Blastomycosis in Dogs
We love our dogs and want to take care of them as best we can. They are dependent on us for a lot of their care, and when they become ill we tend to feel responsible. There are some diseases that we don?t have a cause for and in other cases we know the cause, but not how to prevent the issue. With Blastomycosis you can prevent your dog from becoming ill. The key is to understand what the disease is and where it can be found.
Blastomycosis can affect any dog breed. There are no specific breeds that it tends to affect because the actual disease is based on location. You see blastomycosis is an infection found in your dog that is caused by a fungal organism. In other words the Blastomyces dermatitidis is a fungal mold that is found in sand and acid soils near river valleys and other waterways. Most often this organism or mold is near the Ohio, Mississippis and St. Lawrence River valleys. It has even been found along the Great Lakes, eastern United States near the ocean, and other estuaries in the area. This means that any dog living in these areas can be affected. They may also be affected outside of these areas around the world depending on whether the river bed has the mold. So right here you have the answer that it can be prevented. If you keep your dog away from known sources of the infectious bacteria your chances of your dog becoming ill will be significantly less. This doesn?t mean you have to keep them from having fun, but just be cautious about where you let them play.
Basically to become infected the dog just has to inhale to spores from the soil into their lungs. When it arrives in the lungs the dog will start to have issues with a pulmonary infection. The infection can then spread through the bloodstream to infect other areas of the body. The infection can get into the eyes, brain, bone, lymph nodes, genital systems, skin, and subcutaneous tissues. There are several symptoms that you can help to diagnose the problem early. Symptoms include anorexia, depression, weight loss, fever, coughing, shortness of breath, exercise problems, enlarged lymph nodes, eye disease, and even skin lesions. If you suspect your dog has been exposed to the disease you need to seek a vet for the treatment.
There are a few treatments and most of them are going to be drug related depending on how far the disease has progressed. If you do not seek treatment the disease can be life threatening. When the dog has been treated for the disease you should see an improvement over a three to five day period. The first drug usually provided for the disease is amphotericin B. This is an intravenous injection that goes directly to the source of the infection. Since the drug can have adverse effects the vet usually keeps the dog for a couple of days to make sure there is no kidney failure. Ketoconazole is also given. This drug is provided orally. Most often this drug takes ten to fourteen days to see any effects. It has been known to cure the issue, but sometimes both drugs may have to be given. Itraconazole is the newest treatment on the market; however some vets have yet to take up this medication because of the expense to the owner. It can cost about $1000 for treatment since they need to have several doses over a period of days for the effects to work.