Blastomycosis in Dogs

If you live anywhere near rich soils like pond banks or lake shores, that may be bad news for your dog health as well as your own. Blastomycosis is a fungal infection that can be acquired through the blasto spores of a blasto fungus that is released in the air by local wildlife and subsequently inhaled by dogs and humans as well. Once in the lungs, the blasto spores become infective organisms and multiply at a rapid pace. Usually though, a healthy dog's immune system will fight this off and that's the end of it. But for those that aren't that healthy to begin with, it can spell some bad symptoms with some that are irreversible.

Once infected, there are two classifications of symptoms to look out for, the obvious and the less obvious signs and the length of time between infection and outward signs can vary from a few days to a few weeks, making it almost impossible to establish a link between the time of infection and the location of the infectious spores. Blastomycosis symptoms also mirror other diseases are are very often mis-diagnosed making the need to find infectious organisms for further testing very important to attain a more accurate diagnosis. If there is a skin lesion, a microscope slide comprised of a tissue sample will show the infective organism. If no wounds or lesions are available, needle aspirations of the lungs may be done although treatment for Blastomycosis may be done even before positive diagnosis can be made as a precautionary measure that may save your dog health.

Obvious symptoms are listed as:

Deep cough

Abscess of the skin
Sudden blindness
Blood in the urine

The less obvious symptoms are listed as:

Fever at 104 degrees or higher
Loss of appetite
Intolerance for activity

The current available treatments for blastomycosis in dogs are oral antifungal medications called Sporanox and Diflucan. These should be administered for about three to six months which is pretty long. After such, your dog will be back to normal but unfortunately, as earlier stated, there will be some irreversible symptoms. If your dog went blind, the meds are not going to restore his sight back. Other long-term effects are irreversible as well, such as, spinal or bone damage. If you feel that your dog health is in peril, the best way to deal with it is to take you dog to your vet immediately.

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