If you have a cat, you probably don't give too much thought to their skin health. However, there are numerous conditions that can affect your cat's skin, including ringworm. Learn more about ringworm and cats. Then, if your cat ever shows signs of this condition, you can get them to a pet hospital like Angel Pet Hospital right away for diagnosis and treatment.
What Is Ringworm?
Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by worms. Rather, it is the name of a fungal infection occurring in the hair, nails, and skin of the body. This infection can affect dogs, cats, other furred mammals, and even humans.
Ringworm is highly contagious and is transmitted through direct contact with the infected individual or contact with items they may have touched. However, not every contact results in an infection. As such, you could have a cat with ringworm and have other unaffected cats in the home. It also means that even though your cat may have ringworm, you may not end up getting infected.
What Does a Ringworm Infection Look Like?
Ringworm gets its name from the pattern of the infection on the skin. In humans especially, the infection creates a circular ring. There is a red circle of often raised tissue with healthy-looking skin in the middle. This can occur in cats as well, though it can be tough to see and detect.
Oftentimes, what an owner will find is that their cat has patches of skin that are raised and even flaky. These patches of skin may be scaly and appear like large patches of dandruff. They could also just have patches of hair loss and red skin underneath. These patches often occur on the head, along the spine, or on the paws and forelegs.
If you notice any skin abnormalities in your cat or if you notice alopecia (hair loss) anywhere on the body, there is a chance that ringworm could be the culprit. Heading to the veterinarian's office at the first sign of skin abnormalities in your cat is the best thing you can do to find out what is going on.
How Is Ringworm Treated?
In cats, ringworm infections are usually treated in two ways. The first is through administering oral medications. These medications are systemic anti-fungal medications that will help fight the infection from the inside.
The second is topical medications. These are creams or ointments applied directly to the patches of infected skin. When administering topical treatments to your cat, wearing gloves is advisable and thorough hand washing afterwards recommended. This will limit the likelihood that you will develop a ringworm infection as well.
Now that you know more about ringworm and your cat, you can be sure you head to the veterinarian if you notice any skin issues with your cat.