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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
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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If a cat is a possible carrier of ringworm can he transmit

Customer Question

Customer: if a cat is a possible carrier of ringworm can he transmit it to other cats, animals or humans? we are a shelter and we want to place him but have to figure the best home for him
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the cat?
Customer: he is at our shelter and the vet just indicated to us that she feels he is a carrier and nothing more to do for we would begin a search for a home..i just want a clearer idea of what a carrier is?
JA: Where does the cat seem to hurt?
Customer: I don't think he hurts at all
JA: OK. No obvious pain. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Briar and about 6 months maybe..he again is at our shelter and i was just wanted to know what generically it means when a cat is a carrier
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Briar?
Customer: No i don't think so
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
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've also been down the shelter medicine path - as my dad was the shelter vet in our county for most of my life!

I'm glad that you're seeking help for Briar - bless you and your staff for all that you do to help out the shelter critters.

Cats who are carrying a dermatophyte (ringworm) can definitely transmit it to other cats and to people. This is usually how we know that they are a carrier - other cats who have been in contact with them start coming down with ringworm. In my private practice, the way I usually see "carriers" is when an owner of a new kitten gets ringworm, but the kitten has no skin lesions. However, people can get ringworm from their daily lives in every day environments, so I don't always blame the kitten without first confirming it with some diagnostics. For me, in order to diagnose "Carrier" status in a cat, I'd want to collect a fungal culture called a DTM. In a cat who is asymptomatic (with no skin issues, hair loss, crusting, etc), I take a clean tooth brush straight from the packaging and brush the kitty all over. Then I put the material collected on to the DTM medium and place it in the incubator to monitor for growth. It can take 2-3 weeks before we see growth, however usually when a dermatophyte (ringworm fungus) is present, we see growth in that first week. If I did a couple of DTM tests on the cat a week or two apart and they were both negative and the cat had developed no skin lesions, I'd be comfortable saying that there was no dermatophyte present on the cat. For cats who come up positive, I usually will treat with a combination of an oral antifungal like itraconazole and lime sulfur dips. After a month on medications and weekly dips, I repeat the DTM at least twice two weeks apart. You'll find that other vets will have slightly different approaches to this situation - and most will work - it's just a matter of time and TLC.

Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara


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Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara