May 26, 2015
Categories: Shelter Medicine

Do kittens grow out of ringworm as their immune systems mature and strengthen? And does this fungal disease ever just clear up on its own?

Ringworm is a serious concern in animal shelters because it’s transmissible to humans and can make it difficult to get cats adopted. In a FAQ prepared from questions presented during her recent Maddie’s Institute webcast on ringworm, Karen Moriello, DVM, DACVD, Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, had this to say:

Immune responses to diseases, in general, are comprised of two types: humoral (antibody response) or cell-mediated. Recovery from ringworm is associated with a strong cell-mediated response.

If a kitten is sick or immune-suppressed due to illness or stress, the kitten is more susceptible to infection. So yes, as the kitten’s overall health improves the immune system will be able to mount an immune response to eliminate the infection.

Is there such a thing as “immune to ringworm”? In studies we have conducted, juvenile cats will recover from ringworm with no treatment at all within 70 to 100 days. Ringworm is a self-curing disease and treatment is instituted to help speed recovery, minimize spread to other animals, and lessen contamination of the environment.

Learn more and view the complete webcast here!