Locality: Dahlonega, Georgia USA
Medical Diagnosis of Blastomycosis?: Yes
Where Caught: I live on a mountain river surrounded by dense woods. We get 60+ inches of rain a year so there is decaying vegetation everywhere. Although the vets thought that Blasto was practically unheard of in Georgia. The local vet has had 4 more cases come in since, all of which died. Hogan has been here with me since he was 9 months old.
Symptoms: Started out lethargic, raised bumps on the skin. One toe on his foot swelled up and it hurt him so much we thought he broke it. He also was not able to support his weight on one of his back legs. That's when I took him in. X-rays showed a large mass in his chest and the vet feared cancer, but also thought it might be a fungal infection. The local vet sent us to an oncologist at Georgia Veterinary Specialists. While waiting for his appt with the oncologist, he went blind. The oncologist did x-rays and then took a biopsy of his toe for the diagnosis. It has spread to his bones and eyes as well.
Treatment: We met with an internist the following day and she prescribed amphotericin B by infusion 3 days a week for 4 weeks. He was kept in the hospital for the first 2 treatments in case he went into respiratory arrest. He also gets prednizone eyedrops 3 times a day. The 2nd week intraconizole by mouth was prescribed in addition to the infusions along with sam-e liver protectant. He is responding well. One more week of infusions and then he'll just be on oral meds.
Cost of Treatment: The cost of the infusions is about $6000.00 The hospital stay was about $1500.00. The diagnosis was around $900.00. The intraconizole is about $160.00 for 10 days worth but will be half as we are ordering from a Canadian pharmacy.
Additional Comments: We've had 4 additional cases show up in my county and 4 more in the county north of me. All those dogs died. The conditions seem to be right for this fungus to grow in our area right now.