after that no issues.....she also just had spay surgery so in addition to trying to isolate the ringworm i have to keep her in her carrier to keep her from jumping on her cat wall. It is definitely stressing me as much as her, maybe more. The internet stories make it sound like its nearly impossible to get rid of and crazy contagious. Every itch i have, i think is ringworm lol. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck.
 
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1917farmgirl

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Yes, the internet makes it seem like your house will never be normal again and everyone will catch it. The horror stories of battling it for months are terrifying! And I'm the same - every little itch has me worried. I bought antifungal cream and shampoo just in case. I threw out beloved toys and their scratching post because I was terrified and I'm still trying to finish the cleaning.

It doesn't help that all the info is conflicting. Some tell you to basically put on a hazmat suit to go into your cat, and others are just like wash your hands. Some sites say a blacklight will detect up to 90 percent of the strains, others say it's only 50 percent, and others say it's only a very specific type of light that will do that. So hard to know what to do!

All I know is I'm tired. And stressed. And my kitties are not doing well either.

My blacklight came. I just ordered a normal one, not a special one so who knows if it actually works or not, but I scanned everyone last night. Nothing showed up, not even on the one who is supposed to be ringworm positive. So either we have a strand that doesn't show up, or he's better. The positive from a vet makes me worried because that's a little more sure than just looking at them and taking a guess without lab work, but at the same time he shows absolutely no visible signs of ringworm now and barely did when I got him.

So, after weighing everything, I think we are going to take the risks. I'm going to finish my deep cleaning after I'm done teaching today, give them each another bath with the antifungal shampoo, and then let them back out into the house. I'll keep putting the cream on Ollie for the prescribed 2 weeks, and keep up with the baths. Then I'll just vacuum and sweep everyday and wash bedding a lot. And hope and pray for the best. I've decided it's all I can do at this point because we can't continue with this level of stress and my schedule can't take it. I need to be able to grade at night, not hazmat up to take care of cats and disinfectant things.

I really, REALLY hope I'm making the right decision!
 

nerovega

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I think you are making the right decision. The stress sounds like it is doing more damage than possible ringworm infection. Besides that, ringworm is not deadly and if you are treating it and deep cleaning, its more likely to get better than worse i would think.

As far as the lamp i read it should be a woods lamp instead of plain ole black light. It has a specific frequency, but I also read the conflicting reports on % of strains it can detect. I'm going to do like you. Picking up borax today. Gonna spray the cat furniture and wash all my clothes, clean all the counters and hard surfaces with bleach or lysol and then let her out with the cone. I have the ointment i apply multiple times per day and she goes back next friday for a dip. Sucks it cant be sooner but she is still recovering from her spay surgery earlier this week.
 

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You are making a common sense choice. I belong to several FB rescue groups & the concensus is that the hysteria about ringworm is causing countless unnecessary deaths due to shelters euthanizing salvageable cats and kittens. These are practical people who are already overworked with few resources so I trust their judgments that ringworm is doable.
 
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