Message Number: YG1463 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-19 22:58:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Using Program for ringworm in ferrets

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Shortley, Lisa" <shortleylj@m...>

Dear Lisa:

This particular side effect (severe shed) has not been reported. I
wonder if this may be the result of loss of infected hair shafts (but
this would be idle musing only.) However the high margin of safety
and the fact that this drug has no apparent significant interaction
with other drugs makes it a very viable option for treatment in
ferrets. As opposed to more traditional drugs, such as griseofulvin,
which has absorption problems, needs daily dosing for up to 6 weeks,
and is teratogenic, Program seems like a much more efficient and
effective drug for treatment of ringworm in ferrets.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
Join the Ferret Health List at

Here is an abstract from the JAVMA article on the use of Program
(lufeneron) in cats from the Nov 15th 2000 issue of the Journal of
the American Veterinary Medical Association...

Use of Lufenuron (Program) for treating fungal infections
of dogs and cats: 297 Cases (1997-1999)

Objective:To evaluate use of Lufenuron for treating cutaneous fungal
infections in dogs and cats.

Design: Retrospective Study Procedure-Medical records were reviewed
for dogs and cats that had been treated for dermatophytosis and for
other fungal infections by administration of lufenuron and 18 dogs
and 42 cats that were not treated and served as a control group.

Results: Cats were treated once by oral administration of lufenuron
suspension in doses ranging from 51.2 to 266 mg/kg (23.3 to 120.9
mg/lb). Samples were obtained daily from 23 cats: mean durations from
time of treatment to time of negative fungal culture results and
resolution of gross lesions were 8.3 and 12 days, respectively. Time
to resolution of lesions in most untreated control animals was
approximately 90 days. Adverse effects of treatment were not

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Results of this study suggest
that lufenuron provided an effective, convenient and rapid method of
treating fungal infections in dogs and cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc
2000:217:1510-1513) Dermatophytes are classified on the basis of
their morphologic characteristics and include morphologic
characteristics and include Microsporum, Trichophyton, and
Epidermophyton spp all of which are pathogenic for humans and
animals. Three species, M canis, M gypseum and T mentagrophytes cause
most clinical cases of dermatophytosis in dogs and cats. Microsporum
canis is the most common cause of ringworm and is transmitted from
cats and dogs to humans. Spontaneous remission of dermatophytosis in
companion animals often occurs within 1 to 3 months, whereas
treatment is undertaken to reduce transmission to other animals,
including human, and eradicate the infection. Dermatomycoses that
affect companion animals include nondermatophytic superficial fungal
infections with organisms such as Aspergillus, Candida, Malassezia
and trichosporon spp.

Lufenuron is classified as an insect development inhibitor because of
its ability to inhibit chitin ( a polymer of n-acetylglucosamine)
synthesis, polymerization, and deposition.

Results: 357 dogs and cats met study criteria. Sixty animals were
untreated controls and 297 animals with fungal infections had been
treated with lufenuron.

Of the cats, 71 were males, and 88 were females. 145 of these cats
were mixed-breeds, 8 were Siamese, 7 were Persians, 1 was an Angora,
and 1 was a Himalayan.

Ages ranged from 2 to 128 months (mean, 16.2 ± 16 months) and body
weight ranged from 0.55 to 5 kg (1.2 to 11 lb; mean 3.1 ± l.l kg; 6.8
± 2.4 lbs).

One hundred fifty-six cats were infected with M canis and 18 of these
cats had generalized infection. Three cats were infected with T
mentagrophytes. Lesions were located on the head and neck (n=136),
limbs (10) trunk (7), and tail (6).

In these treated cats, hair started to regrow after 5 or 6 days, and
full growth was usually completed within 10 to 12 days. Mean clinical
recovery time was 11.6 ± 1.4 days.

Of the 18 cats with generalized M canis infection, 14 recovered
within 10 days, 2 recovered within 11 days, and 1 recovered within 14
days. One 2 month old Persian kitten did not recover, even after 20

Of the 23 cats examined individually on a daily basis by use of
fungal culture, mycologic cure was detected within 7 to 14 days
(mean, 8.3 ± 1.2 days), whereas clinical recovery was complete within
10 to 15 days (mean, 12 ± 1.8 days).

In one cat, positive culture results were obtained again 35 days
after treatment; a second treatment was administered, and negative
culture results were obtained for the next 8 weeks.

Three cats again developed clinical signs of infection several weeks
after initial remission of clinical signs; M canis was cultured from
the lesions, and the cats responded well to a second treatment of

Discussion: Results of the study reported here indicated that
dermatophytosis persisted for 2 to 3 months in untreated animals,
whereas dogs and cats that were treated with lufenuron had remission
of clinical signs much more rapidly: approximately 10 to 15 days for
cats and 16 to 25 days for dogs. Furthermore, mean recovery times of
dogs affected by superficial dermatomycoses were quite similar.
Evaluation of results of daily mycologic culture of specimens from 16
treated dogs and 23 treated cats permitted a comparison of mycologic
cure and clinical recovery times in these animals. In all instances,
culture results were negative before clinical signs had disappeared.
Differences in duration between these 2 findings ranged from 1 to 19
days for dogs and 1 to 5 days for cats.

Lufenuron appeared not to have adverse effects.

Kittens that weighed as little as 0.5 kg received an entire tube
(133mg) of the drug equivalent to a dose of 266 mg/kg, which is
considerably larger that that typically administered for flea
control, with no apparent adverse effects.

Nevertheless, approximately 5% of treated animals became reinfected
including 1 dog and 1 cat that were monitored daily by use of fungal
culture. Infections reappeared at 25 to 35 days after treatment,
respectively, and were successfully treated with a second dose of
lufenuron. It is not known whether these animals had become
reinfected by natural exposure or were latently infected despite

Nevertheless, oral administration of lufenuron appears to be
effective treatment for certain cutaneous fungal infections in dogs
and cats.