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Bob Blair

Blastomycosis

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Bob Blair

An article from the vets at Illinois about Blasto risk in Midwestern dogs. Great! Another thing to worry me!

 

Blastomycosis

 

 

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studdog

Close friend lost a FBEC to Blasto two years ago.  It's a gruesome disease often misdiagnosed early and early treatment key to recovery.

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Natty Bumpo

A hunting partner lost a Champion EP to this terrible disease. It was suspected he contacted Blastomycosis  while running in a cover dog trial over in Wisc along a major river system, where Blasto is endemic. The dog was treated aggressively with antifungals, but as is so often the case, the DX came too late.

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dogrunner

By reading those symptoms you will probably not recognize it soon enough.  

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Virgil Kane

A friend in northern Wisconsin had his 2 dogs get Blasto.   If I remember correctly it took a long time to get cleared up and for a guy with limited income it was very expensive for him too.   Took his dogs out of action for about 6-7 months.

 

 

Virgil

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MNice

I lost two FBEC to Blasto about 12 years ago. Three dogs and a thirteen year old girl were exposed around Lake Nebagamon, WI. Thankfully, the girl made a full recovery but it was tough on the dogs. To save on costs, we purchased meds (Sporanax) in Canada and Mexico. At the time, it was actually cheaper to fly to Mexico, stay a week, and return with an annual supply. 

 

In this particular outbreak, it was determined that high water levels in the spring which eventually receded to normal in June, exposed the shoreline and banks creating an ideal environment for the fungal spores.

 

Nasty stuff but worthy of your attention.

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Bob Blair
4 hours ago, dogrunner said:

By reading those symptoms you will probably not recognize it soon enough.  

 

Other signs/symptoms a diligent dog owner should look for and Indicators for getting the dog to a vet ASAP? Thank you.

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MNice
1 minute ago, Hub said:

Here is a link to endemic areas in Minnesota.  Some of the best grouse hunting in the state are in the worst areas for Blasto.

 

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/blastomycosis/humanblastoexpo.pdf

 

A lot of dogs have fallen victim to Blasto in the Virginia and Tower areas of MN for decades. There was a big outbreak back in the 90's and a lot of dogs were lost. 

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Hub
1 minute ago, MNice said:

 

A lot of dogs have fallen victim to Blasto in the Virginia and Tower areas of MN for decades. There was a big outbreak back in the 90's and a lot of dogs were lost. 

Wisconsin and Minnesota are tops among grouse states for Blasto.  Anybody worried about it should probably head to Michigan to grouse hunt.  Many fewer cases over there:

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0105466

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MNice
3 minutes ago, Bob Blair said:

 

Other signs/symptoms a diligent dog owner should look for and Indicators for getting the dog to a vet ASAP? Thank you.

In our case, the symptoms were respiratory. Snorting, sneezing, coughing (like a bad cold) and labored breathing with wheezing. 

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jah

It presents as pneumonia, which causes uneducated vets and owners to lose precious time treating the wrong disease until it is too late. A dog in regions where Blasto is prevalent that exhibits respiratory distress needs to be given a blasto test immediately. One of my dogs got it a couple of years ago. We were lucky that our vet changed course and got him on antifungals before too much time had passed. Still took well over 6 months of aggressive treatment to cure. He still has some residual effects. 

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Larry Brown

My male setter had it and survived, thanks to an early test and accurate diagnosis by our vet.  But we lived in an area (Rhinelander, WI) where they see quite a bit of it.

 

Our vet got us Sporanax from Canada to treat Chester.  Still not cheap.  He had it in his lungs.  (It will show up other places as well:  brain, eyes, etc.  Some dogs that survive end up losing sight in at least one eye.)  The hard part was severely restricting the activity level of a 2 year old setter while he recovered.

 

He was also exposed to anaplasmosis.  Still tests positive when we have blood drawn before starting heartworm meds in the spring.  We had him on antibiotics for 3 weeks the first time it showed up, but he doesn't show any symptoms.

 

Ticks, blasto, wolves . . . all concerns in the same part of the country that offers great grouse and woodcock hunting.

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Mundo

Always try to find a vet familiar with bird dogs.  Feed your dogs twice a day when not hunting so you are forced to have contact with them every day and have an opportunity to observe when a dog misses a meal--if they skip two feedings consider a vet trip.

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studdog

Remembering my friends dog, first indication was appetite loss.  Then, skin lumps/infection.  No coughing or lung issues in his case.  NASTY stuff lost eyesight never recovered.

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