Ringworm Carrier - Can it resolve without treatment?[/b] - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2005, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Ringworm Carrier - Can it resolve without treatment?[/b]

Kitty was diagnosed as a ringworm carrier by a lab culture 6 months ago. His occasional lesions around the ears are gone as applications of Clotrimazole (anti-fungal ointment) are effective.

Q: Must I treat him with pills (Griseofulvin or similar) to clear him of the carrier status or might it completly go away on its own?

I've read that the LESIONS will eventually clear up without treatment, but I have not gotten a clear answer about whether his CARRIER STATUS will also clear without treatment. He's 18 months old, very healthy and trim. I have no other animals and neither my boyfriend or I, who handle him often, have gotten ringworm.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2005, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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From another website:

There are several oral medications that help an animal clear the infection:
*grisiofulvin (Fulvicin P/G, 10mg/lb/day) tablets, which work, but must be given for extended periods of time (4-8 weeks). Some veterinarians use higher doses. Side effects of the drug are common in cats. It must never be given to pregnant animals or people, cats with immunodeficiency disease or feline leukemia. Griziofulvin stops the fungus from growing (bacteriostatic) but does not kill it. So cures rely on the cat’s own immune system recognizing and destroying the fungus.
*itraconazole (Sporanox 0.75-1.5mg/lb/day for twenty days)
*terbinafine (Lamisil 15mg/lb/day for two weeks)
*fluconazole (Diflucan dogs:4-6mg/lb/day, cats:15-20mg/cat/day) is as effective as itraconazole
I remain confused. What exactly is "clearing the infection" and if risky meds "don't kill the infection" why even use them?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2005, 01:38 PM
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Some infectious agents cannot be destroyed by medication. They can be suppressed, so that no symptoms are present. However, they remain present in the body in a dormant state. I don't know if this description applies to fungal infections, though, as I don't have enough knowledge of them in particular. So maybe someone else will post and make this clear.

The way I interpret the text you pasted in your post above is that this is the way this medication works. It suppresses the infectious agent but does not kill it. But this gives the cat's own immune system a chance to overcome it over time. I interpret the word "clearing" to mean it is eliminated from the body, not just suppressed.

I don't know what the risks are of the medication, you would have to find that out from the manufacturer's website or from a vet.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2005, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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The meds, such as grisiofulvin, can cause mild gastrointestinal problems with possible vomiting and other non life threatening side effects. Much worse than that however, they pose a serious risk to the enzyme levels in the liver. Blood tests are supposedly req'd every two weeks during admin of the meds to monitor enzyme levels. The cat's liver can be damaged in the process. After the prescribed dosage period, hair samples are used to grow another lab culture to verify that the ringworm is gone.
I'd hate to put the cat at such risk (not to mention the cost and dissatisfaction of dragging him to the vet several times) if the ringworm carrier problem will resolve itself w/o drug treatment.
Thanx for your input - I do hope others knowledgable in this matter can weigh in.
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