Fungal infections

From Ferret

Fungal infections in mustelids

Fungi are a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds. They are symbionts of plants, animals and other fungi.

Fungi commonly cause superficial skin diseases in mustelids but are responsible for severe and often fatal systemic infections.

Fungal infections reported as pathogenic in mustelids include:

Fungal type Location Disease
Aspergillus spp Intestine Asymptomatic[1]
Blastomyces dermatitidis Skin, systemic Blastomycosis
Cryptococcus spp Lymph nodes, systemic Lymphadenopathy, chorioretinits, meningitis
Emmonsia crescens Lungs Adiaspiromycosis
Encephalitozoon cuniculi Systemic Meningitis
Histoplasma capsulatum Lungs Histoplasmosis
Malassezia spp Skin Seborrhea, otitis externa
Microsporum canis Skin Ringworm
Pneumocystis carinii Lung Pneumocystosis
Trichophyton mentagrophytes Skin Ringworm

Phaeohyphomycosis in ferrets is usually caused by Histoplasma spp, Cryptococcus spp and Blastomyces spp.

This usually presents as systemic infections with pneumonia predominating.

Most are advanced at the time of diagnosis and have a poor refractory response to treatment.


  1. Platonow N & Beauregard M (1965) Feeding of ferrets with the raw meat and liver of chickens chronically poisoned with toxic groundnut meal. Can J Comp Med Vet Sci 29:63-65