What is Cat Ringworm in Santa Clarita, CA and How Can I Protect My Pet?
Ringworm is a condition that not all pet owners have seen or had to care for. It sounds like this infection is caused by a worm, but it is really a fungal infection. This condition impacts the skin and can be quite unsightly, and it is contagious to humans.
If you think that your cat might have ringworm, don’t panic! There are some fairly simple treatments to use to clear it up so long as you are careful about handling your pet until they are asymptomatic. A trip to the veterinarian is in order, and they will provide you with the medication that you need to clear up the infection.
Let’s talk a little bit more about what cat ringworm is and how you can protect your pet from it!
What is Ringworm?
As mentioned above, ringworm is not actually caused by a worm. This condition is caused by a fungus, and it is more common in some states than others. Most species of animals can get ringworm, and so can people. You can actually get ringworm from your infected pet, which is why it’s so critical to know if this is actually what your cat is sick with.
Ringworm causes red, circular patches on the skin, and your cat might lose their hair. Some cats will also get infections in the circle of inflamed skin, and more advanced cases might cause baldness and scaly skin. Ringworm can be itchy and uncomfortable in later stages, but early on, it might just show up as a cosmetic problem.
How Did My Cat Get Ringworm?
Ringworm is present in the soil, and it can also be passed from animal to animal through contact. It is highly contagious, so bedding, brushes, and other items that come into contact with the infected animal can all lead to other animals and people getting ringworm as well. This is a really common issue with indoor/outdoor pets, but your cat can be exposed if you have touched a pet that was infected and when you come home and touch your pet.
Ringworm is more common in desert locations, but your pet might get ringworm even if you don’t live in a desert state, where it is more common. Ringworm is also much more common in cats than dogs, but that does not mean that your dog cannot get it from your cat that has been infected. This is one of the conditions that cats can get, which can present a major issue as far as prevention of cross-contamination due to its highly contagious nature.
How Can I Protect my Cat (and Other Pets) from Ringworm?
Preventing your cat from being exposed to ringworm is the best form of protection for your pet.
Wash Your Hands After Petting Another Cat
Anytime that you touch another pet while you are away from home, you should wash your hands before you come into contact with your own pets at home. You will also be reducing the chance that you yourself will get infected with it.
Wash Your Cat’s Bedding
If you live in a place where ringworm is really common, you need to be sure that you wash your pet’s bedding frequently. Make sure as well that you verify that new animals that come into the home are not infected before you let them integrate with your other animals.
Follow Treatment if Your Cat has Ringworm
Once your pet has become infected, you need to wear gloves when handling your cat. You will need to follow the treatment protocol that your veterinarian has outlined perfectly until your cat no longer shows symptoms of the infection. Make sure that you are washing your pet’s bedding with a disinfectant on a frequent basis until they are symptom-free as well. You might need to just throw out anything that cannot be washed and disinfected as well.
Clean Up After Your Cat
Make sure to vacuum and mop regularly as well, and place towels or blankets over the places in the house where your cat likes to sleep. You do not want your furniture to constantly infect you and your cat while they are still showing signs of the condition. You should also wear sandals and slippers in your home and in the shower until your pet is healthy again.
Isolate Your Cat While Showing Symptoms
It is often a good idea to isolate your cat in one room until they are symptom-free. This helps keep them from coming into contact with other animals and exposing you to ringworm each time they jump up onto something or want to sit on your lap. This can be a bit hard for you and your cat, but it is for the best to prevent reinfection. Ringworm can be quite stubborn to get rid of once it is very entrenched, so making sure to nip things in the bud right off can be critical to making sure your cat gets healthy right away.
Ringworm is a Nuisance but Can be Resolved
If you make sure to keep your cat in their own room while they are showing symptoms of ringworm and you wear gloves and keep things clean in your house, you should be able to get rid of ringworm fairly quickly. The sooner that you get on top of the issue, the easier it will be to resolve. Make sure that you take your pet to the vet and verify that they do indeed have ringworm. Your vet will be able to give you the right medications and treatment protocols to make getting rid of the ringworm easier.
While this can be a very unsightly and frustrating condition to grapple with, you can rest assured that it is possible to resolve it with some time and effort. Protect yourself and your pets by washing your hands when you have been interacting with animals that are strangers to you, and avoid allowing animals into your home that appears to show symptoms of this condition as well. Ringworm can happen anywhere and to any pet owner, but this fungal infection can be resolved with some time and effort on your part.
If you believe your cat has ringworm in Santa Clarita, CA give Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center a call at (661) 799-0655 or book an appointment online.
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