Lichen in cats and cats
Lichen is a skin disease in animals caused by a fungus. Previously, the disease was considered incurable, so infected cats and cats were simply put to sleep. Although lichen is an unpleasant disease, today it is treatable, besides, it happens that the pathology passes by itself, without any medical intervention. It is very important to identify the disease at an early stage and help the pet in time. It is also necessary to remember about the threat of infection of people in contact with a sick animal, therefore, at the first suspicion of lichen, contact a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and in no case treat the cat yourself. After reading the article, you will learn about the symptoms of lichen in cats and cats, its varieties, treatment methods and preventive measures.
What is lichen
Lichen in cats is generally called skin diseases, in which small itchy nodules of rash are formed, wool and nails suffer. The nature of the formation of the disease can be different: a virus, infection, allergy or simply a decrease in immunity. Other animals are also susceptible to diseases: dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets.
Infection occurs both through direct contact and through household items. Cats, which the owners let out for a walk on the street, usually get infected with lichen from stray animals or from rodents. There are cases when a cat is a carrier of infection, but it does not get sick.
Lichen in cats and cats is easy enough to cure, especially if it is detected in time. Usually recovery occurs within 3 weeks, but if the deep layers of the skin are affected, it can take up to six months to recover. The incubation period ranges from a few days to 3-4 months. At this time, the cat is already infected, but there are no signs of lichen.
Causes of occurrence
The most common cause of lichen in cats is infection with a fungal infection of such varieties as Trichophyton Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum. Getting on the animal's fur, microbes begin to multiply, because a warm and humid environment creates favorable conditions for this. If a cat has a strong immune system, then its body will cope with the infection on its own and suppress it, without allowing any visible manifestations.
But if the animal is weakened, sick or has just recovered from some kind of ailment, then with a high degree of probability there will be a spread of lichen on the skin. In addition, kittens and young cats who have not yet fully developed immunity are at risk. Some artificially bred breeds, for example, Persian and Scottish, do not have innate protection against lichen, therefore they also fall into the risk group.
Risk factors for the development of lichen in domestic cats and cats:
- free walking on the street;
- treatment with immunosuppressants;
- nutritional errors, inadequate diet;
- infection with parasites;
- malignant neoplasms.
Varieties of lichen
Under the general name "lichen" various diseases with similar manifestations are hidden.
Ringworm has a fungal nature, is contagious to humans and is especially dangerous for children. It is also called "trichophytia", "microsporia", "cat lichen". Fungal spores are very resistant in the external environment. For example, in the flakes of exfoliated skin, they remain viable for 6-10 years. In the soil, the spores die in 2-3 months, and at home they can be active from 2 months to a year and a half. They settle on surfaces, feeling especially good on textiles. Interestingly, ringworm can be transmitted not only from a cat to a person, but also vice versa.
Bran-shaped , or multicolored lichen , is also a dangerous fungal disease, to which a person is also susceptible. It is also called "sun fungus" and "beach lichen" due to the fact that it reaches its greatest distribution in the summer. The causative agent is the yeast-like fungus Pityrosporum. About 90% of people in the world are its carriers, and it is also present on the skin of almost any animal. Under certain conditions, the fungus turns into a pathogenic form, causing the development of lichen in cats and cats. The provoking factor is the disruption of the sebaceous glands, the consequence of which is excessive greasiness of the skin. It is especially likely to get sick in hot, humid weather.
Pink , or shingles , has an allergic nature, manifests itself with a decrease in immunity. It is considered non-contagious and harmless to humans, however, scientists do not have a consensus on this. There is reason to assume that pink lichen may be caused by some virus that has not been clearly studied at the moment. The disease is inherited, after healing it sometimes returns with renewed vigor, so it is better to limit the contacts of the sick cat with people, especially children and the elderly.
Wet lichen , or eczema , is a non–contagious type of lichen that manifests itself in cats as an allergic reaction to some kind of irritant. This may be an external influence, for example, household chemicals, detergents, or internal factors, such as hormonal failure, stress. For a person, this type of lichen does not pose a danger.
There are a number of common symptoms for all types of lichen in cats and cats:
- hair loss;
- peeling and inflammation of the skin;
- pigmentation change;
- severe itching.
Symptoms of ringworm
With ringworm, individual sections of the wool cover are lost in the cat. But the disease begins with a barely noticeable small rash under the coat. Signs that should alert the owner are increased anxiety of the animal and frequent scratching. The development of ringworm in cats and cats is characterized by the following:
- round flaky spots appear on the skin, crusts form;
- the wool in the places of the rash is thinning, the hairs become brittle;
- smooth reddened skin is visible under the fallen scales;
- spots expand, take an oval shape;
- the spread of serous-purulent crusts leads to the formation of scabs;
- there is completely no wool on the skin areas under them, after recovery it will not recover;
- if the cat is not treated, the spots grow, forming extensive foci of baldness.
Spots are painful, itchy, cats often gnaw and scratch them. There is also a form of ringworm in which all the described signs are either absent or not clearly expressed. This clinical picture is called atypical. Only individual hairs of wool are affected. Lichen is invisible, accordingly, a person does not take any measures until the disease is already started.
The symptoms of ringworm vary depending on the specific pathogen. In some cases, only the head and muzzle of the cat are affected, in others the spots spread to the entire body.
Symptoms of multicolored (bran-like) lichen
Multicolored lichen initially looks like a small pale oval spot on the skin of a cat or cat. But after a few days, the number of spots increases, they fuse together, forming lesions of irregular shape. If the fungus got into the claw, then its deformation occurs.
Interestingly, itching in this form of lichen is practically absent. And when it gets cold, the spots can disappear by themselves. The affected surface can be either smooth or scaly. Otherwise, pityriasis lichen practically does not differ from its other species.
Symptoms of pink (shingles)
Pink lichen can manifest as many small spots like an allergic rash, and can be expressed as large pinkish spots up to 2 cm in diameter. Most often, lesions appear on the abdomen, inner thighs, in the groin of the animal. Itching may be insignificant, and sometimes it is absent altogether.
The spots peel off in the center, and the skin is smooth at the edges. With a severe course and lack of therapy, sepsis may occur if pathogenic microorganisms enter and take root in the lesions. Sometimes pink lichen in a cat is accompanied by an increase in body temperature, joint pain, an increase in lymph nodes, and general malaise.
Symptoms of weeping lichen (weeping eczema)
Wet lichen in cats and cats also begins with red spots. The skin in these places is hotter than around, and also very painful. The rash is a bubble filled with fluid. When these bubbles break, their contents are released, which causes infection of the skin, the formation of ulcers and crusts. Sometimes the soaking lichen is accompanied by a feverish condition. For people, this type of disease is not dangerous.
What to do if you suspect lichen in cats and cats
The first thing to do in case of suspicion of lichen in a domestic cat or cat is to isolate a sick animal. No need to lock him in a cage or any other cramped enclosed space. A separate room or a loggia will do, if it is warm.
Next, you need to urgently contact a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. Its purpose is to obtain data on the cause and causative agent of lichen. Based on the conducted research, the doctor will be able to choose the right therapy.
Important: it is strictly forbidden to bathe a pet if you notice signs of lichen. Together with the water, the lichen spores will spread to the whole body, so you will increase the area of the lesion many times.
During the entire period of diagnosis and treatment of lichen in cats, the following recommendations must be followed:
- use separate dishes for a sick pet;
- if there are other animals in the house, then they need to be isolated, and it is better to take them out of the room for a while to prevent an epidemic;
- carry out disinfection cleaning more often, paying special attention to the places where your cat likes to be the most;
- wash all bedding and mats in a disinfectant solution;
- treat upholstered furniture with a solution of water and vinegar.
The following means are used for disinfection:
- quartz lamp – it is necessary to turn it on in an infected room for 20-25 minutes;
- hot water with the addition of whiteness or any other chlorine-containing bleach for washing linen and towels;
- hot steam for upholstered furniture processing;
- water with the addition of chlorine, alcohol, iodine, vinegar, soap and soda mixture or 3-4% chlorhexidine for washing surfaces.
Remember that you need to wash not only the floor, but also, if possible, walls, doors, tables, baseboards, paying special attention to corners, crevices and other hard-to-reach places.
Diagnosis of lichen in cats and cats begins with a visual examination by a veterinarian. The doctor interviews the owner and examines the medical record, if available, to get an idea of the general condition of the animal, the presence of risk factors and predispositions to the disease.
After a clinical examination, one or more examination methods are used.
- Wood's Fluorescent Lamp. Under the influence of the rays, the affected areas are highlighted in green. But this method of determining lichen in cats is only partially effective and does not have 100% reliability. Some types of fungus do not emit a glow, and vice versa, harmless spores can give a false positive signal.
- Microscopic examination of scraping from the skin or affected hairs. This is a more accurate method than Wood's lamp, and the result will also be known immediately. The disadvantage of the examination is that it is not always possible to see a pathogenic organism, so a negative result does not mean the absence of lichen in a cat.
- Isolation of the pathogen in the nutrient medium is the most accurate way to determine the lichen. Animal skin samples are placed in a special composition favorable for the propagation of infection. Observation is carried out for some time, then the grown microflora is studied under a microscope. The disadvantage of the method is the long duration of the procedure – it will take up to 3 weeks to get the result.
Additionally, a blood test is taken from a cat with suspected lichen, the presence of parasites and chronic diseases is checked.
The treatment of lichen in a cat depends on its variety. In some cases, ointments can be dispensed with, in others complex therapy with pills and injections will be required. In the initial stages, it is much easier to defeat the disease. The choice of how to treat lichen depends on the following factors:
- severity of the disease;
- state of immunity and cat breed;
- the size of the affected areas.
Wound healing takes about 1-2 weeks. In the absence of purulent processes, the complete renewal of the coat will end in 4-5 weeks. Otherwise, pigmented spots or scars may remain. The disappearance of symptoms does not guarantee a cure for shingles. Laboratory tests can reliably confirm this.
Ringworm in its neglected form can cause serious complications in cats and cats, therefore, after confirming the diagnosis, complex therapy is immediately prescribed, including the following means:
- antifungal ointments, shampoos and creams;
Before local treatment, the edges of the affected areas are shaved. On the shorn places, the drug's contact with the skin is better, therefore, the effectiveness of the effect increases. The following drugs are commonly used:
- shampoos with antifungal action, for example "Veterinary Formula ANTISEPTIC & ANTIFUNGAL", "Doctor", "Nizoral", "Sebozol". The funds are applied to the areas affected by lichen, foamed and aged for several minutes, after which they are thoroughly washed off. The cost of shampoos is about 200-500 rubles per bottle;
- topical products: "Epacid-F", "Fungin", ointment "Yam", "Sanoderm", "Clotrimazole", "Miconazole". "Epacid-F" the skin is lubricated after removing the crusts, "Fungin" is used once a day, the rest of the funds – from 2 to 5 times a day. It is very important not to let the cat lick the drugs after application, so it is advisable to put a special collar on her neck. The cost of funds varies from 30 to 400 rubles.
Since ringworm in cats often turns into a protracted form, local treatment cannot be limited. The doctor will most likely prescribe medications in the form of pills or injections. From tablets, "Griseofulvin", "Itraconazole", "Terbinafine" or their analogues can be prescribed. These drugs are intended for humans, but they are also successfully used to treat animals. For cats, they are added to food in a crushed form. If it is a capsule, then powder should be poured out of it into the feed. The cost of medicines starts from 200 rubles and depends on the brand and manufacturer.
Important: tablets can be used only as prescribed by a veterinarian. All medications used are intended for humans, so only a doctor can calculate the exact dosage for a cat.
The optimal and most effective way to treat ringworm in cats and cats is the use of vaccines. They can also be used for prevention, but if the animal is already infected, injections are given for treatment, just in a different dosage. Such drugs as "Vakderm-F", "Polivak TM", "Microderm" are used. They are inexpensive, 150-200 rubles. But vaccines have a number of contraindications: they can not be done to sick and severely weakened animals, with fever and fever, in the presence of infectious diseases. Some drugs are contraindicated in the second half of pregnancy.
A special antifungal agent for animals is "Dermicocide". It is injected into the thigh muscle 2-3 times with a break of 5 days. It is used when it is impossible to use vaccines. At the same time, it is contraindicated for kittens and pregnant cats, as well as in the presence of liver and kidney pathologies. The cost of "Dermicocide" is about 400 rubles.
Treatment of multicolored lichen
The principles of treating multicolored lichen in cats are about the same as in the previous species. Antifungal therapy is carried out, hygiene is observed, immunity is strengthened. Both topical preparations and those taken orally in the form of tablets or injections are used.
Enylconazole-based drugs, such as Imaverol, are most often prescribed. An emulsion is prepared on its basis: one part of the drug is diluted in 50 parts of distilled water. The affected areas are treated with a solution every three days. With an extensive spread of lichen, you can completely immerse the cat in a therapeutic mixture. The total number of treatments should not exceed four.
In severe cases, the drug "Lime Sulfate" is used. It is a highly concentrated solution of hydrogen sulfide lime. A mixture is also prepared from it: 1 ml of the drug is diluted in 33 ml of water. The treatment is carried out no more than once a week as prescribed by a doctor.
Due to the high toxicity of the substance, precautions must be taken:
- when processing, use a mask and protective gloves;
- do not allow the medicine to get into the eyes and mucous membranes of the cat;
- the room in which the treatment is carried out must be well ventilated;
- use a special collar to prevent the cat from licking the drug.
Treatment of pink lichen
A mild form of pink lichen in cats and cats can pass without special treatment. Sometimes it is enough to apply measures for the general improvement of the animal's body: correction of nutrition, restriction of visiting the street, exclusion of water procedures and exposure to sunlight.
Therapy, first of all, is aimed at combating symptoms, namely, easing itching. Antihistamines may be prescribed, and in more serious situations, nonsteroidal anti–inflammatory drugs. They should be used exclusively as prescribed by a veterinarian, since uncontrolled intake and excess dosage can lead to a decrease in immunity, which will cause the opposite effect and the development of lichen.
You can use local remedies, including various oils, such as sea buckthorn or apricot. They reduce itching, moisturize the skin, reduce peeling. The most important thing in the treatment of pink lichen is compliance with a set of measures to increase the immunity of the cat and exclude the effects of negative factors.
Treatment of wet lichen
In the treatment of weeping lichen in cats, it is important to accurately diagnose, because among its causes may be hormonal disorders or infection with parasites. To local therapy, it is necessary to add treatment of the identified cause of lichen. With this type of disease, it is unacceptable to treat a pet yourself.
Drying agents are used for topical application:
- Salicylic ointment is an antiseptic with astringent effect. Twice a day, the ointment is applied around the affected areas. The removal of inflammation and restoration of the skin occurs within 10-14 days.
- Sulfur ointment effectively fights inflammation, has antimicrobial and antifungal effects, copes with such a parasite as a skin mite. The treatment is carried out twice a day for 1-3 weeks. So that the cat does not lick the ointment, you can make gauze applications and attach them with a plaster.
- Ichthyol ointment is an effective remedy, but it has an unpleasant smell. Improves regeneration, relieves inflammation, has antimicrobial effect. It is also applied twice a day.
- Tar ointment is a natural remedy that helps restore the skin. Full recovery usually occurs within 7-10 days.
Folk methods of treatment
In some cases, for example, during pregnancy of a cat, the treatment of depriving with aggressive drugs cannot be carried out, so as not to harm future kittens. In such situations, medicinal plants, alcohol, iodine and various oils are used. It is possible to carry out treatment with folk recipes only at the initial stages of the disease.
Oregano, valerian, tricolor violet, burdock, chamomile, plantain, yarrow and many other plants are used in lichen phytotherapy. Recipes involve the manufacture of decoctions for ingestion or solutions for topical use.
There are several useful recipes for the treatment of lichen in cats.
- In equal parts, mix the leaves of nettle, turn, oregano and violets. Pour 2 tablespoons of the mixture with 200 ml of boiling water, let it stand for 20 minutes, then strain. Give the cat this drink in a warm form 3-4 times a day before meals.
- Mix chamomile flowers, horsetail grass, valerian root, creeping thyme grass and licorice root in the same proportions. 1 tablespoon of the collection pour 200 ml of boiling water and boil in a water bath for 25-30 minutes, then strain. Give the cat a decoction similar to the previous recipe until full recovery.
- Dilute a crushed aspirin tablet in 30 ml of alcohol. Treat the affected areas with the resulting solution once every 5-7 days.
- Iodine is well suited for topical use. It can be applied in its pure form, or it can be pre-mixed with valerian and vegetable oil.
- Tea tree essential oil has antifungal properties and helps to improve the general condition of the skin in cats with lichen. It is used in a diluted form: 3-4 drops must be diluted in a tablespoon of olive oil.
The best way to prevent shingles in cats is vaccination. It is also supported by the fact that many varieties of fungus are resistant to antimicrobial drugs, and it is not always possible to choose the right effective remedy from a veterinarian. Timely vaccinations can protect a pet from the disease for a long time.
Vaccines "Polivak TM" or "Vakderm-F" are used for the prevention of lichen. The drug is administered twice with an interval of 10-14 days. Immunity appears 20-30 days after repeated administration and lasts about a year.
In addition to vaccinations, there are a number of usual preventive recommendations to prevent infection with lichen:
- minimizing cat contact with suspicious animals;
- mandatory treatment of wounds, scratches and any other damage to the animal's skin with an antiseptic;
- regular veterinary checkups;
- hygiene, indoor cleaning, washing of cat accessories;
- timely prevention of parasites;
- a complete diet.