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Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: blasto RARE in our area!
« Last post by WalterLangdon on May 07, 2019, 01:58:36 AM »
My 5 year old Golden Retriever, Everett, has been diagnosed with Blasto.
We brought him in approximately 2 weeks ago because his nose was swollen and he was having trouble breathing.  His joints were also swollen.
He was also lethargic and depressed, but I did not associate that as a symptom because we lost his brother two years ago when they were both poisoned (another horrific ordeal), and he's been depressed off and on since then.  My baby was born in November as well, so I also was assuming his depression was related to that.  Also, he was losing weight and not eating- which I attributed to the depression.  I am so grateful we brought dbal max him in.
At our first visit, she gave him antibiotics.  We were all assuming the swollen joints were related to what he's been suffering with since his poisoning- he's had achey swollen joints for about 2 years now!
Then a few days later, the swelling on his nose broke open with puss.  I called her back and she said she wanted to see him.
She looked at his joints and said she suspected Blastomycosis.  She took his blood and samples of the puss and started him on antifungals right away.

She called a couple days later to confirm it was in fact Blasto.

I am SO thankful she went with her gut!!  I had never heard of it before.  Our old vet ignored my concerns 2 years ago and I blame him for my dog being dead.  This vet was overly cautious and turned out to be right!

Now, he's got even more sores, and he's having trouble breathing and eating.  We're doing our best and PRAYING he gets better soon!!

The MN Dept of Health called today to ask questions.  Apparently, it's practically unheard of for Blasto to be in our area.  We're in Southern MN.  And Everett hasn't traveled away from home.  Of course, we live in the swampiest area of the whole county. The rest is corn and soybean field.  Makes me want to move.

I too have a Golden Retriever. Never heard of Blasto. Heading over to Google to research about it.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Itraconazole
« Last post by dhrdgrec1 on November 13, 2018, 10:10:49 AM »
I don't know where you are at this point.  The drug is hard on some dogs.  Max was really tired.  Got up to go out and would come back in and sleep.  I monitored him daily.  He did eat but I had to be inventive with can and dry combination of Hills Prescription from vet.  Chicken stew was his favorite.  The Sporamax was hard on the liver so we gave him a supplement the vet suggested to support.  After 5 months on med. and high enzyme count in liver he came back.  Each and everyday we were seeing the old Max coming back.  he became more active.  Often times he would look me in the eyes and I swear he was just saying thanks for being there.  Max is a therapy dog who has done so much for others in his short life and now he needed the help.  He has had 2 neg. Blasto test and doing well.  My thoughts are with you.
Case Studies / Re: Maxwell Standard Poodle Diagnosed with Blastomycosis January 2018
« Last post by dhrdgrec1 on November 12, 2018, 03:17:52 PM »
Companion Animal Speciality in Crystal Lake, Illinois and we also went to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary hospital in Madison,Wis. ( very knowledgeable about Blastomycosis. 
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Cheapest Itraconazole
« Last post by dhrdgrec1 on November 11, 2018, 10:46:32 AM »
We got our Non-generic brand of Itraconazole (Sporonax) for $386.00 a month from Canadian company that makes it.  We had to make sure that as soon as received it after 24 days to reorder right away because of the delivery time.  Max was on it for 41/2 months.  It will elevate the liver enyzmes.  His went from 160-500. But that went down.  We also supplemented his diet with supplements to support the liver.  He had his last neg. Blasto test last week.  He is doing well.  Thoughts are with you.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Appetite
« Last post by dhrdgrec1 on November 11, 2018, 10:39:30 AM »
Not sure where you are at this point but I feed Max who is a Standard Poodle and lost 20 pounds during this time by hand.  Just to get something down.  I have to say he never lost the will to eat, but at times would walk away from the food dish.  So I would personally hold it for him.  I had him on Hills prescription chicken stew can fro the vet and mixed with Hills dry chicken from vet.  Once recovered he gain back 10 pounds.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Uzi & Blasto
« Last post by dhrdgrec1 on November 11, 2018, 10:34:17 AM »
Hang in there our dog Max was diagnosed almost a year age November 2018.  He is now well and happy 6 year old Standard poodle.  He just had his 2nd Neg. Blasto test last week.  He fought this for 6 months and survived.  We believed he picked it up in Wisconsin on our camping trip last October. For Max the Blato settled in the nasal passage and didn't get to the lungs.  We treated him with Sporonax from a Pharmacy in Canada because of cost.  My thoughts are with you on this tough journey.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Blasto after months of misdiagnosis
« Last post by dhrdgrec1 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.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Itraconazole Savings
« Last post by wcwilson on October 30, 2018, 05:46:44 AM »
I know this is an old post, but if anyone is reading this later I would suggest going to Costco . As a member I am getting this for $54/month, much lower than what CVS would charge. Without membership I think it was $62.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Cheapest Itraconazole
« Last post by wcwilson on October 15, 2018, 08:06:18 AM »
Costco is a great place to get this. 60 100mg capsules cost us $54. Discounted from $62 to $54 by being a member. I guess that is about 90 cents/pill.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Blasto after months of misdiagnosis
« Last post by wcwilson 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.

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