Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-13-2012, 08:02 AM
stretch stretch is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Central WA
Posts: 1,383
Kitten has ringworm; what now?

We adopted a kitten from the humane society. Since no good deed goes unpunished, 10 days after we brought her home, I discovered Veronica has ringworm. Yay!

I don't have any experience with ringworm so I come to y'all for advice on dealing with this new and fun-filled situation.

I took her to the vet as soon as I noticed the problem. The vet gave me a topical last Friday for the spots we originally found--on her ear and above her eye. Yesterday, I discovered two more problem spots on her chest and belly. The vet had already told me if it was worse we'd put her on a oral med. That has to come from a compounding pharmacy, which was not open yesterday, so I'm going to go pick that up today.

She has been isolated to one room until we get this under control. We had kept Veronica separate from the other animals for a few days when we first brought her home so she has only been interacting with them a bit before we discovered the ringworm. So far, everyone else looks fine. Is there something else I should do to make sure none of the other pets (2 cats and 2 dogs) get this? The vet told me if any spots show up on them to just start using the topical immediately; she does not recommend putting everyone on the oral med at this time.

The room we have her in has vinyl floors and I have taken out all the soft surfaces except a towel that I am changing regularly. I can clean everything in there with a bleach solution.

I washed all the bedding in the house and everything else that I could. What the hell do I do about my carpet? The interwebs tell me that I should vacuum and burn the bags--that would work if I didn't have a bagless vacuum. It is also suggested that I steam clean the carpets. On the other hand, the internet tells me that this fungus is everywhere so I probably cannot get rid of it all. I don't know what to do about the carpet.

Also, I am wondering how long does she have to be kept isolated? She had been in a foster home with the rest of her litter before coming to us, so she is not used to being alone like this. Her crying is breaking my heart. We do play with her several times a day but, understandably, she wants to be out with rest of us.
Old 11-13-2012, 08:42 AM
saje saje is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 2,126
I wouldn't stress too much about it, it tends to be one of those things that the young, sick, and/or old get. For the most part healthy immune systems can deal with it.

I think that she should be ok to be out and about a bit after a few days on oral meds, so long as you don't see any further spreading of the spots, and keep the topical stuff on the actual lesions too. Maybe bring her out to play and try to wear her out a bit, then put her back in her room with some super good canned food or a dab of tuna as a treat.

Steam cleaning the carpets isn't a bad idea, but not 100& necessary. I've had animals with it, hell, I've had it myself. It takes a while to go away but it does eventually. It's a nuisance more than anything. I don't think I ever quarantined an animal that got it, though mine only had a minor spot or two.

Last edited by saje; 11-13-2012 at 08:43 AM.
Old 11-13-2012, 10:15 AM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,825
You might want to contact your Humane Society and let them know.
Old 11-13-2012, 10:26 AM
Minnie Luna Minnie Luna is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,181
I've dealt with this in foster cats over the years. The one time I treated a cat with griseofulvin, it died from the side effects. The vet the rescue uses has said that it doesn't usually reduce treatment time all that much, so now if we get a case of ringworm we just bathe and treat topically. The rescue bought a UV light which has been very helpful in identifying hot spots and treating them without having to take the cat into the vet every week.

I've always quarantined. Dogs seem to be pretty resistant, mine has been exposed multiple times and has never developed an infection. I do make sure to bathe her with an anti-fungal if I know she has been exposed.

Did you contact the Humane Society and tell them the cat has ringworm? They should probably know...
Old 11-13-2012, 10:42 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 28,059
Originally Posted by saje View Post
I wouldn't stress too much about it, it tends to be one of those things that the young, sick, and/or old get. For the most part healthy immune systems can deal with it.
I would stress a bit. There are different species of ringworm, some more difficult to eradicate than others. Years ago a local daycare owner adopted a kitten that, it turned out, had ringworm. Several children in the daycare got it and parents sued. The cat shelter closed over the incident.
Old 11-13-2012, 10:45 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,903
Definitely treat it (not leave it to heal on its own) and definitely handle kitty in a way to prevent contamination. I was once privileged to live with 12 Siamese kittens with severe ringworm that my vet tech spouse was saving from being euthanized. All survived, all were sold to happy families... but the cost of medication ate most of the profits and our children all had circular hair loss from contracted ringworm. This makes caring for them, and finding day care placement, difficult. Not to mention the stigma of having bright pink hairless circles on your scalp.

Not that there's a direct connection, but the incident is not unrelated to her being my ex-wife.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 11-13-2012 at 10:46 AM.
Old 11-13-2012, 02:17 PM
stretch stretch is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Central WA
Posts: 1,383
Thanks for the responses and the reminder about contacting the humane society. I just called them and they have not had ringworm reports from the other adopters of her litter--they remembered her and her siblings. They are going to follow up with the foster home and such.

I really wanted to adopt an older cat, but the grandson fell in love with the kitten and I was swayed. I should have known better; now I have tiny little scratches all over my body and ringworm to deal with.
Old 11-15-2012, 10:48 AM
Mauvaise Mauvaise is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Luriekistan
Posts: 2,869
Originally Posted by SmellMyWort View Post
You might want to contact your Humane Society and let them know.
I was going to say don't do this because some Humane Societies are kill shelters and ringworm, while very easily treatable, could be used as a reason to euthanize the animal.

We had an outbreak of ringworm out our shelter recently. We treated the cats with Itraconazole (antifungal drug effective against most types of fungal infections. It works by inhibiting enzymes that produce an important part of fungal cell walls, causing the cells to rupture and die.) for one month. And they each got a bath once a week for 3 weeks with a special shampoo.

I think only (2) volunteers actually got it, and we have 42+ people working with the cats every week.
Old 11-15-2012, 10:53 AM
AngelSoft AngelSoft is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Portland of the NW
Posts: 1,659
Also, wash your hands obsessively. The moment you're done handling the kitten, wash your hands. Immediately. Ringworm can easily be spread to humans. When I worked at a vet, we had a client who's kitten had ringworm. They didn't wash their hands and caught it themselves. The kitten was cured but the owner had it. Of course, they didn't go to the doctor until much later, ended up giving ringworm BACK to the kitten and then finally curing it on themselves. It was almost comical.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017