Sepia for a Cat’s Ringworm
My client consulted with me about her cat’s dry, scaly skin. She said her vet diagnosed her cat with Ringworm. My client said for the last couple of weeks, she noticed that her cat has been scratching a lot behind her left ear. When she took a closer look, she noticed that the skin was a dry greyish color with flakes (scaly). The vet pointed out that the cat has Ringworm by her whiskers on the left side of her mouth. A couple of the whiskers are broken off. She said that the vet prescribed an anti-fungal cream, to be applied twice daily. My client stated that she did not want to use it. She went on to say that she had read that these kinds creams don’t “cure “the Ringworm, since it will usually come back. She also said that she knew that Homeopathic Remedies will heal the Ringworm and address why my cat got it.
I selected the Homeopathic Remedy Sepia 30c, with 10 succussions, to be applied on the cat’s body once a day. I told my client if there is not less scratching within a week, we will switch to the homeopathic remedy Sulphur 30c. Sulphur is commonly selected for cats with Ringworm on the whiskers.
My client called a week later, stating that her cat is not scratching as much now, since giving her the Sepia daily. I advised my client to continue administering the Sepia once daily. Several days later, she called back saying that she is noticing her cat is scratching more often again. I had my client start succussing the Sepia bottle 12 times before giving each dose. A few days later, my client said that since succussing the Sepia 12 times, her cat is scratching less and she is starting to see some hair growing back in by the left ear. She also said the dry flaky skin is gone. I told my client that we will continue administering Sepia with 12 succussions daily until the Ringworm is completely gone.
Ringworm on Pets
Ringworm is caused by microscopic parasitic fungal organisms known as dermatophytes, which live on the skin, hair, and nails and develop from the skin. The Ringworm develops when the fungi becomes hot and damp, causing the fungi to grow uncontrollably on the body (i.e., the arms, legs, torso and face) or in warm damp environments, like soil. The fungus spores attach to hair and skin cells shed by humans and animals. Ringworm is not caused by worms, despite the name. The circular shape of the skin eruption gives the fungus the name Ringworm. Animals, like people, also can get Ringworm by touching an infected animal’s skin or hair infected with the fungus. Many different kinds of animals can transmit Ringworm to people, such as dogs and cats (especially kittens or puppies). Infection of other animals and humans can occur either by direct contact with an infected animal, or through contact with the fungal spores in a contaminated environment, and even from animal brushes or clippers.
Two Main Groups of Ringworm Fungi That Can Affect Pets
- Microsporum Infestation – Develops from hair follicles becoming crusty and possibly vesicular eruptions. Commonly seen on the head, neck, legs and occasionally around the claws. The eruptions develop into circular areas and merge (coalesce) with other eruptions producing a wide spread of the Ringworm (in severe cases). Itchiness (pruritus) is seen in early stages of Ringworm. There is a crusty feel, which is not always obvious in long coated breeds.
- Trichophyton Mentagrophytes Form – Produces eruptions about ½” in diameter and forms raised scabs with a darker pitted center. The eruption can become a secondary infection by pyogenic bacteria.
How to Spot Ringworm on Your Animal
Animals can be “carriers” of the fungal infection and have no Ringworm symptoms. Adult animals, especially long-haired cats, don’t always show signs of Ringworm infection. Some adult animals exhibit Ringworm within a few weeks of giving birth, often in cats. Ringworm is also often seen in puppies and kittens with hairless patches that are circular or irregularly shaped areas of scaling, crusting, and redness. These patches are usually itchy. Sometimes, you will see brittle broken hairs, instead of hairless areas. If the claws are affected, you will see a whitish, opaque appearance with shredding of the claw’s surface. Cows, goats, pigs, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, rodents, rabbits and birds can also develop Ringworm. Lamb’s Ringworm is known as” Club Lamb Fungus”, and is fairly common in show lambs. The lambs usually have circular, hairless areas with thick scabs on their head and face.
Ringworm Symptoms on Dogs and Cats (also known as “Honeycomb Variety” Ringworm)
Ringworm, like other health conditions, are signs that the animal is stressed, sick, or has a weak immune system. After coming in contact with an infected animal or soil, it can take 2-4 weeks before your animal shows Ringworm symptoms. You may see areas where the hair is gone and crusts or scales start to develop on the skin in the affected areas. The skin areas are often red and very itchy. You may see a circle or ring in your animal’s fur, which is a true sign that your pet has Ringworm. Infected pets can be contagious for about three weeks or so. Clipping the pet’s hair (careful dispose of the hair) where the Ringworm eruptions are will help prevent spreading it.
Symptoms Commonly Seen Are:
- Patchy or circular hair loss (alopecia) on the head, tail or the ridge of the dog or cat’s back
- Broken hairs and a breakdown in the fur’s quality
- Ulcerated or red skin
- Darkened skin
- Scaly skin (dandruff)
- Crusting of the skin
- Red lesions on the head, chest, forelegs and the ridge of the back
- Brittle or misshapen nails
- Inflammation of skin and nail folds
How is Ringworm Diagnosed in Pets?
Sometimes, a clinical diagnosis is needed when you suspect your pet has Ringworm. Your vet may do a fungal culture using plucked fur or skin scales. They may do a skin biopsy or examine the animal’s hair under a microscope. A Wood’s Lamp can also help identify the infected area on your pet’s body.
Homeopathic Remedies for Your Pets Ringworm
A Homeopathic Remedy is selected according to the Ringworm skin symptoms. The selected Homeopathic Remedy will be administered in a 30c potency daily.
Arsenicum Albums – Is selected for Ringworm eruptions that are dry and scaly with persistent itching and loss of hair.
Bacillinum – Is one of the main Homeopathic Remedies selected for Ringworm. However, cats usually don’t respond to Bacillinum for Ringworm.
Chrysarobinum – Is selected for Ringworm that has progressed to a crusty stage where the affected areas run together (called confluence). The eruptions are scaly and are most often found around the eyes and ears of the pet.
Kali Arsenicosum –Is selected in the early itching stage of Ringworm. The animal is restless and the symptoms are worse after midnight. There is a thirst for small quantities of water.
Selenium – Is selected for when the Ringworm symptoms are dry and itchy and are commonly seen on the feet and toes of the animals. Hair may fall out with vesicular eruptions.
Sepia – Is selected forRingworm eruption that forms small separate nodules that can have a tendency to come together and form 1 mass (coalesce), where these masses form circular patches of rough scaly skin. The skin can have red pimples where hair has broken off. Sepia is commonly selected for cats with Ringworm. The skin is dry, scaly with denuded (skin layers removed) areas.
Sulphur – Is selected for Ringworm that affects the skin and appendages (hair and whiskers) of cats. There are very thin scaly flakes that can develop a thin watery serum that slowly oozes out of the eruptions (serous exudation). Hair loss, especially around the head, tail and along the back. Sulphur can also be given to other animals that have Ringworm.
Tellurium – Selected for Ringworm with eruptions in a circular formation that have a tendency to be equally distributed on either side of the body.
Herbal Tinctures Can be Applied on Pets with Ringworm
One of the following herbal tincture solutions can be used in conjunction with Homeopathic Remedies to help reduce inflammation and fungus growth. You should wear disposable gloves and protective clothing when applying the herbal solution on your pets.
- Golden Seal (Hydrastis) Tincture – Add a few drops of Golden Seal Tincture to warm water (spring or distilled). Massage on pet’s skin 1-2 times daily until the condition clears up.
- St John’s Wort (Hypericum) Tincture – Diluted St John’s Wort Tincture with a ratio of 1:10 with warm water, and apply on the body.
- Plantain (Plantago Major) Tincture – Add a few drops of Plantain Tincture to 1 cup of warm (spring or distilled) water. Massage on pet’s skin 1-2 times a day until the condition clears up.
Cleaning the House and Furniture
In some cases, it can take up to six weeks for Ringworm to go away, and your pet may still be contagious. As Ringworm lives on both the skin and hair, it can be easily transmitted by loose hair on carpeting or furniture. When your pet has Ringworm, you also want to keep your home environment Ringworm free by thoroughly cleaning your home to remove any contaminated hairs.
- Vacuum any carpet or furniture that your pet has contact with (including underneath beds and couches)
- Wash down surfaces with a good cleaning agent
- Restrict your pet to areas of the house that are easy to clean, such as rooms with tiles or floorboards