Year: May 2007 and again May 2008
Locality: Southeast Michigan
Medical Diagnosis of Blastomycosis?: Yes
Where Caught: Born on April 30, 2005, in northern Michigan.
Spent her first year (approximately July 2005 to April 2006) in Wisconsin.
Traveled from Wisconsin to Kentucky in April 2006.
Spent one day in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, in April 2006.
Vacationed in Harrisville, Michigan, on Lake Huron in August 2006.
Yearly vaccines were given on May 7, 2007. Initial symptoms were noticed on May 21, 2007. We often wonder if there was a link - did we stress her immune system, enabling the illness? (We have since gone to a three-year vaccine protocol)
Symptoms: Cough began in May 2007.
Bloody skin lesions were noticed on May 21, 2007. She had 3 in all that appeared gradually over a two week period.
Enlarged popliteal lymph nodes were noticed on June 2, 2007. Went to emergency vet who did a blood test looking for infection; blood work was normal.
Lymph node under jaw begins to swell. She was prescribed an antibiotic for infection.
Drastic change in behavior over time, stopped playing, lethargic, depressed, attempted to eat her own feces on June 15, 2007.
On June 18, 2007, sores appeared on the bottom of her feet and in between her toes.
Painful right wrist swelling and limping.
Treatment: Weeks and weeks of misdiagnoses and testing. Put on antibiotics and anti-histamine in early June 2007. Admitted to animal hospital on June 20, 2007, for lymph node and lesion biopsies. Tests ordered for auto-immune disorders, Lyme disease, and blastomycosis. I requested she be put on anti-fungal treatment while we awaited results. First dose administered on June 21, 2007. Positive result for blastomycosis on June 27, 2007.
Itraconazole, 100 mg capsules, given once daily (she weighs 38 lbs.), for six months the first time. I get them at Sam's Club for $112.00 for 30. I want to treat her for a longer period of time this time, plus have her tested through MiraVista to monitor her health.
Super-premium dry dog food - Solid Gold Wolf King mixed with a cup of filtered water. Use spoonful of Wellness canned to wrap around her pill each day.
Cost of Treatment: 30 100 mg. Itraconazole capsules from Sam's Club $112.00 per month; 6 months of treatment in 2007, currently on medication again since June, 2008.
Additional Comments: May 2008 - Daisy begins limping suddenly, same right front wrist from last year, for no apparent reason. I am immediately alarmed and scheduled a vet appointment for the next day. Unable to see her diagnosing vet, the second vet feels it is a soft tissue injury, a sprain. She did hear my concerns about blasto and agreed to tap the joint if there is no improvement in 3-4 days. We limited her activity and Daisy seemed to get better; she would run and play hard, and then limp again.
This went on for weeks. After several weeks of keeping her quiet, she began limping badly again on June 20, 2008. Saw vet #3, because her diagnosing vet was not available. A ruptured ligament was suspected. My gut feeling told me it was a recurrence/relapse, and I gave her a just-in-case dose that night. Immediate improvement the following day, Saturday. I phoned her regular vet on Monday, June 23, 2008, asking for testing and Itraconazole. My vet didn't feel testing was necessary this time since she was responding to treatment, that was proof enough it was active again. She is currently being treated for a relapse/recurrence. Found this Website on June 26, 2008.
September 2008: Daisy is still taking itra, she's doing great. I've printed off information to take to our vet to begin follow-up testing so we can always monitor her for this disease. I never expected a relapse but will always be alert for one.
October 2008: MiraVista antigen test results are 1.91. She remains on medication.
May 2009: awaiting results of MiraVista test to determine when to stop medication. 5/22/09 - results are .7, negative so we are weaning off medication. She is receiving half a dose, every day, to be retested in August, 2009.
August 14, 2009: MiraVista results are 1.05, up from May. We will continue med. every other day and test again in Nov.
November 17, 2009: MiraVista results: 0.61. Reducing meds to 1/2 pill every 2 days. Testing again in 3 months.
April 2013: Daisy continues to take 2 pills weekly (Tuesday and Friday) as a preventative dose.