Blastomycosis can be deadly for dogs if not treated fast

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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KRONENWETTER, Wis. (WSAW) - Spring is a time to keep an eye on the health of our furry friends. They’re at a higher risk of getting Blastomycosis. It’s a fungal infection that could be fatal if it isn’t treated fast.

Central Wisconsin is a hub for the fungus that causes Blastomycosis.

“The rivers coming through so we have all the little tributaries and stuff that have just the right moisture content to grow it. We have the right types of soils and the right temperatures,” said Dr. Nikki Wills, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Kronenwetter Veterinary Care.

Dr. Wells said there isn’t a way to test the soil for it because it grows sporadically.

“The fungus grows in the soil and then the spores are what they spread to germinate and continue to grow, and if the dogs inhale the spores, then it gets into the lungs and grows causing fungal pneumonia,” said Dr. Wells.

They often cough a lot and get extremely sick.

“They get a really high fever and they feel so sick, they usually do not want to eat,” said Dr. Wells.

That happened to Melissa Larson’s dog, Moose, when he got blasto.

“He was skin and bones. It was the weight loss, the coughing, it was…he just laid around and something was not right,” said Larson of Hatley.

Larson said she took Moose up to Wisconsin Rapids to visit her dad and they were exploring in the woods.

“All of a sudden, like a week later, maybe two weeks later, Moose started coughing and his weight started really, really decreasing,” said Larson.

The vet told her Moose had a 50% chance to live and to make sure Moose stayed hydrated and continued to eat in order to be strong enough to fight off the disease, according to Larson.

“If my vet didn’t stress the importance of me making sure Moose ate, I don’t think he’d be here,” said Larson.

Luckily Moose is happy and healthy now. Dr. Wills said it’s likely because he was treated fast.

“If it’s been going on for weeks our chances of getting ahead of it are much much less,” said Dr. Wills.

If you notice your dog coughing a lot, Dr. Wills said it’s important you call your vet right away.

For more information about Blastomycosis click here.

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