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Cryptococcosis in Cats

By: Dr. Rosanna Marsalla

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Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Treatment may be necessary for 6 months to one year. Follow-up may include frequent re-evaluation will be necessary until the pet's condition stabilizes.

A decrease in the cryptococcal titer over time suggests effective treatment and a hopeful prognosis. Affected animals should be treated for one month after resolution of clinical signs and preferably until their cryptococcal titer becomes undetectable.

Treated animals should be monitored closely for drug toxicity. Periodic liver function tests should be performed in pets treated with ketoconazole or itraconazole and kidney function tests should be monitored in pets treated with amphotericin B.

Cats with cryptococcosis that also are positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or feline leukemia virus (FeLV) usually have a poor treatment outcome. Thus, determination of an affected cat's FIV and FeLV status may allow the veterinarian to provide a more accurate prognosis for treatment.

The animal should be monitored closely for recurrence of symptoms after a decision has been made to stop treatment as a result of apparent recovery.

Therapy can be monitored repeating antigen titers. A decrease in the titers is indication of a positive response to the therapy. No vaccine is available. Contact with pigeon droppings should be avoided.

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