Saturday, October 2, 2010

Attention dog owners and lovers-learn about Blastomycosis

We lost our incredible dog yesterday. His name was Roscoe Brown, and he was a year and a half  old german shorthair pointer. I thought i should post some information about what he died from,  since it was so sudden and he was so young. The fungal infection he got is common in the midwest, and can infect both humans and dogs. If we would have been more aware of the signs of this deadly disease, we may have been able to save our dog. Kiss your dog today dog lovers, and never neglect to take them to the vet over any signs of sickness!  Here's a little more information, taken from the associated content site. 
Blastomycosis, called blasto for short, is caused by fungus blastomyces dermatitidis. Simply put, blastomycosis is a very serious and potentially deadly illness that's caused by a fungus typically found in the  water ways or swampy areas. The spore that causes the infection is airborne, so soil that has been disturbed or dug up is most likely the source of airborne spores. Once inhaled, the spores turn into a yeast that rapidly infests the lungs.

Because blastomycosis can have multiple symptoms, it's unlikely to be quickly diagnosed unless you or your veterinarian are already aware blasto is in your area. As a result, the illness has usually progressed beyond the point of treatment and recovery by the time other illnesses or disease are ruled out and blastomycosis is diagnosed. Blasto is not communicable from dog to dog, or dog to human, although humans, cats, and other mammals can become sick if they inhale the spores.

Blasto can affect virtually every system in a dog's body, so observation and a physical exam, including blood tests, are unlikely to point a veterinarian in the direction of a blastomycosis diagnosis. Three dogs recently stricken in southwest Minnesota exhibited an array of symptoms: swollen muzzle, significant and very quick weight loss, seizures, raspy breath, trouble breathing, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, fever, chills, depression, and sores that wouldn't heal. It wasn't until the veterinarian did a microscopic examination of a scraping from the unhealed sore on one of the dogs that the yeast cells were discovered, making the blasto diagnosis possible. In speaking with a local veterinarian, I'm aware of other dogs in Minnesota whose eyes and eyesight were affected and who experienced paralysis in their hind legs. Blastomycosis is also suspected to have been the cause of some dogs who exhibited pneumonia-like respiration, skin lesions, testicular enlargement, and bleeding gums.

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