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Ringworm treatment in cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: Bengal
Age: 6-12 months
First, thank you for your previous help with my questions. I have 2 issues with Indigo:

1. My vet diagnosed him with ringworm several weeks ago and I have gone through topical treatment (Micazole) and several weeks of Griseofulvin, which seemed to help a bit, but he still has spots he keeps working at including a large bald spot under his arm. I spoke with the vet today and he recommended Dakin's solution. I'm not keen on using bleach on Indigo and I'm looking for alternatives. He seemed to think that the Griseofulvin was the only oral treatment, but I found references online to 2 others (Itraconazole and terbafine). Are those drugs different enough, chemically, that there's a chance one of them would be more effective? What course of treatment would you recommend for ringworm?

2. Indigo has been snotty ever since we got him last June. He went through weeks of antibiotics with no effect. He otherwise seems healthy and he's VERY active. You can hear that he's stopped up and he daily sneezes up "presents", although he will usually clean them up (yuck). It's become obvious to my wife and I that he's always clogged on one side. Can he just have bad sinuses? Would you recommend seeing an internist?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for some more great questions! I'm going to do some research for you to be sure that I get you the most up to date information. So, I may not have a reply for you right away.

You'll get another email sent to you once I have some info for you!

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK, thanks for your patience. Fortunately I don't see a whole lot of ringworm in my practice. I have about a case per year. So, I wanted to get you the most up to date information I could find rather than just what is in my head!

The treatment of choice for ringworm in cats is still Griseofulvin. Did he have any improvement with this medication? Some cats need a LONG course of this medication in order to be cured. The recommendation is to treat until healed and then 2 weeks longer...and this can take several months some times.

I researched Dakin's solution. Interesting. The idea is to use a diluted solution of bleach in order to kill the ringworm. I did some research on Veterinary Information Network (where vets and specialists discuss cases) and the veterinary dermatologists do not seem to be in favor of using this.

There are a number of treatments that can be used effectively (which tells you that there is no single treatment that works best). If the griseofulvin alone is not effective then you can talk to your vet about combining it with a shampoo containing chlorhexadine. However, my gut instinct is that if you are already using miconazole cream plus griseofulvin and it is not clearing up then I have my doubts that the chlorhexadine shampoo will work.

The next two treatments that the experts recommend are indeed ketoconazole or itraconazole. These drugs usually do work well for ringworm. But, using them comes with some risks. Both of these drugs can have side effects including loss of appetite, vomiting and serious liver problems. Of the two of these drugs, the itraconazole is the safer. If I remember right, it can be quite pricey though.

One other thing you can talk to your vet about using perhaps before you try the itraconazole is lime sulfur shampoo. This shampoo smells absolutely horrid and may stain a cat's fur if the fur is white. But, it does tend to work well against ringworm.

Regarding the congestion, you did mention before that your cat is probably a carrier for mycoplasma felis. This is likely why you are seeing so many respiratory symptoms. While it won't hurt to see an internist, I am not convinced that they will be able to fix this problem.

Has Indigo been tested for feline leukemia and FIV? Any time I have a patient with multiple sicknesses I start wondering if there is an immune system problem. Either of these viruses could be the culprit.

I hope this answers your question and I hope that little Indigo is feeling better soon!

Dr. Marie

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.