Treating Ringworm in Cats with Griseofulvin

Griseofulvin, or Fulvicin, is an anti-fungal medication used to treat ringworm in cats.

Ringworms and Cats

Ringworm is a common contagious fungal infection on a cat's skin. Ringworm will generally make its home on the dead cells of a cat's skin, in the fur and claws. More often than not, ringworm will live in the hair follicle, which will weaken the shaft of the cat's fur and cause the hair follicle to break off near the skin.

Cats that are less than a year old are more likely to contract ringworm. Cats that are under a lot of stress or those with longer fur are also more susceptible to getting ringworm.

Symptoms of Ringworm

The classic symptom of ringworm is a lot of fur shedding, followed by a bald spot on a cat that is round. Sometimes a bald patch of skin is red and may be inflamed and scaly, but not always itchy. While ringworm can be found on many parts of a cat, the most common areas are on the head, ears and tail. It can, however, begin on any part of the body and spread.

If ringworm has attacked a cat's claws, the nails will begin to grow in a deformed manner.

Diagnosing Ringworm

A veterinarian will use a couple of basic methods to diagnose ringworm in cats. He may examine the fur and scales from a cat's skin to look for signs of the invading fungus, such as a mold spore. The other option is to do a culture of the cat's fur, to see if the ringworm fungus is present.

Treating Cat Ringworm with Griseofulvin

If a cat is displaying any of the symptoms mentioned, he should be seen by a veterinarian. Vets generally prescribe Griseofulvin to treat ringworm in a cat.

Cats should be given Griseofulvin with food. The cat can develop an upset stomach if the medicine is taken on an empty stomach.

A pet owner should follow the Griseofulvin treatment plan to completion, even if a cat looks or acts like he feels better. The duration of treatment will depend on how the cat responds to the medicine.

Griseofulvin Side Effects

The most common side effects of Griseofulvin are a lack of appetite and nausea. Griseofulvin can affect cells that form blood cells, so blood tests will need to be done on a cat that is on a prolonged therapy with this drug.

A cat that is pregnant should never take Griseofulvin, because the drug can cause birth defects in the fetuses.

If you suspect your cat has ringworm, you should get a formal diagnosis from a veterinarian right away, so treatment can commence. If ringworm is not treated, it can spread to other pets in the home and even humans.