Author Topic: Trying to see if there is a link between paraphimosis and blasto  (Read 1115 times)

Offline HarleysMom

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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.