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Hello again.  Glad there is some light at this time. Oil of oregano and milk thistle can be done twice aday.   It will not hurt.   
As far as lightly pounding his chest.  Just cup your hands and lightly tap around his rib cage where his lungs are. We did sides and undersided.  Just gently though. 
We read the plan for prednizone. And i would really watch how you wean him off.  We are not doctors in anyway however when Mable was weaned off it almost seemed like she relapsed.  So be prepared for those changes.  Talking with your vet and watching Simon closely you will know what he can and can not handle.  We did 5 mg and it took us months to wean mable off.  She was very ill from the disease though.  If you record everything on paper for even yourself it will help keep things in perspective.   
And sleeping outside in the day or evening near the fresh air is good.  Moisture i dont think is a good thing for his lungs.   
The fungus needs to dry up.  Fresh air will help.
Sounds like you are going the right way.  And it will be normal to be up and down for few months. That seems to be part of disease. Im glad you dont have lesions.  Hopefully youse have caught the disease before that. 
Stay strong and read this site there is endless amounts of information and some older members with much knowledge as well.   It truely is a great site.   Take care keep us posted.  CD KA  northern ontario canada
hi carla & kurt, thank you so much for your emails and replies to the post. i figure i may as well respond on the thread in case anyone else is going through this and sees this. Today is day 4 of the blasto treatment. Last night he seemed so pitiful, like he had no strength. Today he has been a a little bit better. He is holding his head up more and seems more comfortable than yesterday. He is walking on his own, and seems to have the drive to go on. His appetite is also better today. I guess from what i've read, he will have good days and bad days. SImon weighs about 70 pounds and gets 200 mg twice daily, for a total of 400 mg daily. The vet prescribed him 15 mg of prednisone for 2 weeks only, then we are stopping cold turkey. She told me it is not an immunosuppressive dose, it's an anti-inflammatory dose for a dog his size.

Carla, could you help me understand better how you and your husband tapped on Mable's lungs to loosen mucus? Simon has barked a few times yesterday and today, and it kind of sounds like when a human has congested cough. we don't have access to an oxygen tank, unfortunately.

simon spent most of last night sleeping on our screened-in porch with my husband, trey. he has also enjoyed being out there quite a bit today, too. we live in cincinnati and we have hot and humid summers. thankfully today has been a bit cooler. i wonder if the humidity is helping his lungs, or if it could be aggravating. either way, today he seems a little better for sure.

also, no skin lesions. is that something that happens after treatment begins, or would that have happened before?

about the oil of oregano and milk thistle -- do we give that to him once a day? twice? it hasn't arrived in the mail yet, it's supposed to be here tomorrow.

finally, about my sobriety -- i am absolutely not even thinking about sabotaging that. i know my boy needs me at my 100% best for him! i don't ever want to go back to using drugs and alcohol, ever. i am just trying to paint the picture of how i'm feeling right now with all of this -- very anxious, very panicky, very sick. i can't thank you enough for your kind words of encouragement and advice. i really need it right now.
Opps again. Sorry this is really important but i never paid no mind to it.  Your dog needs you full on and sober right now.  You have to take yourself out of your own head and focus on getting him better. Calm sober and collected.  Its about him and you can do this. No matter the outcome you are doing your very best by the sounds. I can just tell by the post. Take all of the knowledge you are learning and put it to use. It will all work out the way it is suppose to. Please let me know in post or email how Simon is doing.   
Opps i need to say more about eating.
If it takes a medicine dropper to get food and water into him so be it.  Gatorade , water , baby formula tsp peanut butter.  All bad for blasto but he needs to keep his strength up and you have to take over. I did this every half hour. When home and before i would have to leave.  Its quit time consuming but thats life. Ok. Like i said i did send email as well.  Take care. 
Hey how is Simon today.  I also sent email back to you. But thought i better post as well. What i have experienced with Mable for the disease was she would seem to get wee bit better than relapse. 
We gave her the milk thistle and oregano at same time as  Fluconazole as well.  3 pills daily we use to stager them but then we dosed all at the same time. The first 7 days or so are basically to get the meds in and to start the healing.  You should see some improvement after ten days.   It will be up and down.  Make sure the dog stays hydrated well.  Offer water often.   I just have to say to mable drink and she will now.  Is Simon eating.  Strength is key to this fight.  Lots of high vitamin foods even if its mouthfuls every couple hours.  Keep him cool and well ventilated.  Shade outside is good. Long as mosquitos are not getting at him.  Fresh air for his lungs to help dry out.  Do you have access to oxygen.  We used to tap gently on mables chest area to help loosen up flem.   We also used prednizone which is really a no no. But it stopped embolizeisms and increased appetite we used 5 mg. Ibut they must be weined slowly off of prednizone because it can shock him otherwise.  Oh one last thing keep him quiet. No excersive. He needs his strength to fight. Does he have any lesions or swelling on him.   Well i hope that helped.  CD
Hello to whomever might read this... i found this forum miraculously after 3 days of frantically googling "blastomycosis prognosis, treatment, what to expect", etc... this forum has been the most helpful thing i've read yet.

Simon, our sweet 2 yr old golden retriever (he is actually 3/4 golden and 1/4 poodle, but you'd never know it by looking at him), has been so sick for the past 6 weeks. it all started when i noticed one evening he didn't finish all of his kibble in his bowl. this i found to be highly unusual for a dog so obsessed with food 24/7. next day came the limping, but only slightly. still not finishing his kibble. made an appointment at the vet's office but canceled it because he seemed to be doing better. next day we took him on a small hike to see how he did-- we ran into some people we knew, Simon laid down to rest. when it came time to get going again, he did not want to get up. we ended up taking him to the emergency vet, where they tested him for a tick disease and it came back negative. they also performed a full tick panel, which we would not get the results of for a few days. at that time he had a low fever, somewhere in the 103 range. the vet performed x-rays of the chest and abdomen, showing enlarged lymph nodes. the vet suggested we let him stay the night there so they could get fluids in him and monitor him. the next day, the vet started him on doxycycline and sent him home.

simon didn't improve, but didn't really get much worse for a few days. the tick panel ended up showing a very low count for rocky mountain spotted fever, which Simon had likely been exposed to and fought off on his own. the vet began talk of immune-mediated disease, added a second antibiotic Baytril, and Simon still did not improve. We returned to the vet after his fever spiked over 105, 48 hours after he had come home the first time. they kept him for 2 days this time, during which they stabilized his fever, gave more fluids, and put him under anesthesia and performed joint taps, before they sent him home again.

simon's fever was back within 48 hours. we called the vet in desperation, not wanting to come back and repeat the same financially devastating overnight stay if it wasn't going to be any different. the vet understood and called in a prescription for 30 mg of prednisone once a day. we were relieved when simon's fever broke and he seemed to feel a little better, but still very lethargic. the vet attributed this to the pred. after 2 weeks of being on 30mg of pred a day, the vet had us wean down to 20mg. it was during the week of 20 mg that his fever returned. of course, the vet wanted to "recheck" him, so i brought him in, spent some more money, and didn't get any further. the vet felt confident we were dealing with immune-mediated disease. he suggested adding azathioprine (a chemo drug) to Simon's med routine, but wanted to send him to a specialist first.

thank god we did that -- because Dr. Raghu, the internal medicine specialist at CareCenter (a different veterinary hospital), immediately thought Simon had all the signs of blastomycosis. She performed another x-ray on our baby, and this time his lungs showed the tell-tale snowstorm pattern across them. Two days later, she called and said Simon tested HIGH positive for blasto, and she started us on the medicine right away. (At this point it had been 6 weeks without proper treatment).

The diagnosis and beginning of treatment happened on Wednesday, June 20. She prescribed our boy Fluconazole twice a day. She warned about the "scary first month", and stated he would get worse before he gets better. She told me something I keep going back to in my mind, and that is "I've never lost a dog to blastomycosis that didn't have it in the brain or CNS." she feels confident he will do well in treatment, she doesn't think its in his brain or CNS. i haven't seen any drainage or anything weird with his eyes. no lesions on his skin. but his lungs are sounding very bad.

i guess what i'm losing my mind over is not knowing exactly what to expect. The first 4 doses of the drug seemed okay, but day three (today) has certainly been more difficult, and i can see he will probably get worse. I just gave him his 6th dose, and am trying to keep my wits about me. has anyone else had the misfortune of having an incompetent vet neglecting to diagnose the blasto early? i'm so worried about his lungs -- they sound so raspy and labored. he obviously feels like total crap. tonight was the first time he seemed like he didn't want to eat, but he ended up eating. i can definitely see his appetite is going to be affected. he just lays on the floor, looking very sad. what i want to know is, how much worse does it get after day 3?? does it plateau and just stay the same degree of "bad" for a while? will it continue to get worse with every dose i give him?

also, i've heard about oil of oregano for immune and respiratory support, and milk thistle for liver function. has anyone used these supplements in conjunction with Fluconazole?

I made him some chicken broth tonight and mixed with his water and he appreciated that. I also froze some chicken broth ice cubes.

Any guidance, advice, tips, or love would be so very much appreciated. i am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, and i have never tolerated stressful situations very well. i've been sober for 3 years and 6 months, but i have a very hard time talking myself out of major anxiety and panic. Simon is our baby, as you can imagine, and i am literally worried sick about him. Please help, and thank you so much in advance.
Ever since we've had Harley, at 8 weeks old, who is now an 8-month old pup, he's had a strange behaviour that involved him performing this funny scooting movement where his penis would pop out of the sheath, and he'd be licking at the floor and then up at the air, over and over again. Sometimes so rapidly, that we had a difficult time getting him to focus or break out of it. No one had seen the behaviour before - we asked the breeder, littermates, multiple vets, have done numerous tests and received multiple opinions. The breeder assumed he was just a little too into his penis, and another doctor suspected OCD (at 12 weeks, this just didn't seem reasonable). He did however, have crystals in his pee at 10 weeks old (also unusual), which we were given antibiotics, switched up his diet to a vegetarian food for a few weeks, and that seemed to clear them up. But the behaviour continued.

Regarding the behaviour, we hoped this would be something he'd grow out of, trusting the potential penis interest theory, but not so. He began having erections that would take longer than usual to go back in. Then over the last month, he had two incidences where his penis came out and became severely swollen. Both times terrifying, both times resulting in us running to the vet.

The vet thought it was unusual as he was home both times with no other dogs in the house. And no female dogs that we know of nearby. So, he was experiencing paraphimosis but there was nothing that he could see that was triggering it.

By strange coincidence, my coworker, who has known about Harley's issues with his penis all along the way, strongly advised we request the vet to do a fungal test. His dog also happened to have some similar issues and given one antibiotic after another with no success. After some digging on his own, he discovered blasto and how often vets misdiagnose it. He pushed his vet to finally test for it, and sure enough - his dog had it. By then, his dog was unfortunately not healthy enough to survive treatment.

So we had Harley tested. And surely enough, he tested positive for blasto. Very low in number, but positive regardless. Seeing Harley, you would have absolutely no idea that anything was wrong - breathes normally, clear eyes, no skin lesions, extremely healthy and active. The vet was absolutely shocked, and had no idea what could possibly have even made me ask to test for blasto. In addition to this, Harley did show a higher than normal level of protein in his urine.

So I told him about the connection between my coworker's dog and Harley. The penis issue.

This week we ran further tests - chest x-rays which showed no signs of blasto in the lungs, and bloodwork that seems very good. We will begin treatment tomorrow with fluconazole. I have done quite a bit of research myself, and am now wondering, along with my vet and the specialists they've been in contact with, if paraphimosis or his strange penis behaviour all along, were early indications of blasto. There absolutely has to be some kind of connection that perhaps has never been documented or researched enough.

Through my findings, most vets seem to diagnose once they can physically see that something is wrong. But perhaps there are earlier indications that we should all be looking for. Through further conversation with my coworker, he had mentioned that blasto, in an intact male, will naturally go to an area with fatty tissue. In an intact male that would be in the testes. Neutered males, without the testes or fat deposits to go to, will likely have blasto sit in the lungs. Harley, being such a young puppy (and we hope, after a full recover and if he's up for it, will go on to be a show dog).

My hypothesis at the moment, and if all goes well with treatment, is that there is a connection between paraphimosis and blastomycosis. I don't know if anyone else on here has seen this type of behaviour or similar symptoms in their dogs, but I'd be interested in connecting to learn more if so. I did find another short article that studied a group of 8 male dogs who all tested positive for testicular or prostate blasto, who all showed signs of urogenital disease. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that the early onset crystals in his pee as well as the high protein in his urine, could have been indicators of testicular blastomycosis.

I am hoping Harley will be my little miracle pup, who's story, if all goes well, will help save some other pups who may go wrongly misdiagnosed for far too long. I am fortunate that my coworker made the connection between his dog's case and our pup. If it were not for him, we would never have thought to ask to test for blasto. And our vet never would have recommended it either. And perhaps we would've waited much longer to diagnose it - and by then it would have progressed into something much worse.

If there is interest in this case, I will continue to post about our journey and discoveries along the way.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Worried about Bella
« Last post by RyanB on May 01, 2018, 09:39:39 AM »
Hey Bellas mom,

Let me start with, SHE IS STILL ALIVE, and doing rather well.

We have a 1 year old Siberian Husky  that has had blasto since around October we think. We live in NH and it is not endemic to this area, but did travel a bit in into southern QC and New York and Maine where there are isolated pockets. She wasnt actually diagnosed with it until Mid November after a long run of antibiotics and vet visits. They thought it was kennel cough or some other form of upper respiratory infection. It is really hard to say how long she actually had it for, the incubation period varies so much with this it is really difficult to say when or where she got it. That being said, I have read that sometimes a compromised immune system can be related to a blasto infection. So, there is a chance your dog has basically had this for a while, but not really had any ill effects until now. I was pretty angry at my vet as well that this was not caught since we are not that far from "endemic" areas, they should have at least asked us if we traveled with her at all. Ours was realized when they looked at her X-rays and saw the classic snow storm pattern of blasto. Also said it could be cancer.

They did a tracheal wash, to confirm the organism was in her lungs. It was. MiraVista antigen test of urine will confirm the presence of blasto or not within the system and you will know for sure. It has been a long, long expensive road and we are still treating her with Itraconozole every day, and probably will be for a few more months at least. It got really rough for there for bit, but she is alive and acts pretty normal for the most part. Back to the vet for another antigen test and blood work in a couple weeks, hopefully will update with clear results but not getting my hopes up. Long story short, Vet's commonly miss this. One article I read said around 50% of cases are misdiagnosed, so dont be too hard on them I guess. Wait for the Urine test to confirm and you can start treating. Good luck and keep your head up!
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Worried about Bella
« Last post by Bellasmom on April 20, 2018, 10:27:27 AM »
I have a year and a half old mixed breed rescue.  She came from Kentucky as a puppy.  I have had her for about a year.  She has coughed since I brought her home.  Some times it would go away for a weeek or so and sometimes it got worse,  She was seen by three different vets who all "listened" to her and said "Her lungs and her heart sound really good."  Well, why is she coughing?  Maybe allergies, nothing to be concerned about.  Uugghh!  Bella became very sick a couple weeks ago with diarrhea.  Took her to the vet clinic, went through her history with vet #4 and insisted on a chest xray as well as everything else related to diarrhea.  The vet was so sorry to tell me that her lungs look horrible.  I am a nurse and her lungs looked like a blizzard to me.  The vet says she may have blasto or lung cancer, though she does not fit either profile well.  Has anybody had a pup with blasto who actually coughed for more than a year?  She has no skin, eye or neuro involvement.  I am beside myself.  The test for blasto comes back next week.  Not sure if I want to pull out my own hair or one of the vets!  She has always been sweet, playful, energetic and loves to eat.  No weight loss or loss of apetite.  I appreciate any input.
Blastomycosis - Pets and Animals / Re: Miracle Murray the mini Poodle
« Last post by MyboyJax on April 13, 2018, 08:16:06 AM »
Glad to see this post. Hope he's continuing to progress.  We are on day 4 of the itra and our boy is breathing very fast and shallow too. It was good to read that this may be somewhat normal. We just want him better!  It's so hard to watch your best buddy deteriorate in front of you.
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