Cryptococcosis is disease of people and animals caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Cryptococcus neoformans. It is found throughout the world in soil and bird droppings and is consistently found in old pigeon nests. It infects cats more so than dogs, and it gains entrance to the body by being inhaled into the lungs. From the lungs, it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain, eyes, sinuses, and skin, via the blood or lymph system. It causes open festering skin sores in the form of nodules.
The brain form of the infection is much more serious and harder to cure, and the chances of recovery are poor. It can cause convulsions and even death. The sinus, nose, and skin forms of the infection are treatable, and the cure rate is fair to good.
Important Points in Treatment
1. Laboratory tests, including complete blood counts, serum chemistry profiles, cultures, and radiographs (x-rays), provide an overview of your pet’s organ system and general physical condition. It is important for some of these tests to be repeated at certain intervals to help guide your pet’s therapy.
2. Treatment is generally for long periods; 6 to 10 weeks is common.
3. The disease is not directly transmitted from animal to animal or from animals to people.