Locality: Leaf River, IL
Medical Diagnosis of Blastomycosis?: Yes
Where Caught: We live in a rural area, we'd recently done some outdoor home improvements and landscaping projects. In June we purchased a load of mulch from a local nursery and placed in a large garden area of our home. We believe it was from this newly mulched area that our girl, Izzy, an Australian Shepherd, contracted Blastomycosis. Being a farm/rural environment there are probably other areas of our property that could be suspect as well. However, Izzy had taken to laying in the shade under a large Magnolia bush located in this newly mulched area to keep cool in this unusually hot/dry summer.
Symptoms: Wed, 7/4 - Marked decrease in energy level, seemed depressed. Some "huffing" when breathing.
Thurs, 7/5 - Nose seemed warm to the touch and "huffing" continues. Very lethargic.
Fri, 7/6 - Limp develops in right front leg. No indication of injury when touching or examining at home - no wincing or pulling her leg away. Previous symptoms mentioned continue.
Sat, 7/7 - Called Vet but, unable to get appointment until Mon, 7/9.
Sun, 7/8 - Symptoms continue, not putting weight on front right leg even when sitting. However, she continues to eat & drink. Breathing is more of a constant panting.
Mon, 7/9 - First Vet Appointment, Note: Upon waking this morning, Izzy licking my hand - her tongue is extremely hot. Fever is increasing. Registered 103.4 at Vet's office.
Wed, 7/11 - Vet called to check on her; I reported no marked improvement(s).
Thurs, 7/12 - Second Vet Appointment, this one was unscheduled, my husband just drove there as soon as they opened that morning. Blastomycosis diagnosis confirmed by chest X-ray.
Fri, 7/13 - Symptoms worsening; breathing heavy & raspy, constantly panting. Limp has disappeared, appetite good as we were feeding her anything she'd eat - browned ground beef, scrambled eggs, ice cream, cheese - whatever it took to get the pills down. What turned out to be her last meal was her dinner at approximately 5:30 pm.
Sat, 7/14 - Unable to get pills down, not drinking, refusing food. Not wanting to lay down, she hasn't really slept in last 24 hrs that we have seen. Try to give her some Pedialyte via turkey baster to get some fluids in her, no luck.
Izzy passed away at home in our arms, approximately 48 hours after receiving the Blastomycosis diagnosis and beginning the anti-fungal treatment.
Treatment: At our first Vet appointment Izzy was given two Rx, an anti-inflammatory (Carprofen, 75 mg/tab, 1x day) and an antibiotic (Doxycycline, 100 mg/tab, 2x day).
At the second Vet appointment when the Blasto was confirmed she received an Rx for the anti-fungal (Fluconazole, 200 mg/tab, 1x day) and we were to continue w/the anti-inflammatory, discontinue antibiotic.
Cost of Treatment: $274.80 - Includes all office visits, testing & Rx.
$40.00 - Cremation w/return of remains
Additional Comments: The Vet assures us we did all we could as soon as her diagnosis was confirmed, it still hurts, it aches. If we only knew of this horrible disease, if we could've protected her from it.... We would give the world to have our girl back. She went so fast, so sudden and far too young.
All I can do now is to do my best to help others be aware of the symptoms and the possible causes.
I pray for comfort for anyone who is enduring the pain of losing a loved one and I pray for strength for those who themselves or with a loved one are fighting against it now.