(estimated cats treated in 2011: 180)
Many cats are put on euthanasia lists at animal shelters solely because they have ringworm, a fungus similar to athlete’s foot, which is highly treatable. We rescue cats with ringworm and treat them in our ringworm ward for a few weeks, giving them oral medications and special weekly baths until they are no longer contagious and can be moved into a foster home or the cattery or adopted!Dazey’s Ward is committed to the treatment, care, and love of the cats and kittens of Austin Pets Alive! who have ringworm while they are waiting for their forever homes.
History of Dazey’s Ward
The initial funding for Dazey’s Ringworm Ward was provided in memory of a kitty named Dazey.
Although only a kitten, Dazey had been brought into the city pound for biting. She was in the ‘bad cat’ bin (for a requisite 10-day quarantine) when her potential adopters ventured to the shelter, all the good kitties having been taken to local pet stores for adoption.
Dazey was adopted by the couple, and they enjoyed her company for six years before she was taken from them tragically and too soon. In an effort to redirect their grief, they decided to donate to a local animal charity. Austin Pets Alive! kept coming up during their inquiries, so they arranged for a tour of the facilities and had an informative discussion about sponsorship opportunities.
Just as Dazey was once considered a ‘discard’, ringworm kitties often have the same undeserved stigma. Funding for the ringworm program at APA! was an appropriate segue and tribute: a ringworm program would benefit cats who are highly adoptable but having some bad luck and in need of a second chance.
Dazey’s Ward has been operational since the fall of 2010 and in its first year of operation has saved almost 200 cats.
“In memory of Dazey, our sweet and beloved kitty rescued from the ‘bad cat’ bin. Cheers to second chances!” — R & L
We invite you to stop by Dazey’s Ringworm Ward at the new APA run Town Lake Animal Center, located on 1156 W. Cesar Chavez, to see some wonderful cats who just happen to have ringworm. Such kitties are adoptable immediately. Alternately, cats who aren’t adopted directly from the ward will graduate to the main cattery once their ringworm has been successfully treated.
- What is Ringworm? It is a fungus, very similar to athlete’s foot, which lives everywhere, including on animals, people, and in the soil. You have probably come in contact with it in your day to day life multiple times and not ever known it. It is very hardy and lives a long time in most environments, and is contagious.
- Am I going to get ringworm from my new kitty? Maybe, but it’s doubtful. Typically healthy people don’t catch ringworm, and if you are good about washing/disinfecting your hands and changing clothes after handling ringworm kitties then you should be fine.
- What if I get ringworm!? I promise you it is no big deal if you do manage to catch it. It’s a red crusty little spot, which can sometimes be itchy. If you’ve ever had athlete’s foot or jock itch, then you’ve already had a skin fungus like ringworm. It is super easy to treat on humans because we aren’t furry, just a little anti-fungal cream, like Lamisil, will clear it right up. Lamisil is an over the counter anti-fungal cream that can be found at any pharmacy. Apply the anti-fungal cream liberally to the infected area, a few times a day, and cover with a bandaid to keep the area clean and dry. In a few days your ringworm will be all cleared up.
- What about my other animals? In order to keep your other animals from contracting ringworm, we recommend keeping your new cat isolated in a room that is easy to clean and can be bleached thoroughly (a bathroom works very well), until they have been cleared of ringworm. Also, washing your hands and changing clothes in between handling the ringworm kittens and your personal animals will definitely help reduce any kind of transmission of ringworm to your other animals.
- What treatment do they need? Once daily oral medicine, called Itraconazole, and twice weekly bathing with a Lyme medical dip, which unfortunately is a little stinky. You will be provided with the oral medicine, the medicated dip, gloves, and instructions for treating the kitties – everything you need to treat them for free!
- What about it getting in my house? If you put them in a bathroom or other confined tile space clean up is super easy. Ringworm is killed by dilute bleach, a 10:1 ratio water/bleach solution works well. Let the solution sit for approximately 15 minutes for maximum effectiveness. Sanitize anything they have come into contact with before allowing other animals to touch. All of their bedding should be washed with bleach weekly, while still infected, and then once more after your new cat is cleared of ringworm to kill any possible residual spores. After your new cat is clear and able to roam freely, the room he was in should be cleaned with a 10:1 water/bleach solution once more.
Austin Pets Alive! Dazey’s Ward, now has a facebook page! Feel free to like our page to keep updated on all of our amazing cats and other Ward activities! Austin Pets Alive! Dazey’s Ward
How you can help
Each cat in Dazey’s Ward costs an additional $100 to treat beyond regular costs. Please consider volunteering with these special felines or donating towards the cost of their care. These kitties make wonderful pets, so there is no need for ringworm kitties to be considered ‘discards’. The volunteers at APA! who keep the ward running day in and day out can attest to that!
Dazey’s Ward Motto
If it’s dirty, clean it.
If it’s empty, fill it.
If it looks funny, tell someone.
If it’s missing fur and purrs, love it.