Sporotrichosis in cats and dogs: symptoms, causes and treatment
Sporotrichosis is a zoonosis, or disease that can be transmitted from animals to people. The agent of this disease is a fungus, which usually uses a wound on the skin as the perfect means of entry into the body.
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This terrible disease can affect several animals, including the dog and the cat! Since it can be transmitted to the human being, it is essential to have some care. For this reason, YourCatCareguide wrote this article with everything you need to know about sporotrichosis in dogs and cats: symptoms, causes and treatment .
Sporotrichosis, also known as rose tree disease , is caused by the fungus Sporotrix Schenkii . This fungus is everywhere in nature, so it is not difficult for your pet to have contact with it. Especially cats that have access to the outside, can contact with this fungus in the land and in the gardens that they frequent.
This fungus especially likes hot and humid places to breed and that is why it is more common in tropical climates . The best way to prevent the appearance of this fungus is to always keep the places properly cleaned, especially your cat’s litter box!
It is important to note that, according to some studies, transmission from cats to humans is more common than from dogs. Sometimes the animal may not have the disease but be a carrier of the fungus. For example, if your kitten has been in direct contact with this fungus on the street and in a play to scratch it, it may be enough to contaminate it. Disinfect the wound quickly!
In the dog, sporotrichosis is considered rare . Dermatophytoses caused by other agents such as Microsporum canis , Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes are more common . Anyway, there are some reported cases and so, all care is few. Just like in cats, hygiene is the most important of all, both to keep your dog from getting out of these opportunistic fungi like yourself.
Causes of Sporotrichosis
As we have already mentioned, what causes sporotrichosis is the fungus Sporotrix Schenckiithat usually takes advantage of small lesions or wounds to enter the body of the animal.
We can consider that there are three types of sporotrichosis :
- Cutaneous : individual nodules on the animal’s skin.
- Cutaneous-lymphatic : When the infection progresses and in addition to affecting the skin, it reaches the lymphatic system of the animal.
- Disseminated : when the disease reaches such a serious state that the whole organism is affected.
Symptoms of sporotrichosis
Unlike other skin diseases, sporotrichosis lesions do not usually cause itching. In addition to the typical symptoms mentioned below, the animals may lose appetite and consequently weight.
Symptoms of sporotrichosis in dogs and cats
- Firm Nodules
- Areas of alopecia (regions of the body hairless)
- Ulcers on trunk, head and ears
In addition, when the disease is disseminated, a number of other clinical signs may be presented, depending on the affected systems. From respiratory, locomotor and even gastrointestinal problems.
Sporotrichosis – diagnosis
Diagnostic tests are required by the veterinarian to confirm that the animal has sporotrichosis. This disease can easily be confused with others that present similar clinical signs, such as leishmaniasis , herpes, etc.
These are the most common diagnostic tools:
- Cytology by direct smear
- Skin scraping
Sometimes it may be necessary to make a fungal culture and biopsy . Also, do not be surprised if your veterinarian needs to perform multiple tests on your pet. Complementary exams are extremely important to rule out possible differential diagnoses, and it is recalled that, without a correct diagnosis, the chances of treatment being effective are much lower.
Sporotrichosis in cats and dogs – treatment
The treatment of choice for this problem is sodium and potassium iodide .
In the case of cats, the veterinarian will be especially careful because there is a greater risk of iodism as a side effect of this treatment, and the cat may present:
- Dry skin
Other drugs can be used to help heal injuries, such as imidazoles and triazoles . It is important to note that the use of these drugs can also have side effects such as:
- Weight loss
If your pet has any side effect of the medication, you should immediately contact the veterinarian who is following up on the case.
Sporotrichosis has a cure?
Yes, sporotrichosis has a cure. For this you should take your pet to the veterinary clinic as soon as you check out some of the symptoms we mentioned earlier. The earlier the treatment is started, the better the prognosis.
Prognosis of sporotrichosis
The prognosis of this disease is good if it is identified on time and if it is treated correctly. There may be relapses, but they are usually associated with incorrect use of medications. For these reasons, again, you should never medicate your pet without the veterinarian’s supervision, as this act may seem to solve the problem at the moment but worsen your pet’s health in the future.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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