Blastomycosis is a fungal infection that affects dogs. It's caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis, which grows in moist soil and dead leaves and can affect mammals, including dogs and humans.
The signs of blastomycosis in dogs are often subtle at first, so it's important to watch your pet closely for signs of illness like fatigue or lethargy, coughs or sneezes with blood-tinged sputum (phlegm), difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, and vomiting, loss of appetite or increased thirst, fever or weight loss. These symptoms may appear in just one day’s time or may be chronic over several weeks before they show up as an emergency situation requiring veterinary attention.
The Symptoms Depend On The Affected Body Part
The symptoms of blastomycosis vary widely from dog to dog and are highly dependent on the part of the body that is affected by the infection. When it affects a dog's lungs, it can cause severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). If a large area of skin is infected with blastomycosis, ulcerations and lesions may occur that can be painful and even life-threatening. In rare cases, an infection in other organs, such as the heart or brain, can be fatal if left untreated.
The symptoms can be summed up with coughing and having trouble breathing. He may also wheeze or gasp for air. If it infects his eyes, he could have excessive tearing or discharge from his eyes (like a pink eye). If it affects his skin, the most common type of infection, your dog might have scabs around his mouth and nose as well as hair loss in those areas.
Common Symptoms Of Pulmonary Blastomycosis
Other symptoms of pulmonary blastomycosis include difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, and coughing up blood. If a dog is exhibiting these symptoms, it is important that you get him to the vet immediately. Pulmonary blastomycosis can be fatal if left untreated. If your dog has been diagnosed with pulmonary blastomycosis, then he will need to be treated with antifungal pet medications available at the pet pharmacy.
Decreased Appetite And Weight Loss
A decreased appetite is also a symptom of blastomycosis in dogs. This can be due to nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite caused by pain. A dog with this infection may not feel like eating as much because he or she is sick and has a fever. A decrease in food intake may cause your dog to lose weight if the condition persists for more than a few days or weeks. To deal with this, prescription diets like Hill's prescription diet or Purina professionals can help.
Discharge From The Eyes Or Bleeding In The Eyes
Discharge from the eyes or bleeding in the eyes may occur if your dog has ocular blastomycosis. If you notice eye discharge, it can be white or yellow, clear or cloudy, thick or watery and bloody, runny or dry. It may also be thick and sticky. Using dog eye drops is highly recommended for relief.
Appearance Of Red Lesions On Your Dog's Skin
Cutaneous blastomycosis can result in red lesions appearing on your dog's skin that are warm to the touch or draining abscesses. These are highly infectious and need to be steered clear of.
Blastomycosis Mostly Occurs In Dogs
Blastomycosis is an infection caused by inhaling spores from the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis (Bd), which lives in soil and decaying vegetation. The disease is found primarily in the Mississippi River Valley, where it thrives during periods of heavy rainfall due to the wet conditions created by flooding. Dogs pick up these spores on their fur after walking through contaminated areas of grassland or farmland where Bd grows naturally. But this doesn't mean you have to stay away from hiking trails in the summer. Just make sure your furry friend stays far away from any suspiciously soft patches of earth where they might come across one of these bad boys hiding out underfoot or at least take some precautionary steps.
The symptoms of blastomycosis in your dog will depend on where the infection is located on his or her body. It's important to have a veterinarian examine your dog as soon as possible and get the right pet medicines if you think that he or she has been exposed to a soil that contains Blastomyces dermatitidis, the fungus that causes this disease.