He doesn't allow me to take photos of his sores now, but I want to write this post right now because a lady has just written in saying her cat has been diagnosed with sporotrichosis and her vet has advised her to have the poor cat euthanised because her vet contracted sporotrichosis herself and had a tough time recovering. The lady is at a loss and doesn't know what to do. She wrote to ask if there is any vet we could recommend who would be willing to treat her cat.
I replied asking her to please not give up on her cat. And I shared the many, many case I have compiled through the years we've encountered sporo cases, from Morton's, Wong Wong's, Blacktail's, Fitri's, Puteri's, Rascal's, Merdeka's, Houdini's, Thong-c's, etc, and now, Tiger's. I have always had a ready list to send to readers who ask for help for their sporo-cats but this time I can speak with more conviction as I've personally nursed Tiger (and am still nursing him).
So I want to compile his photos here in this blogpost so that I can send it to this lady to encourage her to get her cat treated. I have also recommended her to see Tiger's vet as this vet is so very compassionate and has never been known to give up on any sporo-cat.
So here goes, in a nutshell and more importantly the comparison photos are below:
Tiger was discovered to have early-stage sporotrichosis 54 days ago. The sores were found on his left front paw, the insides of his left hind leg and right hind leg. I started him immediately on Sporonox (note: please only use the original, as advised by the many, many sporo-cat caregivers). The cost ranges from RM6.90 to RM9.50, depending on the various pharmacies.
I also gave Tiger RetroMAD1 as he is FIV+ and the prognosis for recovery is usually poor for immune-suppressed cats, what more, when it's a hard-to-heal disease like sporotrichosis.
Besides these, Tiger was immediately started on Biopure (the new version of Liv-52, from Himalaya). This is to protect his liver as Sporonox is known to be toxic to the liver. Gradually, I gave Tiger the following supplements as well: Omega-7 and Transfer Factor (both to boost his immunity). Please note that Tiger is more supplements than usual because of his FIV+ condition.
For topical application, I used Lamisil Cream (terbenafine) for his sores.
The sores did not quite show improvement for the few week. In fact, on Days 7 and 9, new sores flared up, suspected to be the existing spores germinating from the deep muscle, manifesting as new sores. Though these looked scary and intimidating, it's "good" that the spores germinate rather than stay dormant in the muscle (that would literally be a "time-bomb" of sorts).
Tiger was quarantined from the rest of his friends. However, I was told that sporotrichosis, which is zoonotic (can spread to humans), spreads and starts through an open wound. I wore gloves while applying the Lamisil Cream onto his sores. But I did not have any open wounds, so that wasn't so worrying. Morever, Tiger did not have the infamous "Clown Nose" (red nose, which is very characteristic of sporotrichosis). The presence of the "Clown Nose" normally indicate that there is infection in the mucuous membrane inside the nostril (which can spread to the lungs). If this happens, the spores can spread from sneezing and through the air. Thank goodness Tiger had not got to this stage.
The Sporonox dosage is based on weight. Tiger was 5.6kg when first diagnosed, so his dosage was 1/2 cap once a day.
Sporonox - 1/2 cap once a day
RetroMAD1 - 0.2ml thrice a day
Vetri DMG - 1 tablet once a day or 0.5ml once a day
Biopure - 1 tablet twice a day
Omega-7 - 1 capsule once a day
Transfer Factor - 1 capsule once a day
Lamisil Cream - topical application once a day
Later, I discovered Path-Away Anti-Fungal Spray which helped topically, so I used this in place of Lamisil Cream as Path-Away is non-toxic and biodegradable.
Sporonox capsule, Lamisil cream, Biopure (liver protectant).
Vetri DMG and Transfer Factor as immune boosters.
Omega-7 as an additional supplement for the skin.
Path-Away replaced Lamisil cream as the latter is toxic to the liver and licking would be a problem.
Path-Away is biodegradable and non-toxic.
Now, here are some comparison photos:
LEFT FRONT PAW : Gang of Four
LEFT HIND LEG: Gang of Eight
RIGHT HIND LEG: Just one sore
In between, quite a number of sores appeared on the tail and both sides of the hips. I mistakenly thought these were sporo sores, but upon checking by the vet much later, these were actually just lick/bite sores, and not sporo-sores! Revolution spot-on solved this problem.
So today is Day 54 and I am stil waiting for the day for all the original sores to totally disappear as the vet advised that Tiger would have to continue with Sporonox for another THIRTY days post-healing. And "post-healing" means the skin has grown back and the sores are not longer visible.
Meanwhile, I just managed to take these photos a few minutes ago.
Left Front Leg: What's left of the Gang of Four.
Left Hind Leg: What's left of the Gang of Eight.
Right Hind Leg: What's left of the Just One.
I've been repeatedly reminded that relapses are not uncommon in sporo cases, so it's still not time to celebrate yet.
Right now, Tiger and I are looking forward to the day when all these original sores disappear totally, then only can we begin our 30-day countdown (it begins the day the last sore disappears). After that, there are still a few more months to wait and pray that a relapse will not occur. I plan to continue with all his supplements even after the 30-day countdown. But Sporonox will stop after 30 days since it has a considerable level of toxicity.
Meanwhile, Tiger has put on weight (5.9kg) and this a good sign. The vet says there is no need to do a liver function test.
Tiger's appetite is good and it is important for sporo-cats to be on the best possible nutrition as the body needs all the nutrition and strength it can get to heal from this dreadful disease.
A note to add is that even confined cats can contract sporotrichosis. Tiger lives indoor with a garden which has plants, soil and grass. He probably contracted the sporo from the soil as the fungi lives in the soil. All it takes is an open wound and the spores enter the body, get lodged in the deep muscle and the nightmare begins.
However, as scary as it sounds, I personally hope sporo-cats caregivers will not give up on their cats who have sporotrichosis. If you would just do a wordsearch on "sporo" on this blogpost, you will find so many successful cases. Wong-Wong and Merdeka's cases were REALLY bad, and yet, they recovered. So did many others.
Whatever the disease, as long as there is a treatment protocol, we owe it to our animals to save their lives.
We'll get there soon...!