Risks Of Coccidioidomycosis In Pets All you need to know about Coccidioidomycosis

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Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever, is a fungal infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides. The illness can affect dogs and cats as well as humans.

While your pets are at risk of contracting coccidioidomycosis from exposure to infected soil or dust particles in the air from endemic regions, they're most likely to be exposed if they live in areas where there is heavy construction going on. In this article, we'll cover what coccidioidomycosis is and its symptoms in pets so you can learn how best to protect your dog or cat against this serious illness.

What Is Coccidioidomycosis?

Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection caused by inhaling the spores of the fungus Coccidioides immitis. The spores are present in the soil and can easily be inhaled if you live in an area where it's found or spend time outdoors in that area.

Symptoms include coughing, fever, chills, and muscle aches. However, these symptoms may not appear right away or may disappear between outbreaks.

This fungus's spores are found in certain regions' soil, including the southwestern United States and parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

Coccidioidal infections can be acquired through inhalation of airborne spores or direct contact with infected animals or soil. In humans, it has been documented that pets can spread this disease to their owners via contaminated dog beds and clothing that has come into contact with their infected fur.

Are Dogs And Cats Susceptible To The Illness?

Yes, dogs and cats can be infected with coccidioidomycosis. As mentioned above, there is a higher risk of infection in dogs that live in or visit areas known to have a high incidence of the illness. In addition, it's important to note that your pet’s breed may play a role in how likely they are to get sick from coccidioidomycosis.

The disease is more common among certain breeds of dogs, such as poodles and schnauzers; however, other breeds have also been diagnosed with the illness, including collies (sheepdogs), German shepherds, and Labrador retrievers.

What Are The Symptoms Of Coccidioidomycosis?

If your pet is diagnosed with coccidioidomycosis, you will likely notice symptoms of the disease within 1 to 2 weeks after they are exposed to the fungus. However, it may take months or even years for symptoms to appear.

The most common symptoms of coccidioidomycosis in dogs include:

  • Fever

  • Lethargy

  • Inflammation of the lymph nodes, especially in the head and neck area (the lymph nodes are small organs that help fight infections)

  • Inflammation of the lungs (the lungs help us breathe) 

These symptoms will vary depending on where on your pet's body they were bitten by a tick carrying this fungus. For example, if your dog was bitten by a tick on its foot or leg, he may experience pain and swelling in those areas; if he was bitten on his face or neck instead, then he could have swelling around his eyes as well as difficulty breathing because his airways have become blocked up with fluid from his lymph nodes being too swollen up due to inflammation caused by infection caused by this pathogenic organism called "Coccidia"/"Coccidia ommatidia".

Can Coccidioidomycosis Be Treated?

Yes, coccidioidomycosis can be treated. If a pet is diagnosed with the disease early on and its symptoms are mild, treatment and pet medication may not be necessary. However, if your pet has severe or persistent symptoms (such as coughing or difficulty breathing), you should seek veterinary care immediately.

There are several treatments available for coccidioidomycosis:

  • Antibiotics for dogs, such as doxycycline, are often prescribed to treat illness in pets who have been infected with Coccidia protozoa.

  • Anti-inflammatories like Rimadyl and Metacam for dogs can help minimize inflammation associated with the illness.

Conclusion

Coccidioidomycosis is an infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides immitis. It’s spread through dust containing fungal spores that are inhaled; pets who have been exposed to infected soil or dust can carry the infection internally for several months until symptoms develop. Treatment and pet meds for infections caused by this fungus usually involve antifungal medication along with supportive care (such as hydration). As you can see, it is a dangerous illness that can affect both humans and animals. We hope that this article has been informative and helpful as you try to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from this disease.

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