Locality: Pointe au Baril
Medical Diagnosis of Blastomycosis?: Yes
Where Caught: Bruce, a 3 year old Cairn Terrier, caught Blasto on a private island in Pointe au Baril, Georgian Bay, Ontario, where we visited during the last week of July, 2010. Bruce, and the other family dogs, ran around on the island, unsupervised, for one week. None of the other dogs (4 Labs) got Blasto.
Symptoms: On September 16, 2010, exactly six weeks after our return from Georgian Bay, Bruce became exhausted while out for a walk. He sat down, panting, and would not continue the walk. I immediately took him to the Vet.
Treatment: Bruce had a low temperature and what appeared to be a slight irritation of the lungs on an x-ray. He was treated with anti-biotics. For the next few days he continued to eat and walk normally but he was noticeably tired. Day 5 he was taken to our large animal hospital here in Montreal, DMV. They began to search for the cause of his problem. After one day there he went on oxygen. After two days they did a lung wash which is when they discovered the Blasto. At this time the x-rays showed a "slight blizzard". The treatment was started immediately. The Vet warned me that he had a 50/50 chance of surviving the treatment; the first three days were crucial. On the third day Bruce was extremely tired from the treatment and the x-rays showed almost "complete blizzard". I put him to sleep immediately, with the support and help of Bruce's Vet, Dr. Lyane Fifle.
Cost of Treatment: Just under $11,000, and he received the best care in Eastern Canada.
Additional Comments: My dogs will never go to Georgian Bay ever again, nor will I ever allow my dogs to be loose at the cottage in the Laurentians unless there is 3 feet of snow on the ground. Since Blasto hides in the woods, my dogs will always be on leash at the cottage, which is sad, but that is how it is going to be. No more freedom, running around, doing whatever they want, except in winter.