Ringworm Average Cost

From 348 quotes ranging from $200 - 500

Average Cost

$250

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What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is the common name for dermatophytosis, which is a highly contagious fungal infection that affects the skin, usually in close proximity to hair and nails. In many cases, dermatophytosis presents as a red ring-shaped infection on the outer layers of the skin. Ringworm is not life-threatening, but it can be uncomfortable and may be spread to other pets and humans. While cats of all ages can contract a ringworm infection, kittens are the most susceptible.

Symptoms of Ringworm in Cats

In some cases, ringworm symptoms are easily observed. However, in less obvious cases, ringworm can be more difficult to diagnose in cats, especially long-haired cats. The following symptoms will often cause a veterinarian to suspect ringworm. 

  • Scaling of skin and coat
  • Erythema, an inflamed redness of the skin
  • Round thickened patches of skin
  • Patchy hair loss, often accompanied by “crusty” skin
  • Onychomycosis, an infection of the cat’s claws that causes them to become scaly and rough

It should also be noted that after coming in contact with ringworm fungi, some cats become carriers but never exhibit any outward symptoms. These cats will likely infect other animals and humans if they are not treated.

Causes of Ringworm in Cats

Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection that settles into the outer layers of the skin, usually near hair and nails. The vast majority of ringworm cases are caused by the spores of the Microsporum canis fungus, but on rare occasions, ringworm has been found to be caused by the spores of three other fungi: Microsporum persicolorTrichophyton mentagrophytes, and Microsporum gypseum Regardless of the particular fungus that has caused the infection, the overall causes are the same.

  • These fungi are highly contagious, spreading either by direct contact between animals, between animals and humans, or through contact with a contaminated object or surface. 
  • Cracked skin is exceptionally vulnerable to ringworm infections, as the spores can settle within the cracks.  
  • Once the skin comes in contact with the fungus, there is typically a seven to fourteen day incubation period before the infection becomes visible on the skin’s surface.

Diagnosis of Ringworm in Cats

Your veterinarian will begin by conducting a thorough physical examination of your cat, looking for bald spots and inflamed or crusted skin. Your vet may also darken the room and shine a Wood’s lamp, commonly called a black light, over your cat’s skin and fur. In many cases, if the ringworm is the result of the Microsporum canis fungus, the infection will glow under the black light. Not all cases of ringworm, however, will appear under the black light. If the vet finds visual evidence of a ringworm infection, the vet may take cultures of the skin and fur in those areas to be tested for fungal spores. Although some veterinarians may feel confident in diagnosing ringworm based on visual evidence alone, especially in kittens, a culture that tests positive for fungal spores is the only definitive way to diagnose dermatophytosis. If the cat is known to have been in contact with infected animals or humans but does not exhibit any physical evidence of dermatophytosis, the vet may use a brush or comb to gather hair and skin to be tested for fungal spores.

Treatment of Ringworm in Cats

In most cases, if left untreated, ringworm will eventually resolve itself in 90-150 days. However, ringworm should not be left untreated, the infection can be spread to other animals and humans during that period. After a diagnosis of ringworm, it is likely that your veterinarian will prescribe a three-pronged approach to treatment, which will likely last for several weeks to several months. It is imperative to follow your vet’s instructions for how often and for how long you should treat your cat’s ringworm, as early cessation of treatment will usually result in a recurrence of symptoms. Your vet will likely schedule your cat for follow-up visits so that additional cultures can be collected to measure the progress of treatment toward eliminating the infectious fungi. The three approaches to treatment are:

Topical Treatments 

  • Clotrimazole ointment
  • Miconazole lotion
  • Shampoo containing Ketoconazole 1.0% and Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2.0%
  • Shampoo containing Miconazole Nitrate 2%, Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2%

Oral Medications

  • Griseofulvin
  • Itraconazole
  • Terbinafine

Cleaning and Sterilizing the Cat’s Environment

This is extremely important because Microsporum canis fungi have been found to remain infectious for up to 18 months.

  • Careful disposal of loose fur
  • Frequent mopping and vacuuming 
  • Sterilizing contaminated objects and surfaces with a 1:10 ratio of bleach and water. 

Recovery of Ringworm in Cats

Treated cats will usually begin to improve within two to four weeks, although for full recovery to take place the treatments must be administered for as long a period as your veterinarian has instructed. After the treatments begin to work, the skin will usually clear up and the hair will often begin to regrow. In environments such as animal shelters, especially kitten rescues, it can be very difficult to completely rid the environment and feline population of fungal spores. In these environments, and with cats that have shown a susceptibility to repeated infection, pet owners and shelter workers will need to be intentional about keeping the environment sterile, washing their hands and clothes often, and routinely checking the cat(s) for signs of ringworm infection. Most treated cats that live in a typical home environment will make a full recovery.

Ringworm Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Luna
Domestic long hair
5 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

no visable lesions anymore,
Glowing green under a black light,

Medication Used

Intrafungol
Sulfur lime dip
Anti fungal shampoo
Antifungal spray

We adopted two kittens in mid August. By the end of the month, they were both showing signs of ringworm. After vet visit and two weeks of waiting, it was confirmed. In the meantime, my three daughters, my dog, and myself all caught it. The animals went through six weeks, three on and the off, of intrfungol and sulfur lime dips. The dog and one cat seem to be in the clear now. One kitten, the long haired one, still glows under a black light. Any suggestions of what else to do? The cats as isolated to one room, but I feel bad as it's been going on almost four months now. They have not been back to the vet in about a month. I hate to have to drop$100 just to confirm that she is still positive, since I have been checking her daily with a black light.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1706 Recommendations
If there are still areas of ringworm on one of your kittens, you should complete another course of treatment with medicated shampoo, miconazole or clotrimazole cream and check regularly with the black light for signs of improvement. If you are getting no success with treatment, systemic treatment may be required as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Zoey
tabby
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My cat was diagnosed with ringworm & I have been giving her the lotion drops every 12 hours & a shampoo 3 times a week that was prescribed by our vet. She had a follow up appointment & the ringworm that was on her eye cleared up but some of it had spread to the base of her ears. The vet told me to follow the same routine of meds. I’ve been doing that but today I noticed when I tried placing the medicine on her ears she had 3 kind of large cuts on her ears that look dry & crusted & there was some dried blood between the cuts. I understand dryness is expected but I’m not sure if the cuts are because of the flexibility in her ears along with the dryness of ringworm or if it is becoming more severe. I would love another opinion before going back to the vet again.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1706 Recommendations
Cuts to the ears may occur due to drying of the skin, continue to use the shampoo and drops as directed by your Veterinarian and ensure that the cuts are kept clean. If you don’t see any improvement or are generally concerned, you should visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Audie
DOMESTIC
7 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

black nail
Ringworm
black quick

Medication Used

itraconazole

My cat had ringworm, but then tested negative twice and is now declared free of ringworm. However, some of her nails look like they have some black in them, which I read can be due to a fungal infection. I don't think she is contagious anymore, as I said, she has tested negative twice after taking Itraconazole for over a month, and it has been 6 months since she first had it. However, I am wondering how long it takes for her nails to fully recover? I have not noticed any spots on me in the last several months, but I am also wondering if she is contagious or if her nails are not harmful in any way, and if it just takes awhile for them to grow out and for them to all return to a normal clear color? Thanks.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1706 Recommendations
Without checking the nails I cannot say if the nails are infected or not; if Audie is otherwise in good health and has had two negative tests and was on a course of itraconazole I would just keep an eye on things for the time being. If any other symptoms appear or you are generally concerned you should visit your Veterinarian for another examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Snow ball
Ragdoll
12 weeks
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I had kittens that had ringworm. I gave them back to breeder about three months ago and cleaned the house extremely well. Now I’m about to get a new kitten. Should the new kitten be ok?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1706 Recommendations
A thoroughly disinfected home is important after having ringworm in the house, especially if you are considering bring a new kitten into the home; if the house surfaces, furniture and linen etc… have been sufficiently cleaned then you should be alright. I’ve added a few links below to give you some guidance on cleaning procedures. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.livestrong.com/article/49666-rid-home-ringworm/ https://thecatsite.com/ams/ringworm-infestation-in-cats-the-housecleaning-regime.32417/ www.clorox.com/dr-laundry/disinfecting-ring-worm/

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Fluffy
Persian
1 Year
Mild condition
-2 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Dribbling from mouth for one day
Red patches on body with no hair growth at the sit

My cat has suspected ringworm for last two weeks..we have been treating her with a clotrimazole lotion and ketoconazol anti gungal shampoo,not prescribed by any vet..is that treatment okay or do we need to see a vet?how long it usually takes for ringworms to subside?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1706 Recommendations

Ringworm in cats can be quite variable in presentation; if you are not seeing any improvement after two weeks it would be worth visiting your Veterinarian to confirm the diagnosis and direct treatment effectively. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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