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Thread: Please participate in New Pythiosis Study!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member TBell's Avatar
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    Default Please participate in New Pythiosis Study!!

    With spring just rolling around the corner and many dogs south for the winter, this is a good time to think about this new emerging tropical disease. When you loose a dog to it, it will never....ever leave the back of your mind!

    Since I lost a dog to Pythiosis in 2006, I know it is capable of infecting dogs in my area. I have worked very hard to keep myself informed of any new research or treatments for pythiosis. Early diagnosis is the key to surviving infection, so I test my dogs every 6 months to keep abreast of whether they have been exposed.

    Unfortunately, there is relatively little new research on the horizon from LSU, and no funding dollars are being given out from Morris Animal Foundation or the AKC Health Foundation.


    Description of Pythiosis
    Pythiosis is a devastating and often fatal cause of chronic GI or cutaneous disease in dogs, cats, cattle, equines, captive polar bears and humans. It is caused by Pythium insidiosum, an aquatic pathogen belonging to the class Oomycetes. Oomycetes differ from true fungi. Pythium infections are essentially non responsive to antibiotic or antifungal treatments and surgical resection of lesions saves only 20-25% of infected animals. Many dogs with pythiosis have a history of recurrent exposure to warm freshwater habitats. However, some cases are observed in suburban house dogs with no history of access to lakes or ponds. The incidence of Pythium infections in dogs is not known, but the number of confirmed cases has risen dramatically in the last 5 years. Cases in the U.S. have gone from less than 10 a year just 5 years ago to more than 100 cases per year. Experts in the field estimate that 200-300 cases of canine pythiosis will be confirmed in 2008, and many more cases will be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.


    Symptoms of gastrointestinal Pythiosis
    Clinical signs associated with Gl pythiosis include weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or blood in the stool. Physical examination after the disease has progressed reveals a thin body condition and palpable abdominal mass. Signs of systemic illness are not typically present unless intestinal obstruction, infarction, or perforation occurs.


    NOW TO THE HEART OF THE STUDY -
    Bob Glass with PavLab in Hutto, TX, who is the only scientist I can find actively studying this disease in canines, has volunteered to test up to 200 field trial labs for FREE!! You simply pull the blood on your dogs, fill out his form, and send it in to him. Results are quick and fully confidential. For additional information see my website at http://www.pythiosis.com/fieldtrial.htm


    In order to do the blood test 3-5 ml of blood in a red top tube or 1-2 mls of serum should be submitted to the PAVL diagnostic laboratory at the following address. Samples should be refrigerated from the time of collection until shipped, but should not be frozen. It is recommend to ship by Priority Mail with an ice pack if possible.Please complete the attached form.
    Click this link for form!
    Pan American Veterinary Labs
    166 Brushy Creek Trail Hutto, TX 78634 Phone: 800.856.9655 Fax: 512-846-2140 E-Mail: info@pavlab.com


    You may also visit my website http://www.pythiosis.com/ for additional information. I received 46 forms from this site with confirmed cases of pythiosis in 2007. Affected areas are as follows:


    AR 4, AZ, CA, FL 11, IL, LA 2, MD, MS 3, NC 2, SC 2, TN 3, TX 15, VA

    Again, I urge you to participate in this study.....ESPECIALLY if your dogs has been in these states!!

    Please contact me if you have any questions,

    Tammy Bell
    Last edited by TBell; 02-22-2008 at 10:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Martha Lancaster's Avatar
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    Hi, Tammy,

    My Labrador, Scout, is participating in the study. I already had an appointment to take Scout to the vet today, so while we were there, I had my vet pull blood for the study. I live in the Austin area, so called the researcher, Bob Glass, and hand delivered the sample to him.

    Once I started filling out the questionnaire, I was surprised at the number of ponds in several areas of Central and Southeast Texas that Scout has been swimming in.

    I'm so proud of you for taking on this cause. Most people have never heard of pythiosis.

    I encourage others to send in samples as well.

    Blessings,

    Martha Lancaster, Georgetown, TX
    Martha Lancaster, Georgetown, TX

  3. #3
    Senior Member TBell's Avatar
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    Hi Martha,

    Thank you so much for helping us out! This is a disease I wish I had never heard of and could choose to ignore. Unfortunately, for me it is real, and I hope you never have to experience what I have.

    For the sake of all dogs, Labrador Retriever or not, please participate and help us understand this disease.

    "As far as the research being necessary, I guess the fact that this disease is killing hundreds of dogs each year and this group is potentially the most “at risk” makes it seems necessary to me." Bob Glass

    Research has to begin somewhere, and I will pursue this until the end! I wish you could read the stories I have received throughout this year of dogs lost in the prime of their life....so sad.

    Thank you for your help.


    Tammy

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jim Harvey's Avatar
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    Tammy, this is such a great cause, that you have set out on! If people don't go for this they are truly missing out. Thank you so much for your time and effort!!! I hope you save even more dogs like you did with mine.

    This fall, after considering what I have put my wonderful dog through, I decided to send a blind blood sample into Bob at pavlab. My test came back postive 3 times. After the third test and the fourth day my dog was on pavlab's vaccine. We never showed any symptoms except dog actually refused getting into water once after he always crashed it before. I figure that was the begining. I never would have known without your website and Bob's information too.

    If any of you folks have trained in the states listed, I would suggest to get your blood sample in you have nothing to loose and you may just save his/her life.

    Jim Harvey

  5. #5
    Senior Member TBell's Avatar
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    Thanks so much, Jim! I am so happy that Harry is doing well.

    When I lost Rusti, I agonized over the best way to prevent this disease from taking other dogs. That's when I came up with the website www.pythiosis.com which has the latest information on the disease. The best news is that it is CURABLE!!

    My initial goal was to save just ONE DOG and owner the agony of what I had been through. We have accomplished that goal and more!

    The key to survival is 'early detection'! From what I have seen once the symptoms begin, the disease has already taken hold of their gastrointestinal system. It then becomes a race against time to save the dog. The pythium will grow rapidly and take over the dog's intestines in a very short time. In a matter of just 3 months the dog is dead.

    When you look at the time and money we put into these hunt test and field trial dogs, it is a very simple decision for me to simply test for this every 6 months. I can't run a test every time my dog throws up or has diarrhea, so this test lets me know whether they have been exposed and gives me peace of mind.

    So, the next time your dog is at the vet, please have him draw some blood and send it in to Bob! Visit this link for the information

    http://www.pythiosis.com/fieldtrial.htm

    Thank you all,

    Tammy Bell

  6. #6
    Senior Member Judy Chute's Avatar
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    Very, very scary...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Martha Lancaster's Avatar
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    Hi, Tammy,

    Well, I am very glad that I had Scout tested. His results are not negative...they are "borderline", which means that he has been exposed to Pythium, but is not infected.

    Bob Glass plans to send the sample to Michigan State University for further testing when he gets more samples with similar results.

    Scout has not been out of the state of Texas, and I have a good list of the ponds he has been swimming in (Central and Southeast Texas).

    Thanks so much for the "wake up call"!

    Martha
    Martha Lancaster, Georgetown, TX

  8. #8
    Senior Member TBell's Avatar
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    Martha,

    Thank you so, SO MUCH for participating in this study. This is the information that will really help Bob understand more about pythium infection.

    From what I understand after talking with Bob and Dr. Leo Mendoza at Michigan State University, most canines are resistant to the pythium. They don't know yet what makes some canines susceptible to infection, but this study may help them understand this part of the puzzle more thoroughly. Because some dogs do not have the resistance to this disease, pythium infections are usually seen in young dogs only (or older dogs who previously did not live in the states listed, but then move to them later in life.)

    By knowing how many of our dogs are actually exposed to the pathogen and how many have this resistance, then they can proceed from there to better prevent and actually CURE this disease.

    AGAIN, I URGE ANYONE WITH A FIELD TRIAL DOG TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS STUDY!!
    (ESPECIALLY IF IT TRAINS IN THE STATES LISTED.)

    AR (4 cases), AZ, CA, FL (11 cases), IL, LA (2 cases), MD, MS (3 cases), NC (2 cases), SC (2 cases), TN (3 cases), TX (15 cases), VA
    (These numbers are from responses to my website only!)

    Visit www.pythiosis.com for more information and to participate!!

    Tammy
    Last edited by TBell; 01-23-2008 at 07:29 AM.

  9. #9
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    Sometimes those of us who were present at the first retriever trial ever held can fall into the trap that we are VERY KNOWLEDGABLE and beyond reproach, after all I was with Dr. Stanley Abadie at LSU School of Tropical Medicine when he first created caracide in 1961 which we used as the first heartworm preventive. Well Tammy has done us a real service-today Dr. Glass called me back and I had all three-Eva, Sophie and Rosa's samples pulled and sent to Dr. Glass. The vet in Troy Alabama has treated two dogs with Pythiosis- one died, one was caught early and is now alive and healthy,these were not field trial dogs. Thank you Tammy for making me aware of what exists in my own backyard. Also I might add that if those out there are not aware of Blastomycocsis you ought to read up on the signs as it too will be too far established unless you catch it early. I know RTF has had articles on this however it never hurts to review the signs so that YOU are able to make the suggested diagnosis to your vet. Most Vets do not see much of either of these maladies-- mostly it is "another day, another spay". Thanks Tammy-add Alabama to your list of states. Best, Lanse

  10. #10
    Senior Member lynette's Avatar
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    Can this be a problem in Australia.. if so how do we go about it
    beauty fades, but dumb is forever. (Judge Judy)

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