Thursday, November 19, 2015

Papillomavirus Creates Lesions on Baby's Ears

Baby has large, brown spots on her right ear.  Years ago she had tiny spots and in the last few months they have grown.

A sample was taken and sent to the lab. They are due to a rare virus called Papillomavirus. Virus is introduced via broken skin-a cut, a bite, a fight; lesions occur due to suppressed immune system brought on by a virus such as herpes, FIP, FLV, etc.;  or long term use of steroids which would also suppress immune system.  Could become cancerous a.k.a. Bowen's disease.  

Treatment is an ointment-imiquimod cream 5% with a collar to prevent her from licking off the cream. The cream makes the lesions heal and disappear. Laser or cryotherapy is often used but lesions may come back and those are not recommended for areas near the eyes. Azithromycin, an antibiotic, has had some success. Lesions have been known to heal on their own but if untreated, could get worse. 

We need to figure out what is causing the possible suppression of her immune system. She was vaccinated as a kitten and she has been with us since she was five months old. The lesions began to appear a few years ago and I can't recall if they appeared before or after the kittens arrived.  If she got the virus, it would have had to been from one of the kittens or Cooper, if she received it via a cut, as those are the only cats in the house. None have/had papillomavirus as far as we know. If she tests positive for a virus, then we will test the other four. The others could become infected with papillomavirus but they don't cuddle with her so the infection risk may be low.  
The vet today drew blood to retest for FIP, FLV, etc.  

We also took another gastro test that tests for inflammatory bowel syndrome vs. something else which I have forgotten, I'm sorry to say but it avoids  having to do surgery to get a biopsy of the intestinal tract. While this has nothing to do directly with the papillomavirus, she has trouble eating; the scan last summer of the GI tract showed mild thickening of the intestine.  This is either a separate issue or a symptom of an underlying issue yet to be discovered.  We should have results in a few days. 

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