Newly Discovered Fungus Endangers the Lives of Dogs and Cats

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A research team at the University of Sydney has discovered a mold called Aspergillus felis, which can have fatal consequences if you or your dog or cat come across it.

This mold has already claimed the lives of countless pets and one man.

There are various kinds of mold that fall in the Aspergillus group, many of which cause serious diseases in humans and animals. If inhaled, the fungus can grow inside of the nasal passages, sinuses and lungs. It can then spread via blood to the brain and various other organs.

Aspergillosis, the disease caused by some Aspergillus molds, can be treated with modern anti-fungals, but diseases caused by other species, like Aspergillus felis, are not always treatable.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at a variety of cats in Australia and the U.K., including purebreds and domestic crossbreeds. They appeared generally healthy, but suffered from long-time sniffles and sneezes. Upon further examination, researchers found they suffered from rhinosinusitis caused by Aspergillus felis. This would push the eyeball outwards due to a fungal ball growing behind the eye.

The same study included a dog in Australia and a man in Portugal. The mold caused pain, fever and abnormal heart sounds in the dog. For the man, it grew inside the lining of his lung. Both subjects later died from the fungus.


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