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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My cat is experiencing fur loss on the tip of s head. I

Customer Question

My cat is experiencing fur loss on the tip of his head.I thought is might be ring worm so I took him to the vet to get medicine, but my vet isn't so sure that's what it is since there are no signs of it anywhere else on my other cat or me and that both of my cats are indoor cats.She took a sample of the area to be sent to a lab but she said it could take up to a month for the results. In the mean time she is having me put miconzone cream on the area once a day.Over the last few days though I can see a red, kind of scabby edge to the furless area.Does this sound like ring worm? If so what sound I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that Lime has this mystery spot of hair loss. I'll do my best to help.

It can be difficult to diagnose ringworm quickly, as it does take a few weeks for a fungal culture to get results. The lesions can also look like pretty much anything, so it can't usually be diagnosed by visual inspection. However, ringworm is actually a pretty uncommon diagnosis in my experience unless the cat has had some known exposure to other cats with ringworm or the cat or you have been interacting with large groups of cats - say in a shelter or feral colony type of situation. If it is ringworm, the medication that your vet prescribed (miconazone) has anti-fungal action, so that should take care of it. In my experience a lot of skin lesions on cats are responsive to either steroids or antibiotics, so sometimes I will also treat a cat with one or both of those while awaiting fungal cultures.

I hope that this is helpful - please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If it is not ringworm what else could it be?It also seems to have gotten worse, in the area surrounding the initial hair loss, the fur comes out with the slightes pull.I have attached a photo
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

That certainly could be ringoworm - the only way to know for sure is await the culture results and continue to treat with the antifungal medication that your vet prescribed until then. It could also be bacterial or inflammatory - in which case it would respond to either antibiotic or steroid treatment.

Thanks so much for the photo - that's very helpful!

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about me and the other cat? Is there a reason that we have not gotten in? Or is it just a matter of time?
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

If it's not ringworm then it's not likely contagious.

Frequently we can see people and cats in a home with another who is infected that don't get it. The spores require contact with an abraded or otherwise damaged area of skin - they are not good at infecting healthy intact skin. People who have compromised immune systems are more likely to get infected than people with healthy immune systems. I'd not say it's guaranteed that you and your other cat will get it too, but it also wouldn't surprise me if you did. You can minimize your chances of infection by following really thorough hand washing protocol and frequent cleaning of your kitty's bedding.

Here is a little more info:

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I took the car back to vet when the hair loss spread, she still isn't sure what it is.She shaved him to have a better look.what do you think?I attached some images.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also to add, the vet cleaned off a ton of really dry skin before this picture was taken.
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the update - any news on the fungal culture?

It still could be fungal, bacterial, or inflammatory. Off chance it's cancerous but that's really not likely if he's only 5 years old. Has the vet tried any steroid or antibiotic? That'd be where I'd be headed next. Either that or a skin biopsy. :)

~Dr. Sara