Ringworm Foster Care Do you have a spare bathroom you never use? LOVE fostering cats and kittens? Have a place in your heart for those harder-to-place foster animals. Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is looking for you! The League is in need of fosters who are willing to exclusively help cats/kittens who have ringworm! What exactly IS ringworm? It sounds gross! Ringworm is a fungal infection affecting the skin, hair and occasionally the nails of animals (and people) It manifest itself on kittens….generally on the head, around the eyes, ears, feet and tail area in round areas of hair loss that are rough and scaly. It is NOT a worm, as the name may lead you to believe. In fact, it is very closely related to Athlete’s foot found commonly in humans. While it is a zoonotic infection – meaning it can be passed between species – it most commonly affects young animals and those with suppressed immune systems. Young kittens are notorious for not grooming as effectively, which is why we see it more often in kittens brought to shelters. It is not as scary as it may sound! If you were to search ringworm on the internet, you’ll find lots of scary pictures and clinical information that makes it sound very difficult to deal with. You may have also found that you can get ringworm from gardening as can live in the soil. However, it is not as hard to handle as it sounds and the League will be here to support you every step of the way. One of our current ringworm foster had this to say about their experience: “I am an avid animal lover, but because of our serious cat overpopulation problem, I decided years ago to get involved with TNVR and kitten fostering. So, what could be more rewarding and fun then fostering adorable healthy kittens, until they're of weight for adoption?... Mange/ ringworm cats and kittens. They may never make it into a loving forever home without the very special foster parents that offer to take these guys into their homes. Yes, it's a little more work and for a longer duration, but you still get the benefit of playing and interacting with these sweethearts, giving them some much needed time out of the shelter environment and literally saving lives at the same time!
What does a foster home need to be prepared to treat kittens with ringworm? Ideally, the animals are kept in a space in the home that you can completely clean with bleach or a specific hydrogen peroxide based product that kills the fungus. This could be a spare bathroom, a utility room or a room where there is limited furniture and tile, wood or linoleum floors. Can you foster ringworm if you have carpet? Yes, but it is harder to keep clean and more difficult to keep the spores out. It would not be ideal. Linens and items you are able to use specifically for fostering. The League can provide these items. Food, litter, a litter box and toys for your foster animals. The League will provide these items. If you have other pets, they absolutely need to be kept separated due to the degree of contagion. NO socializing your fosters with other animals in the house. Understanding that the amount of handling does NOT have to be limited, but you need to take extra precautions when handling the kittens such as not rubbing their fur on your face. You will need to be diligent about washing your hands before interacting with others after handling the infected kittens. Patience. It can be difficult to keep kittens for a few months and not get attached to them, but rest assured they will find forever homes and you have helped them with that. Love and affection! These kittens need just as much love and socialization as the next kitten. They just happen to require a different kind of care. It’s best not to have someone in the household who has a compromised immune system that could be susceptible to getting infections. What is provided to the foster home? Medication and treatment for the fugal infection – as prescribed by a Veterinarian Step by step instructions on the treatment process Cleaning and sanitizing instructions A handy starter kit to help you prepare your house Support from the medical and foster staff every step of the way Cute and adorable cats and kittens!
About Ringworm and Fostering Cats and kittens with ringworm are first diagnosed with a woods lamp test. Ringworm “glows” under this light. Two negative DTM cultures must be obtained before the cat/kitten can be cleared for adoption. It takes ten days to grow each culture. Fostering can take weeks or months depending on the individual cats immune system. Stress is definitely a contributing factor. Why should I consider helping? Every foster parent for ringworm kittens t is a true life-saver Due to exposure risks for the other animals, shelters have to handle cases of ringworm in a very regimented way, isolating the animals and limiting contact with them since we are handling so many other animals. This is a sad situation for kittens who need lots of socialization, attention, love and playtime. Shelters are a high stress environment and animals tend to get healthy and stay healthy in a less stressful home environment. The kittens will recover quicker in your home. It takes staff time to manage and care for the animals which is why we rely on foster homes to help with kittens in general – and specifically those with ringworm. This allows the staff to do all the other animal care, assist customers and get the animals who are ready for adoption on their way to their new homes. You and your family will be taking on a challenge that no everyone can do – and you will get a special plaque acknowledging your efforts in the Receiving area. Once your kittens have two negative fungal cultures, they will be promoted to adoption and onto their forever homes…..all because of you! If you have questions or would like further information about this foster care need, please email email@example.com or call 561-472-8578.