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Culture Results - Aspergillus Fungus ?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Has anybody ever heard of this fungus? I got Simba's results back yesterday after a month at the lab, and the diagnosis was Aspergillus Fungus. My vet switched the anti-fungal he was on from Intraconazole to Ketoconazole. He was on the Intraconazole for a month and now has to take the Ketoconazole twice a day for a month. From the research I've done on this fungus, it doesn't sound good. I'm concerned if it can spread to other internal organs. Simba's is in his ear close to the canal. He is in good spirits and seems to be back to his old self. I really thought the Intrazonozole must have been working since I had seen such a change in him, but my vet said he needs to switch to the Ketoconzole for this particular fungus. Sigh.... frustrating
post #2 of 7
I have heard of it (I am allergic to it! ) and it is really common- it grows both indoor and outdoor, is present in dirt, etc.. Since I have Cystic Fibrosis, if I'm planting flowers or something, I have wear a mask to make sure I don't get it in my lungs and start growing a fungus infection there (okay, tmi- sorry!). I haven't heard of it in cats though- sorry! My only question is (okay, 2)- where is it in his ear (external, internal), and why is the vet not doing ear drops too if it is internal (when my dog had an ear infection, I read that the inside of the ears, like sinuses, can be difficult to treat with an oral treatment).

I hope he's feeling better soon!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi - Thanks for the info! Not too much TMI... I've been researching my brains out here today I have found that most humans/animals can fight it off, but for those with compromised immune systems, they may get the fungus. Most of what I've read does have to do with the lungs, although it can affect the inside ear/sinuses as well. My Simba has it inside of his ear close to the canal. The infection has formed what looks like a mass. My vet is able to see it with the scope. He has been on ear drops in the past, and they would help for a little while and then the symptoms would return. I have a call into my vet to ask her if this particular fungus is localized or if it can spread to other internal organs.
post #4 of 7
I thought that was mold. Do you have mold in your basement or elsewhere in your house? Leaking pipes?
post #5 of 7

The Aspergillus website is a worldwide comprehensive resource providing a wide range of information about the fungus Aspergillus and the diseases such as Aspergillosis that it can cause. This site provides an encyclopaedia of Aspergillus for doctors, scientists, patients and their relatives.

Aspergillus is a fungus whose spores are present in the air we breathe, but do not normally cause illness. However an individual with a weakened immune status may be susceptible to aspergillus infection.

Aspergillosis is a group of diseases which can result from aspergillus infection and includes invasive aspergillosis, ABPA and aspergilloma. Some asthma patients with very severe asthma may also be sensitised to fungi like aspergillus (SAFS).

There is a section devoted to the needs of patients, friends and family suffering from the effects of Aspergillosis. Aspergillosis may affect patients whose immune system may be compromised - including those with Leukaemia, Chemotherapy patients or those on steroids, Transplant patients, Cystic fibrosis, HIV or AIDS, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), Severe asthma with fungal sensitivity (SAFS) and many others.

Sources of increased risk include - dirty air conditioning units, compost heaps and damp or flood- damaged housing, all of which can yield higher numbers of aspergillus spores.
Aspergillus does not solely affect humans; birds and animals can also develop aspergillosis, and some plant diseases and food spoilage may be due to aspergillus infection.
It's very common, but most people & animals are not affected by it. There's an entire website (link above) dedicated to this fungus, and apparently it's the 10th anniversary of the aspergillus website 0_o
post #6 of 7
I hope this doesn't scare or upset you, but I think it is important to know what you are dealing with. I recently heard of a cat being affected by this fungus. I have never heard of this before and I am by NO MEANS an expert but your post reminded me of a website I had seen recently.

Here his story http://attilathecat.altervista.org/introduction.html

This could be a different strain of the fungus but may be worth showing to your vet, it could help with your kitty's treatment.

I hope things work out for the best for your and Simba!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the links and posts. I am very scared for Simba because of everything I have read about this fungus. My vet seems to think his is localized to the ear since he seems to be responding well to the oral anti-fungals and is pretty much back to his old self again. Still, I'm very concerned, sometimes I feel as if I know more about this fungus then the vets do. How will I ever know if it is gone? I guess I need to take him back for another culture once he finishes the medication, which isn't until mid June. From everything I've read, it sounds like these fungal spores are inhaled through the mouth and generally get into the lung area. My vet said it is very rare for it to settle inside of the ear. I'm just very, very worried that it could spread elsewhere internally. He is going into his 2nd month on the oral anti-fungal and I have definitely seen a positive change in his overall demeanor since being on it. His appetitie is back and he is once again running and playing with his sister. He even gained 1 lb. last time he was at the vet.

Please, if anybody should find anything new on this fungus, please post... thank you and keep Simba in your prayers.
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