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    • Appeals
    • 15 Feb, 2019

    Tiny abandoned kitten has worst ringworm we’ve ever seen

    We are going above and beyond to care for a 6 week-old kitten with the worst case of ringworm yet, and that’s not the saddest part – she now has to live in quarantine.

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    Tiny Midnight was found earlier this year by a concerned member of the public who heard cries for help coming from under a nearby car. Our Animal Welfare Officers (AWO’s) were called out, and they arrived to find a lonesome and frightened six week old kitten.

    The AWO’s immediately noticed obvious signs that Midnight was suffering from a severe case of ringworm. The infection had spread all over her face and body, and was the worst example of the disease our AWO’s had ever seen.

    Ringworm is a highly contagious condition, and can spread quickly and all too easily between animals and humans. Spores can survive for up to two years, and so it was therefore necessary to establish strict barrier protocol for Midnight’s care.

    Although we all wanted to reassure and cuddle Midnight, we couldn’t risk the health and safety of our staff members and resident animals. We immediately admitted her to our isolation unit, where she is now undergoing a series of treatments. They include:

    • Medicated baths every three days
    • Oral antidotes every other week for six weeks
    • A buster collar to prevent her licking off the medicated soap

    Midnight was found alone without her siblings or mum. Though she was too young to have been weaned, she was abandoned before coming into our care. Midnight is nearing the accepted cut-off point of 8 weeks, when a cat should be domesticated or risk going feral. Because of the extremely high likelihood of spreading ringworm spores, and the need to use barrier protection suits with every contact, we are unable to stroke, hug or play with Midnight at all. Whilst she is regularly checked up on, she is now missing out on vital physical interactions.

    Alongside our vets, we are doing absolutely everything we can to try and overcome risks associated with ringworm. Every time we need to enter the isolation unit or administer Midnight’s treatment, we must:

    • Wear full barrier protection suits
    • Change and dispose of everything in her cabin
    • Incinerate all items that have come into contact with her after a single use
    • Replace all items including food bowls, water bowls, towels, toys, litter trays and sponges/bedding on a daily basis
    • Scrub the whole cabin with Virkon, a specialist disinfectant designed to kill spores

    The quarantine period for ringworm is a minimum of one month. Fur samples are taken every two weeks to see if the infection is still present, with results taking two weeks to establish. Two negative samples in a row need to be confirmed before vets can say with confidence ringworm is no longer present in the animal.

    Unfortunately, Midnight’s most recent test results came back positive for ringworm, so she will need to stay in isolation for at least another four weeks.

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