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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Blastomycosis

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Condition Overview

This systemic fungal disease occurs along the eastern seaboard, in the Great Lakes region, and the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri valleys of the United States.

Symptoms

Most cases of acute canine blastomycosis involve the respiratory system and cause bronchopneumonia. About 40% of cases involve the eyes and skin, producing signs similar to those of cryptococcosis. Weight loss and lameness may also be noticed.

Causes

This disease is acquired by inhaling infected spores. Dogs are considerably more susceptible to blastomycosis than are humans.

Diagnosis

Microscopic identification of organisms in transtracheal washings or in fluid aspirated from infected tissues is the most efficient way to make the diagnosis. In difficult cases, biopsy and culture may be needed. Serologic tests are also available.

Treatment

A combination of amphotericin B and one of the imidazoles appears to offer the best chance of successful treatment. Months of treatment are required, and some dogs may relapse months to years later.

Prevention

Use rubber gloves and take hygienic precautions when handling an infected dog.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet may be infected with this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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