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Thread: It's Blastomycosis season again

  1. #1
    Senior Member mhitesman's Avatar
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    Default It's Blastomycosis season again

    Be watchful for what could be subtle signs of this deadly fungal disease! www.blastomycosis.ca for further information and message board. This disease is commonly misdiagnosed or overlooked before it is too late so count on yourself to be vigilant. The fungus is common and exposure is probably inevitable -- especially if your dog is around any creek or riverbeds, mulch, or newly excavated dirt. Especially when it is hot and humid. Many exposed dogs (and people) do not get sick; often it affects those dogs who have weaker immune systems (hot spots, ear infections, skin allergies, conjunctivitis, etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhitesman View Post
    Be watchful for what could be subtle signs of this deadly fungal disease! www.blastomycosis.ca for further information and message board. This disease is commonly misdiagnosed or overlooked before it is too late so count on yourself to be vigilant. The fungus is common and exposure is probably inevitable -- especially if your dog is around any creek or riverbeds, mulch, or newly excavated dirt. Especially when it is hot and humid. Many exposed dogs (and people) do not get sick; often it affects those dogs who have weaker immune systems (hot spots, ear infections, skin allergies, conjunctivitis, etc).
    And please remember, it's not only dog's that get it. I believe it was either 5 or 7 people died of it in WI. last year.
    A Lab's best friend is the person holding the food dish.

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    Senior Member Judy Chute's Avatar
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    Has anyone had experience with this in the Northeast? ..dogs?

    Judy
    Last edited by Judy Chute; 09-15-2008 at 10:19 PM.

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    Paul Stuart (Quebec, Vt) lost a dog to it 8 or 10 years ago.-paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Senior Member Miriam Wade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul young View Post
    Paul Stuart (Quebec, Vt) lost a dog to it 8 or 10 years ago.-paul
    I remember. It was in 2000 I think. His dog Zoe. GMHR Northstar's Twilight Zone MH. It was doubly hard because they didn't know what she had until it was too late and that's the m.o. of the disease. We absolutely have all the right factors here for a dog to be exposed. Scary stuff!

    M
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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    My brother has it, after many months of going to his doc for a nagging cough, a big thing finally erupted on his face last spring and after more months and 3 different opinions, finally got into a dermatologist who did a scraping and determined blasto. As widespread as it is in this area and people get it every year here as well as dogs, it is a very tricky disease. Spring and fall especially, we try to avoid known hotspots, like my mother's yard as she is close to our particular river valley that coined the local name "Namekagon Fever", so many dogs along the river/lake die of it. Her own Lab mix died of it years ago, before the treatments have gotten so much more effective, albeit it very expensive.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

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    Senior Member mhitesman's Avatar
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    Virginia, where I live, is not known as one of the"hot spots" for blasto, but this fungus lives anywhere. It thrives on river basin areas, some lake areas..soils that are moist and rich in organic material. Some dogs have contracted it from mulch. When my Comet was diagnosed at VA Tech, 10 other dogs were diagnosed that week. They come there from all over the east. Only Comet is alive. He never had a cough, and his lungs were not infected. Just his eye and one small lump on the scruff of his neck. The northeast is probably safer than the mid Atlantic, where I am. But if the conditions are right, this fungus will grow anywhere, and I am certain it is quite possible to contract this infection in the northeast too. The meds run about $900/month (there are less expensive alternatives) and treatment is a long time, relapse rate is high (Comet is back on meds a year after diagnosis). Most dogs are misdiagnosed (typically lung cancer) and die or are misdiagnosed until it is too late to save them ...and die. Many many vets do not think of this illness ever or until it is too late, and it is not uncommmon for the patient's owners to recommend treatment before the vet thinks of it. Time is critical with blasto. The meds (itraconazole) are quite safe although expensive.

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    Senior Member Judy Chute's Avatar
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    ...thanks for the responses..

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