Locality: Collingwood ON/ Toronto ON
Medical Diagnosis of Blastomycosis?: Yes
Where Caught: I believe that my dogs possible caught Blastomycosis while at Clear Lake ON in the Ottawa Valley near Pembroke ON during the Canada Day, July 1st holiday weekend, however, I was living near Georgian Bay at the time and we visited the bay almost every day, so they could have caught it near home?
Symptoms: Ginger, who had many odd illnesses in her life but always had bounced back, had begun to breathe strangly by the end of August of 2008. She seemed to be trying to blow something out of her nose. She had suffered enviromental allergies previously (ragweed) so I didn't think too much about it for the strange breathing was infrequent and never lasted a long period of time. She never lost her appeitite but she lost quite a lot of weight over a two week period. As I was very concerned I had made an appointment to see the vet on Monday September 20 (?) to see what was wrong. Unfortunately on Sunday (19?) she suffered a stroke and was brought to the vet and euthanisized that day. I was sad but did not think too much about it for Ginger had had many odd ailments and, at the time I believed it was the stroke that killed her. In hindsight, she was probably suffering from blasto. Holly, on the other hand had never been sick a day in her life and did not appear to be unwell at all that summer, but that changed dramatically by late-December 2008. She became incontinent, after that was treated with hormone replacement pills, she delevoped some bloody lesions all over her body. The vets were uncertain of what she could be suffering from so they took some samples of the lesions and sent them off to the lab for testing. As this occured between Christmas and New Years, all I could do was wait for test results to be prossessed as the lab was closed for holidays. During this time she became very depressed, lost any incredible amount of weight, and her breathing became very laboured By the morning of Monday January 3rd her back left leg was very swollen (doubled in size) and she could not walk. I brought her to the the vet's office that morning for I could not take care of her at home. She spent 5 nights at the vets office and was placed on IV and fed by hand. The vet contacted to lab to rush the tests and by wednesday of that week it was determined that she was suffering from Blasto. The vet's office had seen cases of Blasto before but only dogs that had infected lungs, not bloody lesions. Once she had been diagnosed, I agreed to drug therapy. When Holly got home from her 5 nights at the vets, where she had been coned, I removed the cone from her neck to give her neck a rub, during that time she punctured her swollen leg with her teeth and bloody pus oozed out of her leg. It seemed to be gallons of bloody pus oozed from her leg. She had released the pressure that had built up in her leg during that week. She responded well and quickly to the drug therapy which lasted nine months. I thought the blasto was gone but two weeks ago, August 16, 2011, she wimpered as she go up from her blanket, I thought she stepped on a tack but could not find anything in the carpet. Two days later her left front leg, over her wrist was very swollen. As I had just recently moved to Toronto, I immediately contacted a new vet. Xrays were taken on August 22, 2011 and it appeared that the bone of her leg is disintegrating. On August 29 the results of a bone biopsy confrimed that the Blasto had returned and it is in her bones....Over the last two weeks her leg has gotten much more swollen though she is still eating heartily, she is sleeping much more and she is not placing any weight on her front leg. It is a struggle for her to get up and walk.
Treatment: During 2009 Holly underwent drug therapy with Itraconazole. She responded well & immediately to the drug. Her health returned soon after starting on medication and but she was on the medications for 9 months before tests came back to an acceptable level. I thought she would be with me for long time. Unfortunately, the Blasto has reoccured and as it is now in her bones so I have no other option but to end her suffering before it gets any worse. She will be leaving us on September 1.
Cost of Treatment: I am sure to have spent over $6000.00 from 2008 to 2011 becaue of this horrible infection
Additional Comments: I am very sad that I have to say goodbye to Holly but as the Blasto is now in her bones, there is nothing left but to end her pain. I had no idea that this horrible infection can reoccur and I am devestated.