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Ringworm in a Cat Shelter

Carlotti, D.N., et al., Eradication of feline dermatophytosis in a shelter: a field study. Vet Dermatol, 2009. 21(3): p. 259-266.

Dermatophytosis is a superficial fungal skin infection affecting many animals, as well as humans. In otherwise healthy cats, it is self-curing, resolving in several months. Treatment, however, shortens the course and prevents spread, including to humans. This is particularly important in a shelter situation where infection can impede adoptions, and is a risk for staff and visitors. This report describes a successful eradication of fungal infection from a shelter in the UK. The authors used a three-area method in the existing facility. One area was used to isolate cats with lesions and positive skin culture; cats with no lesions, but positive by fungal culture were placed in a separate area; and healthy, fungus-free cats were kept in a third area. Cats in the first two groups were treated topically (enilconazole) and systemically (itraconazole). In addition, the environments were sampled every three weeks using a dust-catching cloth. Sequential use of detergent (cleaning) and 1% sodium hypochlorite (disinfection) were used on premises and materials. Cats were not moved into group C (fungal-free) until two negative culture results (done every two weeks). The protocol described did have a significant cost but proved successful in eradicating fungal infections from the shelter housing approximately 140 cats. In addition, by isolating incoming animals initially and assessing for infection, maintenance of fungal-free population was possible. [MK]

Related articles:
Newbury, S., et al., Use of lime sulphur and itraconazole to treat shelter cats naturally infected with Microsporum canis in an annex facility: an open field trial. Vet Dermatol, 2007. 18(5): p. 324-31.