Cryptococcosis: The Most Common Systemic Fungal Disease In Cats How to keep your kitty free from fungi?

BY | December 07 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Cryptococcosis: The Most Common Systemic Fungal Disease In Cats Photo by luca Finardi: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-shot-of-a-tabby-cat-lying-on-concrete-surface-13889673/

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There is not much known about the source of the fungal disease CNF, but a lot can be deduced through common sense. The crux of the matter is to keep up your catโ€™s general well-being.

Cryptococcosis is a yeast-based fungal infection caused by Cryptococcus neoformans. This disease primarily affects animals with compromised immune systems, such as those with feline leukemia or AIDS. It can also affect cats who have been taking steroids or receiving chemotherapy for other diseases. Symptoms of cryptococcosis may be mild or severe and include weight loss, lethargy, lack of appetite, and respiratory symptoms. 

Treatment includes antifungal pet meds like fluconazole, ketoconazole, and amphotericin B in combination with supportive care, including intravenous fluids to help flush out toxins from the body. This gives the body time to rest so the immune system can get stronger again before any further treatment begins. 

Cause Of Cryptococcosis

Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungus that infects the lungs, brain, and spinal cord of cats. It causes cryptococcosis. Cryptococcosis is one of the most common systemic fungal diseases in cats and has been reported worldwide since the late 1800s.

The source of infection for most cases of feline cryptococcosis is not known. However, it can be transmitted from bird to cat or from cat to cat. In some cases, there may be a link between animal exposure and human contact with pigeon droppings or other environmental sources of Cryptococcus neoformans (such as soil).

An Opportunistic Infection

Cryptococcosis predominantly affects immunocompromised animals, including those with feline leukemia or AIDS, as well as patients who have been taking steroids or receiving chemotherapy. Cats with compromised immune systems may get infected with a variety of opportunistic organisms that can cause disease. In this case, Cryptococcus neoformans (CNF) is the pathogen responsible for cryptococcosis in cats.

CNF is a fungus that lives in soil and water. It can be inhaled directly into the lungs, or it can be ingested via food or water contaminated by CNF spores. Cats are most commonly affected because they spend so much time outdoors and often eat grasses contaminated by animal feces carrying germinating CNF spores. 

Symptoms Of Cryptococcosis

Cryptococcosis may be mild or severe and include weight loss, lethargy, lack of appetite, and respiratory symptoms.

There are two common ways your cat can get cryptococcosis.

Cats with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of developing cryptococcosis, including the following:

  • cats with FeLV (feline leukemia virus) or FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus)

  • older cats (over 10 years old) 

Treatment Of Cryptococcosis

Treatment for cryptococcosis involves antifungal medications. The two most common types of antifungals used to treat this condition include fluconazole and amphotericin B (a lipid-based drug). Fluconazole is an oral medication that comes in pill form. It can be given to cats with no problems whatsoever, even if they need to take it long-term. On the other hand, Amphotericin B is an intravenous medication that must be administered by a veterinarian at carefully timed intervals over several days to weeks. It’s not something you would ever administer yourself or have your cat self-administer at home. Animax ointment can also be used to treat external infections. Infections in the eye can also be smoothed with cat eye drops. 

Carriers For Life

Animals who survive a bout of cryptococcosis can be carriers for life but won't get sick again.

  • Your cat's immune system will naturally fight off any future exposure to the fungus, so you don't have to worry about getting it again.

  • Cats with weakened immune systems (for example, from cancer or other diseases) are at an increased risk of developing infections in general and may therefore be more likely to develop cryptococcosis again. Cats with weak liver function can be administered Denamrin to attain oxidative balance.

  • If your cat is stressed out or otherwise stressed by circumstances that affect his or her health, including those mentioned above, it could potentially trigger the condition as well. Feliway helps in calming your cat by diffusing pheromones to reduce stress. 

Conclusion

This disease is uncommon in cats, but it can be deadly if not treated. Talk to your vet immediately if you think your cat may have cryptococcosis. Treatment involves several weeks of antifungal medication and supportive care, including keeping the animal warm and hydrated. It's important that cats with compromised immune systems get tested for this disease because they're at increased risk for getting sick from other infections too.

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