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QGC Saroko Southern Belle

A 10 Second Cure For Ringworm?

Ringworm, a fungus which attacks the skin of cats is the scourge of cat breeders.  Although it is not life threatening, and will disappear of its own accord in a few months it is devastating if you are trying to manage a cattery.  The fungus manifests itself as skin lesions (roundish spots) which lose all the hair in about 2 weeks.  On Siamese when the new hair comes in it will be darker, leaving spots in the fur which take 6 months to a year to disappear, thus ruining the show potential of the cat.  The fungus mostly attacks kittens.  All present treatments require that the animal be isolated for the course of the treatment which is 3 to 6 weeks.

In standard treatments, the fluorescence will remain for 2-3 weeks into the treatment before it fades.  Standard treatments are shots, Nolvasan baths, topical treatments with Lotrimin and other fungicides and internally with the very expensive fulvicin.  Any spot present for more than 1-2 weeks will lose all hair.  New spots come out for at least 2 weeks after treatment starts.

This fall, I noticed a lesion on the hip of a 6 week old kitten.  It was fluorescent (yellow-green) and could not be washed off with soap and water.  Yes, that's ringworm. This was a disaster as I had quite a few kittens at risk.  My vet said she was no longer giving ringworm shots as she didn't think they worked.  She suggested topical treatments.

I gave all of the kittens a Nolvasan bath and treated the lesion with Lotrimin.  After 2 days the lesions fluorescence was brighter.  I decided to try something new.  I diluted Clorox (bleach, 5% sodium hypochlorite) with 5-10 volumes of water.  (I didn't measure)  Using a Q-Tip, in the dark, under the UV light.  I dabbed the spot.  I was astounded to see the fluorescence disappear in 10 seconds.  I washed the spot with water to remove the Clorox.  I was even more astounded the next day to see that the lesion had disappeared.  After 3 weeks, no hair loss, no additional spots.  I also mopped the floor with Clorox (4oz/gal).

I regret that I didn't get a culture to prove that it was really ringworm.  But from prior experience I am 99% sure that it was.  If anyone else has success with this technique I would appreciate feedback.  It was a small spot, just 1/4 x 1/2 inch.  I would not advise using such a strong Clorox as a general bath.  However a greater dilution for a longer time might be suitable.  Obviously, the key here is following the disappearance of the fluorescence under UV light. The UV light that I use is Model UVL-21 Long Wave, from UVP Inc., San Gabriel, CA.

Update (Nov. 16, 2005):  Clorox (bleach) works very well. Many people have had success with this method. 2-3 treatments diluted by  5 or 10 parts of water should do it. Just be sure to wash it off very well with water.          


Hit Counter      04/22/2010 by RC Koestler