Video: Cats And Ringworm
There are a lot of scary, often contrived stories about ringworm (microsporia) among the people. People are afraid of it like fire, and at the first danger they try to get rid of the source of infection (as a rule, not in the most humane way). Usually this source is a cat, it is not for nothing that the microsporium fungus that causes this disease is called feline.
The story told to us turned out to be very typical, but fortunately, in this case everything ended well.
Everyone knows that not many guys can indifferently pass by an abandoned kitten, the children of our friend were also no exception. With a cry of joy, they rushed into the room to show their find. Mom was not only happy with her, but she could not resist the powerful pressure from the children. Peace and quiet reigned in the house for several days. Why a few? Because after a short time, the whole family fell ill with ringworm. The adults very quickly made the decision to put the animal to sleep. There was no end to the children's tears, they no longer paid attention to their sores and promised to do whatever they wanted so that their beloved kitten stayed with them.
Love overcame the frightened voice of reason, and the whole family went to the doctor. Nine years have passed since then, and this story in the family is remembered as a bad dream. All family members thank God that they did not make mistakes, as they cannot imagine a home without their red-haired robber. According to their words, they were cured quickly enough and they did not have any negative consequences associated with an unpleasant disease.
After all that has been said, we wondered why in such an enlightened age we know so little about this disease? What it is, what kind of treatment they can offer us and what group of people and animals is most susceptible to it. And here's what we learned.
Ringworm, or microsporia, is today one of the most common diseases among homeless animals (although people can also get infected and get sick with it). But since many owners let their pet cats go for a walk, this problem is likely to affect them as well. Some bring green "vitamins" to their pets from the street, not realizing that the grass may also contain spores of pathogenic fungi. There is also a great opportunity to get infected at an exhibition or on the road.
There are two forms of lichen. Anthroponous - caused by fungi that are dangerous only to humans, and zoonotic, caused by fungi that parasitize both animals and humans. In animals, the microsporium fungus affects the skin and claws. The infection can spread both directly, through direct contact with an infected person or animal, and indirectly through infected toys, dishes, things that the infected animal touched. They can be contaminated with skin scales and hairs containing hyphae and fungal spores.
It is important to know here that on clothes and household items, mushrooms can remain viable for several years and can lead to disease again. Therefore, all clothes must be ironed with a hot iron. Carefully vacuum carpets, upholstered furniture, do wet cleaning, destroying dust even in the bathroom. Naturally, children are most susceptible to this disease, who cannot walk calmly past a homeless cat, they need to pet it.
Outbreaks of the disease usually occur from May to October. It is believed that the cat has a strong resistance to disease, and many think that in case of illness, "the cat will heal itself." But her imaginary vitality is primarily due to the fact that she can hide it for a long time.
If you find that your pet has peeling, thinning of the coat, then it's time to "beat the drums", "and urgently go to the veterinarian… Anyone who thinks that he will get by with the "advice of knowledgeable people" can cause significant harm to both his animal and himself. Do not cover up the sores that cause you suspicion with brilliant green or iodine - it will not help. The previous method of treatment - burning the skin affected by mycosis, 10% iodine tincture is extremely incorrect, because fungal spores are extremely resistant to disinfectants and antiseptics, including iodine (now alcohol tincture of iodine, produced in Russia, has a concentration of 5%) All the same, within 5-7 days after communicating with an infected person, your animal will have the first signs of the disease, one or two hyperemic (reddened) foci, with clearly defined boundaries. Later, if you do not start treatment, the whole body will be covered with round or oval hairless foci of pink color, they can merge, forming a bizarre shape.The wool in them is broken off at about the same level, the skin in this place peels off, figures in the form of a ring in a ring often appear.
We have listed the characteristic signs of the disease, not taking into account the fact that the symptoms can be different. Many veterinarians believe that asymptomatic carriage is especially common in longhaired cats, but others believe that a close examination can reveal certain symptoms (see above).
Separately, it should be noted that it is difficult to diagnose lichen based on the clinical picture. Diagnostics with a special Wood lamp is required, in the presence of microsporia, the affected wool in the rays of the lamp is green.
The defeat of mycoses depends on the immune status of cats - the category of animals for which lichen is especially dangerous include small kittens, as well as emaciated animals with a predisposition to skin diseases.
The doctor makes the diagnosis on the basis of clinical and microscopic examination of the affected hair, wool and skin scales, when the disease is present, so to speak. Under the rays of a special medical fluorescent lamp, the affected area looks like a mosaic and shimmers in an emerald green color.
Except in some cases, dermatophytosis resolves spontaneously if the animal is exposed to natural sunlight.
Systemic therapy (a combination of local therapy with oral therapy) is not "popular" among veterinarians, as it often entails side effects. Microsporia is eliminated in a hospital, and if conditions permit - on an outpatient basis (provided that the infected animal is isolated, thereby preventing the spread of infection).
The most modern and effective means of fighting the fungus is vaccination with live vaccines vakderm, miccanis. Less commonly, antifungal antibiotics are used orally (in case local treatment does not help) - griseofulvin (fulvicin), nystatin. Attention! Griseofulvin is not used to treat pregnant cats.
If the treatment proceeds with positive dynamics, griseofulvin can be omitted, it is categorically contraindicated in pregnant cats. However, even after discharge, you need to prepare for the fact that your animal will be subjected to a control test, until disease-causing fungi are found in it.
For prevention purposes, it is important to understand that from the first days of the disease, your animal poses a danger to others, primarily to those who live with him in the same house. In no case should a sick animal be expelled into the street, staircase, or yard.
By contacting the veterinary clinic, you will help yourself and your pet. The sanitary and epidemiological surveillance services are also involved in the fight against microsporia, which will obligatory disinfect your home.
In colonies of cats that are uninfected, but that have been in contact with infected animals, compulsory vaccination is carried out.
For the purpose of prevention, vaccines against dermatophytosis (lichen) are widely used. The Russian proverb says "Fear has big eyes", so let's try to be higher than that, because fear obscures our eyes and the obvious eludes us. Ringworm belongs to the category of diseases that can be treated. In this case, it all depends on your patience and is a test of how much you love your animal.
Of course, today infectious diseases are the main problem of pet owners and nursery keepers. But after trying to understand the essence of these diseases, you will understand that they can be dealt with through prevention, control of the spread of infection and modern methods of treatment.
Source: Yulia Ivanova, magazine "Friend" (cats)
Editor: veterinarian, candidate of veterinary sciences V. Aronov - tel.: (812) 923-86-80, mob. +7 (911) 923-86-80.