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How does an indoor cat get ringworm? My mother claims my cat…

Customer Question
How does an indoor cat...
How does an indoor cat get ringworm? My mother claims my cat who has never seen the outside gave her ringworm. My mother is also a self internet diagnosing, used to be a nurse 30 years ago, negative lady. Not a Doctor or Vet.
Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The dog, my son, nor I have any dry patches of skin. So it just seems kinda random that just my Mother and my cat are infected.
Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/13/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,164
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

I understand that you are puzzled how your kitty may have contracted and passed ringworm to your mother.

Most cats with ringworm do show lesions of dry patchy, thickened skin with excess dander and fur breakage/loss. But there are some cats that are inapparent carriers, meaning they carry the fungus but don't show any outward signs. If we comb these kitties and culture the dander/skin debris on appropriate fungal growth media we will get a positive growth for ringworm. These cats may remain inapparent carriers for life OR in times of stress due to other health conditions (organ failure, heart disease, diabetes, immunosuppressive virus infections, cancer are some possibly health stresses) they may show signs of the infection.

Many healthy adult cats can be exposed and not get sick.

Likewise some people (myself included) can be exposed to ringworm and successfully fight it off, and never become truly infected or show symptoms. That may be you and your son. Young children and older adults are most likely to get infected, but there are some people that are highly susceptible and easily pick up the infection. That may be your mom.

That said MOST ringworm infections do show symptoms, and most cats that are infected are young kittens or cats from catteries or shelters, feral kittens or those of a particular breed such as Persians and other long haired, flat faced breeds.

There are lots of bacterial skin infections or inflammatory/allergic skin conditions that can mimic ringworm. So it should not be diagnosed by appearance alone. If we have a very high suspicion (cat in the home with a positive culture) then the family doctor may recommend starting treatment while waiting for culture results, but confirmatory cultures should be done.

If we have human family members showing signs of a ringworm infection, and have a positive culture, it makes sense to culture pets in the home, if only to make sure the family isn't being continually re-exposed to the infection, which could make clearing it almost impossible.

If we are not seeing signs of ringworm on the kitty and the person hasn't been cultured then culturing the person's lesions, and perhaps keeping the kitty away from that person is reasonable until we have culture results.

In short mom needs to see a doctor and have cultures done before blaming your kitty.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, thank you, ***** *****

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