Locality: Manitoulin Island
Medical Diagnosis of Blastomycosis?: Yes
Where Caught: We bought a waterfront lot where we excavated to build a house, and installed a water line in the lake.
Soil was brought in from other areas of the island, and extensive trenching for drainage was completed. Rotting logs and deadfall was removed from the shoreline, Emmy's favourite place.
Symptoms: Initial symptom was a sudden white cyst like growth between her front toes on her left leg.
Although her lungs were found to be full of infection, she did not have obvious respiratory symptoms.
We did notice weight loss but it is not uncommon for this breed to have a growth spurt at this age and increased her food intake.
Treatment: Initially 12 weeks of Sporanox maximum dosage, which was 4 weeks more than our vet at that time had prescribed for successful cases in the past.
All symptoms appeared resolved, but a chest xray showed one small spot that was thought to be scarring........it wasn't, as Emmy relapsed several months after treatment, and was treated a second time for 22 weeks maximum dosage on Sporanox.
A soft tissue swelling of the left ankle area had appeared and remained during her first treatment and did not resolve. It was thought to be a side effect of the infection/medication, not uncommon. There was no bone involvement upon xray.
Then, 7 months (may 2008)after first relapse treatment, sudden lumps appeared on her left forechest above the affected leg. Biopsies of the leg lump and the chest lumps all came back positive for blasto. The lumps appear to be lymph system related.
The bone still appears unaffected, it is localized to soft tissue.
Facing euthanization, we attempted one last experiment with the intent to try to control the infection on a life-long low dose of antifungal.
We are as of June 8th completing another round of high dose Sporanox while trying to find information on appropriate prophylactic treatment, but recognize in reality we are facing euthanasia if this fails.
Our vet is willing to try this however between us we are trying to locate a similar case for assistance regarding dosages.
To date, Emmy is very active and continues to go happily about her daily routine, however we realize this can change in a heartbeat.
Cost of Treatment: To date, roughly $5000.
Additional Comments: We now realize from researching treatment for blasto that neither our initial or replase treatments were long enough according to those experienced treating severe cases.
We do not believe that we can eradicate the infection now but we hope to control it.
If anything, perhaps Emmy's case will assist someone else in the future.
UPDATE:MAY 1 2009
Emmy is still going strong, an active and outwardly healthy girl. However, she has been on a daily prophylactic dosage of compounded itraconazole for the past year. Dosage will be reduced once more later this year and remain as a maintenance dose.