Fungal Infections in Dogs: Sporotrichosis

Sporotrichosis is a rare but potentially serious fungal infection that can infect dogs, cats, or people. Because it is quite rare, it’s often overlooked as a potential cause of the symptoms that it produces. However, this condition is serious and can easily spread throughout your pet’s body. It is also potentially transmissable to humans, cats and other dogs, making it a very dangerous disease.

Sporotrichosis in dogs comes from the fungus sporothrix shcenckii. It is a naturally occurring fungus found on trees and in the soil. Dogs are usually exposed to the fungus when it enters the bloodstream through an open sore .

Symptoms of Sporotrichosis

In dogs, the most prominent symptoms are small raised nodular lesions or bumps that appear close to the skin on the head, ears, and body.  As the condition advances the modules can ulcerate and and drain a cloudy white pus-like liquid. Usually though the nodules don’t cause your pet to be uncomfortable, there is no pain or itching.  In every other respect your dog seems healthy.

In humans, sporotrichosis is more common on the fingers, hands, or face – locations where the person may have had an open wound and come into contact with an infected cat. The nodule may open and drain and the surrounding lymph nodes may become swollen as well.

Diagnosis of Sporotrichosis

Although the outward symptoms of the condition are not typically very serious and may not bother your pet at all, there is the risk of infecting the dog’s internal organs. If this happens, the infection may become very serious and might threaten your pet’s overall health.

A fluorescent antibody test may need to be done to detect the infection. The test shows antibodies that are produced to for the body to protect itself against the infection. This way the fungal spores don’t actually need to be seen themselves..

Treatment of Sporotrichosis

An oral medication that is effective at fighting the fungal spores that cause sporotrichosis isPotassium iodide,  an oral medication. The drug is taken four to eight weeks. Itraconazole and Ketoconazoleare are other possible medications.

Humans have become infected through coming in contact with the open, draining sores on infected cats.

Related articles include:

Moldy Dogs: Fungal and Yeast Infections in Dogs

Fungal Infections in Dogs: Ringworm

Fungal Infections in Dogs: Aspergillosis

Fungal Infections in Dogs: Blastomycosis

Fungal Infections in Dogs: Histoplasmosis

Fungal Infections in Dogs: Cryptococcosis

Fungal Infections in Dogs: Coccidioides immitis/Valley Fever

Fungal Infections in Dogs: Pythiosis

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