First Name of Patient (Helpful if used in the title) Brewster
Species (human, dog, cat): Dog (Boxer)
Age at first symptoms: 5.5 months
Year of first symptoms 2016
Country United States
Patient's Locality (town/state/prov) Indianapolis, IN
Did this patient survive? No, he died at just 7 months young.
Was there an official medical diagnosis of Blastomycosis? Yes, but it was just hours before he died
How and where do you think this patient caught Blastomycosis? We honestly don't know. Anywhere that Brewster went, our other dog went.
The symptoms started in mid-september. He began to cough, and then would make a choking noise. A few days after this his appetite went down, and he had a fever. I took him to the vet, and they prescribed a steroid and antibiotic. The cough went away, and the fever stopped. The following day he had hypersalivation (spelling may be wrong, but essentially there was an entire puddle of drool). About 15 minutes after this, he had no control over his bladder (he was house trained), and he vomited. I called the vet, and they told us to continue on the antibiotics. October 3-10, my wife and I went to Las Vegas, and my mother-in-law watched the dogs. She called us because she was worried about Brewster because his wasn't eating, excessive drooling started again. She gave him some yogurt and pepto for his tummy, and that seemed to calm his belly. Once we got back from Las Vegas Brewster seemed to be doing ok, but then on October 17th-18th the cough came back. We called the vet, and he prescribed another round of antibiotics, and the antibiotics seemed to work on the cough. On October 22, in the middle of the night Brewster began vomiting, but was fine on October 23. October 24 is when everything began to get really bad. He kept trying to eat, and would begin vomiting within minutes (I realize dogs do regurgitate food, but this didn't look like it was only his food) . We made an appointment for Tuesday, October 25. The vet did some blood work, and that's when he became very worried. Brewster's red blood cell count was down to 17, and he referred us to a emergency animal hospital. Once we got there they did more blood work, x-rays, and an ultrasound. On the ultrasound they noticed his liver and lymph nodes were enlarged. They were particularly worried about the size of his liver.
Based on the enlarged liver, they wanted to do a aspiration (sp) test to check for lymphoma. That test came back negative, so their initial diagnosis was that it was most likely a bacterial infection. They put him on doxycycline, and baytril, pepcid, and IV fluids, and a prescription diet that would be easy on his stomach. He began showing a little improvement (we think this was from the fluids). We brought him home on Thursday October 27, and he began improving up until Sunday night. My wife took Brewster in for his follow-up appointment on Monday, and his red blood cell count dropped again. She then ordered a urine and blood test for vairous fungal infections (which were due back on that Wednesday). On Tuesday Brewster was miserable and essentially stopped moving. We took him back to the animal hospital at 1:00 AM, and they told us that they had just gotten Brewster's test back, and it was positive for Blasto. At that time we were relieved because we finally knew what it was, and thought treatment could began. We got a call Wednesday morning thinking it was the specialist to talk about Brewster's treatment options. Unfortunately, it was a call that a parent never wants to receive. The Vet told us that Brewster had a seizure, they gave him valium and the seizures stopped. A few minutes later he stopped breathing, and they were trying to resuscitate him. This had been going on for over 7 minutes, and I had to make the tough decision to tell them to stop. My wife and I went to the animal hospital to say goodbye to Brewster, and to make arrangements for him. At that time the Vet told us his test came back and his blasto number was at 10.5, which she said is high (she normally see arounds a 3 for this particular test for infected dogs). Based on that number, it was her belief that the infection had spread throughout his entire body and into his brain.
Cost of Treatment (optional) ~$4,000
Additional Comment: My wife and I are absolutely crushed. Looking back, all the signs were there that something was serious. It was just hard at the time because Brewster was acting pretty normal up until the last 2 weeks or so, and it was simply to late at that point. This was my first dog to get as a puppy, and it just crushes me that he is gone at such a young age. Those that are dealing with this with their fur babies, I pray for comfort and healing. Blasto is a nasty nasty disease, and it has taken one more precious life far to soon.