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Important Information for Dog Owners Near Water

This article appeared on Mercola.com Healthy Pets website written by Dr. Karen Becker. Because San Diegans live near water and we love to take our dogs to the beach, I think it is essential to be aware of this potential danger.

  • Blastomycosis is a systemic fungal infection caused by an organism that thrives in rotting wood and wet soil. Infections are prevalent in areas located near water, and in dogs that spend a lot of time in environments where the Blastomyces organism exists. Large breed male dogs, especially hunting and sporting breeds, are most commonly affected.
  • The Blastomyces fungus releases spores into the environment that can be inhaled. This is the most frequent method of transmission. Once inhaled, the spores travel through the lungs and become large, thick-walled, yeast-like organisms that multiply within the lungs and other tissues of the body.
  • Symptoms of blastomycosis infection in dogs include loss of appetite, fever, weight loss, inflammation of the iris of the eye, coughing, and pus-filled skin lesions. More serious symptoms can include sudden blindness, lameness, and seizures.
  • Blastomycosis is best diagnosed through examination of a lymph node, a fluid drain from skin lesions, or by examining lung tissue.
  • Traditional treatment for a blastomycosis infection is oral administration of an antifungal drug. These medications all require long-term treatment, sometimes for many months.

If you suspect your dog may have contracted this infection, please get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

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