Treating Ringworm in Cats with Lamisil

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin that often affects domesticated cats. A good treatment for cats infected with ringworm is a drug called Lamisil (sometimes mispelled Lamasil). Ringworm is not considered very serious in terms of danger to the cat's life, but it is an uncomfortable skin condition, and treatment is usually warranted. Ringworm is capable of transmitting from cats to other cats as well as from cats to other animal species, including humans, so it is highly recommended that you treat feline cases of ringworm as soon as possible.

Ringworm in Cats

Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection in the skin that results in hairless, circular lesions that are often covered in pustules. These lesions are usually very irritated and itchy so they may be red and inflamed, possibly with further damage caused by excessive scratching. Ringworm lesions in cats are most likely to appear on the head, ears, and the base of the tail.

How Lamisil Works

Lamisil contains a chemical called terbinafin, which is classified as an allylamine antifungal antibiotic. Allylamine antifungal antibiotics work by inhibiting the synthesis of an enzyme called squalene epoxidase in fungi. Fungi use this enzyme to synthesize another chemical, called ergosterol, which is used in the cell membrane of fungal cells. By keeping the fungus from producing squalene epoxidase, allylamine antifungal antibiotics indirectly prevent the fungus from building and maintaining cell membranes. Eventually, this will weaken the fungal cells enough to cause ruptures to appear in their cell membranes (a process called lysis), which allows the cell's contents to spill out, thus killing the cell. Once terbinafin enters a cat's body, it tends to accumulate in the skin, hair, claws and fatty tissue. This tendency of lamisil to accumulate around the skin and hair makes it an ideal treatment for ringworm infections.

How to Administer Lamisil

Lamisil comes in pill form, so you either have to force feed the medication to your cat or mix it in with the cat's food. The recommended daily dosage of lamisil for cats is usually between thirty and forty milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Treatment with this medication continues every day for between fifteen and twenty-eight days; the exact duration of treatment will be decided by a veterinarian, depending on how severe the ringworm infection is.

Side Effects of Lamisil

Lamisil is considered the best option for feline ringworm infections because it causes significantly fewer side effects in cats than similar alternatives, such as itraconazole. While alternative antifungal drugs like itraconazole can elicit many negative side effects in felines, such as vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, jaundice and even hepatitis, the only known side effect of lamisil in cats is vomiting.

Ringworm can be an unbearably itchy condition for any cat, so the least any cat owner can do for their pet is to treat the condition, and the most popular and effective treatment for feline ringworm is lamisil. Remember, ringworm is transferable from cats to humans, so another good reason to administer lamisil to a cat that suffers from ringworm is to prevent yourself from becoming infected.