Categories: ringworm

Why it will cost $27,000 to treat cats with ringworm taken from failed cat rescue

Ringworm glows under UV-A light

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.

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.

Cat Ringworm. This case is unusually clear and obvious. Sometimes you’ll just see rough areas of skin under thinning fur. And the nose might be affected. NOTE: THIS IS NOT ONE OF THE CATS RESCUED. THE PICTURE IS HERE TO ILLUSTRATE THE RINGWORM.

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.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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