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Author Topic: Treatment of blasto?  (Read 2100 times)

amb20

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Treatment of blasto?
« on: February 11, 2012, 10:36:00 AM »

Hi everyone,

My dog Jake was recently suspected to have contracted blasto. We just sent away a urine sample for the Mira Vista test yesterday but our vet started him on Sporanox for the time being as well as an antibiotic in case its pneumonia but he is pretty sure its blasto. Judging by his chest x-ray it is in his lungs but the vet doesn't think it is affecting any of his other systems yet. He is a 7 year old Golden Retriever who is normally very energetic and its very sad seeing him in such a lethargic and depressed state. My family and I are in the process of discussing treatment. We were told its very expensive and the medication can be very hard on the liver. Has anyone had any issues with their pets experiencing liver problems as a result of the med? I live in Northern Ontario and I have been calling around to see where I could order his meds from and the lowest price I could find in town came to about $280/month. I have also been looking at ordering his pills from out of town but I am concerned about the quality of the pills if other pharmacies can provide them for such a low price. Has anyone ordered itraconazole or sporanox for a lower price than $280/month and if so was it effective? We were told that the strains that have been found in Northern Ontario seem to be quite strong, is there anyone here who has a dog who contracted blasto in this area? I cant believe that he could have blasto and I really want Jake to get better so any advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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lisakuhlmann

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 10:53:00 PM »

My dog Jake contracted Blasto (lung involvement) back in November. My advice to you...generic Sporonox works just fine! I just got 200 pills for $300 which is 1.50 per. We also had him on Baytril for 10 days. Don't be afraid to use Prednisone when it gets real bad. I believe we would have lost Jake without it. Start feeding raw meat, no pork tho. It will help boost the immune system. READ everything you can here! This is the best site to learn about Blasto. No two cases are the same and it gets worse before it gets better. You wouldn't believe our boy today...just a couple months ago I thought he was going to die in my arms. No one can tell you adequately just how bad it gets. My heart goes out to you.  Dig in and help your Jake fight. Spoil him rotten and pray! Big hug for you.  ;)
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lisakuhlmann

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 11:03:15 PM »

Also...yes the Sporanox can be hard on them, but the benefits outweigh the risks.
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Algonquin

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 12:59:00 AM »

Zeke was diagnosed at the University of Guelph, they are very familiar with Blasto - do not hesitate to have your vet call them. We get our sporonox on line from Blue Mountain Drugs in British Columbia.  ($585.00  for 252 pills. ) Be prepared because Jake may get worse before he gets better. Zeke stopped eating about four - five weeks after he started the medication.  He lost close to fifteen pounds and looked dreadful. Syringe feeding a slurry of a/d food helped get him through it. He drank Vanilla Boost (on ice) and I believe this also really helped him. We left the treat jar open and on the floor as well as sample bags of several different kinds of food we had got at a pet store.  He walked by it day after day until one day he stopped and started nosing through the basket. The only food he ate for two weeks was raw chicken wings. (He ate raw for 7 years so was accustomed to them, I probably would not give them to a dog that was not used to them.  In Ontario, Cornerstone Pet Foods have excellent raw food.  Try ground turkey or ground beef we even tried hot dogs. Zeke started by eating small amounts of cooked liver.  The university recommended Milk Thistle, sAME and Vitamin E to help the liver.  (All available at the drugstore) Zeke just had blood work done last week and all liver values were within the normal range. He has now been on 200 mg of Sproronox for five months.  To see him today you would not believe he has Blasto, he looks great and has his energy back. The only problem is that he has been spoiled rotten and runs the show!! Not really a problem ! Yes, the treatment is expensive, but worth the money. Start keeping a journal and record what Jake eats, his temperature and we also recorded Zekes breathes per minute when he was resting.  Read everything you can and do not be afraid to ask questions because this is your best source of information.
Good luck and hang in there!! A big hug and a scratch behind the ears for Jake.

PS. You can get a false negative on the Mira Vista - your vet should be able to do a lung wash or bronchial wash to confirm Blasto. Zeke had a lung aspiration at the university and that as well as the lung radiographs confirmed his diagnoses.
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lisakuhlmann

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 08:44:29 AM »

I just got my pills from PetScript 866-784-6915, they are in Paris, TX. I will get them for you if you'd like. Zeke's story is very familiar. Jake was surviving on anything we could get in him. Ensure, buttermilk, egg nog, broth,(thru a syringe) or lunch meat, hot dogs, prime rib, scrambled eggs, ice cream. ANYTHING! If he acted interested in what we were eating, he got it. I lost 8 lbs! Feed fatty for better Itraconazole (Sporanox) absorption. Shortly after he got his pill each night he would go thru hell for a few hours. It's like watching the medicine work, imagining the attack on the blasto as it breaks it up. This is when his breath got sooo bad. You can smell the infection, it's unforgettable. We did have to take him back to the vet once, for IV fluids. We just couldn't get enough food in him. I believe the labored breathing burns more calories. Jake never seemed to be sleeping well either. He may have been laying down but his eyes were rarely closed. He had round the clock care, didn't want to miss a chance to get food in him. I slept beside him many nights. My mother watched him while I worked during the day. He would also posture, he would stand still with his neck outstretched like it was helping him to breathe. AND the sound...the sound of his breathing would make you grimace. If it hadn't been for this site, I might have lost hope. When they say it gets worse before it gets better, they don't mention how much worse. It is horrible, you will question how much longer you can let him suffer. DON'T GIVE UP! When he can barely lift his head and won't eat, when you have to pry his mouth open DON'T GIVE UP! When you can make out every bone in his face and count his ribs DON'T GIVE UP! When he no longer leaps into a vehicle with a single bound, and has to be lifted DON'T GIVE UP. When he avoids eye contact and no longer wags his tail DON'T GIVE UP! One day the happy eyes and wagging tail will return and make a sniffeling idiot of you. For me...if I had lost him without knowing I did EVERYTHING I could, the guilt would have been unbearable. We will be praying for your Jake. Many
     Many of us are on Facebook, (same avatar) and willing to give out our phone number if you want to talk. We're here for you.  Big hug ;)
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Lolasmom

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 02:54:15 PM »

UGH....Your not in the right season for a new diagnoses....LOL 

Spornax can cause liver problems, as well as, spontaneous heart attack.  Its toxic, but if you don't have eye or brain involvement its your best shot.
Thats actually a pretty good price if you are using name brand Spornax.  You can use the generic Itraconazole just make sure its in beaded form and not the bulk powdered Itraconazole.  As the bulk for is not bio-available.  Make sure you give the meds with a fat.  Buttermilk, margarine, bologna.....all good.  Its a LONG, ROUGH ride so buckle in.  It will definatly get worse before it gets better.   I guess if you haven't got your Mira Vista results back your still not certain that it is actually Blasto and not lung cancer?  Please let us know what he scores.  Blasto is evil and sneaky.  You have to stay one step ahead of it at all time.  But it can be beat.  Really, there is no way your vet could tell if its anywhere else by his chest xrays.  Watch his eyes, skin, limbs and motorskills carefully. 

I will include you in our prayers.  Big Hugs and please join us on Facebook.
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Lolasmom

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 03:12:09 PM »

Have you started the meds yet?    How is Jake reacting?   

Was your vet certian you were dealing with Blasto?
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Lolasmom

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 03:14:04 PM »

Is Jake getting worse?  This being the 13th, his breathing should be getting really bad.  Don't be afraid of a Prednisone if it gets bad.
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amb20

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 05:56:52 PM »

Thanks for all your responses everyone! I truly appreciate it!

We are on day five of the itraconazole. We are still waiting on the results of the Mira Vista and probably won’t have an answer until the middle to the end of the week since it had to be sent to the States to be tested. Our vet seemed pretty sure that it was blasto but did mention the slight possibility of pneumonia or cancer but seemed pretty doubtful of that. The chest x-rays did not resemble pneumonia and did look very much like what blasto looks like in the lungs. So far Jake seems to be tolerating his meds well. He is quite tired but is still eager to go lie outside every once and a while (he has always LOVED to be outside) and although he has some trouble breathing and is coughing a bit he is still wagging that tail every now and then. His breathing is now sounding raspy and it has a sort of high pitched wheeze sometimes. What kind of breath sounds does blasto cause? He has had a fever for quite a while and our vet said that the blasto could have been in the incubation stage since Sept. Jake is getting more and more hesitant to eat his food so I have been sprinkling a little parm cheese on it and just today I started adding rice. This helped for a bit but he is getting more and more reluctant to eat, I am going to try adding some more fatty foods to his diet to help with the itraconazole. He has been taking his pills well as long as they are half wrapped in cheese. I am very concerned about how everyone says this will get much worse... Does every dog get much worse once treatment is started and how soon do they start to get much worse?

Once again thank you all so much for your answers and kind words!
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Lolasmom

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 06:30:32 PM »

Typically at about day 3 the meds will start to get to the fungus and it will in turn cause a lot of inflammation in the lungs.   Usually, it gets BAD for about the next 10 days.  My Lola was taking 80-90 breaths per min.  She litterally couldn't lay down for days.  She would sleep sitting up in her doggy bed with her head leaning on the dresser.  It was Lolas reaction to the meds that convinced us that it was Blasto.  With lung involvement, they typically always get much worse before getting better.     

A high fever is common with Blasto.  My Lola never went off food.  She got picky, but she kept eating.  My vet told me early on if we could keep her eating she had a shot.  For a month she ate chicken and bologna.  So its hard to say. 

I pray that it isn't Blasto and rather pnuemonia.  Did they do a CBC?
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lisakuhlmann

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 07:35:17 PM »

We fed Jake anything we could, even straight butter. If he's eating now, fatten him up. Put as much weight as you can on him. I've bragged about the results we saw from raw meat. Our best friends have not always been domesticated, their systems are designed for raw meat. Try raw hamburger meat, do not microwave to thaw. My Jake eventually would not eat at all and had to get iv fluids from the vet. He was just in overnight and rebounded well. It was a week later when I read about the benefits of the raw and how it helped boost the immune system. Jake has continued to improve. We now mix raw with a little dry to make it go farther. The boy is looking gooooood!
     At the worst, Jake would try and sleep standing up. His breathing was so loud, and rattled. Thru the stethascope it eventually sounded like a creaking door. Then it sounded like a moan, which I now understand, having just survived the worst chest cold I've ever had. I found myself doing the same thing for relief.
     With Jake it was bad for 3 weeks. Our family had "the talk" and luckily we decided not to give up, THANK GOD AND THIS SITE!  Big hug  ;)
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amb20

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 03:47:43 PM »

We got a call from our vet today saying Jake’s Mira Vista came back negative for Blasto. I am very happy about this however this means that it is most likely pneumonia or lung cancer. I am still praying for something that is treatable. We have a vet appointment on Sunday to decide how to proceed from here in order to diagnose Jake.

I just wanted to say a great big thank you to all of you, you have been so kind. Thank you for all of your answers to my questions, I truly appreciate it. This last week has been a terrible week waiting for a diagnosis for Jake and your compassion and support meant a lot to myself and my family. This is a wonderful site and I am very thankful that this excellent resource was available to me. Thanks again  :)
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lisakuhlmann

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 07:02:21 PM »

I'm so hoping it's pneumonia. I was almost sad the Blasto test was negative. Lung cancer would be the worst of the 3 diagnosis. However, Lola's Mom had 3 Mira Vista tests before she got a positive. I will continue to pray for Jake. Hang in there!   ;)
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Lolasmom

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 06:23:54 PM »

Please know we are all still here praying for your Jake and to support you in any way we can.  Hugs
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Algonquin

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Re: Treatment of blasto?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2012, 02:49:48 PM »

From what I have been able to find out the Sporonox heart attacks it is typically only related to the liquid sporonox -  do you have a source of information I could read about it....or more information of any kind.

Zeke continues to do well, he is eating and has more energy everyday. The humidity of Key West is a little bothersome but he swims everyday and walks Duval Street every night.
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