Author Topic: Blastomycosis - Q&A  (Read 3398 times)

Offline Lisa

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Blastomycosis - Q&A
« on: August 19, 2010, 05:29:53 AM »
Blastomycosis was the topic of a Pet Q&A with a Vet on the an East Central Indiana online newspaper this week.

PET Q&A: What is blastomycosis?

Q: I have a lab who recently developed a cough and was diagnosed with blastomycosis. He has been on medication for a month and seems back to normal, but I'm not sure if he is really cured. How long should he stay on medicine?

A: Blastomycosis is one of several systemic mycoses (diseases caused by a fungus that spreads throughout the body). The blastomycosis organism has two forms: in the soil it exists in a mycelial form (mold-like). It is this form that produces the spores that are inhaled by dogs (or humans) and begin the infection process. Once in the body, the organism changes into a yeast form, which spreads through the blood, eventually causing disease. Many areas of the body might be infected, the most common being the lungs, bones, skin, eyes and nervous system. Common symptoms include coughing, fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, enlarged lymph nodes, skin lesions, lameness and eye or vision problems.

Diagnosis of blastomycosis can be challenging, since the symptoms overlap with those of many other diseases. Your vet will likely do blood tests and X-rays. A newly developed urine test is proving especially useful in determining how long treatment should be continued.

Pets infected with blastomycosis are treated with antifungal medications. Some severely affected animals might need intravenous treatment, but many can be successfully managed at home with oral medicines (usually ketoconazole or itraconazole).

Treatment might be necessary for up to 6 months in some pets. More than 80 percent of pets are successfully cured with medication, but about 20 percent will experience a recurrence, usually within the first year. Follow-up exams and tests are essential, so make sure to follow your veterinarian's advice closely.

Roger Smith is a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center.

Offline aboyd

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Re: Blastomycosis - Q&A
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 11:05:30 AM »
Thank you for the information.  Our neighbor, 3 doors down, his lab was just diagnosed with Blasto.  His vet now has 3 active cases here in this area of Illinois (although only Kayla lives here in this club.)  My dog Jake had some symptoms of this "mysterious" disease, but it's too late now to confirm whether he had it or not, Jake left 2 years ago.

I believe this fungus is more prevelant than some realize.  We are on a series of "lakes" here, and the only commonality Jake and my neighbor's lab have is this lake, here.

I sure wish there was a way to test for this "fungus" given 2 dogs, 3 doors apart, seem to have contracted this same disease.