Histoplasmosis in Cats

Histoplasmosis in cats is a non-contagious fugal infection that can cause a lot of damage to your pet. If this infection disseminates in your cat, the damages may be so severe that they may never recover. When an infection in your cat disseminates, it means that it has spread over a large part of their body and has affected several tissues and organs.

Treatments for this fungi infection are very expensive and not very effective placing severely infected cats at very poor odds of recovering.

Fungi infections are always dangerous, but this one is especially damaging and potentially fatal for your cat. This infection is caused by a fungi known as Histoplasma capsulatum and is carried by dust particles and its primary focus on your cat will be the lungs.

This fungus is a dimorphic pathogen that also causes disease in humans and if referred as histoplasmosis. It is also known as Darlings disease, Ohio Valley disease, and Maria fever. It is found primarily in the Midwestern and Southern United States that are heavily saturated with river valleys and plain areas where this mold can grow.

It is especially dangerous around bird habitats, as the bird droppings help this organism to grow and spread. The birds themselves are not infected, but they can come in contact with the infection on their wings and spread it. Any area that has a large bat population will also be heavily infected as bat guano can in some cases make it grow even faster.

Your cat catches this infection by inhaling the spores of the fungus, and these spores go directly to the lungs. It than has a yeast producing phase inside of your cats body that shifts forms as well as a concomitant change inside the chemicals that make up the wall of the fungus, which makes it difficult for the immune system to pick up.

This gives the fungi just enough time to firmly attach to your cats lungs.

What makes Histoplasmosis in cats especially challenging is that their immune system that fights most infections very easily must retool itself to attack this form of fungus because of these changes.

This delay allows the infection to go very deep in the lungs and attack cells located in the inner most spots making it difficult to treat. But compounding it even further, most cats will show absolutely no signs of being infected until it becomes very serious.

Young cats whose immune system are still building and cats with a weakened immune system are especially at risk of this time delayed tactic by these fungi. Once the symptoms do start to appear, they will be very serious.

Symptoms:

In healthy cats that are fed a balanced diet and supplemented to build their immune system, the infection is usually very mild as their system can re-adjust and fight it off. However, if it does not and it escapes from the lungs and disseminates, it becomes an entire different set of challenges for your cat.

The first set of symptoms will be a labored breathing and a developing cough in your cat. As a result, they will lose their appetite followed by a gradual and then rapid weight loss if severe enough. It can also cause an intestinal blood leakage in your cat that can lead to anemia.

As it spreads it will most likely than attack your cat’s lymph nodes causing them to swell; and than attack the spleen, causing it to enlarge. It may also attack your pet’s nervous system which will start attacking their mobility and cause lameness, as well as affecting their eyes potentially causing several different eye diseases.

Treatments:

Most forms of treatments for fungal infections will be in the form of anti-fungal treatments and the supportive care. But if it does disseminate, it will require that you give these anti-fungal drugs for an extended period of time to your cat and they are very expensive.

Building young cats immune systems and restoring immune suppressed cats back to full strength will be the best mode in both treating and preventing this very serious infection. Vitamin E will play a major role as it is especially important in oxygenating the blood and as a result improves all functions of internal organs.
It is especially important in its antioxidant abilities in protecting your cat’s lungs.

There are also two herb supplements that are especially helpful in building the immune system to fight against fungi infections. Olive leaf extract is extremely effective as it kills both viruses and fungus infections by interfering with the shedding process as well as the budding process of the cell membranes. It also has the ability to penetrate host cells that are infected and reverse damages.

This fungi infection tricks the immune system of your cat but this herbal extract can also trick the fungi and attack it.

Black walnut extract is also very effective in fighting fungi infection and it is also a very rich source of iodine and several trace minerals. It has a very high concentration of tannin and oxygenates the blood to kill both parasites as well as fungus. It also has antiseptic properties that will help your cat’s immune system build back rigidity to infections.

Summary:

Histoplasmosis in cats is an especially dangerous fungi infection that can disseminate in your cats body because of its ability to time delay and surprise attack the immune system. Building the system as strong as you possibly can to prevent this infection may be your cast best line of defense.

If weak or underdeveloped, your pet’s immune system stands no real chance against this very serious fungi infection.

I am an avid lover of pets and my wife and I have had several pets throughout our years. We are especially fond of dogs, and we have a 12 year old Dalmatian (our 3rd) and a “mutt” that we rescued when someone threw him away to die in a vacant field.

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