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It is necessary to help an abandoned animal, but we should be cautious when doing so.

Advice: A cat that has areas of hair loss on its body and/or extremely scaly skin can carry a causative agent of microsporosis. Therefore, we should carefully touch such animals, especially stray animals, and then we must wash our hands thoroughly.


What does one of the causative agents of dermatophytosis look like in the microscope field of view.

For a long time, stray cats have been the main source of the fungus known as Microsporum canis. This fungus causes the disease dermatophytosis, commonly called according to the above-mentioned species - microsporosis. When touching a sick cat (link to the Advice), we can transmit to our skin or hair the pathogen of this disease, which is present on the hair or skin of the animal in the form of a spores (so-called arthrospores). They appeared thereafter the dermatophyte used the keratin formation, of which the hair and the skin surface are made up, to grow and develop. The stage when the fungus is in the form of numerous spores on the hair and skin is called the parasitic stage.

Find out more in video file.
Source - author: youtube.com - Animals Lovers

Infected animal hair full of spores (arthrospores).

If we decide to adopt a stray cat, it is important to take it to the veterinarian first.

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It should take some time, usually several days, for a visible change to appear on a person's skin in the form of redness with a defined redder outside edge and a scaly surface. The change spreads slowly in a circular (concentric) manner, and if the infected site, for example, is on the head or in the hair, then the change has the form of a round, limited area of hair loss. There can be many such changes on the skin and in the hair, depending on how infected the material transmitted from the diseased animal was.

Wet skin, which favors the development of dermatophytes, places where infected hair can easily fall behind like a crease, under the clothes (e.g. sleeve) or under the collar of a shirt, are the most common outbreaks in which the pathogen will nest due to direct skin contact and will start a new infection on a new host.

Since dermatophytes use only keratin for their growth, and this fibrous protein is present in the skin and its cornified tissue formations, the infection spreads exclusively to the sites where it is present. That is the cornified surface part of the skin - hair, nails, feathers, etc. Therefore, spreading over the surface and creating a round, bald or inflammatory red area on the hair loss part of the skin. Sometimes, a redder edge is visible in this area, which represents the active area of ​​a pathogen’s spread toward the healthy part of the skin.

Dermatophytic change
on the human skin.

Dermatophytic culture on the artificial
nutrient medium for growing dermatophytes.

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Your pet can also be infected.
You will easily recognize it ...

A dog, like children and adults, can come into direct contact with a sick cat or infected fallen hair and skin scales (epithelium) in the environment in which an animal with dermatophytosis, in our case a cat, lives. As with humans, it may take some time, usually several days, for the pathogen to multiply and form a visible change to appear on the dog's hair.

Characteristic sharply limited areas of hair loss, especially in dogs, are often seen when infected by the causative agent of microsporosis. Sometimes we do not notice any changes in the bald area, except that the skin is stripped or the surface skin scaling is only slightly pronounced.

If we do not notice the disease in time, it will probably spread to other parts of the body, especially if the animal is still in contact with the source of infection or if the fallen hair with spores has been transferred from the primary outbreak to new places on the dog's coat.

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The pathogen of microsporosis does not have to be on the animal!

The pathogen of microsporosis can persist for a long time on infected fallen hair and skin scales present in the human and animal environment. So fallen infected hair and skin scales become a source of infection for anyone who can come in direct contact with them. In most cases, children are infected when they come into direct contact with an animal or fallen infected hair and skin scales in a contaminated area.

It is well known that dermatophytes in the form of spores can survive in dark, sheltered places from sunlight for more than two years and be able to infect a susceptible host.

Dermatophyte can survive outside the host for more than two years

Dermatophyte arthrospores can survive in the external environment, i.e. outside the host, for more than two years, provided that they are not exposed to sunlight. They can survive even longer in animal accommodations, especially in dark hidden places. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to disinfect certain animal accommodations and to destroy pathogenic spores.


Did you know that animals can be carriers of dermatophytes without visible clinical changes?

This is an example of a cat infected with a Microsporum canis dermatophyte, but it does not show any changes which would indicate that it was infected with this dermatophyte. It was not until the owner of the animal had specific skin changes that this animal was suspected to be the source of the infection.

Hair that fell from an infected animal. It includes also the hair with numerous spores (tiny granular formations around the hair).

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