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Spotting Cat Ringworm Symptoms

Jul 16, 2008
The most common infectious skin disease in domestic felines, cat ringworm is a fungal infection, and not a worm at all. It is easily spread by contact.

In many cases this disease resolves itself, without treatment, within 6 to 8 weeks. Since it's very common for cats to pass this disease on, your veterinarian may prescribe treatment anyway. Cats with compromised immune systems may take longer to heal and may not heal at all without treatment.

Ringworm is also referred to as dermatophytosis. It's a fungus which feeds on the keratin protein found in nails, skin, and hair.

The classic ringworm symptom is seen as patches of hair loss which look like circular scaly areas with raised edges. These symptoms are fairly easy to spot. This disease gets its name from the round ring-like marks it leaves on the skin.

The initial symptoms include dry, flaky skin. The most common locations for infection are the head, face, ears, tail, and paws. In addition, you may see bald areas on the legs, ears, and around the eyes.

More serious symptoms may develop if your cat's immune system is compromised. If left untreated, your cat may develop crusty lesions that become sore, red, and infected.

Cat ringworm symptoms include broken hair and hair loss, either in irregular or circular patterns throughout the body, although some cats may lose no hair. You may also notice bumpy, scaly, red, or inflamed skin, and deformed claws. The affected areas may or may not itch.

Only your veterinarian can diagnose cat ringworm. If you suspect your cat has this ailment, call your vet's office for guidance.
About the Author
Kurt Schmitt has created a website for cat lovers and writes about the symptoms of cat illnesses including cat ringworm
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