The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) have taken 135 cats from the failed cat rescue organisation, Steel City Alley Cat Coalition (SCACC) in Pueblo, USA. I wrote about it and questioned the newspapers who slammed SCACC calling it cat abuse. That was an overreaction but HSPPR have discovered that almost all the rescued cats have ringworm.
“1,000 booties, 1,000 gloves, 800 bottles of lime sulfur dip, and 960 milliliters of itraconazole, an oral anti-fungal, which they are given every single day. We estimate it will cost us more than $200 per cat for just the ringworm treatment supplies….“
You might think that there are far worse things than a skin infection to deal with under these circumstances but it is not that simple for two reasons (1) ringworm is very, very infectious and zoonotic and (2) it is damn hard to get rid of it.
Update on the cats rescued from Steel City Alley Cat Coalition: We’ve got just five words for you: Ringworm, ringworm and more ringworm! Our veterinary team has been hard at work the last four days assessing the health of the 135 cats we took in on Monday, and they have determined that almost every single cat we took in has ringworm somewhere on their body. Check out the video below to see ringworm glowing around the eyes and ears of our friend Blue the cat.No big deal; ringworm is just a skin disease! Super easy to treat. Unfortunately, that is FAR from the case. Because of how contagious ringworm is and how it is transmitted (by spores), our staff has to be incredibly careful when handling ringworm cases so they don’t accidentally infect the rest of the shelter population or themselves, as ringworm is zoonotic and can be passed from animals to humans. We have a ringworm-specific isolation room we use to treat the everyday ringworm cases we see, but sadly, we can’t fit 100+ cats in our ringworm quarantine. In fact, this is largest group of animals we have ever tried to treat at one time. It is going to take a tremendous amount of shelter resources and supplies if we have any hope of curing these kitties. Dr. Rhiannon, our staff veterinarian, tells us more about ringworm and what it takes to treat it in a shelter environment in the video below.Every single time a staff member enters a room with these cats, they are required to wear a full Tyvek suit, booties, and gloves. It takes two bottles of lime sulfur dip added to a gallon of water for each cat, and each cat has to be dipped twice a week and placed into a clean kennel, so it will take at least two staff members at all times to administer each dip (one to dip and one to clean the kennel – and that’s IF the cat is cooperating). Each cat must have two negative cultures, and it takes two weeks to cure a culture. Because of these challenges and the sheer number of cats, we are estimating it will take a month to six weeks, maybe even longer, to treat these cats, and they will continue requiring care and shelter resources for their entire stay. Our veterinary team has been hard at work ordering supplies for their treatment. For just two weeks to start us off, we’ve ordered 375 Tyvek suits, 1,000 booties, 1,000 gloves, 800 bottles of lime sulfur dip, and 960 milliliters of itraconazole, an oral anti-fungal, which they are given every single day. We estimate it will cost us more than $200 per cat for just the ringworm treatment supplies; this does not include their daily cost of care or any of the other treatments these cats are receiving for upper respiratory infections and other diseases. We truly cannot save these cats without the help of the community. Please consider donating toward the care of these cats. Every little bit helps us get Blue and his friends the treatment they need!We can’t reuse any bedding after it has been used by these kitties, so we are running very low on towels and blankets throughout the shelter. If you have spare, clean towels or blankets not being used at your house, please consider donating them to our ringworm cats today!
Posted by Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region on Thursday, 12 September 2019
The spores of the fungus which cause the inflamed rings of skin float around the environment and settle wherever. You have to isolate the cats and when there are 135, it’s a big challenge.
Meredith Champion said: You are all AMAZING. This is so much work, so much patience, AND SO MANY DOLLARS worth of care. HSPPR, you don’t just adopt out animals, you are such a vital organization to the health and welfare of ALL animals in our community. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!!! 💕💕💕👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼🏆🏆🏆
This challenge for HSPPR is going to cost them an estimated $27,000 or $200 per cat. And you can see why because the treatment and handling of the cats is intricate and lengthy.
They use a black light (ultra violet light – UV-A) to detect the ringworm which glows under this light source. As mentioned, one added problem is that all the staff working with these cats can get ringworm themselves from the cats as it is a zoonotic disease. They have to be very careful and wear full protective clothing as shown in the photo: Tyvek suit, booties and blue gloves.
Each cat is dipped in a sulphur dip twice weekly for up to 6 weeks and placed in a clean cage afterwards. They have to be kept in isolation as mentioned. This takes two employees per cat to do the dipping and after care process. And the cats are treated with an oral anti-fungal medication.
HSPPR have ordered a ton of ringworm equipment and treatments costing an estimated $200 per cat. The cats’ bedding cannot be reused as it spreads the infection.
So they want donations and bedding! They explain their story in their Facebook post which you can see below. Also their veterinarian explains how to deal with ringworm on this scale in the video on this page.
SOME POSTS ON RINGWORM ON THIS SITE: