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Thread: Anyone ever dealt with pythiosis?

  1. #1
    Senior Member labsx3's Avatar
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    Default Anyone ever dealt with pythiosis?

    I had never heard of this until recently, we are dealing with this at the veterinary hospital I work at. Pythiosis is caused by pythium insidiosum , an aquatic organism, which is often fatal for dogs. All of the literature I am reading has this as a disease for dogs in tropical and sub tropical climates, but goes on to say this has been documented in Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia ,New Jersey, Southern Illinois and Indiana. The disease presents in a few ways,gastrointestinal, with severe thickening of the gastrointestinal tract vomiting ,weight loss, sporadic diarrhea, or cutaneous resulting in non healing wounds and a mass that can be hard or spongy. This dog ,a 2 year old lab we are treating presented with a spongy lump on his front leg. We took the mass off and it was sent off, and came back yesterday that this is what we are dealing with. Unfortunatly this dog may lose his leg, as often amputation is the only way to stop this nasy thing from spreading. I am just learning about this, so if anyone has dealt with this please share...this is very scary. This dog was swimming in a lake in Virginia shortly before this showed up on him, the owner said this is the only place she has taken them to swim.

  2. #2
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    I suggest you call Tammy Bell or PM her on this site. She can tell you a great deal about this.
    If you can't get her by PM let me know and I'll get you her cell number.

    Gene

  3. #3
    Senior Member Furball's Avatar
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    My best friend is a recent graduate of the U of FL vet school, this past spring she treated a boxer with pythiosis at UF. He had been allowed to swim in a retention pond (which is stupid to do in Florida anyways....alligators).
    I can't remember if this dog lived or not but he had a huge mass in his intestines.
    --Anney

  4. #4
    Senior Member Last Frontier Labs's Avatar
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    Tammy has a website dedicated to the dog she lost to pythiosis.
    www.pythiosis.com
    Sherri Young

    "It's the journey that's important, with experience and knowledge to be gained along the way, in the company of our faithful dogs and our good friends."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5
    Senior Member lablover's Avatar
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    Does anyone know where in virginia?

    We have, due to the drought in Virginia, avoided many ponds that had what appeared to be the "blue/green alge" coating on them.
    This was reported here on RTF several months ago.
    <--- Dooey, MH
    MHR Duckmates Fly Guy MH 05/17/94 - 07/17/08 "Flyboy"
    Candlewood Court Magician JH 1/31/02 - 8/2/12 "Magic Man"

    Richard

  6. #6
    Senior Member TBell's Avatar
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    Yes, I am very familiar with pythiosis. It has been my mission to find any new research or information on it and hopefully one day a cure.

    It began as a tropical disease, but now is very common in the gulf coastal states. More cases come from areas that have had floods or hurricanes, and it cannot be seen as a scum in a pond.

    Unfortunately, there are no new research dollars being spent that I am aware of except for one new study of hunting dogs in CA. I have contacted the AKC Health Foundation, the Morris Animal Foundation, and the AVMA about research grants, information, etc. It is very disappointing.

    The only ongoing research I know of is being done by a company in TX who holds the patent for a curative vaccine that is very effective in treating horses. They reformulated that vaccine for canines this spring and have had some very promising results.

    Since I created my website, www.pythiosis.com , in January 2007, I have had responses from people in the following states that have dogs with pythiosis.

    AR (4), AZ (3), CA, FL (4), LA (2), MS (5), NC, SC, TN, TX (8), VA

    I only know of two dogs still alive after pythiosis, and they both received the new curative vaccine from www.pavlab.com . Most vet schools are still recommending resection and anti-fungal drugs which DOES NOT work! It is frustrating, but I won't give up!

    Please feel free to contact me anytime if anyone has any questions.

    Thanks!

    Tammy
    Last edited by TBell; 11-07-2007 at 07:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member labsx3's Avatar
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    Thanks Tammy. I will pass this information on to our doctor. The dog had been swimming in lake anna, which surprised me because it is a huge lake, I have never been there, but according to the owner there is a warm side of the lake and a cool side, she said the warm side gets very hot in the summer, and this is where her dog had swam. I am sorry you had to learn so much about this because of losing Rusti, but thank you for all of your work,this is a very scary thing to deal with .
    Eileen

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