Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Ringworm! What is it, and How Do I Get Rid of it?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

ringwormThe first time one of my kids had ringworm, his pediatrician is the one that diagnosed it. Frankly, I wasn’t entirely sure what it was at the time. Worms? Like what we wormed our dog for as a puppy?

Well, no. The name ringworm is a bit of a misnomer, as there are no worms involved. It’s actually a fungal infection of the skin, and a common one, especially in small children and pets.

Yes, pets. This is one thing that can actually be spread from your dog or cat to your child. Cats especially seem prone to ringworm.

So, how do you know if your baby has ringworm? Ringworm presents itself as a red, raised, scaly patch (or patches), and often develops its telltale ring (where the center of the patch is not red) as well. Your doctor can diagnose it for sure if you aren’t certain. Often it’s diagnosed by visual inspection alone, but a skin scraping can be done as well.

How do you treat ringworm? Often, over-the-counter remedies (the same ones used to treat athlete’s foot, actually) work fine. These creams contain clotrimazole or miconazole. Your doctor may also elect to prescribe ketoconazole cream. For any of these creams, they’re generally applied topically to the spots twice a day. You will need to keep using the creams until the spots are completely gone, so they don’t come back. This can take two to four weeks. In my experience, living in a hot and humid climate extends the healing time, compared to a cold and dry one.

In the meantime, ringworm is massively contagious. Wash bedding and clothing daily while treating it, and wash your hands after applying the topical creams. If you have pets, inspect them closely for ringworm as well.

To prevent ringworm, keep your pets and their living spaces clean. Wear shoes in public showers, and keeping skin clean, including frequent hand washing. Still, it’s very possible your child will get ringworm at some point; luckily it’s pretty easy to treat.

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to three little boys. She’s seen ringworm once or twice, and has managed to live to tell about it. 

Taming Your Toddler Around Your Family Pet

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Taming Your Toddler Around the Family PetThe bond between a child and a pet is a remarkable one, but how do you tame your toddler around your family pet and help keep both safe and happy?

Benefits of Pets for Toddlers:

Ever notice how confident a child is when reading a book or talking in baby babble to the family pet? Having a pet in your home can help your toddler with learning. Kids seem to be more relaxed around the family pet, rather than a family member.

Animals also help comfort kids–their soft texture and no-judgment personalities can be comforting to any toddler. Pets can help with health issues, too. According to the Medical College of Georgia, having multiple pets in your home can decrease the amount of allergies your toddler develops.

Teach your toddler responsibility while helping them learn to feed the family dog or give the family cat her daily treats. My home is the home of Kate, a 9-year-old brown tabby who would rather sleep than play. If my daughter just won’t leave the kitty alone, we use the opportunity to learn. She helps mommy by getting kitty her treats. She gets them out and puts them away. She is the one responsible for feeding them to kitty. Pets develop nurturers in young people and teach them about their world, one lick or bark at a time.

Tips on Taming Your Toddler:

Here are a few tips on how to tame your toddler around the family pet:

  • Lead by example. Show your little one how to treat the animal gently and with care.
  • Don’t punish when your little one lashes out. Be patient with your toddler. Remember, they’re still learning. Use the opportunity to teach.
  • Reward good behaviors. If you see your little one treat the family cat nicely or put up their treat bag, make a point to reward this behavior.
  • Teach using visual aids. Get your toddler a few fun animal toys and teach them how to take care of their pet. They will love the toy, and you will love the chance to show them something new.

When all else fails, remember that your family pet is a part of your family, but ultimately, your kids come first. We recently had to get rid of one of our cats due to issues at home. While it made me very sad, I also knew it was the best choice for our family at this time. The kitty has a new, loving home, and Johanna still has her other kitty to love on.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana who has always been a cat person.