Sep 18 2018

Ringworm is Not a Worm

Pluto and Luna came to visit Dr. Brandi Eskesen at Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital when they were just two and a half weeks old! Their wonderful, kind owner took them in when their mother died and was bottle feeding them every 2-3 hours. They didn’t yet have names and were both thought to be little girls.

On physical exam they seemed pretty healthy and were growing well. We found out that one was a boy! We rarely get to see kittens this young so everyone at Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital was pretty excited about our neonates. Pluto and Luna’s observant owner had noticed some areas of hair loss on Luna. Ringworm is a fungal disease that is very common in young kittens so this was Dr. Eskesen’s first thought. She shined a Wood’s Lamp over their fur and found some spots on both kittens that glowed a green apple color. This is a very easy diagnostic test to do for ringworm but it only glows under Wood’s Lamp about 50% of the time. With our diagnosis confirmed we didn’t have to run more expensive tests like fungal cultures.

At the first visit, the kittens were too young for systemic antifungal treatments so were sent home with instructions to bathe them with topical antifungal shampoo and antifungal cream. They were also given some deworming medication because intestinal worms are another very common problem in kittens.
Two weeks later they came back to see Dr. Adrian Nevill. Pluto and Luna were continuing to grow and develop but the ringworm was worse despite topical treatment. By this time, however, they were old ough to start oral medications and were prescribed Itraconazole.

After about one month the kittens are doing so well! They do not have any skin lesions and there is only very subtle glowing of the haircoat under the Wood’s Lamp. Ringworm, or dermatophytosis, lives and reproduces in the hair shaft so some cats can be carriers without having areas of hair loss or irritation. It also can be passed to other animals or humans through touch or inhalation. That is why we are continuing these kittens on one more round of anti-fungal mediation before we decide that they are in the clear.
Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital is so excited to be a part of these sweet siblings medical care from the very start of their lives and look forward to decades of visits to come!

Brandi Eskesen, DVM Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital, Seattle WA | Diseases, Fungal Disease, Infections, Zoonosis & Human Health

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Location Hours
Monday7:30am – 5:30pm
Tuesday7:30am – 5:30pm
Wednesday7:30am – 12:30pm
Thursday7:30am – 5:30pm
Friday7:30am – 5:30pm
Saturday8:00am – 2:00pm
SundayClosed