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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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,