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Ringworm/Tea tree Oil Mistake
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Ringworm/Tea tree Oil Mistake

I bought tea tree oil because my cat has ringworm and gave it to me.  I read it was effective in humans. I am not swallowing it. I’m just putting it over my lesions.

I DID put some over my cat’s ears and over a spot on the neck.  I did not bathe my cat in the oil or put a lot (probably less than 1 cc) I just poured some in cotton swabs and applied it to the damaged areas. An hour after I did that, I read from the manufacturer’s web page that tea tree oil was toxic for cats and that it has killed kitties before. I called my vet and he said the same thing. I immediately grabbed a wet towel and rubbed it over the ears and neck to get rid of the oil. I don’t know if this is enough.  Is there anything else I can do to prevent anything bad from happening?

Lastly, one of the vets prescribed Terbinafine tablets but talked to me about the possible side effects. My cat’s weight is 11 lbs. I don’t know what to think of this. I talked to a second vet and told me not to give this to my cats, especially because the tablets are a bit big and he thought half a tablet was still a lot.  He said he had patients who have suffered terrible consequences from this Lamisil generic and recommended something else, also tablets. I think it was Clotrimazole.  Aleda, what do you think? The ringworm is pretty bad. The ears and one spot on the shoulder are the only places where the lesions are showing.

P.S- Nothing else has worked (Topical treatment (lamisil, Tresaderm) or medicated Shampoo) Nothing! His ringworm gets worse each day. What do I do when both my vets are contradicting each other? And what about the tea tree oil? How do I take that off of him?

Thank you in advance.
Type of Animal
:  
Cat
Age of Animal
:  
1 year 7 months
Sex of Animal
:  
Male
Breed of Animal
:  
Tabby - Domestic Medium Hair
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
March 05, 2009
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Fluconazole is another anti-fungal that is effective for ringworm and is safer in cats than Terbinafine.  It will have to be used for at least a month.  Usual dose is 50mg per cat per day.  All oral anti-fungals are dangerous in cats if they have liver disease, since anti-fungal medication is metabolised in the liver.

Since the ringworm is so severe, topical ointment medication, bathing with an anti-fungal shampoo 2 X per week and the oral Fluconazole may be necessary.  Has your cat been shaved yet?  He may have to be shaved to aid the topical treatment.

One dose of Tea Tree Oil hopefully would not cause any problems, since you washed it off fairly quickly.  Blood work will help to determine if the Tea Tree Oil has caused any lasting problems.

If your vets cannot agree even with using Fluconazole, it might be best to take your cat to a veterinary dermatologist.  Veterinary Dermatologists are available at veterinary speciality clinics, or veterinary teaching hospitals.
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