Dog Disease - Blastomycosis in Dogs

Blastomycosis is a fungal infection which is caused by the organism “Blastomyces dermatitidis.” This dog disease is more common in North America. It is also known as “Gilchrist's disease”, “North American blastomycosis” and “Blastomycetic dermatitis”.

Causes for Blastomycosis
Blasto fungus may be inhaled by the dogs from its natural soil habitat or from the air in which these spores may be present as a result of released air by local wildlife. Once inhaled in the lungs, these spores multiply and pass through the blood and other lymphatics to other organs, including brain, skin, bone and genitourinary tract.

Symptoms of This Dog Disease
The symptoms and signs of blastomycosis include:
  • Fever
  • Anorexia
  • Cough
  • Sudden blindness
  • Blood in urine
  • Fatigue
  • Skin lesions (may be filled with pus)
  • Breathing problems
  • Eye discharge and eye inflammations
  • Loss of weight
  • Chest pain
  • Bone or joint pains
Treatment for Blastomycosis
Treatment for this dog disease is generally done at home, using oral dosages of anti fungal medication such as Sporanox and Diflucan. The medicine is expensive and must be given to the dog for a long period of time (a minimum of 60 days or one month after all signs of blastomycosis have disappeared). Dogs with severe breathing difficulties may require an oxygen supplement until lung conditions have improved. However, when the dog disease is not cured with these medications, then surgery may be necessary in order to remove part of   an abscessed lobe in damaged lungs. Even though, the dogs may be back on their feet with this treatment, this will not undo any long term effects which include spinal, blindness or bone damage.