This cat has a severe Sporothrix infection. Sporothrix is a fungal organism that can infect many different species. In humans this disease is known as Rose Gardener’s disease because it can be spread via rose thorn punctures. There are three forms of the disease: cutaneous, pulmonary, and disseminated. In humans the disease can be treated with anti-fungal medications.
Cats are unique because they usually have quite severe infections and act as amplifiers of the disease. They are constantly shedding organisms from open wounds and can infect other animals as well as human beings. Unfortunately this is a very difficult disease to treat in cats and because it is zoonotic the best course of action is usually euthanasia.
This cat had disseminated disease. Its skin was ulcerated severely and on the front left foot so much tissue had sloughed that the carpal bones could be seen. Radiographs showed that the lungs were full of the fungus. Euthanasia was elected as the most humane treatment.