SlimKitty Health Check: Fungal Diseases
The next in our series on Feline Diseases is fungal diseases. Just as with bacterial diseases, there are many fungal diseases that may impact our cat’s health.
Cats are susceptible to many of the same fungal diseases as dogs such as Aspergillosis, Coccidiomycosis and Histoplasmosis, so be sure and read our SlimDoggy Health Check: Fungal Diseases for diseases not covered here.
Candidiasis: This infection is caused by the fungus Candida. While several varieties of the fungi, it is typically found in the mucus membranes of cats. Most often found in cats with a suppressed immune system it can lead to respiratory distress, lesions of the eye, intestinal disease or bladder infections. Symptoms are not pronounced, but may include lethargy, diarrhea or skin lesions. Treatment depends on the location of the infection – oral or topical medication if found on the skin or mouth and possibly injections if the disease is impacting internal organs.
Mycetomas: This skin condition may be caused by several types of fungus. It enters the skin through a scratch or cut and creates a nodule or tumor. Symptoms are typically a wound that doesn’t heal or these nodules that may ooze fluid. Treatment is fairly straight forward and may be limited to anti-fungal cream. In more severe cases, surgical removal may be required.
Sporotrichosis; This is an uncommon skin condition that causes a skin infection or irritation. It is caused by spores found in the soil, or in the saliva of an infected cat. The Sporothrix schenckii spores enter the skin through a scratch or cut and even cat bites, creating the irritation which usually leads to an abscess and ulceration. The fungus is zoonotic, meaning it can be passed to humans, so use caution if you suspect your cat has this fungus. While rare, it is easily diagnosed through a swab of the infected area. Treatment is straightforward with oral potassium cholride. Preventative measure include cleaning wounds or bites quickly and thoroughly.