We Brought More Than Two Cats Home
Posted by terrepruitt on July 25, 2015
You may have seen my post about us getting cats. We were thinking about it for a bit. I always thought I wanted a kitten, but then I met these two cats. They are about a year and two months. We were very excited bringing them home. The caretaker thought they might be hiding for weeks, and advised us to keep them in one room. We did the first night, but then the next day we opened the door and they came right out. After that they were in the bow window, that was their spot. One of them is a tiny cat. She is soooooo little. She is so little I was confused as to why her feet were so big. So I started to look at them. One, I want them to get used to me touching their feet so I can clip their claws. And two, I was checking out why her feet were so big when she is so little. Turns out one of her toes is a little deformed making her foot look big and there was dried skin around the toe. Plus she had dried stuff on her ears. Her sister was losing all the hair in front of her ears and itching. The internet, God bless it, led me to believe they had ringworm.
Notice I said ringworm and not ringwormS. Ringworm is not worms at all. It is a fungus akin to athlete’s foot. Often times it presents as raised circles on the skin that look like worms so that is where the name came from. I know animals are not perfect, but when there is something that doesn’t look right to me it indicates something is wrong. I think Esmeralda has had this for a long time and that is why she is so skinny and her toe is deformed. She is so skinny when I scratch her from tail to head my fingers catch on her ribs. She is tiny and skinny.
We had them for a week when I internet-diagnosed them. Of course, this realization came on a Saturday and I will tell you that unless you already have an appointment on Saturday, you are not going to get your cat in for one. I would imagine vets would take an emergency, but contrary to what the internet says ringworm is not that common – so I don’t think the vets we called (all five of them) even believed that the cats had ringworm. Our Dr. said he had only seen it once. But the internet says it is very common. Anyway . . . it took two more days for us to get an appointment. All the while I am reading things on the internet that have me convinced that if it is really ringworm we have to burn the house down.
They have a few ways to diagnose ringworm. One is a Wood’s Lamp, they say the fungus will fluoresce. Our vet used the lamp and it didn’t really fluoresce. They can look at a skin sample under a microscope, but it is really hard to tell if it is or isn’t with this method. Another method is a sample of scabby stuff and they culture it, which takes 7-14 days. Then once they diagnose it, the treatment is for thirty days. Then you have to keep treating until you get a negative culture. They can also biopsy skin.
Meantime you have to keep the animals locked up in order to keep the fungus from spreading everywhere in the house. I think the information on the internet that was sounding so dire was for houses with multiple animals, shelters, or catteries. We were fortunate because we had just got the cats. So they hadn’t really made themselves at home and been ALL over. We had even been shutting some rooms off just so they could get used to the house a little bit at a time. They spent most of their time in a window, as I said.
But still, the spores can be airborne so it is recommended you use a diluted bleach solution to clean everything. Whatever can’t tolerate the bleach solution gets disinfected with white vinegar. Everything that can be laundered gets laundered. Everything that can be moved out into the sun to bake for the day gets put outside. Our backyard constantly looks like a yard sale.
The cats have been confined to a room since July 13th. They have endured twice daily topical medication for 9 days. Then we stopped doing it twice a day when we got the oral medication. The oral med only comes in pill form. Thank God that is only once a day. My hubby has given them both two baths. These poor animals probably think they we are big meanies! Sometimes we feel like it. We have to keep telling each other that is it for the best. We just want to let them out so they can be free and happy. We have few days yet. (Twenty-six days!)
They are very sweet cats. My hubby and I spend as much time as we can in the room with them. It is not a big room and it has a lot of furniture in it, but we manage to get those cat wands flying so the girls can chase the feather back and forth. They are little enough that they can run a bit and jump allowing them some exercise.
So, this is a time-consuming situation . . . but we know that this is just a little speck in time and hope that once we are done with this our babies will forget all about it in the years of fun that we have to come. These cats are so sweet and so special that we are doing what we can to get through this. We feel bad for them, but it will all be ok.
This is me sharing and documenting . . . .you know I like to do that.
Have you ever had any experience with ringworm?