The kitten that glowed in the dark

Little Milo came in to see us as his owner noticed he had started to lose a heap of fur. He had circular patches of hair loss over his body. Our veterinarian had a suspicion of what might be wrong. To investigate, she switched off the light and looked at Milo's fur under a special UV light, and hoped that it didn't glow bright green. Unfortunately, Milo's fur fluroesce bright green which means she had ringworm.

Ringworm is not a worm at all but a fungal infection. It typically affects kittens after weaning and immunosupressed cats but Persian cats of all ages are predisposed to it. Ringworm can also affect people and shows up as a red circular lesions on their skin. It is most likely to affect children and immunocompromised people. Ringworm does not always glow under UV light (it depends on the species involved) so a culture is often needed to confirm it. Treatment involves using anti-fungals and bathing in an anti-fungal shampoo every couple of days (this can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to cats!) Some cats need all their hair clipped as well.

Once Milo's hair had grown back we then had to confirm that the ringworm had been completely cleared with a follow up fungal culture. Luckily Milo was the only cat in the house so we didn't need to worry about any other animals getting infected. The environment was decontaminated with a disinfectant and Milo's ringworm cleared up. He looks much more handsome now that he isn't balding.