Author Topic: Blasto after months of misdiagnosis  (Read 1010 times)

Offline wcwilson

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Blasto after months of misdiagnosis
« on: October 15, 2018, 08:02:10 AM »
Last November my lab, Lacey, started limping on an off and was favoring her front paw which has slight swelling. Anti-inflammatories prescribed.

This continued to March when an x-ray was taken. Nothing was seen and continued with anti-inflammatories were continued, as needed.

In May, back paw started swelling. It did not cause her pain and we hoped the anti-inflammatories would help. Lacey was very active and was constantly playing with our other dogs so we chalked it up to being overly active.

By the end if the month her top pad of her rear paw split and was bleeding. Vet prescribed antibiotics, which did nothing.

In June, with antibiotics not working vet assumes a foreign body in rear paw (although there was no puncture wound or exit tract), does surgery to clean it up. Prescribes different antibiotic. Swelling decreases temporarily. Wound not healing. Oozing sores start appearing on top of foot.

Over the next couple months, I continue to raise my concerns about the slow healing and swelling. Vet continues to assure me that wound is healing, and that some swelling or normal during healing process. Blames sores and excessive swelling on tight bandaging and bandaging that doesn't stay dry. We switched to a new antibiotic.

Finally in September we get him to do a biopsy. He tests it for bacteria. 3 bacteria found and all are highly resistant. Started 2 orals and one topic to treat. We were very hopeful that we finally found the issue. See progress for 3 days, then plateaus. During this, Lacey went lame again with front paw. Took her to the vet again. Turns out she also had a fever. Vet took x-rays and sees an issue with her bone indicating either an infection or cancer. Refers us to a specialist for bone biopsy. Soonest appointment is over two weeks out. Lacey is not eating or drinking well.

A few days later fever returns on weekend. We take her to emergency vet (same place that will do the biopsy). Emergency vet gives her fluids and tells us that there is nothing to worry about and to bring her back in if fever returns (she left with 103). She has lost 10 lbs at this point.

On Monday, Lacey's breathing continues to become more and more labored and her fever continues. We take her back in to emergency clinic. This guy was much better. Within 30 minutes he tells us he suspects a fungal infection and confirms his suspicion with a chest x-ray.  The internal medicine doctor gets her started on Itraconozole assuming blasto because of location. Blood test confirms next day. 2 days later urinalysis come back amounts of greater than can be calculated. Lacey was in hospital for 2 days on fluids, prednisone, appetite stimulant (along with antibiotics), etc. Breathing still labored, but good enough to go home.

Today is a week since we took her in and got the diagnosis. As of last night her breathing had improved greatly. Fever is gone. Appetite and mood is improving. She is eating satin balls almost any time we offer. Sometimes she eats canned food. She still avoids dry food. She drinks and pees a lot because or prednisone. Sores on top of foot are drying up, swelling is back to normal, pad is finally healing. Still limping a bit, but getting better (of course she is on pain meds too).

Hoping healing is going to be judged good enough to get her off the antibiotics soon. Giving her 8 pills twice a day is tough. Am worried about her liver because of how many pills she has taken over the last 6 months. Am investigating Milk thistle. Lots of claims but not sure which is the best or will help.

That is our story and where we stand. I know blasto is fairly rare where I am so I guess it is not the first thing a vet thinks when trying to diagnose an issue. My main complaint with my vet was that he did not heed my concerns about slow healing and the antibiotics not being effective. Even when swelling and the sore showed up he just blamed them on my bandaging. We should have tested for bacterial and fungal infections must earlier, probably as soon as the first antibiotic that he tried was not working. I should have also gotten a second option much earlier in the process. I shpuld have trusted my instincs and observations rather than vet. What seemed like two unrelated issues (front and back paw), as it turns out were both from the blasto. There was certainly a bacterial infection on the back, but that infection was most likely secondary. I cannot believe that she has this for at least a year. I wonder how much earlier she was exposed before she started showing the first symptoms. She will only be 2 in November and she showed the first symptoms last year. Lacey's fungal pneumonia finally gave the doctor a clue about what was going on. Had I waited a day or two more I don't think she would have made it. As it stands, I think we have turned the corner and I feel optimistic about her recovery, which will take 6+ months of Itraconozole. Had she been tested for the cause of the infection early she could have avoided surgery, months of unnecessary medicine and vet visits started treatment before it spread so widely. Hopefully we caught it soon enough though. Only time will tell.

Offline dhrdgrec1

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Re: Blasto after months of misdiagnosis
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 10:26:58 AM »
Our standard 5 year old poodle was first diagnosis was cancer.  But pathology confirmed it was wrong.  He had snorting sounds in the nasal passages.  They treated him with antibiotics at first then sent to a specialist who did a nasal cell samples It was Blastomycosis.  had never heard of it.  Treatment started with Sporomax which came from Canada.  he was treated for 4 1/2 months lost 20 pounds and is now Blasto free after 2 negative blood and urine test.  One thing is that it never got to the lungs only in the nasal pathway.  Max has now gained back 10 of the 20 pounds.  He did during this time super an ACL tear which will be repaired in Dec.,skin lesions due to a staph infection, ear infection and meningitis before all was said and done.  But he did survive with our consistent care.  He is a happy normal dog.  I know this is tough to go through and time consuming but he was worth it to us.  My thought and prays are with on this journey.