Yay! A Christmas present from my cat.
Great. Another vet visit to check out the weird colouration under his left nostril (see the pic above) which turns out to be ringworm. Irritation from that explains why he was constantly licking his nose.
He was thoroughly scanned and examined to see the extent of the infection and it looks like only that part of his face is affected.
Ringworm can be pernicious. If you've not heard of it, it's a fungal infection, characterized in humans by having circular or oval patches on the skin, ringed in red with flaking skin in the centre. Lovely.
In cats, it's harder to detect because their fur covers the skin lesions. You may only know your pet has it if they're furiously scratching one or more areas on their body.
The spores can only be killed off by washing items at above 78 degrees C (so a boil wash). Not all items (like fleece blankets) will survive such temperatures, so ideally should be thrown out to minimize the risk of reinfection. Washing fabrics on sofas, cushions and carpets with boiling water can obviously be more problematic. And throwing out furniture in most cases is not economically viable.
When I took Ripley in to have the bald patch on his neck checked out, that area was tested for ringworm (it fluoresces under an ultra-violet light so is easy to spot) and he came up clean.
His current ringworm infection has come from another source.
Treatment involves giving him a drug called ItraFungal over five weeks (one week on medication, one week off, etc).
Turns out the medicine was twice the price of the vet consult, so I've had to pay yet another big vet bill.
Here's a close-up of the ringworm patch on Ripley's face:
Filed under: Ripley's Diary