Sep 1, 2015
This grey 3-month-old male Napolean kitten had a thick grey coat, wide-open yellow curious eyes and short legs came today as the owner had requested removal of the claws.
"There is a black spot on the back," I said. "That looks like an ex-ringworm area with new hairs grown. New hairs are usually darker and in this case black."
"Can ringworm affect people?" the lady showed me her right forearm. The skin had a dark red ring of 1 cm across, in the right side of a broad band of brownish skin around 12 cm X 10 cm across the forearm.
The lady had consulted her general practitioner who prescribed a cream.
"The cream had caused a big band of rash. The dark red spot is the ringworm."
"My doctor did not know it was ringworm," she would show me the cream later.
"Ringworm from the infected cat can spread to the skin of people. It is rare in people in Singapore," I replied. "Therefore, some doctors do not diagnose it."
With appropriate anti-ringworm cream directly onto the red spot, the cure will be effective within 10 days. In this case, the cream would probably be an antiseptic cream causing allergy as well.
"I can feel some lumps under the coat," the lady showed me a small crusty skin area. The cat had as thick a coat as a lamb and no hair loss. There were no bald spots as in other cats or dogs with generalised ringworm. So, I was undecided as to whether to get this kitten clipped bald to expose the ringworm spots.
"Since you have contacted ringworm," I said. "It is best to clip off all the contaminated hairs of the kitten. It will be much easier to treat. Clipping also remove most of the infected hairs."
The lady agreed. Surprisingly, under the lush coat, multiple rings of ringworm were present. This kitten had the early stages of ringworm and the circles were red, circled by white skin flakes.
Medication, oral and onto the skin were prescribed. The kitten's brushes, towels and bedding must be cleaned. The kitten had roamed the whole house and so there will be fungal spores al lover the house.
Never judge a ringworm kitten by its coat. The thick coat and no obvious hair loss or bald spots fooled the owner in thinking that the kitten had minor skin abrasions or injury supreficially. A misdiagnosis will be done if the kitten is sent home without anti-ringworm treatment. In this case, the lady owner provided the clue in her forearm.