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Fungal diseases in cats Systemic fungal infections

Fungal diseases in cats

Systemic fungal infections in cats 

Although systemic fungal infections in cats are uncommon, they are considered one of the most dangerous diseases that your cat can have, because of the difficulty in diagnosing them and their ferocity on the health of your pet. In this article, we will review everything that goes on in your mind about fungal diseases in cats from Types and methods of infection and diagnosis, as well as treatment

What does systemic fungal infections in cats mean?

  • Fungal diseases in cats is that spread throughout the body through the bloodstream, and through it many of the body’s systems can be infected at the same time.
  • Some of these fungal infections are not common, but they can be fatal.
  • Systemic fungal infections tend to affect the respiratory system or individual wounds, but they can spread throughout the cat’s body.
  • Requires prolonged treatment with medications that can have serious side effects. In some cases, treatment is not effective

What are the symptoms of fungal disease in cats?

  • Symptoms associated with systemic fungal infections in cats depend on the type of infection.
  • The following are some of the most common symptoms that a cat will experience with these types of infections:
  1. Weight loss
  2. Fever
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Difficulty breathing
  5. skin Lesions  Ringworm in cats between diagnosis and treatment

Skin fungal diseases in cats | The most common fungi in cats

  1. Eye problems
  2. Lung infections
  3. Bladder infections
  4. Subcutaneous cysts
  5. Bloody secretions in the nose
  6. Sneezing
  7. Sinusitis episodes
  8. Blindness 
  9. Paralysis 
  10. Anemia
  11. Diarrhea
  12. Depression
  13. Intolerance to physical activity and general weakness

What are the most common causes of systemic fungal infections in cats?

Aspergillosis:Fungal diseases in cats

  • It is basically a respiratory infection that rarely spreads throughout the body.
  • They are found worldwide and in almost all domestic animals, as well as in many wild animals. However, susceptibility to infection with systemic fungal infections in cats varies between different types of Aspergillosis.
  • Cats that are already stressful due to illness (such as a viral infection) or immunosuppressive diseases may be more likely to become infected.
  • Symptoms: There are two types of Aspergillosis infection
  1. The first is the nasal form:Fungal diseases in cats

  • Where infection is identified in the nasal passages and the frontal sinuses.
  • It is believed that this develops from direct nasal contact with fungi.
  • For example, if your cat is outside and has been exposed to dust and grass cuttings, fungi may enter through the wet lining of the nose.
  • The most common symptoms are an increase in nasal secretions and a loud breathing sound during inhalation.
  1. The second type is the system Fungal diseases in cats

  • This means that they are more prevalent in the body, and not only in the nose area.
  • The method of injury in this manner is not certain.
  • Aspergillosis is often associated with non-specific signs, such as lethargy, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other symptoms may include the appearance of the eyeballs
  • Systemic fungal infections in cats (Aspergillosis) can invade the central nervous system and cause neurological signs (such as seizures).
  • Establishing an accurate diagnosis can be difficult and may require x-rays, tomography and laboratory tests.
  • Surgery and antifungal medications are usually recommended to treat Aspergillosis

Candidiasis Fungal diseases in cats

  • It is the type of yeast that digests sugar and is part of natural microbes

(Normal flora) in the animal’s mouth, nose, ears, digestive system, and genitals.

  • Topical fungal disease of the mucous membranes and skin
  • This type of yeast is opportunistic and will colonize or occasionally invade the damaged tissues of immune-suppressed animals.
  • Candidiasis can grow rapidly to abnormal levels.
  • This type of fungal diseases in cats can affect animals of any age and breed
  • Infection can occur in a specific part of the body (localized), or it can colonize the entire body (systemic).
  • Candidiasis is rare in cats, but it has been associated with respiratory and upper mouth diseases, eye lesions, space-lung space and chest wall infections, bowel diseases, and bladder infections.
  • Transition: factors that may expose the animal to infection include injury to any of the mucous membranes, use of a catheter, and taking immunosuppressive drugs or medications.
  • Symptoms: variable and unspecified (for example, diarrhea, weakness and skin lesions). These symptoms may be associated with conditions that cause weaker immunity than Candidiasis itself.
  • If Candidiasis settles in the oral cavity, there is usually an abnormal amount of saliva.
  • If the infection is in the urinary bladder, your cat may have cystitis
  • Treatment: candidiasis treatment includes improving and strengthening the immune system.
  • In the case of diabetes, there is also an urgent need to regulate the complications of the condition and control the hyperadrenocorticism
  • Medicines commonly used to treat Candidiasis are applied to the skin or affected areas.
  • The vet may also recommend different medications given orally or by injection to treat infected cats

Cryptococcosis:

  • Most common fungal diseases in cats.
  • This organism is found almost everywhere in the soil.
  • Some fungi are usually found on the skin and in the digestive system of healthy cats.
  • It is more concentrated in the areas where bird droppings are collected
  • These highly concentrated areas can remain contagious for years, especially if the manure accumulates in a shaded and moist area
  • Transmission of infection: Most cats are infected by inhaling the spores.
  • Symptoms: sneezing and nasal or discharge from the nose (may be from one nostril only).
  • Cats may also have neurological signs, such as seizures, dizziness, and paralysis. You may notice that your cat suffers from depression and / or differs from its normal mood. Some cats get blinded. Cats with chronic diseases may experience poor appetite and lose weight

Histoplasmosis:

  • This fungus is found in the soil
  • Most cases of systemic fungal infections in cats tend to be found in river valleys, such as the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri valleys in the Midwest and Southern valleys of the United States.
  • Transition: Once the germs are inhaled or swallowed, the infection may settle in the respiratory system or spread to the digestive system, bone marrow and / or central nervous system.
  • Symptoms: clinical signs depend on the location of the injury.
  • Many cats show high fever, depression, diarrhea, and weight loss along with coughing and difficulty breathing. Anemia is common

Blastomycosis:

  • This fungus is usually found in river valleys, but can also be seen in and around the Great Lakes. Any area with moist soil rich in decomposing plants and acidic pH is ideal for the growth of these fungi.
  • Transition: Inhalation of germs or spores is the most common method.
  • Symptoms: signs of the respiratory system (difficulty breathing / coughing), skin lesions (abscesses, drainage wounds), and eye problems can be observed.
  • Your cat may cough and behave very sluggishly.
  • If a fungal diseases in cat spreads to the bones, the cats may become limp.
  • Diffusion to the central nervous system can lead to seizures or behavior changes

Who is most susceptible to systemic fungal infections in cats?

Those most at risk are cats with:

  1. Chronic diseases
  2. A weakened immune system due to a viral infection – such as:
    • Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
    • The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  1. cats that take immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids and chemotherapeutic drugs

 What are the causes of fungal diseases in cats?

  • Pathogenic fungi are found in many different regions of the environment.
  • Systemic fungal infections in cats can appear in three ways:
    1. Fungi can be swallowed
    2. Inhaled
    3. Absorbed through the skin
  • Here is a list of some of the most common causes of fungal infection:
  1. Exposure to animals with existing fungal infections
  2. Cats with weakened immune diseases are more likely to develop a fungal infection
  3. Wounds on the skin provide a gate for infection by fungi
  4. Exposure to fungi in the soil in the garden or while outdoors
  5. Inhaling fungi or infectious spores
  6. Exposure to fungi in the faeces of infected animals

 How can systemic fungal infections in cats be diagnosed?

  • Since fungal diseases in cats are rare, it is not always easy to diagnose them.
  • Your veterinarian will start by asking some questions about your cat’s health.
  • Be sure to include any relevant information such as the date your symptoms appeared and any pre-existing medical conditions your cat may have.
  • Your doctor will examine your cat and take blood samples for laboratory tests.
  • Full blood count or CBC will be performed, chemical blood analysis and urine analysis.
  • In some cases, your doctor may want to take a tissue sample for a diagnosis.
  • This is usually done during surgery, while your cat is under anesthesia. A tissue sample is sent to the laboratory for diagnosis

What are the methods of prevention after recovering from fungal diseases in cats?

  • Some systemic fungal infections in cats go away with medication, while others can have long-term health effects.
  • To prevent frequent infections and reduce the risk to yourself and other animals in your home, it is important to determine the source of the fungi if possible.
  • After your cat’s initial treatment, your doctor will want to examine your cat every two weeks for a period of time.
  • It is important to attend all follow-up appointments to ensure that your cat does not suffer a relapse.
  • If your cat is taking medications, your doctor may perform tests to check liver enzymes.
  • It may also change your cat’s medication if he does not notice improvement in a month or so.
  • It is important to report any changes in the cat’s appearance or behavior to your doctor immediately.
  • This infection can require long-term medications and can become very expensive.
  • Some infections can cause complications and return even after the surgical intervention.
  • Some serious fungal infections, such as malignant mycosis in North America, can cause severe neurological symptoms. In these cases, your doctor may recommend euthanasia as the best course of treatment.
  • Although rare, this infection can also cause sudden death in cats.
  • Keep your cat indoors. Call your vet immediately if you see any signs of illness

Resources: 

https://www.catwatchnewsletter.com/health/disease/systemic-fungal-infections/

https://wagwalking.com/cat/condition/fungal-infection

https://www.merckvetmanual.com/cat-owners/disorders-affecting-multiple-body-systems-of-cats/fungal-infections-in-cats

https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/infectious-parasitic/c_ct_candidiasis?page=2

 

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