Ringworm in Cats

ringworm on a cat
Ringworm is a common skin condition in cats. In spite of its name, this condition is actually caused by a fungus, not a worm. One of the symptoms, though, is a circular rash on the skin that resembles a ring. However, this ring does not always appear.

Cause of Ringworm

The fungi that cause ringworm come from the soil, but can easily live in a host. These fungi are known as dermatophytes. Once inside a cat’s body, the fungi digest a protein substance called keratin that is found in nails and hair. They use keratin as fuel to help them reproduce. Over time, the fungi can produce millions of single-celled spores that can grow into new fungi.

When a cat comes into contact with these fungi, it does not always become infected. The fungi may not be able to attach to the skin or may lose out to other microorganisms that are already living there. Even if the fungi are able to stay on the skin, they may not cause any symptoms. However, in some cats, these fungi can result in inflammation of the skin (dermatitis).

Ringworm may clear up on its own, but can take up to a year to go away. During that time, the cat’s fur may fall out in the affected area. This can increase a cat’s chance of developing open wounds in the skin—such as from scratching—and other kinds of infections. Ringworm can also be passed from an infected cat to a person through close contact.

Symptoms of Ringworm

The symptoms of ringworm in cats include:

  • Loss of hair in circular patches
  • Hair that becomes broken or stubbly
  • Crusty or scaly skin
  • Changes in skin or hair color
  • Inflammation on the skin
  • Excessive scratching and grooming
  • Infections in the nail beds or claws
  • Dandruff

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing ringworm involves ruling out other possible skin conditions that can produce similar symptoms, such as an allergy to flea bites. A feline veterinarian may use an ultraviolet (UV) light to look at the cat’s fur. Hairs that are coated with fungus will glow yellow-green under the UV light. These hairs can then be looked at under a microscope to see if spores or other signs of the fungus are present.

Treatment for ringworm in cats usually involves the use of anti-fungal medications. This is applied to the infected areas of the body. The cat may also be given an oral anti-fungal medication. The treatment will need to be repeated several times for at least six weeks. For widespread infections, the cat may need to undergo a full-body dip in the medication.

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Monday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

How Pet Parents Feel About Gooding Vet

  • "Best place to go. We had our first visit today and I couldn't ask for better! Everyone in there was amazing. Beyond blessed. Thank you guys for what you do."
    J.K.
  • "Absolutely the best. Don't intend to take my dogs anywhere else from now on. Dr.'s office for people should take a page from this clinic."
    M.S.
  • "New vets are caring, gentle and very nice."
    L.F.
  • "Great local vet. Can't say enough about Dr. Amber and her crew. Caring, warm, thoughtful, compassionate and all for reasonable costs."
    C.S.
  • "Great Vet ❤️ Great Vet Tech Care!"
    B.C.
  • "Thank you for helping my pup overcome her vet-anxiety without medication. Takes time, persistence and patience."
    C.S.
  • "Always very helpful and knowledgeable and my furbabies seem to like it as well."
  • "Dr. Parish is so kind and amazing with my dogs ... so glad to have her as a part of our community."
    S.F.
  • "They are the best for our pets. You come in and you know they love animals. Every thing that they were doing was explained to us. I love the vet and the vet tech!!"
    T.H.
  • "If you are looking for an amazing vet for your fur babies, look no further. Dr. Parish and her entire staff treated all of my dogs like their own, giving them such good treatment our dogs love to go visit just to say hi to the staff."
    J.L.
  • "Very compassionate."
    K.G.
  • "Great service so far. Treat my puppy with great care. Doesn't know he's getting any shots."
    L.J.
  • "Very professional & friendly. Helped me through a very emotional time."
    R.H.
  • "Excellent service."
    G.B.
  • "Educated and caring staff!"
    J.P.
  • "Dr. Amber Parish is experienced, knowledgeable, and highly professional. She is easy to talk to and explains things very well. I trust her opinions and judgment when it comes to my pets."
    C.J.